The #19 Valpo bowling team kicked off action at the Big Red Invitational on Friday from Lincoln, Neb., finishing the day in ninth place in the team standings. The tournament field is one of the strongest in the nation this year, as seven of the 11 teams are ranked in the top-11 in the nation in the latest NTCA poll.
How It Happened
- Valpo opened Friday’s action, which consisted of five five-game baker matches, against #11 Lincoln Memorial and came out with a 974-924 win. The lead was just 10 pins heading into the final game, but Valpo pulled away with a 216 to close out the victory.
- The next matchup came against the nation’s top-ranked team in #1 McKendree. The Brown and Gold opened the match with consecutive games of 212 and 225 to jump out to the lead, and after a 223 in game four, Valpo held a 24-pin advantage with one game remaining. But despite rolling a 214 in the fifth game, Valpo fell by a 1059-1030 final as McKendree posted a 267 in the final game.
- Valpo faced #4 Nebraska next, dropping an 1165-984 decision to the tournament hosts.
- A narrow defeat against #22 Central Missouri, 939-905, was the result in the fourth match slot, and an 1195-933 loss to #3 Arkansas State closed out opening day.
Inside the Tournament
- Valpo closed the first day of action in ninth place in the tournament standings with 4,826 total pins, just 50 pins out of eighth place.
- Seven of the nation’s top-11 teams, including each of the top-four teams in the country, are among the 11-team field. Valpo faced three of the nation’s top-four teams on the opening day of action.
- This year is Valpo’s first appearance at the Big Red Invitational since the passing of retired Valparaiso University President Dr. Alan Harre. Harre was a big supporter of the bowling program and attended the Big Red Invitational each year to cheer on the Brown and Gold.
Valpo (25-27) continues play from Lincoln with traditional team matches Saturday morning beginning at 9:30 a.m.