The No. 6 Nebraska women's bowling team finished third in a 13-team field, as the Huskers opened the 2014 portion of their schedule at the Mid-Winter Invitational in Jonesboro, Ark.
The Huskers finished with an overall record of 10-3 after three days of competition, as the hosts from Arkansas State won the event with a 4-0 sweep of Sam Houston State in the championship match.
After a challenging week for the young Huskers, who dealt with the hospitalization of Coach Bill Straub, Interim Head Coach Paul Klempa was pleased with the team's performance.
“After the tumultuous week we had, I think this weekend went really well. We were one of only two teams to get to 10 wins, so for our goals getting to the NCAA Tournament certainly were helped by this weekend's performance,” Klempa said. “I don't think we could have done a whole lot better considering what we were coming off of this past week with Coach Straub's health issues.”
With a tournament field that featured seven of the top 10 teams in the nation, Klempa said the event would bolster Nebraska's overall strength of schedule. NU's 10 wins on the weekend would also help the Huskers during NCAA Tournament selection at the end of the regular season.
“The thing that really matters is that we went 10-3, putting us right on track for where we want to go,” Klempa said.
Leading into the final day of competition (Baker format), Nebraska was the No.1 seed before falling to the hosts from Arkansas State in the first round. ASU beat NU in a back and forth battle, with the Red Wolves prevailing, 4-2.
In the second round matchup, the Huskers also dropped a 4-2 decision to Sam Houston State, sending NU to the third-place match against Central Missouri.
Nebraska finished Sunday's competition on a high note, beating the Jennies 4-2.
The Huskers return to action Friday Jan. 31 at the Prairie View A&M Invitational in Arlington, Texas. Check back to Huskers.com for more information regarding the three-day event, as the Huskers continue their pursuit of another NCAA title.
Returning All-American Kuhlkin Leads the Huskers On, Off Lanes
Returning NTCA First-Team All-American Liz Kuhlkin captured the individual title at the Mid-Winter Invitational on Saturday to earn a spot on the All-Tournament team.
Kuhlkin posted an impressive 222.8 through five games (1,104 total pinfall) in Saturday's individual competition, including a high score of 258 in her first game.
Junior Andrea Ruiz and a strong total pinfall of 1,048.
“I talked to Liz and one of the other upperclassmen and I told them I really needed their help," Coach Klempa said. "Liz and Andrea stepped up real nicely to help lead the team. Liz led the team on and off the lanes. She was clutch. She was back to her old clutch ways when we needed her at the end of games to win matches. She came through time and time again.”