In a 19-team field that includes 13 of the nation’s top-20 squads, the #20 Valparaiso bowling team is in seventh place after the first day of competition at the Hawk Classic in Millsboro, Del., hosted by Maryland-Eastern Shore.
The Crusaders tallied 4,380 pins over the five matches on the first day of competition, contested in five-game baker format. Valpo sits within 100 pins of third place after the first day. #3 Fairleigh Dickinson leads the team standings with 4,841 total pins.
“I was pleased with our performance today with respect to our record and how well we bowled against a strong FDU program,” said Crusader head coach Stephen Anthony. “I felt we had a good game plan and did a good job executing good shots throughout the day.”
Valpo kicked off the day with a bye in head-to-head competition due to the odd number of teams at the tournament, rolling an 852 match. The Crusaders then took on Bowie State, using a 222 first game to jump out to an 87 pin lead and cruising to a 980-730 victory.
Valpo next faced off against Hampton and again used a strong start, rolling a 192 in the opener to jump ahead by 53 pins en route to an 827-758 win. Next up was Fairleigh Dickinson, which the Crusaders led after three games by six pins thanks to games of 223 and 201 before eventually falling, 988-915. Valpo concluded the day with a victory over #9 Sacred Heart by a count of 806-757.
“The final match against Sacred Heart was challenging as the lane conditions broke down, but I thought we did a good job to work through tough conditions to get the victory,” said Anthony. “I think our game plan will help us prepare for tomorrow and build on our performance today.”
Valparaiso (21-19) takes to the lanes for a second day on Saturday at 10 a.m. CST. Saturday’s bowling will be five traditional team games, with standings after the second day determining seedings for Sunday’s bracket round.