The #11 Valparaiso bowling team continued action on the second of three days of competition at the Music City Classic in Nashville, Tenn. on Saturday.
The Crusaders opened play Saturday against #18 UW-Whitewater, but despite a team-best 184 from Krystyna Johnson (Montgomery, Ill./Oswego East [Delaware State]) dropped a 971-825 decision in the opener. Amanda Cortese (Hoffman Estates, Ill./Hoffman Estates [Central Missouri]) paced Valpo in its second match of the day, rolling a 187, but it would not be enough, as the Crusaders fell in a narrow 857-838 match to #16 Alabama A&M.
Cortese rolled her second-best game of the year in the Crusaders' third match, tossing a 228, while sister Natalie Cortese (Hoffman Estates, Ill./Hoffman Estates [Central Missouri]) also broke 200 with a 204, but another narrow decision went against the Crusaders, as Monmouth took a 945-929 victory. Valpo finally got on the winning side of the scoresheet against Texas Southern, as Morgan Sharp (Worth, Ill./Lockport Township) rolled a season-best 221, Amanda Cortese a 210 and Natalie Cortese a 209 to lead the way in a 992-858 victory.
Ashley Busiel (Elk Grove Village, Ill./James B. Conant [Harper College]) became the fourth different Crusader bowler to lead Valpo in its fifth match of the day, posting the Crusaders' best game of the day with a season-high 237, but #1 Fairleigh Dickinson proved to be too much, as Valpo fell 988-905. Amanda Cortese, who paced Valpo with a 188.7 average on the day, broke 200 for the third time in the day's finale, rolling a 202, but it was not enough as Southern took a 900-878 decision to close the day.
Valparaiso (51-46) enters bracket play of the Music City Classic, which commences Sunday morning at 8:30 a.m. CDT, as the 18th seed in the 20-team field.