The #15 Valparaiso University bowling team finished out the Crusader Classic with a pair of wins in bracket play on Sunday, closing out the three-day tournament in seventh place.
#9 McKendree took down #5 Vanderbilt in the tournament championship in the final round of bracket matches, 4-3 in the best-of-seven baker format match as McKendree earned a 225-215 win in game seven. The All-Tournament Team consisted of McKendree's Ashley Dunn, Vanderbilt’s Nicole Powell, UW-Whitewater’s Lindsay Rusch, Arkansas State’s Haley Richard, McKendree’s Sarah Wille, and tournament MVP Gazmine Mason from Nebraska.
Valpo started bracket action against #21 Prairie View A&M on Sunday, and with the two squads tied 2-2 through four games, the Crusaders won game five 192-148 to take a 3-2 lead. But Prairie View A&M posted games of 266 and 207 in the final two to earn the come-from-behind 4-3 win.
The Crusaders would reverse roles in their next match as they faced #19 Tulane, falling behind 3-2 before rallying with games of 211 and 212 to close the match and win 4-3. The victory earned Valpo a rematch with Prairie View A&M to close out the tournament, and this time the Crusaders would come out on top, winning the first three games en route to a 4-2 victory.
“Today went a lot better for us than last Sunday,” said Crusader assistant coach Gabby Mayfield. “The girls were more confident and when we needed a good shot, they were able to perform under pressure. Before our next event, I think we need to work on staying focused through an entire match. Our bowlers are still learning, and I believe next week will be better than this week. There are a lot of good things to take from this week.”
Valparaiso (12-13) continues its busy early-season schedule next week at Nebraska’a Big Red Invitational. The three-day event begins on Thursday.