Nebraska Bowling Facility 2022-SB 8775

Nebraska Bowling History and Records

In its 25 years as a varsity sport, Nebraska has become one of the top programs in the nation, winning eight national titles, including six NCAA Championships. Under Paul Klempa, who succeeded legendary coach Bill Straub in 2019, the Huskers have continued that dominance, winning a national title in 2021 and having back-to-back bowlers named the NTCA Division I Player of the Year in 2020 and 2021.

In 2021, the Huskers rebounded from losing its opening match to win seven straight matches en route to the program’s first NCAA title since 2015. Crystal Elliott was named the tournament’s Most Outstanding Player, capping a season where she also won NTCA Bowler of the Year. In 2020, Raquel Orozco was named the 2020 NTCA Division I Player of the Year, as the Huskers were in contention for the national crown before the season was cut short by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Straub built a legacy of success in his time at Nebraska bowling, winning seven national championships, including five NCAA titles since capturing the inaugural crown in 2004. Once bowling became an NCAA-sanctioned sport in the fall of 2003, the Huskers won back-to-back titles in 2004 and 2005 and captured another in 2009. The Huskers again added to their trophy case in 2013. After a runner-up finish in 2014, the Huskers stormed to their nation-leading fifth NCAA crown in 2015, behind National Tenpin Coaches Association Player of the Year Lizabeth Kuhlkin and NCAA Championship Most Valuable Bowler Julia Bond.

Nebraska has won 116 tournament titles in 242 competitions through the 2021-22 campaign including eight national championship tournaments. Straub and Klempa have created a dynamic foundation for Nebraska’s success. With a world-wide approach to recruiting, Nebraska bowlers have been well-represented in national and international competitions.

A total of 14 Husker bowlers have qualified for their national teams, including U.S. National Team members Shannon Pluhowsky, Diandra Asbaty (Hyman), Brenda Edwards, Kayla Johnson, Elise Bolton, Lizabeth Kuhlkin and most recently Julia Bond. Recent Huskers Danielle van der Meer (Netherlands), Valerie Calberry (Canada), Shalima Zalsha (Indonesia), Tan Yan Ling (Singapore), Andrea Ruiz (Colombia), Bethany Hedley (England) and Alexandra Mosquera (Colombia) all have earned spots on their national team.

While the Husker team accomplishments have been paramount, numerous bowlers have also enjoyed individual success. NU has had at least one All-American in each of the last 29 years, dating back to the bowling club program days. Since 1989, 37 Huskers have combined for a total of 81 All-America awards, while Kim Berke (1992), Diandra Hyman (2000), Shannon Pluhowsky (2001, 2004, 2005), Lindsay Baker (2006), Amanda Burgoyne (2007), Cassandra Leuthold (2010), Lizabeth Kuhlkin (2015), Raquel Orozco (2020) and Crystal Elliott (2021) were each chosen as the National Collegiate Bowler of the Year.

Nebraska has provided the vision of the future for collegiate bowling, championing the sport at the national level through its club program days. Straub and Klempa teamed for the first year of bowling as a varsity sport at Nebraska in 1997-98. The first year was historic in several respects, but most important was granting of the first full scholarship in the sport’s history to Jennifer Daugherty, who went on to earn first-team All-America honors in both 1998 and 1999. In the 18 seasons that the NCAA has sanctioned bowling, Nebraska is the only program to qualify for the NCAA Championship every season.

nebraska bowling national championsNORTH KANSAS CITY, MO - APRIL 10: The Nantion Champion Nebraska team during the National Collegiate Women’s Bowling Championship held at AMF Pro Bowl Lanes on April 10, 2021 in North Kansas City, Missouri. (Photo by Jeff Jacobsen/NCAA Photos via Getty Images)

2021 National Champions

Kansas City, Mo. - The Nebraska bowling team completed its NCAA Championship run, downing Arkansas State, 4-1, Saturday night at the AMF Pro Bowl Lanes and in front of a national television audience.

The national title was the sixth NCAA title by the Huskers since 2004 and the eighth since bowling was elevated to varsity sport status at Nebraska in 1998. 

The Huskers, who faced elimination after losing their opening match of regional play on Wednesday, responded with seven straight wins over four days to earn their first national title since 2015. 

