The #15 Valparaiso University bowling team got the 2015-16 campaign underway Friday in North Brunswick, N.J., finishing the first of three days of competition at the FDU NJ Jamboree in the middle of the pack.
The Crusaders totaled 4,663 pins over their five traditional matches on the first day of action to finish the day in 14th place out of 26 competing squads. Valpo is just 49 pins outside the top-10 entering Saturday. #2 Arkansas State leads the team standings at 5,400 pins through Friday’s action.
Valpo opened the season facing off against host #4 Fairleigh Dickinson, but could not knock off the Knights, falling 1107-928 despite a team-high game of 203 from sophomore Aubree Trexler (Arcadia, Ind./Hamilton Heights). The Crusaders suffered a 953-849 loss to #13 Sacred Heart in their second match of the tournament. Valpo earned its first win of the season in its third match, taking down Saint Peter’s 973-778 behind games of 214 from junior Savannah Carr (Buckeye, Ariz./Youngker) and 206 from junior Alyssa Meade (Chesterfield, Mich./L’Anse Creuse North).
“We started the day out slow against Fairleigh Dickinson,” said Crusader head coach Matt Nantais. “The slow start carried over into the match against Sacred Heart, which we had a really good chance to win, but didn’t execute down the stretch. We came back in our next match and executed pretty well for the win against Saint Peter’s.”
A game of 231 by Meade led the way for the Crusaders in their next match, a 939-926 victory over #10 North Carolina A&T, while junior Marianna Guerrieri (Aurora, Ill./Waubonsie Valley) added a 200 game as well. In the day’s finale, Meade made it three straight games above 200 with an effort of 222and Guerrieri rolled a 209, but it wasn’t enough as the Crusaders dropped a 1054-974 decision to #17 Delaware State.
“The match against North Carolina A&T was a good match – it went down to the 10th frame and we really stepped up to win it,” said Nantais. “North Carolina A&T is a good team which beat a lot of Central region teams at Tulane’s tournament and won the USBC national championship last season, so it was nice to win that one. Then, against Delaware State, we were leading into the seventh frame, but were unable to execute like we needed to down the stretch and let it slip away.”
Valparaiso (2-3) returns to action for the middle day of the three-day event on Saturday.
“We’ve made some changes with some of our equipment due to the surface and will be coming out tomorrow playing a different area of the lane to give us a better shot at winning,” said Nantais. “Overall, we did pretty well today, but we look to make better quality shots tomorrow and finish in the top-six.”
Athletics-Recreation Center (ARC)
1009 Union Street
Valparaiso, IN 46383