Bowling in her first tournament as a Crusader, Valparaiso University fifth-year senior Olivia Wirtz (Battle Creek, Mich./Harper Creek [Vanderbilt]) was named Tournament MVP on Sunday as Valpo finished in third place on the second of two days of competition in the Crusader Challenge at Inman’s.
How It Happened
- Valpo opened Sunday’s action, contested in the traditional team format, against #25 Elmhurst and earned an opening 946-907 victory. Senior Alyssa Meade (Chesterfield, Mich./L’Anse Creuse North) led the Crusaders in the opener with a 206 game, while fellow senior Marianna Guerrieri (Aurora, Ill./Waubonsie Valley) rolled a 201.
- The Crusaders’ top match of the tournament came in their second contest of the day, as they easily downed #9 UW-Whitewater, 983-868. Wirtz rolled a game of 245 to lead the way – Valpo’s best individual game of the day – while Meade and sophomore Kendra Tryniski (Fulton, N.Y./Fulton) each posted scores of 208.
- Valpo continued the win streak with a 918-858 win over Maryville in its next match, as senior Lauren Wolski (Darien, Ill./Hinsdale South) rolled a 213 and Wirtz registered a 204.
- A tight match against #5 McKendree went against the Crusaders, as they fell by a 914-903 final.
- Wirtz broke 200 for the third time on the day with a 206 in the tournament finale, pacing the Crusaders as they defeated Aurora 893-765.
Inside the Tournament
- Wirtz recorded a 199.4 average in Sunday’s five individual games, edging out Elmhurst’s Marissa Soverino for tournament MVP honors. The graduate student was the sixth tournament MVP in program history and the first since Katherine Sulaitis picked up top honors at last season’s Virginia Union Invitational.
- Also earning spots on the All-Tournament Team were UW-Whitewater’s Taylor Hoppe and McKendree’s Jessica Mellott and Ashley Dunn. Meade missed out on All-Tournament honors by just four pins.
- Valpo posted a 4-1 record on Sunday and finished the day in third place out of the six competing teams, just 38 pins back of UW-Whitewater.
- McKendree earned the team tournament title as it topped the tournament field both days.
Thoughts From Head Coach Shon Washington
“It was another positive day for the team, finishing third on day two and close behind UW-Whitewater for second place. The moment of the day occurred during the fourth game against McKendree. We had a strong 10th frame from all five members of our lineup, which was almost enough for the win and a possible undefeated day, but McKendree’s anchor rolled a clutch strike and spare to put the game away by 11 pins.”
“Congratulations to Olivia on making the All-Tournament Team and winning tournament MVP – she had a very strong tournament. Alyssa had a very good day as well, falling just short of joining Olivia on the All-Tournament Team.”
The Crusaders (7-3) head to the FDU New Jersey Jamboree in Elmwood Park, N.J. next weekend. The three-day event begins on Friday, Oct. 28.