NCAA Bowling

Dores Split Day 1 Matches

Dores Split Day 1 Matches

HARAHAN, La. — Vanderbilt opened play in the Conference USA tournament Friday with a grueling 3.5- hour victory over Louisiana Tech before falling to No. 1-seeded Jacksonville State.

The split drops the fourth-seeded Commodores into the contenders’ bracket, and they will square off Saturday at 9:30 a.m. against Louisiana Tech in a quick rematch in this double-elimination event.

“I thought we started both traditional matches strong but didn’t react to the transitions well and were behind the needed moves in frames 4 through 7,” head coach John Williamson said. “We didn’t throw great shots in those frames and the matches got away from us a little there.”

“But we chipped away and chipped away in the Tech match Baker games, and I thought our competitive side was particularly good there. In the best of seven, the left lane was scoring better, and we had lane choice. I give Tech a lot of credit for making excellent shots and hanging in there from the right side.”

Vanderbilt regained the competitive bite that it lacked just a week ago in the Music City Classic but in the luck of the draw, bumped into two hot-shooting opponents. That was not unexpected in this tournament, which features the nation’s top four ranked teams and six of the top 10.

The fifth-seeded and seventh-ranked Bulldogs began the mega-match by scorching the Colonial Lanes with a high morning traditional game score of 1,145. In the face of the withering assault, the Commodores managed to post a solid 1,032 score behind Haley Lindley’s 255 and Kailee Channell’s 234.

The format transitioned to a five-game Baker set that became one of the more competitive matches of the season. The Bulldogs jumped out to a 61-pin lead, but Vandy actually seized the lead after three games. Louisiana Tech took Game 4 and a 31-pin lead into the finale, forcing Vandy to rally once again.

Vandy clung to a narrow advantage at the midway point but an open seventh evened the overall score. Caroline Thesier delivered a key strike in the ninth, giving Vandy a precarious two-pin edge into the 10th but Louisiana Tech anchor Patricia Rosales struck while Lindley had to convert a tricky 6-10 split, which she calmly handled. Rosales could only muster a 6-count while Lindley struck, giving Vanderbilt a narrow 989-987 win to send the match into a best-of-seven.

The two teams traded wins here. Lindley rescued the Dores in Game 4 by striking out for a three-pin victory to avoid a 3-1 deficit. The…

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