The Valparaiso bowling team consistently challenged itself against the nation’s best teams throughout the 2013-14 campaign, ending the season ranked #14 in the final National Tenpin Coaches Association (NTCA) Coaches Poll.
The Crusaders ended the 2013-14 season with 59 matches bowled against the nation’s top-10 squads in RPI, the most by any squad nationwide, as well as 59 matches versus teams ranked in the top-10 of the coaches poll at the time of the match.
Included in the 59 matches against top-10 teams were 50 matches – of 123 total matches on the season - against the eight teams which advanced to the 2014 NCAA Championship, as Valpo defeated each of the eight NCAA Tournament teams at least once. Valpo ended the season with 59 victories despite bowling nearly half its matches against top-10 competition, just one win shy of its total from the previous season.
Along the way, the Crusaders had a number of standout performances. The team posted the best traditional match in program history in a win over #9 UW-Whitewater on Feb. 15, rolling a team game of 1129 as four of the five Crusaders broke 200. Valpo tallied its second-best four-game baker score all-time on Mar. 7 in a win over Delaware State, rolling an 899, while the Crusaders also posted two of their top-eight five-game baker scores in the same day against Central Missouri and Tulane on Jan. 17.
Individually, Carly Larson (Merrillville, Ind./Merrillville) enjoyed a stellar rookie campaign, highlighted by her All-Tournament selection at Arkansas State’s Mid-Winter Invitational, where she posted the tournament’s second-best individual average (218.8). For the year, Larson led the Crusaders with an average of 191.4, eighth-best in program history, while Alyssa Alvarez (Antioch, Ill./Antioch) was right behind Larson, ranking ninth in a single season all-time with a 190.9 average.