The #17 Valparaiso University bowling team finished out competition at the Warhawk Invitational, hosted by UW-Whitewater in Kenosha, Wis., with bracket action on Sunday, averaging better than 191 as a team for the day.
Bracket play, contested in the best-of-seven baker format, opened for the Crusaders against #25 Elmhurst on Sunday. In a low-scoring affair, Valpo captured the first game before Elmhurst claimed the next three games. A 199 game in the fifth game kept the Crusaders alive, but Elmhurst would prevail in the sixth game to earn the win.
Next, the Crusaders took on #21 Tulane. Valpo would post one of the best efforts in team history in the match, averaging a 206.6 over the seven games in the match – the sixth-best average in a best-of-seven baker match in program history. The Crusaders rolled a 255 in game two, but found themselves down 3-1 before efforts of 213 and 221 evened the matchup at 3-3. However, it would be Tulane that prevailed, as the Crusaders fell 218-191 in game seven.
But the high-scoring momentum carried over into the Crusaders’ final match, as they faced off with #12 Saint Francis (Pa.). Valpo would post games of 203, 224 and 203 to go ahead 3-0 in the ninth-place matchup, and would eventually finish off Saint Francis in game six with a 183 game.
Valparaiso (37-51) returns to action next month at Vanderbilt’s Columbia 300 Music City Classic Mar. 18-20. The tournament, which will be held in Smyrna, Tenn., will be the final of the regular season for the Crusaders.