Straub Named Coach of the Year; Four Huskers Earn All-America Honors
Baton Rouge, La. – Bill Straub was voted National Tenpin Coaches Association Division I Coach of the Year, while Julia Bond was named a first-team All-American and Gazmine Mason earned third-team honors, as the NTCA announced its All-America teams at the NCAA Bowling Awards Dinner on Wednesday.
Kelly Belzeski and Meghan Straub also took home honorable-mention All-America honors for the Cornhuskers, whose four total All-America honorees led the nation.
Bill Straub, who is in his 20th season at the helm of the program, earns the Coach of the Year award for a third time, having previously won in 2005 and 2013. He has led NU to a head-to-head record of 85-21 on the season, four tournament titles and two second place finishes in nine tournaments. Straub has guided NU to five NCAA titles and a total of 10 national championships in his tenure at Nebraska.
Bond, a junior from Aurora, Ill., is an All-American for a third time and a member of the first-team for the second year in a row. She leads the team with an average of 213.9 this season. Bond won the Crusader Classic title in mid-February with an average of 220. She was named Most Outstanding Bowler at the 2015 NCAA Championship and finished first in the overall standings at the NCAA Championship in 2016 with an average of 228.4. She is the current United States Amateur champion, a title she earned at the United States Bowling Congress Team USA Trials in January.
Mason, a senior from Cranston, R.I., earns third-team All-America honors for the third season in a row. She is averaging a score of 200.5 on the year, posting her best score of the season with fifth-place finish and an average of 229.6 in Nebraska’s final regular-season tournament, the Big Red Invitational in early March.
Belzeski, a junior from Schererville, Ind., earns All-America honors for the first time, as she has emerged as one of Nebraska’s strongest performers this season. Belzeski is second on the team with an average of 201.8 this season.
Meghan Straub, the daughter of Nebraska head coach Bill and 1992 National Collegiate Bowler of the Year Kim (Berke) Straub, also earns All-America accolades for the first time. Meghan, who is averaging a score of 201.3 on the season, joins her mother in earning All-America accolades, as Kim was a four-time All-American for Nebraska from 1989-1992.
The four total All-America awards give Nebraska a combined 65 All-America honors, won by 31 bowlers. NU continues its streak of having at least one All-American in every season since 1989.
The top-seeded Huskers will begin play at the NCAA Bowling Championship on Thursday at 12:50 p.m with the first qualifying round, consisting of five traditional matches. Qualifying Round 2 will take place at 10:50 a.m. Friday as teams will finish up the round-robin session with two traditional matches. The bracket rounds will consist of best-of-seven Baker matches, with Bracket Round 1 set for 3:30 p.m. on Friday, and the second round to follow at 5:10 p.m. Rounds 3-5 will begin at 8:30 a.m. on Saturday, with the championship match at 5:30 p.m. on Saturday evening. The final will air live on ESPNU and Watch ESPN, while the Qualifying and Bracket rounds will be streamed live on NCAA.com.