The #9 Valparaiso bowling team set a new program record for the highest-scoring team traditional match and had two of the top five individual single-game performances in program history as it earned three wins Saturday at the Track Kat Klash in Huntsville, Texas, hosted by Sam Houston State.
The Crusaders have tallied 8,673 total pins through the first two days of competition, ranking sixth among the 16 competitors at the tournament. Vanderbilt leads the team standings with 9,461 pins.
Valpo opened action on Saturday, contested in the traditional team format, against #4 Vanderbilt, and despite strong games of 254 from redshirt sophomore Alyssa Alvarez (Antioch, Ill./Antioch), 233 by fifth-year senior Ashley Busiel (Elk Grove Village, Ill./James B. Conant [Harper]) and 203 from freshman Danielle Lynn (Janesville, Wis./Milton), the Crusaders fell to the tournament leader by a 1116-1019 final. The Crusaders rebounded with an 877-775 win over Texas Southern, despite only Busiel breaking 200 with a game of 203.
Only one of the five Valpo bowlers broke 200 in its next match as well, as Lynn's 224 led the way in a 1032-873 defeat against Long Island. But the Crusaders bounced back in a big way, setting a new program record with a 1123-987 win over the host Bearkats in their next match. Busiel paced Valpo with a 264 in the record-setting win, the fourth-best single-match score in team history. Freshman Raychel Wolever (Charlotte, Mich./Charlotte) rolled a 234, Alvarez a 227, freshman Tedra Tado (Des Plaines, Ill./Elk Grove) a 209 and Lynn a 189 in the victory over #8 Sam Houston State.
The Crusaders wouldn't approach their record-setting score in Saturday's finale, but did come out with a 990-907 win over #10 Stephen F. Austin. Alvarez bumped Busiel one spot down on Valpo's single-game chart, rolling a 267 in the final match of the day, while the latter closed her day with a 227. The duo both ranked among the day's top-seven bowlers, as Alvarez posted an average of 216.4 to rank fourth and Busiel finished the day seventh with an average of 214.6.
Valparaiso (18-22) closes out the Track Kat Klash on Sunday morning.