The #24 Valparaiso University bowling team saw its 2016-17 season come to an end on Friday afternoon at the Southland Bowling League Championship in Jonesboro, Ark.
How It Happened
- The Crusaders entered tournament play seeded seventh in the eight-team tournament field, based off of the most recent RPI rankings, and were matched up with second-seeded #4 Sam Houston State in the opening round of bracket play.
- The SBL tournament utilizes a hybrid format for matchups, where the two teams square off in a traditional team match and a five-game baker match. If the same team wins both matches, they advance – if the two teams split the matches, a best-of-seven baker match determines the winner.
- Valpo fell to SHSU in the traditional match to start things off, 932-840, as the Crusaders were led by a 191 game from fifth-year senior Olivia Wirtz (Battle Creek, Mich./Harper Creek [Vanderbilt]).
- SHSU then led the Crusaders by 42 pins entering the final game of the five-game baker match. A game of 208 from Valpo was nearly enough to overcome the deficit, but the Crusaders fell by five pins – 919-914 – to fall into the elimination bracket.
- Valpo was then matched up with sixth-seeded #14 Tulane in an elimination match. The Crusaders earned an 882-830 win in the traditional match, paced by a 194 effort from Wirtz, but Tulane got the better of Valpo in the five-game baker match, 964-855.
- After trading wins in the first two games of the deciding best-of-seven baker match, Valpo claimed games three and four to put itself on the verge of advancing. But it was not meant to be, as Tulane rolled three consecutive games of 216 or better to rally for the 4-3 victory.