On a day which saw #15 Valparaiso face five opponents ranked above it in the latest national poll, the Crusaders went 3-3 on the second day of action at the Kutztown Invitational in Reading, Pa.
The Crusaders sit in 13th place out of 28 competing teams following the second day of competition, having tallied 10,018 pins, less than 150 pins out of ninth position. Maryland Eastern Shore leads the team standings with a count of 10,873 pins.
Valpo opened play on Saturday, contested in the traditional team format, against #8 Adelphi, but despite games of 200 from senior Katie Shumaker (Trafford, Pa./Penn-Trafford [UMES]) and freshman Tedra Tado (Des Plaines, Ill./Elk Grove), the Crusaders fell 968-932. Valpo rebounded in its second match, taking down #10 Kutztown on its home lanes by a 960-862 score, led by games of 236 from redshirt sophomore Alyssa Alvarez (Antioch, Ill./Antioch) and 223 from fifth-year senior Ashley Busiel (Elk Grove Village, Ill./James B. Conant [Harper College]).
The Crusaders struggled to their lowest score of the day in the third match, falling 882-819 to #RV Monmouth. But Valpo responded with its top score of the day, defeating #5 Fairleigh Dickinson by a 964-951 count, as Alvarez rolled a team-best 204 and freshman Raychel Wolever (Charlotte, Mich./Charlotte) added a 202.
Wolever would lead Valpo with a 200 in its fifth contest on Saturday, one of four Crusader bowlers to roll at least 190, but it was not enough to overcome #12 Sacred Heart, which downed Valpo 990-960. The Crusaders would end the day's action on a high note, as a game of 200 from Alvarez led Valpo to a 936-896 victory over #11 St. Francis (Pa.).
On the first day of action on Friday, the Crusaders took wins in five out of six matches contested in the four-game baker format. The Crusaders dropped their first match on Friday 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 (35-37) closes out the three-day Kutztown Invitational on Sunday morning with bracket play.