Gazmine Mason and the Huskers reach the NCAA Championship match for the fifth-consecutive season.
Photo by Scott Bruhn/Nebraska Communications

Huskers Advance to National Championship Match

By NU Athletic Communications

Baton Rouge, La. - For the fifth-consecutive season, the Nebraska bowling team will compete in the NCAA Championship match, as NU took down Vanderbilt 4.5-2.5 in the semifinal match on Saturday at the Raising Cane's River Center in Baton Rouge, La.

The Huskers will face McKendree in the championship match at 5:30 p.m. Saturday, and the match will be televised live on ESPNU. It will also be streamed live on WatchESPN.com and the WatchESPN app. 

The Huskers, who fell to McKendree Friday in the second-round of the double-elimination tournament, opened the day with a 4.5-3.5 win over Maryland Eastern Shore in a roll-off thriller in an elimination game to advance in the tournament. NU started fast and led 3-1 after four games, but UMES won games five and six to force a decisive game seven. In game seven, a rules infraction by the Huskers due to an inappropriate use of the warm-up area led a tied score of 167-167, forcing a roll-off. In the five-frame roll-off, NU prevailed 100-89 to advance.

Needing to beat Vanderbilt twice to advance to the championship final, the Huskers took the first step by defeating the Commodores 4-1 in Bracket Round 4. After Vanderbilt won the first game, NU reeled off four straight wins to force a rematch.

In Bracket Round 5, the two evenly-matched teams split the first five games, including a 177-177 tie in game five. In the sixth game, needing a strike from Julia Bond in the 10th frame to take the game, Bond delivered to give the Huskers a 188-187 win and a 3.5-2.5 lead. Nebraska used the momentum from that game to cruise to a victory in game seven, 212-168.

In the other semifinal, McKendree defeated Sam Houston State, 4-3.

National Collegiate Bowling Championship
Baton Rouge, La. - Raising Cane's River Center
Qualifying Round Standings (Record)
1. McKendree (6-1)

2. Vanderbilt (5-2)
3. Stephen F. Austin (4-3)
4. Nebraska (4-3)
5. Nebraska (2-3)
6. Arkansas State (3-4)

7. Maryland Eastern Shore (2-5)
8. Sam Houston State (1-6)
Thursday, April 13 - Qualifying Round: Block 1 (Five Traditional Matches - 2-3 Record)
1. #1 Nebraska 914, #8 Maryland Eastern Shore 875

2. #1 Nebraska 1,174, #4 Sam Houston State 994
3. #7 Stephen F. Austin 1,082, #1 Nebraska 996
4. #3 Arkansas State 1,033, #1 Nebraska 1,018
5. #5 Vanderbilt 1,044, #1 Nebraska 921
Friday, April 14 - Qualifying Round: Block 2 (Two Traditional Matches - 2-0 Record)
1. #1 Nebraska 913, #6 Fairleigh Dickinson 852

2. #1 Nebraska 1,079, #2 McKendree 952
Bracket Round 1: Nebraska 4, Fairleigh Dickinson 1
Bracket Round 2: McKendree 4, Nebraska 2
Saturday, April 15
Bracket Round 3: Nebraska 4.5, Maryland Eastern Shore 3.5, Nebraska won in a roll-off, 100-89

Bracket Round 4: Nebraska 4, Vanderbilt 1
Bracket Round 5: Nebraska 4.5, Vanderbilt 2.5
Huskers in the Individual Standings
1. Kelly Belzeski - 217.6

13. Raquel Orozco - 207.4 (5 games)
14. Gazmine Mason - 205.4

19. Julia Bond - 199.1
44. Meghan Straub - 181.6
50. Briana Zabierek - 162.5 (2 games)

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