Valparaiso senior Natalie Cortese (Hoffman Estates, Ill./Hoffman Estates) has been recognized as one of Sports Illustrated’s ‘Faces in the Crowd’ for the magazine’s December 5, 2011 issue.
Cortese has led the Crusaders to a tremendous start to the 2011-2012 season, as Valpo has won two of its first three tournaments and finished in third place at the other competition. Valpo captured its first official tournament title in program history at the season-opening Greater Ozark Invitational, a tournament in which Cortese led Valpo with a 204.8 average, earning All-Tournament Team honors. The senior All-American also stood out on the first day of the tournament, rolling strikes on 18 out of 19 attempts in a baker win over Sam Houston State.
Cortese also led Valpo as it captured its own Crusader Classic, posting a 201.0 average in traditional action. On the season, Cortese owns an average of 200.7 to pace the Crusaders, who are 30-8 overall through three tournaments, including a 15-5 mark against top-ten competition. Cortese and the rest of the Valpo team are on an extended break from competition, but will return to the lanes Jan. 13-15 at the Mid-Winter Invitational in Jonesboro, Ark.