The Valparaiso bowling program began its inaugural season of intercollegiate play Friday at the Greater Ozark Invitational in Springfield, Mo., going a perfect 4-0 on the day.
The 20th-ranked Crusaders were in a pool Friday along with #14 Southern University, Louisiana Tech and Stephen F. Austin. The day’s format was five-game baker matches, which consist of five team members taking turns bowling one frame at a time, with total pinfall after the five games determining the winner. Each of the four teams bowled one match against each of the other three teams, while the final matchup of the day was determined by the standings after the first three matches.
"I was very pleased with our performance today, especially in how we carried ourselves and worked as a team,” said Crusader head coach Stephen Anthony. “For our first day, we demonstrated a lot of team spirit and support which allowed us to play fairly consistent all afternoon. We have stressed picking up our spares in practice so far this season and today we did a good job of being consistent and picking up our spares."
Valpo kicked off the day with a 926-829 victory over Stephen F. Austin, taking advantage of games of 212 and 215 in games two and three, winning those games by 62 and 77 pins, respectively. The Crusaders then took down fellow nationally-ranked squad Southern by a slim 894-885 margin. Valpo trailed the Lady Jaguars by 49 pins after two games before rallying with 33 and 38-pin victories in games three and four.
The Crusaders followed with a 948-926 win against Louisiana Tech, spearheaded by a 237 in game one, Valpo’s best single-game performance of the day. Valpo was atop the standings after three matches and earned a repeat showdown with Louisiana Tech in the day’s finale, which the Crusaders took by an 881-801 count, thanks in large part to an 87-pin advantage in game four. Valpo finished the day the leader in total pinfall among the pool’s four teams, knocking down 3,649 pins over the 20 games.
Springfield was one of two pools of play on the opening day of the Greater Ozark Invitational, as teams were also competing in a pool in Warrensburg. Friday’s pre-seeding matches determine the qualifying round positions for Saturday’s competition when all the squads come together in Springfield for the tournament’s middle day. Bowling will commence at approximately 11:45 a.m. on Saturday.