Bowling Season Comes to Close at CUSA Championship Thursday
Thursday, March 21, 2024
Bowling Season Comes to Close at CUSA Championship Thursday
Maia Struble paced Valpo in its traditional team game victory.

The 2023-24 season came to a close for the #17 Valpo bowling team on Thursday afternoon, as the Beacons fell 2-1 to #13 Tulane in a play-in match at the inaugural CUSA Championship in Harahan, La.

How It Happened

  • As the ninth seed in the nine-team tournament field, Valpo faced off with eighth-seeded Tulane for the opportunity to play in to the main eight-team, double-elimination bracket. The match was contested in the “mega match” format, featuring a traditional team game followed by a five-game baker set. If the two teams split those contests, a best-of-seven baker round decided the match.
  • Valpo trailed entering the 10th frame of the traditional team game, but closed strong to rally past the Green Wave and earn a 960-925 win to go up 1-0 in the match. Freshman Maia Struble (Anchorage, Alaska/Dimond) paced the Beacons with a 219 game, tying her second-best effort of the year, while junior Lilu Smith (Gahanna, Ohio/Lincoln) topped 200 for the eighth time this season with a 202.
  • Valpo posted a 215 game in the first of the five-game baker set, but Tulane rolled a 235 to jump out to a quick 20-pin lead. The Green Wave led by 41 pins after two games before the Beacons cut the deficit to 30 pins following a 205 in game three.
  • Tulane recorded back-to-back games above 200 in the final two games of the baker set to pull away, as Valpo fell by a 1044-923 final, necessitating the best-of-seven baker round to decide the match.
  • Tulane edged Valpo by nine pins in the best-of-seven opener and won by 19 pins in game two. The Beacons put a 200 on the board in game three, but it wasn’t enough to best a 217 by the Green Wave, and Tulane finished out the 4-0 sweep by taking game four as well.

Inside the Season

  • Despite Thursday’s defeat, Valpo concluded the 2023-24 season with a 54-35 overall record — the program’s first time finishing with a winning percentage above .500 since 2011-12.
  • The .607 winning percentage was the second-best single-season winning percentage in program history, while the 54 wins were the team’s most since the 2013-14 season.

Inside the Career

  • Senior Isabella Palamaro (Thiells, N.Y./North Rockland) completed her career Thursday, rolling a 191 in the traditional team game. Palamaro started 104 traditional team matches over her four years, breaking 200 on 25 occasions and pacing Valpo 21 times.
  • Palamaro’s freshman season average of 193.9 ranks 10th in program history for a single season. She rolled a career-best game of 259 as a sophomore in a win over North Central at the Columbia 300 Music City Classic.