The #11 Valparaiso bowling team went 2-1 on Sunday at the Jeanette Lee Invitational in Richmond, Va., hosted by Saint Paul’s College, to finish the two-day tournament with an 8-1 record. The Crusaders finished the event in seventh place out of a 22-team field.
Valpo started action Sunday, contested in the best-of-seven baker format, against #15 St. Francis (N.Y.) and got off to a good start, posting a 229 in the opening game to jump on top early. But St. Francis would win each of the next four games as the Crusaders couldn’t roll higher than a 172, giving the Terriers a 4-1 victory in the day’s opener.
The Crusaders rolled their highest game of the day in the opener against Monmouth, as a 236 game put Valpo on top. After a tie in game two, Valpo earned narrow 181-180 and 182-177 wins in the next two games for a 3-0-1 lead. But on the verge of victory, the Crusaders couldn’t get the fourth win in the next two games, dropping 189-177 and 221-202 decisions to send the match to a seventh game. Valpo posted an easy 193-153 victory in the finale, however, for the 4-2-1 win.
The tournament finale pitted the Crusaders against St. Francis in a re-match, and through three games, it looked like the result would be the same, as Valpo didn’t break 154 in any of the first three games of the match. The Crusaders took advantage of a rough game for the Terriers to extend the match with a 178-135 win in game four, and then turned up the heat, closing action with three consecutive 200+ efforts. The decisions all fell the Crusaders’ way (204-161, 203-178, 205-186) as Valpo rallied from the 3-0 deficit for the 4-3 win.
Valparaiso (27-20) will take a break for the holidays and won’t return to the lanes until mid-January when it competes at the Mid-Winter Classic in Cabot, Ark.