For the second straight day, #1 Valparaiso went 3-2 in action Saturday at the Mid-Winter Invitational in Jonesboro, Ark. and will enter Sunday's bracket play in tenth place.
The Crusaders started Saturday's competition, contested in the traditional format, against #6 Vanderbilt and came out with a big win, downing the Commodores 1021-962. Senior Natalie Cortese (Hoffman Estates, Ill./Hoffman Estates [Central Missouri]) paced Valpo in the opener with a 224 game, while sophomore Kaity Galka (Dyer, Ind./Lake Central) rolled a 221 and senior Amanda Cortese (Hoffman Estates, Ill./Hoffman Estates [Central Missouri]) posted a score of 210 as well in the win.
Valpo made it two wins in a row with a 921-837 victory over Jackson State, led by another game of 210 from Amanda Cortese. The Crusaders then earned their second win of the day over a fellow top-10 team, downing #5 Sam Houston State 926-901. Redshirt junior Ashley Busiel (Elk Grove Village, Ill./James B. Conant [Harper College]) led Valpo with a 215 in that contest, while Natalie Cortese rolled a 200.
Despite a 201 from Amanda Cortese in the next match, Valpo would lose for the first time on the day, falling to Elmhurst 981-885. Redshirt freshman Alyssa Alvarez (Antioch, Ill./Antioch) came off the bench to roll a team-high 205 in Saturday's finale, but it was not enough, as the Crusaders lost the closing match to #8 Nebraska by a 985-929 count.
Valparaiso (36-12) closes out play at the Mid-Winter Invitational on Sunday morning starting at 8:30 a.m.