A win over #1 Arkansas State highlighted the first day of competition for the #14 Valparaiso bowling team Friday at the Track Kat Klash in Huntsville, Texas.
The Crusaders tallied 4,480 pins over Friday’s six matches, contested in the four-game baker format, ending the day in ninth place out of the 18 competing squads. Valpo enters Saturday just 13 pins out of eighth position.
Valpo opened tournament play against #9 UW-Whitewater, but despite bowling 190 or better in each of the final three games, couldn’t overcome a 45-pin deficit after the opener in an 807-728 loss. The Crusaders rebounded with a 689-638 victory over Louisiana Tech in their second match of the day.
Valpo would make it a three-match winning streak, topping #13 St. Francis (N.Y.) in all four games of a 768-697 win and then using an opening 209 to propel itself to a 762-691 victory over Texas Southern. The Crusaders then went toe-to-toe with #2 Nebraska, opening with a 224 to take a 12-pin lead. The Huskers out-scored Valpo by 37 pins over the next two games, however, and a game of 192 in the finale was not quite enough as Nebraska edged the Crusaders, 800-794.
Valpo closed the day against #1 Arkansas State and claimed a 16-pin lead after game one. The Crusaders then posted their second-best single-game of the day with a 214 in game two to push the lead to 37 pins, and easily held off the Red Wolves over the final two games as they ended the day with a 739-702 win over the nation’s top-ranked team.
Valparaiso (42-45) continues action in Huntsville on Saturday with the second of three days of competition.