#14 Valparaiso continued its strongest tournament performance of the year on Saturday, winning five of its six matches in closing the second day of action at the Kutztown Invitational in sixth place. The Crusaders have a shot at finishing as high as third place in Sunday’s bracket play.
The Crusaders finished Saturday, contested in the traditional team format, in the same spot in the team standings that they closed out Friday, in sixth place out of the 26 competing teams with a pinfall of 10,329, just 27 pins shy of fifth-place North Carolina A&T. Fairleigh Dickinson enters bracket play as the top overall seed, compiling a pinfall of 11,281 through two days of competition.
Despite starting slow in its opening match against Pitt-Bradford, Valpo came out with a 908-832 win, paced by a game of 204 from freshman Carly Larson (Merrillville, Ind./Merrillville). The Crusaders then took down tournament host #9 Kutztown 950-912 in their second match of the day, led by Larson’s 219 and an effort of 206 from senior Torrie Decker (Van Wert, Ohio/Van Wert [Robert Morris (Ill.)]).
The Crusaders peaked in their middle two matches of the day on Saturday, highlighted by their effort in the third match against #20 Long Island. Valpo received games of 235 from redshirt junior Alyssa Alvarez (Antioch, Ill./Antioch), 228 from junior Sadie Jasinski (Franklin, Wis./Franklin) and 203 by sophomore Raychel Wolever (Charlotte, Mich./Charlotte) in downing LIU Brooklyn 1045-881. The Crusaders’ score of 1,045 matched the program’s eighth-best effort in a traditional match all-time.
Valpo then nearly matched that effort in a victory over #18 Monmouth and needed nearly every pin it got to drop, as three Crusaders broke 200 in a narrow 1013-1006 win. Alvarez led the way for Valpo for a second straight game with an effort of 225, while Wolever recorded a 221 game and Jasinski totaled a 200 in the victory.
The Crusaders saw their winning streak snapped in match number five on Saturday, dropping a close 957-940 decision to #12 Sacred Heart despite games of 232 by Wolever and 211 by Decker. Valpo closed out Saturday’s action by cruising to an 893-518 victory over Medaille, led by a 193 from Wolever as the Crusaders posted their second-largest margin of victory in a traditional match in program history.
Wolever finished the day with Valpo’s top individual average, posting a 203.6 average in her five games. Larson averaged a 198.4 in her five games, while Alvarez bowled all six games and averaged a 195.
Valparaiso (33-32) moved over .500 on the season on Saturday and will attempt to move up the bracket in a trio of best-of-seven baker matches on Sunday morning. Entering the day as the sixth seed, the Crusaders can finish anywhere from third place to eighth place.