#14 Valparaiso closed out the Mid-Winter Invitational in Jonesboro, Ark. on Sunday with a trio of matches in bracket play, finishing the tournament in eighth place. Freshman Carly Larson (Merrillville, Ind./Merrillville) represented the Crusaders on the All-Tournament Team.
Valpo opened bracket play Sunday against #19 McKendree in the best-of-seven baker format. The Crusaders held 2-1 and 3-2 leads in the best-of-seven match, but were unable to close out for the victory, as McKendree broke 200 in each of its final two games to earn the victory.
Valpo bounced back in its second match versus UAB, taking the first two games with scores of 224 and 206. The Blazers took the next two games, but the Crusaders went up 3-2 with a 206-143 win in game five. UAB earned the win in the sixth game to send the match to a decisive seventh game, but a 196-178 decision gave Valpo the 4-3 win. The Crusaders were unable to close the tournament on a high note, however, falling in four straight games to #8 Vanderbilt in their final match.
Larson earned All-Tournament honors after posting a 218.8 in the traditional team action on Saturday, the tournament's second-best individual average. The freshman was consistent, posting four games of at least 200 and rolling a high of 231 in back-to-back contests.
Valparaiso (23-30) returns to the lanes next weekend at the prestigious Kutztown Invitational. The three-day event in Reading, Pa. starts on Friday.