The #22 Valparaiso University bowling team continued competition at the Columbia 300 Music City Classic, hosted by Vanderbilt in Smyrna, Tenn., on Saturday, moving up three spots in the team standings.
The Crusaders jumped into 21st place, closing the day with 10,423 total pins over the first two days of competition – just 82 pins back of Saint Francis (N.Y.) for 20th position. Arkansas State moved up into first place with 11,729 total pins.
Facing difficult scoring conditions, no Valpo bowler broke 190 in the first two matches of the day as the Crusaders fell 855-834 to #9 Fairleigh Dickinson and 953-870 to #10 UW-Whitewater. Senior Katherine Sulaitis (St. Charles, Ill./East) rolled a 206 in Valpo’s third match of the day, while junior Savannah Carr (Buckeye, Ariz./Youngker) registered a 191, but it would not be enough, as the Crusaders dropped their third straight match, losing to #21 Adelphi by a 916-881 final.
Valpo notched a win in its fourth match, as led by a 192 game from sophomore Aubree Trexler (Arcadia, Ind./Hamilton Heights) and a 190 game from Sulaitis, the Crusaders defeated Florida A&M, 910-898. Junior Alyssa Meade (Chesterfield, Mich./L’Anse Creuse North) posted Valpo’s top game of the day in the Crusaders’ next match, rolling a 223 while Sulaitis posted a 220 game in a 938-838 win over #18 Saint Francis (N.Y.). The duo both broke 200 in Valpo’s final match of the day – Meade tallying a 214 and Sulaitis a 202 – but it would not be enough, as the Crusaders fell 904-887 to #12 LIU Brooklyn.
“Our record doesn’t reflect how well we bowled today or how much we fought to win matches today,” said Crusader head coach Matt Nantais. “This is our last regular-season tournament, and overall we have bowled pretty well on a challenging lane condition. We will finish up tomorrow, hopefully move up in the bracket, and then start Monday morning preparing for our conference championship.”
Valparaiso (42-58) finishes out the Columbia 300 Music City Classic on Sunday with bracket play, kicking off against Monmouth.