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Valpo Closes Crusader Classic in Sixth Place
Alyssa Alvarez and the Crusaders finished in sixth place. (Jeff Lange)
Alyssa Alvarez and the Crusaders finished in sixth place. (Jeff Lange)

Sunday, November 11, 2012

The #9 Valparaiso bowling team closed out play in its home tournament, the Crusader Classic at Inman's, on Sunday, finishing in sixth place in the ten-team field.

The Crusaders bookended the day with a pair of tight matches against #4 Vanderbilt, neither of which fell Valpo's way. The opener against the Commodores saw Valpo bowl games of 222 and 212 to jump out to a 2-0 lead in the best-of-seven baker format, but Vandy answered with two straight wins, including a narrow 227-224 decision in game four. Valpo moved within one game of the win with a tight 187-185 victory in game five, but despite breaking 200 in each of the last two games, Vandy earned the 4-3 win.

Valpo rolled to a 4-1 win over Elmhurst in its second match of the day. The Crusaders dropped the opening game, 192-170, but rebounded with four straight wins to capture the match. The victory was capped by a game of 227 in the finale, the team's highest baker score of the day.

The win over Elmhurst set up a rematch with Vanderbilt in the fifth-place match. The teams split the first four games before the Commodores earned a commanding 248-148 win in game five to move within one game of the win. The squads tied at 203 in game six, however, keeping the Crusaders alive, and a 219-201 win in game seven meant the match was split 3-3-1. The modified baker tiebreaker (in which each team rolls the equivalent of frames 6-10) went Vanderbilt's way, though, by a score of 106-97.

Central Missouri won the tournament, sweeping Arkansas State in the championship match. Nebraska took third place, defeating UW-Whitewater, while Prairie View A&M, Elmhurst, Salem and Cheyney rounded out the final standings in order.

Valparaiso (8-10) continues its season next weekend at the UMES Hawk Classic. The three-day event starts on Friday, Nov. 16 in Millsboro, Del.