NCAA Bowling

Dores Finish Eighth

Dores Finish Eighth

ARLINGTON, Texas — Vanderbilt concluded a disappointing Prairie View A&M Invitational with an eighth-place finish Sunday, losing its two bracket round matches to Sam Houston State and North Carolina A&T.

The conclusion capped a frustrating January for the defending national champion program, which struggled in all three of its tournaments during the month—the Stormin’ Blue & White Vegas Classic, the Northeast Classic and now, the Prairie View A&M Invitational where the Commodores were the defending champions.

“I give both Sam Houston State and North Carolina A&T credit, they made key shots at important times,” Vanderbilt head coach John Williamson said. “We were seeing some of the same things we’ve seen all month, so we look forward to a chance to finally practice and regroup over the next two weeks.”

Vanderbilt had garnered the tournament’s No. 5 seed with a win over Prairie View in Sunday’s final round-robin match, setting up a meeting with eighth-seeded Sam Houston State. The match see-sawed for five games with Vandy scoring in the 190s. Things fell apart in Game 6 for the Dores, who suffered five opens (three missed-makeables) in route to a 140 game, enabling the Bearcats to advance, 4-2.

Vandy bounced back in the match for seventh place, grabbing a 3-1 lead and appearing to be headed to a win over the fifth-ranked Aggies. The Commodores were able to alleviate some of its spare shooting woes by not having two of its better spare shooters—Alyssa Ballard and Kailee Channell—out of the rotation and inserting them frequently to clean up spare attempts.

However, North Carolina A&T put together a late four-bagger to win Game 5, 220-190, and Vanderbilt lost Game 6, 200-195, when All-American Paige Peters opened in the 10th. Vandy rebounded with the front four in Game 7 and seemed headed to a victory, only to see the feisty Aggies run off a closing six straight strikes and grab a come-from-behind, 222-211, win.

The Commodores now get a welcome and much needed schedule break, not returning to competition until Feb. 16 at Arkansas State’s Mid-Winter Invitational. The interlude will be the first sustained practice time in their campus practice facility since before winter break and offers an opportunity to iron out a variety of issues.

Jacksonville State blanked Arkansas State to win the tournament title.

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