#14 Valparaiso moved above .500 on the season with a winning day as it opened the Central Missouri Invitational in N. Kansas City, Mo. on Friday.
The Crusaders totaled 4,666 pins during Friday's set of five five-game baker matches, good for seventh place in the 14-team field. Nebraska leads the team standings after one day with 5,229 pins.
Valpo opened the tournament against #6 Stephen F. Austin, but had no chance against the Ladyjacks, who set a new program record, averaging better than 250 for the five-game match as the Crusaders fell 1254-936. The Crusaders rebounded against #15 McKendree in their next match, though, leading from start to finish and bettering McKendree by 40 pins in the final game to pull away for a 954-894 victory.
Valpo made it two straight wins in its next match, downing Elmhurst 955-869 as the Crusaders posted higher scores in all five games. #8 Vanderbilt got the best of the Crusaders in the next match, defeating Valpo 1050-880, but Valpo would end the day on a winning note, handily defeating #9 UW-Whitewater 941-846 in the day's finale.
Valparaiso (52-51) will close out the Central Missouri Invitational with five more matches on Saturday. Due to forecasted inclement weather later in the weekend, the tournament has been shortened to a two-day affair.