#15 Valparaiso returned to the lanes on Friday, winning five matches on the first day of action at the Kutztown Invitational in Reading, Pa.
The Crusaders dropped their first match on Friday, contested in the four-game baker format, to #18 St. Francis (N.Y.), 730-688. Valpo then reeled off five wins in a row, rolling to wins by at least 160 pins over Medaille (744-579), Salem International (754-443), Penn State-Altoona (718-519) and Cheyney (740-545). The Crusaders' only close victory came over St. Peter's in their fourth match of the day, as Valpo fell behind after the first game. But a 27-pin edge in game two gave Valpo the lead, and the Crusaders closed out with games of 226 and 205 to secure an 803-773 win.
Valparaiso (32-34) sits in 13th place out of 28 competing teams in the standings, as the Crusaders aggregated 4,447 pins on day one. The three-day event continues on Saturday with traditional team games.