#11 Valparaiso went 2-3 for the second straight day at the Shrewsbury Invitational in St. Louis, Mo. on Saturday, going into the final day of competition in sixth place in the elite eight-team field.
Valpo’s 4-6 record through two days is just one game out of a tie for fourth place in the standings, which will be decided by won/loss record. #8 Nebraska leads the standings at 9-1 through two days.
The Crusaders kicked off action Saturday with a pair of wins in the five-game baker format. They fell behind by 73 pins after two games to #14 UW-Whitewater, but responded with an emphatic 237 in game three, propelling them to the lead and eventual 937-878 victory. Valpo followed with a solid 937-893 win over #14 Louisiana Tech to close out the tournament’s baker play.
The Crusaders faltered in their three traditional matches, however, dropping all three. They opened with a tight 914-892 loss to Minnesota State-Mankato despite a day-high game of 216 from Krystyna Johnson (Montgomery, Ill./Oswego East [Delaware State]). Valpo then fell 981-900 to #6 Arkansas State, led by a 195 by Nicole Hamilton (Plainfield, Ill./Plainfield South). The Crusaders closed play Saturday with an 897-836 defeat at the hands of the tournament leaders, paced by Jessica Guertin’s (Milford, Mich./Milford [Fairleigh Dickinson]) 197 game.
“I thought we had a good start today and came out strong to win our final two baker matches,” said Crusader head coach Stephen Anthony. “We maintained our composure and concentration to get two good results to begin the day. As we moved into team games, we faced three strong opponents and seemed to chase the game a bit as the day went on. We made some good shots but struggled to put it together as a team. We have another opportunity to make adjustments tomorrow and will hopefully finish strong."
Valparaiso (50-36) concludes action at the Shrewsbury Invitational with five more traditional games on Sunday, beginning at 8 a.m.