Official Athletic Site of the Valparaiso University Crusaders
Valpo Closes Crusader Classic in Third Place
Natalie Cortese earned her third career Tournament MVP honor. (Ashley Busiel)
Natalie Cortese earned her third career Tournament MVP honor. (Ashley Busiel)

Sunday, November 14, 2010

#11 Valparaiso closed out play at the Crusader Classic at Stardust Bowl II in Merrillville Sunday morning, finishing in third place.  Junior Natalie Cortese (Hoffman Estates, Ill./Hoffman Estates [Central Missouri]) was named Tournament MVP after finishing with the tournament's highest average.

Valpo opened action Sunday as the top overall seed thanks to a 6-3 record through the first two days of the tournament.  The Crusaders began bracket play, contested in best-of-seven baker format, against second-seeded #3 Nebraska, with the winner earning a bye into the championship match.  But despite strong efforts in the first three games, rolling games of 203, 192 and 209, the Crusaders were edged by the Huskers in each of the three games, and Nebraska completed the sweep in game four.

The Crusaders still had an opportunity to earn a berth in the championship match in their second match of the day against #17 Minnesota State-Mankato, and it looked good for them through three games.  Valpo jumped out to a 3-0 lead with wins of 232-186, 216-186 and 224-159 to move within one game of the championship.  But the Crusaders couldn't break 184 in any of the final four games and Mankato stormed back, winning the last four games to claim a 4-3 victory.

The loss dropped Valpo into the third-place match against #14 UW-Whitewater, and it looked like the Crusaders would close the day 0-3 after dropping the first three games.  But the Crusaders earned narrow wins by counts of 210-204, 185-184  and 197-190 in games four, five and six, respectively, to set up one game for third place.  Valpo cruised to the win in the finale, 215-177, to finish the tournament in third place.

“I'm very happy with the way the ladies responded during their third round match against Whitewater after not bowling at our highest level during the first two rounds,” said Crusader head coach Shon Washington.  “Our first match against Nebraska was closer than the 4-0 match-play record.  We bowled well, just not well enough to beat such a talented team.  The ladies could have easily surrendered to defeat after losing a 3-0 lead against Mankato and then falling behind 3-0 to Whitewater.  I'm proud of this team and they way they fought back to win the last match and secure a third-place finish.  I feel good about the progress we are making as a team, and the rest of the season will belong to Valpo!”

Nebraska took the team title, defeating Mankato in the championship match.  Whitewater took fourth place, while Arkansas State, Elmhurst and Adrian rounded out the final standings.

Cortese earned Tournament MVP accolades after averaging a 213.6 over the traditional matches in Saturday's action.  The MVP honor was the third of Cortese's career.  Freshman Nicole Sanhamel (Vernon Hills, Ill./Vernon Hills) joined Cortese on the All-Tournament Team, posting a 204.3 average in Saturday's matches.  Arkansas State's Emily Troutman and Laura Pulver and Mankato's Hali Clark rounded out the All-Tournament Team.

Valparaiso (14-11) heads to the Hawk Classic next weekend, hosted by Maryland Eastern Shore in Millsboro, Del.  The three-day tournament begins Friday, Nov. 19 at 10 a.m. CST.

