ValpoAthletics.com
Valpo Places Seventh at Big Red Invitational
Natalie Cortese and the Crusaders placed seventh. (Ashley Busiel)
Natalie Cortese and the Crusaders placed seventh. (Ashley Busiel)

Saturday, January 22, 2011

The #13 Valparaiso bowling team wrapped up action Saturday at the Big Red Invitational in Lincoln, Neb. in seventh place out of a field which included five of the nation’s top six squads.

“I believe the team competed at a high level this weekend and took a huge step forward for our young program,” said Crusader head coach Shon Washington.  “This weekend was, in many ways, a preview of the teams that may be competing for this season's national championship.”

The Crusaders opened action Saturday, contested in the best-of-seven baker format, against #4 Central Missouri.  Valpo dropped the opening game despite rolling a 200, but bounced back with a 192-183 win in game two to even the match at a game apiece.  The Jennies took each of the next three games though to earn the 4-1 victory.

The second match of the day pitted Valpo against Elmhurst, and this time the Crusaders jumped out to the early advantage with wins of 202-139 and 188-182 in the first two games.  Elmhurst cut its deficit in half with a 173-163 win in game three, but that would be as close as it would get, as Valpo closed out the 4-1 victory with wins of 224-212 and 188-168 in games four and five, respectively.

The Crusaders closed tournament action against #6 Arkansas State, and after falling behind two games to none, took game three 189-167 to move to within 2-1.  But despite rolling a 223 in game four, Valpo couldn’t even the match, as the Red Wolves posted a 238 to move ahead 3-1.  ASU closed out the match in game five, 174-139.

Valparaiso (39-31) returns to action next weekend at the Kutztown Invitational in Reading, Pa.  The three-day tournament gets underway Friday at 10 a.m. CST.