For the seventh straight year, the Vanderbilt women’s bowling team has made the eight-team NCAA Tournament field.
The fourth-ranked Commodores, who hold the school’s only national championship in any sport, join Arkansas State, Central Missouri, Fairleigh Dickinson, Maryland-Eastern Shore, Nebraska, Sacred Heart and Valparaiso to compete for the title on April 12-14 in Wickliffe, Ohio, a suburb of Cleveland.
Vanderbilt finished second last year to Maryland-Eastern Shore. The Commodores also reached the semifinals in 2008 — one year after winning the national championship.
“We are happy and relieved,” coach John Williamson said. “We have been fortunate to have enjoyed a lot of success over the years and sometimes it feels as though our fans take for granted that we will qualify. Every year there are more quality teams in this sport and every year it gets harder to make the championship field. We take nothing for granted. We have enjoyed a good season so far and appreciate the opportunity to bowl in Cleveland.”
Vanderbilt has won three tournament championships this season and has a record of 86-36. The Commodores are led by three-time All-American Brittni Hamilton, who made the NCAA Championship all-tournament team in 2011.
“A couple of hours before the announcement I came down with the anxiety symptoms,” Hamilton said. “We did not take this for granted but we knew how much work we have put into this year.”