The NTCA No.6 ranked Nebraska women’s bowling team captured its second consecutive Prairie View A&M Invitational Championship Sunday afternoon, defeating Vanderbilt, 4-2, in the championship match. The 12-team tournament featured seven NTCA top-10 ranked teams and was hosted all three days at the International Training and Research Center in Arlington, Texas.
The finale was a rematch of the 2013 NCAA championship match, as Nebraska won 4.5-2.5, despite the Huskers having to rally from behind to capture its fourth NCAA National Championship.
NU once again started out cold against VU, as the Commodores opened up to a quick 2-1 lead, before NU got hot and won three consecutive games earning the victory. The Huskers closed out the Commodores in the final game 171-154 to win their second straight PVAMU Invitational.
The road to the championship match wasn’t an easy one to say the least, as Nebraska Interim Head Coach Paul Klempa noted, returning All-American Liz Kuhlkin came down with the flu Saturday morning.
“This weekend was a really-really-really good win for us. The team worked extremely hard, and we even had an extra challenge with Liz Kuhlkin getting the flu,” Klempa said. “She (Kuhlkin) actually bowled through it, when she got done yesterday she went to the hospital and she had a 102 degree fever, so they diagnosed her with the flu and gave her meds. I think it helped her today, but it was tough.”
Klempa also mentioned that the lane conditions were not the best throughout competition, as expected, but the team really rallied to secure the victory.
“The teams down there were really good, and the lanes were not so good like we expected. It was a dog eat dog weekend, but at the end of the day we pulled out the victory,” Klempa said. “I feel really good about it and the girls deserve it. I am proud of them, now it is time to move on for next week.”
Nebraska entered Sunday’s match-play portion of the event as the No. 2 seed, and started the morning off by beating Sam Houston State, 4-3, earning a spot in the championship match. Vanderbilt, earned its spot in the title tilt with a 4-1 win against top-seeded and NTCA No. 1 Arkansas State University.
The Nebraska women’s bowling team will now take a week off of competition before hitting the road again Friday Feb. 14-16, at the Track Kat Klash, hosted by Sam Houston State in Houston, Texas. Check back here at Huskers.com for updates on the Husker bowling team, as well as starting times for the Track Kat Klash.
Interim Head Coach Paul Klempa Starting to Settle in
After spending 17 years as Assistant Head Coach to Bill Straub, this past month has been one of the most difficult times in Paul Klempa’s coaching career, but also a great learning experience as well.
Klempa, now the Interim Head Coach, while Head Coach Bill Straub recovers from a medical issue he suffered last month, has been trying to keep all the same routines the young group of Huskers learned while Straub was there coaching. Klempa is very thankful for all the support that has been given to the Husker bowling program over the weeks, but thanks the team the most for helping him through these tough times.
“It is a lot more difficult, (without Straub) but so far—so good. Heck we are going on a month already,” Klempa said. “So far it has been okay, the girls have helped me and we have been preparing really hard. We still have a lot of work to do, we just happen to have won this weekend in Arlington.”
As for the plan of attack Klempa uses on a daily bases? Klempa noted that his motto is ‘take it one day at a time.’
“One day at a time. One day at a time, one practice at a time, one tournament at a time. I am happy we won this past weekend, but my thing is – I am trying to keep this train on track,” Klempa said. “I am trying to get this team to Cleveland for the National Championships. Whatever I am called now, I am still doing the same things I was doing, which is to help guide towards Cleveland.
Colombian Native Alexandra Mosquera makes her debut for the Huskers
Redshirt freshman Alexandra Mosquera of Armenia, Colombia made her collegiate debut for the Huskers at the Prairie View A&M Invitational. Mosquera came in as the so-called “relief pitcher” for NU this weekend like in baseball.
Mosquera was used in small doses, but was a key contributor in the final two days of competition as lane conditions gave some of the Huskers fits. Klempa really enjoyed seeing Mosquera shine in her first collegiate action.
“She did really well, she came in-in relief basically, and she did just what you are supposed to do,” Klempa said. “You just keep the ball in play, stay clean, make spares, and she did a really good job at that.”
Mosquera was also excited with her performance, noting that it was good to finally be able to contribute to the team during competition.
“It really felt great being out on the lanes,” Mosquera said. “I am really glad I could help the team out when we got in trouble there for a little bit.”
Mosquera is no slouch when it comes to competition, this past summer Alexandra won a gold medal at the Masters’ portion of the Pan American Games. All-in-all, Mosquera is a seven-time medalist at the Pan-American Championships (Sub-16 division) that includes five gold medals.