Valpo Bowling Opens Mid-Winter Invitational
Friday, January 15, 2016
Valpo Bowling Opens Mid-Winter Invitational

The #15 Valparaiso University bowling team returned to competitive action Friday for the first time in nearly two months, competing on the first of three days of action at the Mid-Winter Invitational in Jonesboro, Ark., hosted by Arkansas State.

The Crusaders totaled 4,376 pins on the first day of competition, contested in the five-game baker format, to finish the day in 12th place. #9 McKendree paces the team standings through Friday’s action with 5,183 pins.

Valpo opened the tournament against #RV Alabama State and bested ASU in four of the five games, posting games of 211 and 215 in the first three games en route to a 948-879 victory. The Crusaders then made it back-to-back victories, easily defeating Lincoln 866-697 in their second match of the tournament.

“We shot well the first match today,” said Crusader head coach Matt Nantais. “The lanes really didn’t play the same as they did when we practiced at home and in our practice session yesterday, but that’s not an excuse for how we threw the ball after the first match. We were very inconsistent and missed too many spares.”

Facing three top-10 squads in the last three matches of the day, however, the Crusaders were unable to come out with a victory. #2 Nebraska topped Valpo in all five games in a 1056-795 decision, and despite jumping out to a 21-pin lead on #4 Central Missouri after one game, the Crusaders eventually fell, 1014-855. In the day’s final match, Valpo was two pins up on #7 UW-Whitewater through two games following a 203 game, but the Warhawks finished game three with a 58-pin edge as the Crusaders dropped the finale, 987-912.

“Our schedule tomorrow is going to be tougher than it was today, so we will make some changes to the ball surfaces to try to get a different look during tomorrow morning’s practice session,” said Nantais. “This tournament is very competitive, but if we come out tomorrow and bowl like we are capable, we should do pretty well.”

Valparaiso (29-27) continues action in Jonesboro on Saturday with the second of three days of competition.