W Golf Crusader/Jaguar Challenge Valparaiso, Ind. (The Course at Aberdeen)
Apr 13 2nd/6 (657); 5th/6 (692)
M Golf Bluegrass Invitational Lexington, Ky. (University Club Big Blue Course)
Apr 13 t-6th/13 (895)
Softball Cleveland State 6 8 inn.
Apr 13 Valpo 7
W Tennis Valpo 1 Rochester, Mich.
Apr 13 Oakland 6
M Tennis Valpo 1 Notre Dame, Ind.
Apr 13 #12 Notre Dame 6
W Tennis Valpo 0 Chicago, Ill.
Apr 14 Chicago State 7
M Tennis Valpo 7 Homewood, Ill.
Apr 15 Chicago State 0
Baseball Valpo CCD
Apr 15 Toledo
M Track Cougar Invitational River Forest, Ill.
Apr 17 No Team Score
W Track Cougar Invitational River Forest, Ill.
Apr 17 No Team Score
Baseball Valpo 4 Milwaukee, Wis.
Apr 17 Milwaukee 0
M Tennis Youngstown State 1 Valpo Tennis Complex
Apr 18 Valpo 6
Baseball Valpo 0 Milwaukee, Wis.
Apr 18 Milwaukee 3
Softball Oakland 3 VU Softball Field
Apr 18 Valpo 11
W Tennis Youngstown State 7 Valpo Tennis Complex
Apr 18 Valpo 0
M Golf Wolfpack Spring Open Raleigh, N.C. (Lonnie Poole Golf Course)
Apr 19 CCD
M Track DePaul Invitational Chicago, Ill.
Apr 19 2nd/3 (191)
W Track DePaul Invitational Chicago, Ill.
Apr 19 3rd/5 (82)
W Tennis Cleveland State 7 Valpo Tennis Complex
Apr 19 Valpo 0
Softball Oakland 1 VU Softball Field
Apr 19 Valpo 2
Baseball Valpo 0 Milwaukee, Wis.
Apr 19 Milwaukee 5
Softball Oakland 4 8 inn.
Apr 19 Valpo 2
M Tennis Cleveland State 5 Valpo Tennis Complex
Apr 19 Valpo 2
M Golf Wolfpack Spring Open Raleigh, N.C. (Lonnie Poole Golf Course)
Apr 20 12th/15 (314)
Baseball Kalamazoo 3 Emory G. Bauer Field
Apr 21 Valpo 10
Baseball Ohio Northern 2 Emory G. Bauer Field
Apr 22 Valpo 1
Softball Valpo 3 Macomb, Ill.
Apr 22 Western Illinois 1
Softball Valpo 5 Macomb, Ill.
Apr 22 Western Illinois 4
Softball Valpo Notre Dame, Ind.
Apr 24, 5:00 p.m. #21/21 Notre Dame
W Golf Horizon League Championship Howey in the Hills, Fla. (Mission Inn Resort & Club)
Apr 25
M Golf Horizon League Championship Howey in the Hills, Fla. (Mission Inn Resort & Club)
Apr 25
W Track Miami (Ohio) Invitational Oxford, Ohio
Apr 25
M Track Miami (Ohio) Invitational Oxford, Ohio
Apr 25
M Tennis Valpo Ann Arbor, Mich.
Apr 25, 2:00 p.m. UIC
Baseball UIC Emory G. Bauer Field
Apr 25, 3:00 p.m. Valpo
M Tennis Valpo Ann Arbor, Mich.
Apr 26, 3:00 p.m. Horizon League Tournament
M Track Miami (Ohio) Invitational Oxford, Ohio
Apr 26
W Track Miami (Ohio) Invitational Oxford, Ohio
Apr 26
M Golf Horizon League Championship Howey in the Hills, Fla. (Mission Inn Resort & Club)
Apr 26
W Golf Horizon League Championship Howey in the Hills, Fla. (Mission Inn Resort & Club)
Apr 26
Baseball UIC Emory G. Bauer Field
Apr 26, 12:00 p.m. Valpo
Softball Valpo Dayton, Ohio
Apr 26, 12:00 p.m. Wright State
Softball Valpo Dayton, Ohio
Apr 26, 2:00 p.m. Wright State
M Tennis Valpo Ann Arbor, Mich.
Apr 27, 2:00 p.m. Horizon League Tournament
W Golf Horizon League Championship Howey in the Hills, Fla. (Mission Inn Resort & Club)
Apr 27
M Golf Horizon League Championship Howey in the Hills, Fla. (Mission Inn Resort & Club)
Apr 27
Softball Valpo Dayton, Ohio
Apr 27, 12:00 p.m. Wright State
Baseball UIC Emory G. Bauer Field
Apr 27, 12:00 p.m. Valpo
Baseball Western Michigan Emory G. Bauer Field
Apr 29, 3:00 p.m. Valpo
Softball IUPUI VU Softball Field
Apr 29, 3:00 p.m. Valpo
Softball IUPUI VU Softball Field
Apr 29, 5:00 p.m. Valpo
Baseball Chicago State Emory G. Bauer Field
Apr 30, 3:00 p.m. Valpo
Softball Valpo Bloomington, Ind.
Apr 30, 3:00 p.m. Indiana (resumption of suspended game)
Softball Valpo Bloomington, Ind.
Apr 30, 4:00 p.m. Indiana
W Track Horizon League Outdoor Championships Youngstown, Ohio
May 2
M Track Horizon League Outdoor Championships Youngstown, Ohio
May 2
Baseball Oakland Emory G. Bauer Field
May 2, 3:00 p.m. Valpo
M Track Horizon League Outdoor Championships Youngstown, Ohio
May 3
W Track Horizon League Outdoor Championships Youngstown, Ohio
May 3
Baseball Oakland Emory G. Bauer Field
May 3, 12:00 p.m. Valpo
Softball Valpo Green Bay, Wis.
May 3, 1:00 p.m. Green Bay
Softball Valpo Green Bay, Wis.
May 3, 3:00 p.m. Green Bay