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Crusader Bowlers Open Mid-Winter Classic Friday
Natalie Cortese and the Crusaders went 3-2 Friday. (Ashley Busiel)
Natalie Cortese and the Crusaders went 3-2 Friday. (Ashley Busiel)

Friday, January 14, 2011

The #13 Valparaiso bowling team resumed the 2010-2011 season after nearly a month off Friday in Cabot, Ark., going 3-2 on the first day of competition at the Mid-Winter Classic.

“It was a good day overall to finish with a 3-2 record,” said Crusader head coach Shon Washington.  “We got a quality win over an always tough Nebraska team and closed the day with three straight wins.  Sophomore Morgan Sharp and junior Natalie Cortese were our leaders on the lanes today.”

The Crusaders, who closed the day in 8th place out of the 14 competing teams, got off to a slow start Friday afternoon.  Valpo opened tournament action against #6 Arkansas State, and the hosts were unkind to the Crusaders, jumping out to a 51-pin lead after the first game of the five-game baker format and going on to an 881-837 win.  Valpo then faced off versus #20 Louisiana, and despite leading by 21 pins after two games, eventually succumbed by an 881-855 score.

Valparaiso got its first match in the win column against #RV Prairie View A&M in the day's third match, using a 192 second game to pull ahead by 48 pins and win going away, 801-689.  Facing their highest-ranked opponent of the first day of action in #3 Nebraska, the Crusaders posted their best game of the day in the opener, rolling a 237 to stake themselves to a 57-pin lead.  A 191 in game four pushed the Valpo lead to 66 pins, an advantage the Crusaders needed to hold on for a 915-899 victory over the Cornhuskers.

The Crusaders carried the momentum into the day's final match, taking down Texas Southern by an 865-805 count.  Valparaiso (30-22) returns to action on the second day of the three-day tournament on Saturday, with bowling slated to start from Cabot at 10 a.m. CST.