Official Athletic Site of the Valparaiso University Crusaders
Crusaders Earn Greater Ozark Invitational Crown
The Crusaders won the Greater Ozark Invitational on Sunday. (Joe Cortese)
The Crusaders won the Greater Ozark Invitational on Sunday. (Joe Cortese)

Sunday, October 30, 2011

The #18 Valparaiso bowling team won its season-opening tournament on Sunday, downing Arkansas State in the championship match of the Greater Ozark Invitational in Springfield, Mo., four games to one.  The championship was the first official tournament title in Crusader program history.

The Crusaders had previously topped a tournament field in their first season at UW-Whitewater, but since that event featured just four teams, it did not count as an official tournament championship.  The field this weekend featured eight squads, including three of the nation’s top-seven teams as ranked in the NTCA preseason poll.

The Crusaders’ road to the championship became a bit tougher after the first match, contested in best-of-seven baker format, of Sunday morning, as Valpo dropped its first match of the year to #6 Arkansas State, which was the top seed entering bracket play.  The Crusaders used back-to-back games of 206 and 224 to go up 3-2 on ASU, but dropped a 12-pin decision in game six and also lost game seven as the Red Wolves earned a 4-3 win.

Facing off against #7 Sam Houston State, the Crusaders needed a win to advance to the championship match, and responded with the program’s best performance ever in baker play.  Valpo averaged a 217.8 over the five matches and didn’t bowl a game under 200 in the 4-1 victory over SHSU.  The Crusaders started the matchup with a 257 and won the first three games.  SHSU earned a 225-200 victory in game four to extend the match, but Valpo responded with a 202-192 win to advance to the championship contest.

Valpo earned a rematch with Arkansas State for the tournament title and took control from the start, earning a tight 185-183 victory in the opener.  Games of 221 and 209 helped give the Crusaders a 3-0 lead before the Red Wolves took game four to force a fifth game.  But Valpo broke 200 for the eighth time over its last 10 games, defeating Arkansas State 203-181 to earn the tournament championship, four games to one.

Valparaiso (12-1) will return home to host the Crusader Classic in two weekends on Nov. 11-13 at Stardust Bowl II in Merrillville.

M Soccer Lake Forest Brown Field
Aug 23, 11:00 a.m. Valpo
M Soccer Lewis Brown Field
Aug 25, 7:00 p.m. Valpo
Football Valpo Macomb, Ill.
Aug 28, 6:00 p.m. Western Illinois
Volleyball Valpo Durham, N.C.
Aug 29, 3:00 p.m. Wofford
M Soccer Valpo Raleigh, N.C.
Aug 29, 6:00 p.m. North Carolina State
Volleyball Valpo Durham, N.C.
Aug 30, 2:00 p.m. Campbell
Volleyball Valpo Durham, N.C.
Aug 30, 6:00 p.m. North Carolina Central
M Soccer Valpo Davidson, N.C.
Aug 31, 3:00 p.m. Davidson
Volleyball IUPUI ARC
Sep 3, 7:00 p.m. Valpo
Volleyball Valpo Brookings, S.D.
Sep 5, 10:00 a.m. UMKC
Volleyball Valpo Brookings, S.D.
Sep 5, 5:00 p.m. Stephen F. Austin
W CC Crusader Open Sunset Hills Farm
Sep 5, 5:00 p.m.
M CC Crusader Open Sunset Hills Farm
Sep 5, 5:45 p.m.
Volleyball Valpo Brookings, S.D.
Sep 6, 2:00 p.m. South Dakota State
Football Saint Joseph's (Ind.) Brown Field
Sep 6, 7:00 p.m. Valpo
M Soccer Valpo Indianapolis, Ind.
Sep 9, 6:00 p.m. Butler