The #15 Valparaiso University bowling team split six matches on Friday on the first of three days of action at the KU Invitational in Reading, Pa., hosted by Kutztown.
Valpo totaled 5,413 pins over Friday’s six matches – contested in the five-game baker format. The Crusaders sit in 18th place after the first day of competition.
“We had our ups and downs on the lanes today, but overall, I thought we bowled pretty well,” said Crusader head coach Matt Nantais. “The scores may not have showed it, but we were doing things on the lanes today that we haven’t done all season very consistently.”
Valpo opened the tournament against #11 Delaware State, but trailed throughout in falling, 943-829. The Crusaders bounced back in their second match as they faced #6 Fairleigh Dickinson, as they led by 69 pins through three games and held on for a 977-960 win.
The momentum from the win over FDU carried over into a matchup with host #16 Kutztown, as Valpo would rally after trailing by 21 pins through two games to claim a 967-908 win. The Crusaders were unable to make it three straight wins, however, as #22 Sacred Heart posted scores of 211 or better in each of the last three games to send Valpo to a 980-888 loss.
A 16-pin lead after one game for the Crusaders against #23 Adelphi would fall by the wayside, as Adelphi claimed a 918-863 win. Valpo would end the day on a high note, though, leading throughout in an 889-861 victory over #19 Saint Francis Brooklyn.
“The surface here that we are playing has the most friction of any center we bowl at, so tomorrow we’re going to make some adjustments to the ball surface,” said Nantais. “We want to try to get the ball down the lane better and come out a little bit more aggressive. We’re all looking for better performances tomorrow.”
Saturday's action was canceled due to inclement weather, but the tournament is scheduled to resume on Sunday with the final day of competition.