"We looked real bleak early, but this group is extremely resilient," Head Coach Paul Klempa said following Saturday's match. "A lot of grit. Determined. Once they got rolling, nobody could get in their way. That's just how it went. They're really special."

Saturday's championship match saw the Huskers drop the opening game, 217-224, before winning the next four matches in the best-of-seven format by scores of 235-194, 201-190, 179-162 and 198-170.  

The starting lineup for the Huskers consisted of Michelle Guarro, Gwen Maeha, Kayla Verstraete, Cassidy Ray and Crystal Elliott in the baker format where each bowler rolls two frames per match in order. 

In the opener, the Huskers got off to a quick start with six straight strikes to build a 21-point lead, but could not hold on after open seventh and eighth frames allowed the Red Wolves to come back and take a 224-217 victory. 

Trailing 1-0, the Huskers opened the second game with two straight spares before taking control of the match. Verstraete, Ray and Elliott combined for three straight strikes for the Big Red, while Arkansas State had a pair of open frames, allowing Nebraska to build a commanding lead. Nebraska continued its momentum during the second half of the game with three strikes as part of five straight marks en route to posting a 235-194 victory to even the match. 

In game three, the Huskers started slowly with open frames in the second and third before Ray's strike in the fourth frame got the Huskers going. In all, the Huskers rolled five straight strikes from the fourth to the eighth frames to take control. Arkansas State closed with five straight strikes, but Elliot's spare in the 10th frame was more than enough in the 201-190 victory, giving the Huskers a 2-1 lead. 

In game four, Arkansas State opened with two straight strikes, while an open frame by Nebraska put the Huskers in an early deficit. The tables quickly turned as Verstraete, Ray and Elliott rolled three straight strikes, while Arkansas State had consecutive open frames in the third and fourth,  as Nebraska led by 25 pins after five frames. NU closed the match with spares in the seventh and eight frames, while Elliott capped a 179-162 win with a strike and a spare in the 10th frame. 

The finale was close early on, as Nebraska built an early 13-point lead after three frames, only to see Arkansas State come back with strikes in the fourth and fifth frames to take a nine-point lead after five frames. Guarro got a spare in the sixth frame before Maeha, Verstraete and Ray rolled three straight strikes. ASU had open frames in both the seventh and eighth, giving the Huskers the victory.  

Postmatch Quotes
Nebraska Bowling Coach Paul Klempa
"I could not be more proud of this group. They just kept pushing and grinding until they reached their ultimate goal. The team executed both physically and emotionally exactly how we had planned and prepared. They deserve this win and will celebrate it for some time to come.  As I said on the broadcast, after this very difficult year for everyone, our athletic department could really use a boost and have a reason to celebrate. We are so happy to be able to bring this back to them and celebrate this with everyone in Nebraska Athletics and Husker fans around the globe. GO BIG RED!!!!!"

Cassidy Ray
"I feel really good, just on top of the world right now.  This team has worked so hard to get to this moment, and we took it and ran with it.  After Wednesday (losing in the first round), I wasn't sure what to expect, but we earned that win."

Crystal Elliott
"This season has had its ups and downs, but honestly there is no better feeling in the world than bowling with these ladies and achieving the ultimate goal in collegiate bowling. I knew they were always behind me, and I couldn't have asked for anyone better to have my back. This season has been exciting, but I cannot wait to hit the lanes this next season with these girls all over again."

Assistant Coach Shannon Pluhowsky
"I'm extremely proud of the way the girls fought this week. We were down but never out, and they showed a ton of heart and resilience. I am proud to be able to coach such talented women.'
Nebraska Bowling Championship Notes

  • Nebraska bowling has won eight national titles since becoming a varsity sport in 1998 (1999-IBC, 2001-IBC, 2004-NCAA; 2005-NCAA, 2009-NCAA, 2013-NCAA; 2015-NCAA and 2021-NCAA).
  • Nebraska's NCAA bowling title tonight marked the 29th national title in Nebraska Athletics history and first since 2017.
  • Nebraska's eight bowling national titles matches the most national titles by a Husker program. Men's gymnastics also has eight, while the other titles have come from football (5), volleyball (5) and women's track and field (3)
  • Paul Klempa joins Bill Straub as national championship bowling coaches at Nebraska. This is Klempa's first NCAA title as a coach. The 2020 NCAA Championship was canceled because of COVID-19.
  • The 2021 NCAA Championship was the only tournament the Huskers won during the season. The Huskers competed in just five regular-season tournaments this year and did not have their first competition until late January.
  • Nebraska improves to 6-4 all-time in NCAA Championship matches since bowling became an NCAA sport in 2004.
2015 nebraska bowling national champions

