Valpo Fourth After Day One at Big Red Invitational
Thursday, January 19, 2012
Valpo Fourth After Day One at Big Red Invitational
Natalie Cortese and the Crusaders are fourth after day one. (Ray Acevedo)

The #1 Valparaiso bowling team returned to the lanes Thursday evening at the Big Red Invitational in Lincoln, Neb., closing the first day of action in fourth place in the 12-team field.

Valpo tallied 4,010 pins through the set of five four-game baker matches on Thursday to sit in fourth place. Host Nebraska leads the way (4,308 pins) with Arkansas State (4,290 pins) in second and Central Missouri (4,133 pins) just ahead of the Crusaders.

The Crusaders opened tournament action against #18 UW-Whitewater and easily cruised to the opening win, rolling games of 248, 226, 200 and 246 in a 920-752 victory. Then, versus #4 Sam Houston State, Valpo bounced back from an opening 172 with an impressive 277 and then closed with games of 221 and 224 in a 894-769 win.

Unfortunately for the Crusaders, those would be their only two wins of the day. Against #5 Central Missouri, Valpo was within 30 pins heading into the final game, but could only garner a 157 in the finale in an 838-776 defeat. A 193 in the final game against #RV Florida A&M only was able to erase 42 pins of a 59-pin deficit, as Valpo fell 704-687, and the Crusaders closed Friday's competition with an 840-733 loss to host #9 Nebraska.

Valparaiso (41-15) returns to action on the second day of competition at the three-day tournament on Friday morning, set for an 11:30 a.m. start. Live scoring is available through