The official student newspaper of Vanderbilt University

The Vanderbilt Hustler

The official student newspaper of Vanderbilt University.
Since 1888
The official student newspaper of Vanderbilt University

The Vanderbilt Hustler

The official student newspaper of Vanderbilt University.
The official student newspaper of Vanderbilt University

The Vanderbilt Hustler

The official student newspaper of Vanderbilt University.

Bowling: 2023 National Champions gather for ring ceremony

On a Friday night in Hillsboro Village, figures from Vanderbilt Bowling’s past and present came together to celebrate the program’s third national championship.
NCAA+throphy+sits+with+balloons+and+a+signed+bowling+ball+on+the+table%2C+as+captured+on+Nov.+3%2C+2023.+%28Hustler+Multimedia%2FGeorge+Albu%29
George Albu
NCAA throphy sits with balloons and a signed bowling ball on the table, as captured on Nov. 3, 2023. (Hustler Multimedia/George Albu)

Nearly seven months after a heart-pounding comeback in Las Vegas secured Vanderbilt Bowling’s third national championship, players, coaches, family members and Vanderbilt Athletics staff assembled at E3 Chophouse in Hillsboro Village to commemorate the occasion.

Women’s Bowling team poses with their new championship rings in a group photo, as captured on Nov. 3, 2023. (Hustler Multimedia/George Albu) (George Albu)

“Sometimes you forget the incremental steps that you’ve taken to get somewhere,” head coach John Williamson said. “Then you sit back here and you’re like, ‘Wow, we’ve got 75 people here to celebrate and remember a pivotal moment in a lot of these peoples’ lives.”

Athletic director Candice Storey Lee opened the night by recounting how she, on that April evening, sat with a group of fans on the third floor of the restaurant to watch the best-of-seven series against Arkansas State. Over half a year later, the warmth of that moment clearly had not faded as she congratulated the first team to win a national title during her tenure.

“We celebrated [the championship] towards the end of the year, but we never fully were able to celebrate because it was also the time of finals,” junior Paige Peters said. “It’s more exciting than what anyone could imagine.”

Vanderbilt returned eight of the 10 members of the national championship team for its 2023-2024 campaign. Both of the graduated players — 2022-2023 National Player of the Year Mabel Cummins, who is now a graduate assistant with the team, and Amelia Kiefer-Schnell — were in attendance at the ceremony.

Each team member received a custom ring featuring a golden Vanderbilt “V” on the front along with the player’s name above an anchor on one side and the championship trophy on the other.

Also in attendance were the program’s two freshmen, Haley Lindley and Natalie Kent. The pair saw the ceremony as a motivator to reach the promised land once again.

“I think it’s really cool that they’re able to celebrate the girls like this, and I think it just gives us something to strive for next year,” Lindley said. “We want to be in their position, so it just makes us work harder.”

The top-ranked Commodores have gotten off to a strong start through their first two competitions of the season. After winning the Warhawk Classic in Madison, Wisc., the team finished third at Destination Orlando and now has the weekend off before pivoting to the MOTIV Ladyjack Classic from Nov. 10-12.

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About the Contributors
Jayce Pollard, Assistant Sports Specialist
Jayce Pollard (‘25) is a student in the College of Arts and Science majoring in public policy and economics and minoring in data science and Spanish. Outside of writing for The Hustler, you can catch Jayce trying to learn the rules of soccer, hating on the Arkansas Razorbacks and being chronically on Twitter. He can be reached at [email protected]
George Albu, Staff Writer and Photographer
George Albu (‘27) is majoring in medicine, health and society in the College of Arts and Science. When not working for The Hustler, he enjoys taking long walks around campus, reading or watching video essays about anything and everything online. He can be reached at [email protected].
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