Crusaders Close Hawk Classic in Tenth Place
Nicole Sanhamel and the Crusaders finished the weekend in tenth place. (Ashley Busiel)
Crusaders Close Hawk Classic in Tenth Place
Monday, November 22, 2010

#11 Valparaiso concluded the final day of competition at the Hawk Classic in Millsboro, Del. on Sunday in tenth place out of the 20-team field.

The Crusaders, seeded eighth by virtue of their performance through the tournament’s first two days, had a tough task ahead of them in the first match of bracket play, facing off against seventh-seeded #1 Fairleigh Dickinson.  Valpo eventually suffered a 4-1 defeat to the Knights in the best-of-seven baker format match.

Valpo’s second match of the day came against ninth-seeded Stephen F. Austin, but could not come up with a win, falling 4-2.  The Crusaders concluded tournament play against 12th-seeded #9 Kutztown, but again came up just short, dropping a 4-2 decision in the finale to finish in tenth place.

While the Crusaders finished just 5-8 over the three-day event, both Nicole Sanhamel (Vernon Hills, Ill./Vernon Hills) and Krystyna Johnson (Montgomery, Ill./Oswego East [Delaware State]) finished among the top-12 bowlers in the individual standings, thanks to respective averages of 210.6 and 209.2 in Saturday’s action.  In addition, the 280 Johnson rolled against #15 St. Francis (N.Y.) on Saturday was the second-highest individual game of the weekend.

“Day three of tournaments continues to be a struggle for this team,” said Crusader head coach Shon Washington.  “We have a 2-7 record on Sundays this season, while we are 17-12 on Friday and Saturday.  We will have to make significant changes in our attitude and execution to achieve our team goal of participating in the 2011 NCAA Championships.  However, I am very proud of the way the team responded Saturday when our captain and anchor, Natalie Cortese, could not compete.  Nicole and Krystyna both did a great job of stepping up and leading our team. But we still will have to find a way to finish if we want to be ranked among the best teams in the country.”

Valparaiso (19-19) returns to action in two weekends at the St. Paul’s Invitational in Midlothian, Va., hosted by St. Paul’s College.