The #9 Valparaiso bowling team completed the McKendree Duals/S.I. Elite on Sunday in Belleville, Ill., finishing the two-day event in fourth place.
The Crusaders totaled 9,637 pins in ten traditional team games over the two days, just 30 pins behind host McKendree for third place. #6 Central Missouri took the team title with a pin count of 11,000.
Valpo opened play on Sunday against #14 UW-Whitewater, earning revenge for a Saturday defeat with a 948-923 victory, paced by matching 212s from fifth-year senior Ashley Busiel (Elk Grove Village, Ill./James B. Conant [Harper College]) and freshman Danielle Lynn (Janesville, Wis./Milton). The Crusaders fell in their second match of the day to host McKendree 894-838, with junior Torrie Decker (Van Wert, Ohio/Van Wert [Robert Morris (Ill.)]) leading the way with a 181.
Valpo suffered a narrow 921-918 defeat in its third match on Sunday to Elmhurst, despite a team-high 213 from redshirt sophomore Alyssa Alvarez (Antioch, Ill./Antioch). Alvarez led the Crusaders for a second straight game by rolling a 215, while Busiel added a 203 as Valpo posted a score of 931 in a bye match. Three bowlers broke 200 in the Crusaders' final match of the tournament, as Busiel rolled a 243, Alvarez a 205 and Decker a 201, but it was not enough, as Central Missouri earned a 1067-989 win over Valpo.
"We did throw the ball well when we needed to," said Crusader head coach Matt Nantais. "But we struggled to finish out the tenth frame the last four matches - we had the lead going into the tenth every game today. We have a young team, and for the most part shot well this tournament. We will look at what we struggled at and work on those things this week at practice."
Busiel was the Crusaders' top bowler on the weekend, breaking 200 in six of her 10 matches and averaging a 211.5. In the singles division of the tournament, freshman Tedra Tado (Des Plaines, Ill./Elk Grove) led all bowlers with a 181 average.
Valparaiso (2-6) competes at the New Jersey Jamboree in Elmwood Park, N.J. next weekend, hosted by Fairleigh Dickinson. The three-day event begins on Friday, Nov. 2.