Both Nicole Sanhamel (Vernon Hills, Ill./Vernon Hills) and Krystyna Johnson (Montgomery, Ill./Oswego East [Delaware State]) posted averages above 200 Saturday, helping the #11 Valparaiso bowling team to eighth place in the standings after day two of competition at the Hawk Classic in Millsboro, Del.
Sanhamel was a consistent presence on the lanes for the Crusaders on Saturday, rolling at least a 200 in each of her five games en route to a 210.6 average on the day. Meanwhile, Johnson posted a Valpo season-high 280 in a win over #15 St. Francis (N.Y.) and recorded a 209.2 average over her five games.
The Crusaders started the day against #9 Kutztown, as action was contested in the traditional team format. Valpo got games of 208 from Johnson and 200 from Sanhamel in the opener, but it wasn't enough as the Crusaders suffered a 967-939 defeat. Valpo bounced back in its second match, against St. Francis, as Johnson's 280, along with a 224 by Sanhamel and a 209 game from Amanda Cortese (Hoffman Estates, Ill./Hoffman Estates [Central Missouri]), helped the Crusaders to a 1045-891 victory.
Sanhamel rolled a 202 in the third match of the day, against #8 New Jersey City, but the Crusaders suffered another narrow loss, falling 983-946. The fourth match pitted Valpo versus the tournament host, #2 Maryland Eastern Shore, and despite games of 224 from Sanhamel and 209 from Johnson, the Crusaders dropped an 1134-980 decision. Sanhamel completed her day of five 200+ games in the finale with a 203, but Valpo could not knock off the nation's top-ranked team, falling to #1 Fairleigh Dickinson 1007-876.
“Despite the injury of our captain, Natalie Cortese, the girls stepped up and played their individual roles,” said Ashley Busiel. “I saw some of the best shots that we've thrown all season today. Our scores in our final match against FDU did not reflect our performance as a team and neither did our overall record today. I am pleased to see the potential the team has for the rest of the season, and we definitely accomplished a lot more than the scores show. Tomorrow will be yet another challenging day as we begin our final day of competition against #1 FDU.”
Despite going just 1-4 on Saturday, Valparaiso (19-16) actually gained a spot to eighth place in the tournament standings, determined by total pinfall. Sunday's bracket play is scheduled for a 7:30 a.m. CST start.