#1 Valparaiso continued its strong run of play at the Kutztown Invitational in Reading, Pa. on Saturday, going 5-1 for the second straight day and ending the six-match day in third place out of the 28 competing teams.
The Crusaders tallied 4,801 pins over Saturday’s six matches and have totaled 10,444 pins over the first two days of competition. Fairleigh Dickinson leads the tournament field with 10,739 pins, while Maryland Eastern Shore (10,541 pins) is the only other squad ahead of Valpo.
Valpo started Saturday’s action, contested in the traditional team format, against #14 Monmouth and began the day with a 959-908 victory, led by a 242 game from senior Amanda Cortese (Hoffman Estates, Ill./Hoffman Estates [Central Missouri]), the Crusaders’ single-best game of the day. Valpo then downed #14 Norfolk State in its next match, 961-839, paced by a 235 from senior Krystyna Johnson (Montgomery, Ill./Oswego East [Delaware State]) and a 215 by redshirt junior Ashley Busiel (Elk Grove Village, Ill./James B. Conant [Harper College]).
The Crusaders continued their winning streak with a 943-920 victory over #13 St. Francis (Pa.) in the day’s third match, with Johnson rolling a team-high 211 and Cortese adding a 210. Valpo posted its top team score of the day in the fourth match, as Johnson led the way with a 202 in a 963-817 win against North Carolina Central.
Valpo then downed Howard in the day’s fifth match, 924-862, led by a 208 from senior Natalie Cortese (Hoffman Estates, Ill./Hoffman Estates [Central Missouri]). The day would end on a losing note for the Crusaders, however, as they took their only loss of the day in a tight 914-905 loss to #19 Adelphi.
Sitting in third place after the first two days of competition, Valparaiso (56-20) has a chance to earn the tournament title in Sunday’s bracket action, which is slated to begin at 7 a.m. CST. Fans can watch the Crusaders' action via the team's Ustream channel at http://www.ustream.tv/channel/valpo-bowling.