The #15 Valparaiso bowling team returned to the lanes for the first time following the holidays on Friday at the Mid-Winter Invitational in Jonesboro, Ark., winning three of its five matches.
The Crusaders sit in eighth place after day one at Arkansas State with a total of 4,570 pins through Friday's five five-game baker matches. Central Missouri leads the team standings with 5,237 pins.
Valpo got off to a rough start to the day, never leading in losses to #13 Stephen F. Austin (990-867) and #4 Sam Houston State (869-810). The Crusaders rebounded with their best match of the day in the third match, breaking 200 in four of their five games and never trailing in a 1079-897 win over Jackson State. Their 215.8 game average in the victory over JSU is the best by a Crusader team in a five-game baker match in program history.
Valpo used the momentum from the record-setting win to capture its last two matches of the day as well. The Crusaders downed UAB in their fourth match, 906-881, and then rallied for a 902-874 victory to close the day against #20 Alabama State.
Valparaiso (23-29) continues action at the Mid-Winter Invitational on Saturday.