#11 Valpo Finishes Fifth at Kutztown Invitational
Sunday, January 31, 2010
#11 Valpo Finishes Fifth at Kutztown Invitational
Natalie Cortese earned her second tournament MVP honor of the season. (Stephen Anthony)

The #11 Valparaiso bowling team beat a pair of top-five teams to close action at the Kutztown Invitational in Reading, Pa. on Sunday in fifth place, while the Crusaders’ Natalie Cortese (Hoffman Estates, Ill./Hoffman Estates [Central Missouri]) earned tournament co-MVP honors.

“I am very proud and happy for the team for their performance today and throughout the tournament,” said Crusader head coach Stephen Anthony.  “We did a terrific job today of staying consistent and focused on our game.  We worked through the ups and downs of each match as a team and posted some quality scores.  To post victories against the three teams today while going 11-4 for the entire weekend is a terrific accomplishment especially in light of how talented the field was at the tournament.”

The first two matches of the day were contested under four-game baker format as they concluded the positioning for seeding.  Valpo opened the day against #4 Fairleigh Dickinson, falling 741-666, but rebounded in the final positioning match, defeating host #12 Kutztown 823-775 despite trailing by 16 pins after two games.

Valpo concluded the positioning action, which included Saturday’s matches as well, with 7,227 pins, good for seventh place among the 28 competing squads.  The Crusaders opened bracket play, contested under best-of-seven baker format, against sixth-seeded #3 Delaware State.  Valpo got out to a 3-1 lead thanks to three straight games of 201 or better, but DSU fought back to force a decisive game seven, which the Crusaders captured 185-177.

The win over the Hornets pushed the Crusaders into the fifth-place match against #5 Central Missouri.  Valpo cruised to the victory over UCM, finishing the day with four straight games of 210 or better.  The Crusaders narrowly missed a four-game sweep when UCM took game four by a 215-214 count, but Valpo rebounded with a 210-165 win in game five to take fifth place.

Cortese earned tournament co-MVP accolades after her outstanding performance in Saturday’s traditional action.  The sophomore tied for tournament-high honors with a 220.7 over six matches on Saturday, posting five games of 200 or better and rolling a 278 against Howard.

Valparaiso (46-30) returns to action next weekend at the Shrewsbury Invitational in St. Louis, Mo.  The three-day competition begins Friday afternoon at 4:30 p.m.