Junior Natalie Cortese (Hoffman Estates, Ill./Hoffman Estates [Central Missouri]) posted a 218.9 average over six games on Saturday, the second-highest average among all bowlers, to lead #13 Valparaiso to a 4-2 record in the second day of competition at the Kutztown Invitational in Reading, Pa.
The Crusaders kicked off action Saturday, contested in the traditional format, against #RV UW-Whitewater, but fell 996-883 despite a 212 game from Cortese. Valpo rebounded in its second match with a 937-871 victory over St. Peter’s, led by a high game of 200 by junior Krystyna Johnson (Montgomery, Ill./Oswego East [Delaware State]).
Johnson followed with a 209 in the next match, while freshman Jill Larson (Merrillville, Ind./Merrillville) led the way with a 210 as Valpo downed Hampton by a 904-876 count. The Crusaders then put it all together in their fourth match, as four of their five bowlers cracked 200 in a 1022-807 victory over Howard. Cortese led Valpo in that match with a 235, while Johnson contributed a 221. Junior Amanda Cortese (Hoffman Estates, Ill./Hoffman Estates [Central Missouri]) rolled her high game of the day with a 224, and freshman Kaity Galka (Dyer, Ind./Lake Central) rounded out the quartet of high-scoring Crusaders with a 209.
Natalie Cortese continued to get stronger as the day progressed, rolling a 245 in Valpo’s fifth match of the day, an 886-734 victory over Cheyney. The Crusaders closed the day against #2 Fairleigh Dickinson, and while they broke the 1,000 mark for the second time, suffered an 1102-1001 defeat. Cortese led the way in the finale for Valpo with a 258, while Johnson rolled a 213, her fourth 200+ effort of the day.
“The ladies did well today, posting a 4-2 record, with two losses to ranked teams, including the defending national champion in FDU,” said Crusader head coach Shon Washington. “Unfortunately, we continue to lose ground with our scoring pace, something that speaks directly to our lack of consistency game to game. We would often follow a great game with a poor one, and with the level of talent at this event, every pin counts. We will keep working and every lesson learned will only make us better.”
Valparaiso (46-36) is now 7-5 through two days of action at Kutztown and sits in 12th place out of 28 competing squads in the standings, based on total pinfall. The Crusaders close out tournament action on Sunday, as bowling is slated for a 7:30 a.m. CST start.