Interview: Michelle Peloquin

Sophomore bowler Michelle Peloquin, who excels in both the classroom and bowling center, recently talked with VandyMania about life as a bowler at Vanderbilt. Peloquin bowled a 196 at the recent Arkansas State Tournament and averaged 207 a game last season. Vanderbilt is currently ranked #2 in the nation with a record of 46-10.

Don Yates: How long have you been bowling?
Michelle Peloquin: Since I was 6 (laughs)

DY: So you actually remember the first time you bowled?
MP: Actually, no. I don't remember the first time.

DY: So as long as you can remember you've been bowling.
MP: Yes, basically.

DY: How much time did you spend bowling growing up?
MP: Actually when I was younger I played soccer at the same time so I was into both sports until I got into middle school and soccer was during the week and bowling was during the weekends. I would go to local tournaments on the weekends and bowl like leagues on Saturday morning and have like tournaments on Saturday and Sunday. Both those days were dedicated to bowling.

DY: When did you first realize that you might have a chance to earn a scholarship bowling?
MP: Actually my sister is four years older than I am and we both bowled the same things. We'd do like the same tournaments on Saturday and Sunday. She was the one that did it first. She went to Sacred Heart University in Fairfield, Connecticut. and she bowled for them. It was something that I always wanted to do. I saw how much fun she had doing it so after that I got more serious with it and decided it was something that I wanted to pursue.

DY: So your Dad coached you? (Dad coached at Sacred Heart)
MP: Yes, he did. He's the only other coach I've ever had besides John.

DY: What's it like bowling in college?
MP: It's a lot of fun actually. It's different from anything I've ever done before because everything I had ever done up to when I got here last year had all been individual. So like Connecticut doesn't have high school bowling so like Kaitlin, Tara and Karen all came from areas where they had high school teams, I didn't have that so all my tournaments were individual. Up until when I got here I didn't know what it was like to bowl as part of a team. It's been really different.

DY: But basically you're just trying to knock down the pins?
MP: Yeah, but I mean like there's kind of that thing where you know like you support your teammates after a miss, "It's okay, don't worry about it."

DY: You were in the first class at Vanderbilt to get scholarships for bowling. What was that like?
MP: It was really different. I think that part of the appeal for coming was to start something. You knew you'd be one of the first people to do it. You don't get many opportunities to be the first at something.

DY: So when the next class came you were able to help them out and give them assistance?
MP: When they came for their visits we hung out with them and talked to them. We thought they'd be really good for the group. We are all really good friends.

DY: I don't know if you are aware but right after bowling got started the men's soccer team got booted. Did you get any backlash from that or have anything said to you?
MP: No, I think the team that got more of it was swimming because they were instituted right after the soccer team got removed.

DY: What's the goal now for the team?
MP: I think we are going to take it one tournament at a time. We did very well in the fall. We've had two good tournaments so far. We won both of them in the fall. we came in really hyped up and ready to go but it is a long haul and we have until April.

DY: What are you all ranked at right now?
MP: We are second.

DY: Second! Wow. Who is number 1?
MP: Farleigh-Dickinson, they won the National Championship last year.

DY: Where is the championship this year?
MP: Orlando, Florida. After the regular season is done the Committee meets and they vote on the eight teams that go to the Championship.

DY: But you know you are going to be there, right?
MP: Uh, nothing is set in stone. Hopefully we do well at each tournament and win as many matches as we can.

DY: Michelle, we wish you and your teammates the best of luck.
MP: Thank you! Top Stories