2015 National Champions

St. Louis, Mo.- The Nebraska women's bowling team captured its fifth NCAA title in school history Saturday night, as the NTCA top-ranked Huskers defeated Stephen F. Austin 4-2 at Tropicana Lanes in St. Louis in front of a nationally televised audience.

The Huskers have won five NCAA titles since bowling became an NCAA sanctioned sport in 2003, as tonight's victory was its first since 2013. NU also won it all in 2009, while winning back-to-back NCAA titles in 2004 and 2005. In the first 12 years of NCAA sponsorship, the Huskers have finished first or second seven times.

Husker freshman Julia Bond of Aurora, Ill., won Most Valuable Player in the NCAA National Championship match, as senior Liz Kuhlkin also made the all-tournament team.

Bond, in her first season with the Huskers was speechless after the match, mentioning that all of the hard work the team has put in really showed when the match got tough.

“This is literally the definition of hard work pays off, that match was so tough, and when we got behind there for a bit, we just continued to believe and work hard,” Bond said. “To win the national championship is really important to us, again, it just shows our hard work pays off.”

A third-team all-American selection, Bond was at a loss of words trying to describe what it felt to be champions.

“Being a freshman and doing something like this---it is just unbelievable. It is honestly all because of the girls that were standing behind me every shot,” she said. “It just feels great. To win MVP really means a lot, it kind of sets the tone for my college career—it just feels really good right now to be champions.”

Nebraska Head Coach Bill Straub was not surprised by Bond's performance, according to Straub she has been really at the top of her game for about the last month or so.

“The last two weeks before we came here, we really worked on hitting spares in practice while really working on our fundamentals,” Straub said. “Bond was at the top of the list, she does not very often hit a bad shot, every time she is up you know the shot is in the hunt,”

According to Straub, he believes that the Huskers preparation throughout the season helped guide them to their 10th overall championship.

“They talk about it with football pretty regularly, the people that are the best conditioned or  the best prepared last the longest doing their best, and that is what we did tonight,” Straub said. “My hat goes off to Stephen F. Austin, they are a tremendous team, but I just think the endurance of being so prepared for a long struggle that required emotion management and fundamental preparation and then the delivery of those fundamentals, those are the reasons that got the 'W for us.”

Straub added that its great the Huskers won their fifth NCAA title, but as he mentioned, do not forget about the other five championships Nebraska has won before the NCAA began sponsoring bowling.

 “For the school this is our 10th title overall, and fifth NCAA title since the sport become sponsored by the NCAA in 2003. 10 is sure a nice number, I am certainly not discounting the five NCAA titles, 10 just sure does make a nice round number.”

In game one, the Huskers opened up the national championship match in exciting fashion against the Jacks, as NU used clutch strikes by freshman Julia Bond and senior Andrea Ruiz to narrowly beat SFA 237-232.

Nebraska opened up the second game with a strike from sophomore Gazmine Mason, before leaving some pins out on the alley through the first five frames of the game, as the Huskers trailed the Ladyjacks by 49 after five frames.

Mason again would try and spark NU, as the Rhode Island native rolled a strike in the sixth frame to give NU a spark. After two consecutive spares by Melanie Crawford and Ruiz, and a strike by Bond, senior Liz Kuhlkin finished the second game with a spare. Despite the strong finish, Stephen F. Austin threw seven- consecutive strikes to defeat the Huskers 253-178

The Huskers quickly got game two out of their minds, as the lady Huskers opened up game three on fire with three strikes and two spares, giving NU a 13 pin lead after five frames. Mason continued her dominating ways in the sixth frame, throwing her fourth-straight strike to build on the Husker lead.

