Crusaders Continue Early-Season Action at Nebraska
Thursday, November 12, 2015
Crusaders Continue Early-Season Action at Nebraska

The #15 Valparaiso University bowling team continued a stretch of four early-season tournaments in as many weekends as the Crusaders kicked off the Big Red Invitational from Lincoln, Neb. on Thursday.

The Big Red Invitational, hosted by #1 Nebraska, is contested in a unique format, in that each day of the three-day event is a separate tournament. Thursday’s action, contested in the five-game baker format, saw the Crusaders end the day in sixth place out of the eight competing teams, totaling 3,734 pins over the four matches, over six pins greater than Valpo’s baker format average through the season’s first two tournaments. #2 Arkansas State won Thursday’s event.

Valpo opened the tournament against #7 UW-Whitewater and took a 34-pin lead through two games, thanks to a 221 score in the second game. But a poor game three allowed UW-Whitewater to regain the lead, and the Crusaders would eventually fall 956-874. Valpo then faced off against host Nebraska in its second match, and despite solid scores, fell to the Cornhuskers, 998-923.

The Crusaders earned their first win of the tournament in their third match, besting Lincoln in all five games en route to an 897-703 victory. The final match of Thursday’s competition saw Valpo matched up against #8 Central Missouri, but despite averaging 208 over the match’s five games, the Crusaders fell by a final score of 1071-1040. Valpo actually led the Jennies by four pins through three games, but UCM posted a 247 game four to take control and a 226 effort from the Crusaders in game five wasn’t enough to turn the tables.

“Our bowlers were a little off when we first started the day, but they fought hard at the end and barely lost to a very good UCM team,” said Crusader assistant coach Gabby Mayfield. “They were more focused throughout the matches, but spare shooting needs to get a little more consistent for tomorrow. We already have a game plan to attack the lanes differently and with different ball surfaces tomorrow. I feel like our girls should be more comfortable tomorrow, and I have confidence in them for some high scores.”

Valparaiso (13-16) continues action from the three-day Big Red Invitational with six traditional matches on Friday.