The #14 Valparaiso bowling team split two matches in bracket play to close out the final day of action at the New Jersey Jamboree in Elmwood Park, N.J. on Sunday, concluding the season-opening tournament in 11th place.
The Crusaders started out strong in the first match of bracket action against #5 Maryland Eastern Shore, posting games of 193 and 200 to open the best-of-seven baker play to go up two games to none. The two teams tied in the third game, leaving Valpo just one game victory shy of forcing at the worst a modified baker tiebreak. But the Hawks would win each of the last four games to claim a 4.5-2.5 win, as Valpo's best game in the final four was a 196, bested by a 213 from UMES.
Valpo would bounce back in its final tournament match, however, winning a back-and-forth battle with #16 LIU Brooklyn. The teams traded game wins through the match's first six games, with the Crusaders breaking 200 twice, including a narrow 202-200 victory in the third game. Faced with a decisive seventh game, Valpo bested LIU Brooklyn 197-166 to earn the 4-3 victory and the 11th place finish.
Valparaiso (6-6) will host the fifth annual Crusader Classic next weekend, Nov. 8-10, at Inman's in Valparaiso. The 14-team tournament features seven of the nation's top-nine teams.