Junior Melanie Crawford threw a clutch spare in the seventh frame, after only knocking six pins down in her first attempt. Ruiz threw her fourth strike of the night in the eighth frame, giving NU some cushion before their 4-5 bowlers. Bond threw a strike and Kuhlkin was able to close the game out with a spare, as the Huskers crushed the Ladyjacks 201-171.

NU continued their dominating play in game four, as the Huskers opened the game with two strikes and a spare to grab the early lead. After two spares from Bond and Kuhlkin, NU took an 11 pin lead to the media timeout, entering the sixth frame. Despite the early lead, the Huskers were unable to hold on to the lead, as SFA edged out NU 188-179 to even the match up 2-2.

Entering into game five, the Huskers and Ladyjacks began a best-of-three series for the NCAA Title. NU started off game five with an open frame, leaving two pins up giving Stephen F. Austin an early lead. The Huskers continued to battle, as NU only trailed by 10 pins entering the sixth frame.

Mason again through an impressive strike to open up the sixth frame of game five, as the Huskers continued to try and battle back against the Ladyjacks. Ruiz again threw a clutch strike in the eighth frame, giving the Huskers the lead back. NU was able to close out SFA after clutch shots from both Bond and Kuhlkin, as the Huskers took game five 205-201.

Game six brought the best out of both Nebraska and Stephen F. Austin, as the Huskers tried to close out SFA to win the title. After a clutch strike from Crawford the Huskers trailed the Ladyjacks by four entering the sixth frame and media timeout.

After an open frame in the seventh frame, Ruiz hit a huge strike to give the Huskers the chance to control their own destiny. Both Bond and Kuhlkin were able to close the match out, as Kuhlkin threw the final spare to give Nebraska the match win 4-2. 

2013 nebraska bowling national champions

2013 National Champions

Nebraska celebrated its fourth NCAA women's bowling championship with its nationally televised victory over Vanderbilt at Super Bowl Lanes in Canton, Mich., April 13.

The Huskers, who have captured four national titles in the first 10 seasons the NCAA has sanctioned a championship dating back to 2003, used a youthful roster to cap its decade of dominance with another crown. Although Nebraska claimed the first two NCAA titles in 2004 and 2005, and added a third in 2009, the 2013 Huskers were NU's youngest group to bring a title home to Lincoln.

Nebraska's lone senior, Kristina Mickelson from Bellevue, Neb., notched a 224.8 average and clinched the national championship for the Huskers against the Commodores with her strike in the second-to-last frame of the sixth game.

She took the Huskers' success one step further one week later, when she returned to Sun Valley Lanes in Lincoln to win the X-Bowling Intercollegiate Singles Championship. Mickelson's run to an individual national title included a perfect game in the second round, and a perfect game into the 10th frame in her championship match victory. She finished with a 289-223 win over Wichita State's Tannya Rournimper.

While Mickelson will be missed in 2014, Nebraska Coach Bill Straub said the Huskers' 2013 team title could be a stepping stone for his continually growing Husker program.

"The cupboard certainly is not bare," Straub said. "We have an opportunity with people who have been working hard and continuing their development, to move up as others graduate. It appears that is the situation we are in heading into the future. We are quite lucky."

Straub later added that there is truly no place like Nebraska, and he wouldn't trade it for anything.  “There is no place like Nebraska; it's so special around here.” Straub said, “Our players, assistant coach Paul Klempa and myself are treated without regard with what sport we play, it's something where it is one big happy family that we are happy to be a part of.”

NCAA Championships MVP Liz Kuhlkin led the way for the Huskers at the national tournament. The sophomore from Schenectady, N.Y., rolled a 219.8 average at the NCAA Championships to power the Huskers. Kuhlkin, a National Tenpin Coaches Association first-team All-American in 2013, was joined on the NCAA All-Tournament Team by fellow sophomore Elise Bolton. The native of Merritt Island, Fla., posted a 211 average for the Huskers at the tournament, and went on to claim third-team NTCA All-America honors.

With Nebraska providing the individual star power on the lanes, the Huskers helped take women's collegiate bowling into more homes than ever before in 2013. The NCAA championship match against Vanderbilt was televised live nationally by ESPNU, and the drama created by the intensity of the head-to-head matchup was undeniable.

