Wickliffe, Ohio- The Nebraska women's bowling team's quest to win their fifth NCAA National Championship fell just short Saturday night at Game of Wickliffe Bowling Center, in Cleveland, Ohio. The Huskers lost to Sam Houston State 4-2 in a close battle on the lanes in the championship match.
Nebraska Head Coach Bill Straub was happy with how the team competed, even though the Huskers could not capitalize on some key strikes during the match.
"It seemed like we were hunting grizzly bears with a little stick," Straub said. "We have a good bunch of people, today we just could not win the battle."
Straub added that the team will move forward after the loss, noting that it was a great feeling making it to the big show.
"We can't take anything from this, getting to the show was great. We just took a few steps back tonight," Straub said. "All we can do is move forward, and continue to build going into next season."
The Huskers started off slow in game one, as NU left two open frames in their first five attempts. Despite the two open frames, NU managed to keep the pressure on SHSU by rolling six spares in-a-row before losing the first game 166- 181.
NU started to heat up in the second game, leaving just one open frame in the game. The Huskers rolled four strikes and six spares, beating the Bearkats 187-182, after Kuhlkin sealed the game victory with a spare and strike in her final two attempts.
Game three brought a back and forth battle between the Huskers and Bearkats. NU jumped out to the early lead, rolling five-straight spares followed by two strikes before the 10th frame. Kuhlkin would tally a spare and a strike in the 10th frame, only to fall just short to Sam Houston State, as the Huskers lost 193-190 to give the eighth-seeded underdogs a 2-1 lead heading into the fourth game.
In another seesaw battle, Nebraska took the fourth game, beating Sam Houston State 197-189 to tie the match 2-2. The Huskers used four-straight strikes starting in the seventh frame to beat the Bearkats, capped off by a Kuhlkin strike in the 10th frame.
The Bearkats opened up game five on fire, hitting four-straight strikes to open up the game. After the strong start, the Huskers could not jump back ahead of SHSU, as NU lost game five 191-205, leaving the Huskers down 3-2 in the best-of-seven-match.
In the decisive sixth game, Nebraska left three open frames to leave the door open for Sam Houston State to jump to a lead. The Huskers strung together two strikes in-a-row in the fifth and sixth frame, but that would not be enough, as SHSU won 195-165.
Check back here at Huskers.com for a full season recap next week.