NU Looking to Punch Ticket to NCAA’s
The NTCA second-ranked Nebraska women’s bowling team is set to compete at the Music City Classic in Nashville, Tenn., this weekend. The tournament will play host to a stacked 29-team field, featuring 19 of the top 20 NTCA-ranked teams. The three-day-event hosted by Vanderbilt will begin Friday morning, and will conclude Sunday afternoon.
With the NCAA Championship Tournament just over a month away, the Huskers will be trying to punch their ticket to the tournament with a good performance this weekend. With a strong resume on hand, Nebraska Interim Head Coach Paul Klempa hopes the team handles the small picture objectives before they head on to their big picture goals.
“We are trying to lock up a berth in the NCAA’s this weekend, if we have a good weekend here we should lock it up I would think,” Klempa said. “That is big picture, small picture is we need to keep doing what we have been doing. I think we are pretty well prepared to do that.”
Klempa also noted that during the short week of practice his main goal was to keep the team as balanced mentally as possible.
“I still don’t want the team to focus on trying to lock up a spot, so I told them that we are not really on the bubble and we are not really a lock. I really wanted them to balance out their mindset going into this weekend’s competition,” Klempa said. “I wanted them to understand there is still work to be done. We just have to focus on the small picture stuff, the process of what we are trying to do every frame—every game---every match.”
Senior Yan Ling and junior Liz Kuhlkin have played a big role keeping the team mentally prepared this season. With the Huskers having a rollercoaster type of season, with on and off the lane drama, Klempa noted having the extra leadership was a big help to him.
“I think both Liz and Yan have led our team the entire season, it is nice to lean on your upperclassmen a little bit. They are fierce competitors and they really show their younger teammates how to prepare,” Klempa said. “Both of them have been really great this season, but everyone on the team has chipped in to keep everything going.
Bellevue native April Campbell has been really improving her game in recent weeks, as Klempa believes her and the rest of the team are really confident heading into this weekend’s competition.
“April is really on her game now, she has the opportunity to really have a successful weekend,” Klempa said. “The entire team has really practiced well in a short week, they are really confident heading into this weekend and I think from a playing standpoint we are really starting to hit on all cylinders now.”
Competition begins Friday morning at 9 a.m. (Central) with six, four-game Baker matches. Saturday’s competition will begin at 8:30 a.m. with six team games determining individual standings before competition resumes Sunday at 8:30 a.m. A winner will be crowned after three best-of-seven Baker games.
Check back at Huskers.com throughout the weekend for updates.
The Field (29 teams): Adelphi, Alabama A & M, Alabama State, Arkansas State, Bethune Cookman, Central Missouri, Delaware State, Fairleigh Dickinson, Howard, Jackson State, Kutztown, Louisiana Tech, Long Island, Maryland-Eastern Shore, McKendree, Monmouth, Nebraska, North Carolina A&T, Prairie View A&M, Sacred Heart, Saint Francis Brooklyn College (NY), Saint Francis University (Pa), Sam Houston State, Stephen F. Austin, Tulane, UAB, Valparaiso, Vanderbilt, Wisconsin-Whitewater.
Tourney Format: Friday: Six, 4-game Baker matches (matches start 9:00 a.m. CT)
Saturday: Six team games (matches at 8:30 a.m.)
Sunday: Three best-of-seven Bakers (matches at 8:30)
*There will be a one-hour break Friday and Saturday after three games.
Following tournament: Bowl.com with Lucas Wiseman will be on hand to stream matches live.