#11 Valparaiso concluded the final day of competition at the Hawk Classic in Millsboro, Del. on Sunday in tenth place out of the 20-team field.
The Crusaders, seeded eighth by virtue of their performance through the tournament’s first two days, had a tough task ahead of them in the first match of bracket play, facing off against seventh-seeded #1 Fairleigh Dickinson. Valpo eventually suffered a 4-1 defeat to the Knights in the best-of-seven baker format match.
Valpo’s second match of the day came against ninth-seeded Stephen F. Austin, but could not come up with a win, falling 4-2. The Crusaders concluded tournament play against 12th-seeded #9 Kutztown, but again came up just short, dropping a 4-2 decision in the finale to finish in tenth place.
While the Crusaders finished just 5-8 over the three-day event, both Nicole Sanhamel (Vernon Hills, Ill./Vernon Hills) and Krystyna Johnson (Montgomery, Ill./Oswego East [Delaware State]) finished among the top-12 bowlers in the individual standings, thanks to respective averages of 210.6 and 209.2 in Saturday’s action. In addition, the 280 Johnson rolled against #15 St. Francis (N.Y.) on Saturday was the second-highest individual game of the weekend.
“Day three of tournaments continues to be a struggle for this team,” said Crusader head coach Shon Washington. “We have a 2-7 record on Sundays this season, while we are 17-12 on Friday and Saturday. We will have to make significant changes in our attitude and execution to achieve our team goal of participating in the 2011 NCAA Championships. However, I am very proud of the way the team responded Saturday when our captain and anchor, Natalie Cortese, could not compete. Nicole and Krystyna both did a great job of stepping up and leading our team. But we still will have to find a way to finish if we want to be ranked among the best teams in the country.”
Valparaiso (19-19) returns to action in two weekends at the St. Paul’s Invitational in Midlothian, Va., hosted by St. Paul’s College.