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Crusaders Close Mid-Winter Invitational With Three Wins
Ashley Busiel and the Crusaders went undefeated on Sunday. (Ray Acevedo)
Ashley Busiel and the Crusaders went undefeated on Sunday. (Ray Acevedo)

Sunday, January 15, 2012

#1 Valparaiso posted a perfect 3-0 record on the final day of competition at the Mid-Winter Invitational in Jonesboro, Ark. on Sunday morning, moving up three spots in the bracket round to finish the tournament in seventh place out of 16 teams.

The Crusaders, who were seeded tenth following the first two days of action opened bracket play on Sunday, contested in the best-of-seven baker format, against ninth-seeded #11 Stephen F. Austin. Valpo used games of 197 and 207 to gain a 2-0 lead. After dropping game three, the Crusaders bounced back to take game four and move within one game of the victory. Valpo then posted its best game of the day, rolling a 224 in the finale for a 4-1 win over SFA.

The win in Sunday's opener set Valpo up against #RV Alabama A&M in the next round. Valpo earned a win in the opener by a 171-160 count and then posted games of 201 and 206 for a 3-0 lead. Alabama A&M would roll a 220 in the fourth game, but the Crusaders were one pin better, tallying a 221 to complete the sweep.

The Crusaders' finale set them up against Louisiana Tech, and Valpo would face adversity for the first time on the day, dropping each of the first two games, including a two-pin loss in game two. But the Crusaders bounced back in a big way, breaking 200 in each of the final four games and winning each of the final four games by at least 30 pins, clinching the victory and the seventh-place finish with a 213-105 drubbing in the sixth game of the match.

Valparaiso (39-12) has a quick turnaround to its next tournament, as the Crusaders return to the lanes on Thursday afternoon at the Big Red Invitational, hosted by Nebraska. The three-day tournament begins on Thursday at 5:45 p.m.