#15 Valparaiso defeated the nation's top-ranked team in Nebraska, one of two Crusader victories over top-ten squads on Saturday as Valpo hosted day two of the Crusader Classic at Inman's.
#8 UW-Whitewater continues to lead the team standings with one day of action left, having totaled 11,900 pins. #1 Nebraska sits in second place with 11,740 pins, while the Crusaders rank tenth, having downed 10,825 pins. Alma's Jessica Cords posted the top individual average of the tournament, registering a 212.7 average over six matches on Saturday.
The day got off on the wrong foot for the Crusaders, who fell 923-792 in their opening match against #18 Alabama State, but Valpo quickly rebounded against #1 Nebraska. The Crusaders earned their tenth win in program history against the number-one team in the nation, beating the Huskers 1020-938. Freshman Aubree Trexler (Arcadia, Ind./Hamilton Heights) led the way with a 257, tied for the tenth-best game in Crusader history, while fifth-year senior Torrie Decker (Van Wert, Ohio/Van Wert [Robert Morris (Ill.)]) backed up Trexler with a 219 in the win.
Trexler carried the momentum into Valpo's next match, pacing the Crusaders with a 236 in a 978-821 win over Elmhurst, as sophomore Carly Larson (Merrillville, Ind./Merrillville) helped out with a 231. The Crusaders then edged out #8 UW-Whitewater 971-949 behind games of 210 from Decker and 204 from Larson. Valpo fell to #6 Central Missouri in its next match, 868-818, despite a 213 effort from Decker, but ended the day on a winning note, besting #RV Prairie View A&M 827-781.
“We got a couple of big wins today, but missed too many spares late in the match against Central Missouri,” said Crusader head coach Matt Nantais. “Aubree came out and gave us a lift against Nebraska and had a couple good games. The Prairie View A&M match was very much a grind – the lanes were pretty fried, and it was about trying to find a place to make a shot and cover spares.”
Valparaiso (17-9) closes out action at the Crusader Classic on Sunday morning. Play will begin at 7:55 a.m. with one final traditional team game before entering three rounds of bracket play, contested in the best-of-seven baker format, to determine the tournament champion. An awards ceremony will be held following the conclusion of play.