Fifth-year senior Torrie Decker (Van Wert, Ohio/Van Wert [Robert Morris]) posted a team-best 217.8 average on Friday to lead #17 Valparaiso as the Crusaders opened the Central Missouri Invitational in N. Kansas City, Mo.
The Crusaders went 1-2 on the first day of action from the five-team event. Valpo ended the day in fourth place, totaling 3,877 pins through the first four matches, just 81 pins back of third position.
“Overall, we had a pretty good day today,” said Crusader head coach Matt Nantais. “Bowling the bye, we fell off a little bit - we couldn't get anything going. Tomorrow, we’ll come back out and make a few moves earlier than we did today. I think the way we finished gives us a pretty good idea of what we need to do tomorrow when the lanes start transitioning.”
Valpo opened tournament play against #1 Nebraska, but despite three bowlers breaking 200, the Crusaders fell 1105-973 to the Cornhuskers. Freshman Aubree Trexler (Arcadia, Ind./Hamilton Heights) led the way with a 243, while Decker posted a 207 game and senior Sadie Jasinski (Franklin, Wis./Franklin) rolled a 213. Two different Crusaders bested 200 in the next contest, as sophomore Carly Larson (Merrillville, Ind./Merrillville) finished at 244 and sophomore Savannah Carr (Buckeye, Ariz./Youngker) rolled a 225 game, but Valpo dropped a 1096-977 to host #4 Central Missouri.
Valpo had a bye in its next match and finished at just 881 as a team, led by the day’s best game by a Crusader, a 256 effort from Decker. The Crusaders bounced back for an easy 1046-775 win over Elmhurst in the finale, as four different bowlers cracked the 200 barrier, paced by a 225 game from junior Kelsey Fader (New Baltimore, Mich./Anchor Bay). Decker and sophomore Alyssa Meade (Chesterfield, Mich./L'Anse Creuse North) recorded matching 213 games, and Larson finished the day with a 201.
“Torrie Decker bowled pretty well today - a few shots here and there, she didn't quite do what she wanted, but overall, I thought she probably threw the ball the best out of everyone,” said Nantais. “Torrie didn't miss any makeable spares today, which was good to see.”
Valparaiso (39-46) continues tournament play on Saturday.