Entering its second season of competition, the Valparaiso bowling team is ranked 11th in the nation in the National Tenpin Coaches Association (NTCA) 2010-2011 preseason poll.
The Crusaders have earned the #11 preseason ranking after closing last season #10 in the nation in the NTCA’s final poll. Valpo went 68-46 a year ago in its inaugural campaign and returns seven of its top eight bowlers, including its top-three keglers. Among the returnees is junior Natalie Cortese (Hoffman Estates, Ill./Hoffman Estates [Central Missouri]), an NTCA Second Team All-American last season, while junior Amanda Cortese (Hoffman Estates, Ill./Hoffman Estates [Central Missouri]) and junior Krystyna Johnson (Montgomery, Ill./Oswego East [Delaware State]) both return as well after posting averages above 180 a year ago.
Fairleigh Dickinson, the reigning national champion, comes in at #1 in the 2010-2011 preseason poll, while Maryland Eastern Shore, Nebraska, Vanderbilt and Central Missouri round out the top-five. Arkansas State, Delaware State and NJCU come in at sixth through eighth, respectively, while Kutztown and Sacred Heart sit just ahead of the Crusaders in the preseason rankings.
Valparaiso kicks off the 2010-2011 campaign this coming weekend at the Greater Ozark Invitational in Springfield, Mo., hosted by Central Missouri. Play on Friday, the first day of the three-day event, is slated for a 3:30 p.m. start.