Valpo Closes Inaugural Crusader Classic in Third Place
Saturday, November 14, 2009
Valpo Closes Inaugural Crusader Classic in Third Place
Natalie Cortese averaged a 200.6 over Saturday's five matches. (Aran Kessler)

The Valparaiso bowling team concluded the second of two days of competition at the inaugural Crusader Classic at Inman’s Recreation Center on Saturday in third place.  Valpo’s Natalie Cortese (Hoffman Estates, Ill./Hoffman Estates [Central Missouri]) ranked among the event’s top bowlers, as her 200.6 average on Saturday was third-best among all competing bowlers.

Valpo concluded the two-day event with 8,103 total pins for its third-place finish.  Minnesota State-Mankato led the aggregate standings with 8,275 pins, just outpacing UW-Whitewater, which finished the two days with 8,261 pins.  Elmhurst (7,922 pins) and Adrian (7,500 pins) rounded out the standings.

“My thanks to Inmans for hosting our first event this weekend; it has the making of being a strong event as we move forward,” said Crusader head coach Stephen Anthony.  “Today was very similar to yesterday as we came out strong in our first match. We seemed to be chasing the game a bit at the end of the day, but were consistent enough to maintain our event position over the two days.  I was pleased with the effort over the two days and certainly felt the event went well with a strong field.”

The Crusaders got out to a great start Saturday, dominating Adrian 1,030-834 in the opening match of the day, thanks in large part to games of 245 from Ashley Busiel (Elk Grove Village, Ill./James B. Conant [Harper College]) and 226 from Cortese.  Valpo won its second match of the day as well, downing Elmhurst 943-915 with top games of 224 by Amanda Cortese (Hoffman Estates, Ill./Hoffman Estates [Central Missouri]) and 210 by Busiel.

Valpo rolled an 880 in its third match of the day, contested without an opponent due to the odd number of teams in the field, led by a 201 from Natalie Cortese, who followed with a 207 in the Crusaders’ next match, a 939-891 loss to Minnesota State-Mankato.  Valpo concluded Saturday’s action with an 893-821 loss against UW-Whitewater.

UW-Whitewater’s Sarah Stettner took top individual honors, averaging a 212.5 on Saturday.  In addition to Natalie Cortese’s third-best average, Busiel posted a 193.2 average, sixth-best among all competing bowlers, and was followed immediately by Amanda Cortese with a 192 average.

Valparaiso (18-18) returns to the lanes next weekend at the Hawk Classic in Millsboro, Del., hosted by Maryland-Eastern Shore.  The first of three days of action will be Friday, November 20.