“I think this title has gained more recognition than previous ones, and I think there are a couple of things in connection with that,” Straub said, “The two teams that made the finals are two of the most recognizable teams in the sport today. I think the event itself also helped. You had a real good look at a battle between two really good teams that was neck-to-neck the whole way.”

Before the Huskers were able to raise their ninth national title under Coach Straub (4 NCAA, 5 International Bowling Congress), the season began with some adversity. Mickelson suffered an elbow injury in a car accident that limited her preseason training, and left the Huskers without the presence of their lone senior on the lanes.

However, by the time Nebraska opened regular-season competition at the Crusader Classic in Valparaiso, Ind., Nov. 9-11, Mickelson was back in action. With Mickelson at less than 100 percent, the Huskers finished third at the Crusader Classic. Kuhlkin stepped up for NU and opened her All-America season with a team-best 230.6 average that included a 266 high game.

The Huskers added a fifth-place finish at the Track Kat Klash in Huntsville, Texas, Nov. 30-Dec. 2, before taking nearly a month off from competition for winter break. Bolton led the Huskers with her 204.6 average, while Mickelson added a 203.2 average.

In the first two tournaments of the spring semester, the Huskers took their games to a higher level. Nebraska captured its first tournament title of the season at the Mid-Winter Invitational in Jonesboro, Ark. The Huskers dominated the tournament, going 10-3 overall in team Baker format.

Kuhlkin led the way for the Big Red with a team-best 218.8 average and a 1,094 total pinfall to capture fourth individually. Mickelson also continued to come back strong from her early season injury, posting a 214 average to finish sixth.

The Huskers continued their winning ways at the Prairie View A&M in Arlington, Texas, Feb. 2-4. Nebraska stifled Maryland Eastern Shore 4-1 in the final match, capping a tremendous three-day performance. NU went 11-2 in Baker format, and Kuhlkin claimed all-tournament honors with her 209.8 average.

After back-to-back tournament titles, the Huskers added a third-place finish at the 28-team James Brown Invitational in Baltimore, Md., Feb. 15-17. Nebraska finished third in competition with a 9-3 record in Baker format. Kuhlkin led the way again for NU with her 202 average, finishing 12th in the individual standings.

The Huskers continued to build momentum for an NCAA title run with another tournament title at the Central Missouri Women's Collegiate Invitational, March 1-3. Nebraska swept the field by going 12-0 in Baker format and posted a season-best 1,052.6 team game average for a 207.6 individual average.

Kuhlkin claimed her first individual title with a staggering 238 at Central Missouri. Mickelson continued to play at a high level with a 218 average that placed her fourth overall and earned her a spot on the all-tournament team. Bolton added a top-10 finish by taking eighth (208.8), while sophomore Andrea Ruiz finished 13th (202.6).

In the Huskers' final tuneup for the NCAA Tournament, NU took fourth among 29 teams at the Music City Classic in Nashville, Tenn., March 15-17. In a field that included 18 of the nation's top 20 teams, the Huskers held their own while saving their best for their final tournament of the year.

NU then traveled to the NCAA Women's Bowling Championships in Canton Mich., at Super Bowl Lanes, but before the Huskers faced-off against Vanderbilt, Nebraska had to make it through the qualifying round and the elimination round first.

The Huskers earned the No. 1 overall seed after the qualifying round of the tournament, and then made quick work of their opponents in the elimination round. Nebraska steam rolled Central Missouri, Maryland Eastern Shore and Arkansas State all 4-1 to advance to face Vanderbilt in the National Championship match.

Nebraska started off strong in game one of the National Championship versus Vanderbilt, with Bolton and junior Yan Ling each recording two strikes in both of their attempts. The game came down to the final frame with NU edging VU 211-199. Kuhlkin recorded two strikes in the 10th frame to seal the game for the Huskers.   

Game two saw a see-saw battle on the lanes, with Nebraska taking a two-point lead at the midway break. Vanderbilt fought back to take the game, 197-186, despite leaving one open frame in the game.

Both the Huskers and Commodores came out sloppy in game three, leaving a combined five open frames during the game. Despite leaving two open, frames Vanderbilt posted a 169-156 victory. The Huskers only had a pinfall of 70 through five frames, recording back-to-back-to-back open frames.

