Vanderbilt bowling team wins regional, advances to Final Four

No. 2 seed Commodores to face third-seeded Arkansas State on Friday.
Vanderbilt's bowling team won the Lansing Region on Saturday to advance to the Final Four in...
Vanderbilt's bowling team won the Lansing Region on Saturday to advance to the Final Four in Las Vegas.(Vanderbilt University Athletics)
Published: Apr. 9, 2023 at 3:41 PM CDT
Email This Link
Share on Pinterest
Share on LinkedIn

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WSMV) - Vanderbilt punched its ticket to the NCAA Bowling Final Four on Saturday, sweeping a best-of-seven tiebreaker 4-0 against Youngstown State, a team that earlier in the afternoon had beaten the Commodores.

The regional championship sends the nationally second-seeded Commodores to the national semifinals in Las Vegas next Friday. Vanderbilt will face third-seeded Arkansas State. Top seed McKendree will battle fourth-seeded Nebraska in the other semifinal.

Youngstown State defeated Vanderbilt 1,030-967 in the opening mega-match and romped to an easy win the five-game baker set after winning the first game by 72 pins, forcing the best-of-seven tiebreaker.

The Commodores returned to the decisive showdown against their Southland Conference rival in Lansing, Michigan, after the 30-minute break between matches. A revised rotation of Amanda Naujokas, Alyssa Ballard, Caroline Theisier, Victoria Varano and Mabel Cummins quickly seized the momentum back, stringing the strikes they couldn’t find earlier.

“The first part of the day we were playing to hold onto our trip to Vegas,” Vanderbilt Coach John Williamson said in a news release. “We were timid, our body language was bad, and Youngstown was bowling well. We were on our heels the entire time.

“At the break, we talked about what was the worst thing that could happen; it was happening, but we still controlled our fate and had to execute. We thought if we won the first game we could flip the script. We did that, then won Game 2. In the mega-match, it snowballed against us and now it was snowballing for us. We made some big shots.”

The title is Vanderbilt’s second straight at the Lansing Regional and will mark the tenth time the Commodores have reached the Final Four in the 19 years of program existence. The Commodores won national titles in 207 and 2018.