Crusaders Finish Inaugural Season Ranked Tenth in Nation
Monday, March 29, 2010
Crusaders Finish Inaugural Season Ranked Tenth in Nation
Head coach Stephen Anthony and the Crusaders concluded 2009-2010 ranked tenth nationally. (Aran Kessler)

The Valparaiso bowling team broke into the top-ten in the nation in the final National Tenpin Coaches Association (NTCA) coach’s poll of the 2009-2010 season, finishing the year with a #10 ranking.

While the Crusaders did not earn one of eight invites to the NCAA Bowling Championships, the top-ten ranking still caps a remarkable inaugural season for the Crusader bowling squad and head coach Stephen Anthony.  Valpo began the season ranked 20th in the nation, and moved up the polls in each of the three subsequent polls.  Along the way, the Crusaders totaled a 68-46 overall record with a roster of all underclassmen while challenging themselves against the nation’s top competition.  Valpo captured its first-ever event victory at the Warhawk Classic in Whitewater, Wis. and also tallied four other top-five tournament finishes on the year.

Individually, sophomore Natalie Cortese (Hoffman Estates, Ill./Hoffman Estates [Central Missouri]) led the Crusaders on the year with a 195.5 average.  She earned tournament MVP honors on Oct. 27 at the Greater Ozark Invitational, Valpo’s first-ever tournament, and on Jan. 31 at the Kutztown Invitational.  Twin sister and fellow sophomore Amanda Cortese (Hoffman Estates, Ill./Hoffman Estates [Central Missouri]) was second on the squad this year with a 186.0 average.

Sophomore Krysytna Johnson (Montgomery, Ill./Oswego East [Delaware State]) rounded out Valpo’s top trio of bowlers, carrying a 183.0 average on the year.  Freshman Nicole Hamilton (Plainfield, Ill./Plainfield South) posted an average of 181.5 on the season and earned All-Tournament accolades at the Shrewsbury Invitational.