Two wins over teams ranked in the nation's top-10 highlighted the opening day of competition for #14 Valparaiso Thursday evening at the Big Red Invitational in Lincoln, Neb.
Bowling in front of a crowd which included former Valparaiso University president Dr. Alan Harre and his wife, Diane, the Crusaders went 3-2 on Thursday, posting a 192 game average in five matches of four-game baker play. The Crusaders enter Friday's action in fifth place in the eight-team field, as #3 Central Missouri leads the team standings.
Valpo opened tournament action by besting #8 UW-Whitewater, extending its advantage in all four games en route to an 807-739 victory, as the Crusaders' worst game in the opening match was a 196 effort. The Crusaders then fell to tournament host #1 Nebraska 824-694, despite rallying nearly all the way back from a 63-pin deficit after the first game with a 223 in the second game.
Valpo then downed Elmhurst in its third match of the day, using opening two games of 206 and 226 to roll to a 778-642 victory. The Crusaders didn't fall below 186 in any of their four games against #3 Central Missouri, but the Jennies rolled 222 or better in three of the four games en route to a 932-786 win. In the day's finale, Valpo earned a 781-748 win over #4 Arkansas State, using middle two games of 215 and 221 to earn a 74 pin-advantage and holding on from there.
Valparaiso (15-17) continues play at the Big Red Invitational on Friday.