Crusaders Go 3-0 On First Day of Big Red Invitational
Thursday, January 20, 2011
Crusaders Go 3-0 On First Day of Big Red Invitational
Natalie Cortese and the Crusaders went 3-0 Thursday at the Big Red Invitational. (Ray Acevedo)

The #13 Valparaiso bowling team went a perfect 3-0 on the first day of competition at the Big Red Invitational in Lincoln, Neb. Thursday evening, finishing the day in second place out of the ten competing squads, five of which are ranked among the nation’s top-six teams.

“I was very happy with the team's effort today,” said Crusader head coach Shon Washington.  “The ladies focused their complete attention on themselves and their teammates; how well or poorly our opponent was bowling was of no concern to us.  There was also an extremely positive feeling throughout the team for the entire session.  Being positive thoughout the competition is something we have been working very hard on as a team.  If this trend continues, there is no reason we will not be able to compete at the same high level as today.”

The Crusaders kicked off tournament action against #12 Vanderbilt and built up a huge lead after game one of the four-game baker format, rolling a 222 to jump on top by 68 pins.  Valpo proceeded to post games of 190, 213 and 170 in the last three games and held off the Commodore rally, edging out Vanderbilt for the 795-794 victory.

Valpo’s second tournament match found it pitted against Bethune-Cookman.  The Crusaders fell behind for the first time Thursday despite rolling a 192 after a 218 by BCU in the opening game, but they made up most of the deficit with a 189 in game two and took the lead with their best game of the day, a 228 in game three.  A 186 finale was more than enough to secure the 795-779 win for Valpo.

The Crusaders’ final match was a showdown against #5 Sam Houston State and Valpo took control early, rolling games of 194, 198 and 204 in the first three games to claim a 99-pin lead.  The Bearkats rolled a 221 in the final game of the day while Valpo managed just a 153, but the Crusader lead was insurmountable as they closed out the perfect day with a 749-718 victory.

Valparaiso (37-26) returns to the lanes Friday morning at 11:30 a.m. for the second of three days of competition.