VU came out on fire in the fourth game, opening with three straight spares and a strike. The Commodores left a, open frame to close out the fifth frame, as the Huskers capitalized. Kuhlkin recorded a clutch strike to keep the Huskers within one.  NU fought back valiantly, as Bolton started it off with a strike in the sixth frame. The Huskers recorded three straight spares and a clutch strike by Kuhlkin in the 10th frame tied the game at 190. The resulting tie gave each team a half point to give Vanderbilt a 2.5-1.5 lead.

Nebraska got back on the winning track in the fifth game, beating Vanderbilt, 196-189, in a close battle throughout. Both Ling and Kuhlkin led the Huskers combining for three strikes on their four attempts. After a long drought throughout the tournament, sophomore Andrea Ruiz tallied her first strike of the championship match in the eighth frame to help the Huskers seal the victory.

In game six, the Huskers and Commodores gave the fans in Canton and on ESPNU a show, providing a see-saw battle through the first five frames before the Huskers took control. NU recorded a turkey, as Ling, Ruiz and Mickelson came up with consecutive strikes in the seventh through ninth frames to seal a 202-182 victory.

Nebraska kept the momentum going in the finale, marking in all 10 frames, including six consecutive strikes to post a 246-200 victory and earn the national title. The team huddled in tears overcome with joy celebrating their fourth NCAA title.

2009 nebraska bowling national champions11 APR 2009: Members of the University of Nebraska women's bowling team hoist the trophy after they defeated the University of Central Missouri 4-1 to win the national title during the Division I Women's Bowling Championship held at the Super Bowl Lanes of Canton in Canton, MI. Jeffrey Sauger/NCAA Photos..

2009 National Champions

Canton, Mich. - The Nebraska bowling team was crowned the 2009 NCAA National Bowling Champion on Saturday night at Super Bowl Lanes in Canton, Mich. The Huskers earned an unprecedented three national titles in six seasons. The Huskers defeated Central Missouri State University, 4-1, for the crown.
"I am very proud of this team," Nebraska Coach Bill Straub said. "This is a hard-working team and certainly one of the youngest teams to succeed. I attribute this team's success to their hard work and diligence all season long."
With the 2009 NCAA Championship title, Nebraska has captured five national titles (three NCAA and two IBC) since the program was elevated to varsity status in the 1997-98 season. Coach Straub has guided the program to eight national titles overall since Nebraska's days as a club sport. Nebraska's bowling title marks the first for any sport at Nebraska during the 2008-09 season.
Junior Cassandra Leuthold, anchor for the NU team, was named the Most Outstanding Player in the 2009 Championships.
The Huskers are no strangers to Central Missouri State University, as the two teams met in both 2004 and 2005 at the NCAA finals. NU prevailed in both years for its first two NCAA Championship titles.
Nebraska commanded the lead early in the first game with a 200-185 win over Central Missouri. However, NU left several open frames in the second game and fell, 149-198, to the Jennies. The Huskers picked up momentum again in the third game with a 201-168 win over UCM.
In the fourth game, freshmen Danielle van der Meer and Valerie Calberry came out strong in the eighth and ninth frames with two strikes in a row, setting Central Missouri down 31 pins as Leuthold entered the tenth frame. The Huskers defeated UCM in the fourth, 201-177, and led Central Missouri 3-1 heading into the fifth game.
The Huskers came out swinging in the fifth game, as sophomore Katie Ann Sopp rolled her third strike in five frames. Van der Meer and Calberry earned two more strikes for the Huskers in the third and fourth frames. Nebraska held tight to the momentum and defeated UCM, 190-135, in game five for the title.
Three Huskers earned National Tenpin Coaches Association All-America honors, including three-time All-American Cassandra Leuthold and first-time honorees Valerie Calberry and Danielle van der Meer.
Leuthold was named a first-team NTCA All-American for the second-consecutive season after a stellar junior year, which included a total regular-season pinfall of 11,186 over 56 games played. Leuthold also held an average of 199.70 on the regular season.
Both Calberry and van der Meer earned third-team NTCA All-America honors. Calberry held a 193.90 average over 52 games in the regular season, while van der Meer rolled a 199.40 average over 46 games.

