The Nebraska bowling team completed day one of the NCAA Women’s Bowling National Championship Tournament Thursday night at Super Bowl Lanes in Canton, Mich. The Huskers finished with a 5-2 record placing them out first out of eight teams.
The Huskers started off day one with a close loss to Sam Houston State University. NU lost 961-955 despite a valiant effort by sophomore Liz Kuhlkin. Kuhlkin recorded a high score of 214 for the Huskers.
In game two, NU matched up with returning National Champion University of Maryland Eastern Shore. The Huskers were too much to handle in the game, beating UMES 1045-1019. NU was led by Kristi Mickelson, as she proved her senior leadership qualities scoring 236.
Game three saw a matchup between the Huskers and perennial power Vanderbilt University. VU was no match for NU, as the Huskers routed the Commodores 1079-985 behind dominant performances from Mickelson, Kuhlkin and sophomore Elise Bolton. Mickelson scored a 269 which was the high score of the game, while Kuhlkin added a 236 and Bolton scored 229.
NU then went on to play the University of Central Missouri in the fourth game of the qualifying round. The Huskers beat UCM 1090-1014 behind a tremendous team effort. Four of the five Huskers competing bowled over a pinfall of 200, led by Kuhlkin and Mickelson both scoring 236.
Game five saw a matchup between NU and the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater, with the Warhawks edging the Huskers 1011-975. Kuhlkin led NU with a score of 223.
The Huskers then faced Fairleigh Dickinson University, beating the Knights 1036-970 led by a solid team effort. Four of the five Husker bowlers competing scored pinfall above 200.
In the final game of the qualifying rounds, NU faced Arkansas State University in a closely fought battle, coming down to the last two bowlers. The Huskers edged the Red Wolves 1030-1022 led by a dominant effort by Bolton. Bolton recorded a 236 total pinfall in the game.
Nebraska was well represented in the individual standings, with three bowlers in the top five. Mickelson showed her senior leadership all day, recording a 1574 total pinfall through seven games, making her first in the overall standings.
Kuhlkin, the recently announced NTCA First Team All-American squad member, recorded a 1539 total pinfall through seven games, placing her second. Bolton scored a 1475 total pinfall in seven games, earning fifth place.
NU will face No.8 Central Missouri tomorrow at 11:40 am (Central) in Friday’s elimination round. Below is the bracket:
No. 1 Nebraska vs. No 8. Central Missouri
No 2. Fairleigh Dickinson vs. No 7. Vanderbilt
No 3. Sam Houston State vs. No 6. Arkansas State
No 4. Wisconsin-Whitewater vs. No 5. MarylandEastern Shore
The championship finals will air on ESPNU on Saturday, April 13, at 7 p.m. central. A tape-delay broadcast of the championship finals will air on ESPN on Sunday, April 14, from 1-2:30 p.m. (central).
Check back here at Huskers.com for updates revolving around the Husker bowling team as they compete for their fourth NCAA National Title. Updates after each day of competition will be posted here.
Friday Competition: www.ncaa.com/liveschedule
Saturday Competition: www.ncaa.com/NCBowling
Three Huskers Earn NTCA Honors
Three members of the Nebraska bowling team earned National Tenpin Coaches Association (NTCA) awards Wednesday night at the NCAA Women’s Bowling Student-Athlete Banquet at the Summit Banquet Center in Canton, Mich. Nebraska Head Coach Bill Straub and sophomores Liz Kuhlkin and Elise Bolton each received awards from the NTCA.
Straub was named National Coach of the Year at the award ceremony. This was the second time Straub received national coach-of-the-year honors, the first being in 2005.
Liz Kuhlkin earned NTCA First Team All-America honors for the first time in her career. Kuhlkin has been a leader on and off the lanes for NU, racking up four all-tournament selections in her sophomore campaign.
Husker newcomer Elise Bolton also received NTCA honors Wednesday, earning a spot on the NTCA Honorable Mention All-American team. Bolton has been a pleasant surprise for the Huskers this year after transferring from Sam Houston State University last year.