The Valpo bowling team closed out its season-opening tournament on a high note on Sunday, winning each of its final three matches at the MOTIV Penguin Classic in Struthers, Ohio to earn a fifth-place finish in the tournament. Junior Noelle Doody (Tinley Park, Ill./Andrew) was named Tournament MVP after finishing with the high average among all bowlers in traditional team action.
How It Happened
- Valpo opened the day, which featured a trio of bracket matches contested in the best-of-seven baker format, against Walsh University. The Beacons took a 4-0 victory over the Cavaliers, but that belied just how tight the match was, as each of the final two games were two-point Valpo victories.
- The victory advanced Valpo into a matchup with Mercyhurst. The two squads alternated wins in the first four games, with the Beacons claiming games one and three and Mercyhurst games two and four. The Lakers took game five to pull ahead 3-2 in the match, but Valpo rebounded with a game six win to force the decisive game seven and then posted its best game of the day to that point with a 202 in the finale to earn the 4-3 match victory.
- Valpo found itself up against Morgan State in the fifth-place match and got off to a strong start, rolling games of 206 and 193 to take a 2-0 lead in the match. A 204 effort for the Bears in game three cut the Beacons’ lead to 2-1, but Valpo came back with a decisive win in game four and then closed out the 4-1 victory with a 198-197 squeaker in game five.
Inside the Tournament
- Doody was officially crowned the Tournament MVP and a member of the All-Tournament Team on Sunday after posting a 221.6 average in Saturday’s traditional team matches, nearly three pins better than the second-best bowler. Included among her five traditional games were four efforts of 200+, including a career-high 279 — tied for the third-best single-game effort in program history.
- It is the first All-Tournament Team honor and Tournament MVP award for Doody in her time at Valpo. She is the first Valpo bowler to earn Tournament MVP accolades since Alexis Roof at the Crusader Classic in November 2019.
- As a team, Valpo opens the season with a winning record at its first tournament of the campaign for a second straight season.
- The perfect 3-0 record in best-of-seven baker action on Sunday was the first time Valpo has posted a 3-0 mark in such matches since October 2017 at the Brunswick Bearcat Open, when it claimed wins over UW-Whitewater, Youngstown State and Lincoln Memorial.
Valpo (7-6) will host its annual home tournament in two weekends, welcoming 15 teams to the Valpo Bowling Classic at Stardust Bowl III in Dyer Oct. 29-31.