The #17 Valparaiso bowling team posted one of its highest scoring days of the season on Saturday as it continued play at the Central Missouri Invitational from N. Kansas City, Mo., including a win over host #4 Central Missouri.
The Crusaders finished the day in fourth place out of the five-team field, going 2-2 on Saturday. Their total of 8,859 pins is good for an average game of 196.9 through two days of action.
Valpo opened the day against #11 McKendree, but despite games of 263 from senior Torrie Decker (Van Wert, Ohio/Van Wert [Robert Morris]) – the tenth-best game in traditional match action in Crusader history – and 200 by freshman Aubree Trexler (Arcadia, Ind./Hamilton Heights), the Crusaders fell in their opener Saturday, 1047-968.
Then, faced with a matchup against #1 Nebraska for the second straight day, Valpo took the Cornhuskers right down to the wire before dropping a 1027-1023 decision. Decker led the way with a 217 game as four Crusaders broke 200 – senior Sadie Jasinski (Franklin, Wis./Franklin) rolled a 212, Trexler posted a 204 and junior Kelsey Fader (New Baltimore, Mich./Anchor Bay) rounded out the quartet with a 200.
“We started the day off pretty flat – Torrie bowled well the first match, as well as Aubrey and Sadie, but we couldn't get all five bowlers on the same line,” said Crusader head coach Matt Nantais. “After losing to McKendree, we bowled Nebraska – we didn't have the lead in that match until the ninth frame by a few pins, but then they beat us in pin count in the tenth frame, which was kind of a heartbreaker for us.”
That was just a precursor for the Crusaders’ big win, as Valpo downed Central Missouri 1039-1028 in the next match. Once again, it was Decker pacing the Crusaders with a 226, but she got plenty of help, as all five bowlers broke 190. Three finished with games of 210 or better, as Jasinski rolled a 215 and Trexler a 212.
Valpo had a bye its next match, but Decker and Trexler didn’t let that slow them down, rolling games of 222 and 215, respectively, as the Crusaders posted a 963 score unopposed. Valpo closed the day with an easy 989-802 win over Elmhurst, led by a 225 by Fader and a 204 game from sophomore Carly Larson (Merrillville, Ind./Merrillville).
“The next match against Central Missouri, we came out pretty strong,” said Nantais. “They made a pretty good run at us at the end of the match, but we did very well in the tenth frame to finish the match. We had the bye for the fourth match, which is always hard when you don't bowl anybody, but we bowled decent and carried that over against Elmhurst to end the day at 2-2.”
Valparaiso (41-48) closes out the Central Missouri Invitational on Sunday.
“We're averaging 197 as a team for this tournament, which is our highest tournament average so far this year,” said Nantais. “We’re looking to win three matches tomorrow before heading home.”