The #10 Valparaiso bowling team moved up two places in the standings at the Music City Classic in Smyrna, Tenn. on Saturday, finishing the second of three days of competition in ninth place.
“Today was certainly a tale of two halves, if you can say that in bowling,” said Crusader head coach Stephen Anthony. “We struggled in the first three matches, but found our way during the second half of the day. I was very pleased that we persevered and managed to break even on the day. It was certainly a challenging day facing six top-20 opponents, and although we missed some opportunities in the first three matches, again I was proud of how we continued to compete and find a way to move up two spots late in the day.”
Saturday’s competition was contested in four-game baker format. The Crusaders’ slate kicked off with #14 Minnesota State-Mankato, the eighth time this season Valpo has faced Mankato in baker play. For the seventh time, Mankato came out victorious, defeating the Crusaders by a 686-634 count in a rough match for both sides. Valpo continued to struggle in its next match as well, falling to #9 Adelphi, 740-682.
The Crusaders posted a game of 222 in their next match against #7 Arkansas State, but that would be the only game in which they held the advantage as the Red Wolves earned the 831-728 victory. But Valpo finally broke through in its fourth match of the day and defeated a top-five program in the process, using back-to-back 202s to close a 779-746 win over #5 Delaware State.
The scores would drop in the next match against #20 Morgan State, but the Crusaders used a 192 in the final game to extend a one-pin advantage to 46 pins in the 667-621 victory. The day closed with another big win for Valpo, as it used a 231, its high game of the day, to go up by 104 pins after three games en route to a relatively easy 798-706 triumph versus #3 Fairleigh Dickinson.
Competition concludes on Sunday with three matches of best-of-seven baker play in the bracket round, with the Crusaders entering the bracket round in ninth place with 9,567 pins through the first two days. Sunday’s action kicks off at 8:30 a.m. CDT.