The #10 Valparaiso team closed out the Music City Classic in Smyrna, Tenn. on Sunday, going 1-2 in bracket play to finish the three-day tournament in 11th place.
“Unfortunately we weren't able to continue our performance from Saturday afternoon to today, but I was certainly pleased to get the final match of the tournament and complete the day,” said Crusader head coach Stephen Anthony. “We missed our spare opportunities early in the day, but settled in during game three to be more consistent in our execution. It was a terrific field, tournament and experience this weekend and certainly a tournament where we learned a lot about ourselves and one that we can build on as we move forward.”
The Crusaders, competing alongside 16 other squads also ranked inside the nation’s top-20, entered Sunday’s action seeded ninth going into bracket play, contested under best-of-seven baker format. Valpo’s first opponent was the tenth seed, #17 Louisiana Tech, but the Crusaders were unable to roll higher than 172 in any of the five games, and despite winning the third game 172-140, dropped the match four games to one.
Valpo’s second-round showdown was against the 11th seed, #14 Minnesota State-Mankato. The Crusaders jumped out to the lead with a win in the opening game, and a 183-181 victory in game four tied the match at two games apiece. But Mankato would take each of the final two games to earn the four games to two victory. Valpo rebounded in the 11th-place matchup against the 12-seed, #15 Alabama A&M, taking each of the final three games, including a 172-151 victory in game five to clinch the four games to one win.
Valparaiso (68-46) has concluded its regular season schedule and will now wait to see if it will be awarded one of eight berths to the 2010 NCAA Bowling Championships. The selections, which are all at-large choices, will be revealed at 3 p.m. CDT on Wednesday, March 24.