2005 nebraska bowling national champions

2005 National Champions

Orlando, Fla.  - The University of Nebraska bowling team was crowned the 2005 NCAA national champion on Saturday at Wekiva Lanes in Orlando.  The Huskers earned their second title in as many years to become the only team to win a championship since bowling was elevated to an NCAA championship sport in April of 2003.
NU (69-8) defeated Central Missouri State (89-21) in the championship match by winning four of six games against CMS in the Baker format (220-210, 247-266, 148-192, 205-190, 190-172, 235-184).  The final round was a repeat of the 2004 national championship, when the Huskers defeated CMS in a roll-off to earn the inaugural NCAA championship.
“This win feels great,” said head coach Bill Straub.  “Psychologically, we knew we could do it, and we were fortunate enough through the entire tournament to exceed our expectations.”
Nebraska dominated the tournament, defeating Fayetteville State, Sacred Heart, Fairleigh Dickinson and CMS en route to claiming the championship with a perfect 4-0 record at the tournament.
Sophomore Amanda Burgoyne (Newport, Minn.) was named tournament MVP with a career-high average of 251 through four games of the qualifying rounds.  Freshman Lindsay Baker (Amherst, N.Y.) was also named to the all-tournament team averaging a career-high 234.  Even though senior Shannon Pluhowsky was not named to the all-tournament team, she becomes the only female bowler to ever win three collegiate championships, according to Straub.
The Huskers have now won seven national championships under Coach Straub.  NU won five Intercollegiate Bowling Championship titles from 1991-2003 before claiming the first two NCAA Championships.
Nebraska's Path to the Title
Round 1: NU def. Fayetteville State, 4-0
Round 2: NU def. Sacred Heart, 4-1
Round 3: NU def. Fairleigh Dickinson, 4-3-1
Round 4: NU def. Central Missouri State, 4-2

2004 nebraska bowling national champions

2004 National Champions

Houston, Texas - The Nebraska bowling team capped a remarkable season by winning the NCAA Women's Bowling Championship at Emerald Bowl in Houston late Saturday.

The Huskers, who lost to Central Missouri State in Friday's winner's bracket final by one pin, stove off elimination three times on Saturday, defeating New Jersey City University, 4-3, before toppling top-seeded CMSU by identical scores of 4-2 to claim the first-ever women's NCAA title.

It is the third national title (one NCAA and two IBC) since the program was elevated to varsity status in the 1997-98 season, and the sixth overall for Coach Bill Straub, who guided the program since its days as a club sport at Nebraska. It is also the 21st national title won by a Husker athletic program in school history.

Nebraska survived a tough opening match on Saturday, escaping with a 4-3 win over New Jersey City University, the No. 6 seed in the tournament. The Huskers and Gothic Knights were tied 3-3 before the Huskers advanced with a 191-178 win in the seventh game, as Shannon Pluhowsky clinched the win with a strike on the 10th frame.

The win sent the Huskers on to the title match against Central Missouri State, as the Huskers needed to beat the Jennies, the only team to go undefeated in Friday's competition, twice on Saturday.

The Huskers won the rematch by a score of 4-2, setting up a winner-take-all match for the first-ever NCAA title. NU took control in the fourth game as the teams ended the game tied at 212, forcing a two frame roll-off. Adrienne Miller converted a strike in the first frame before Pluhowsky rolled three straight strikes, giving NU a 60-40 win as NU took a 3-1 lead.

In the second championship match, The Huskers opened up with a 170-131 victory before dropping the next two games (160-208; 185-190) to fall behind 2-1. Nebraska would rebound, winning the next two games in convincing fashion (239-150; 219-197) before wrapping up the program's first-ever NCAA crown with a 215-173 victory.

The Huskers will be in a great position to defend their NCAA title in 2005, as all seven bowlers who competed at the NCAA Championships are underclassmen, including Pluhowsky, a two-time All-American and three-time U.S. Amateur champion, and current Team USA member Amanda Burgoyne. Other returnees include sophomores Nicole Aleo, Karla Engh, Jamie Martin and Jennifer Schultz and Miller, a freshman.

Husker Bowling Championship Notes

  • Nebraska has now won 21 national titles in school history (men's gymnastics-8; football-5; women's indoor track-3; bowing-3 and volleyball-2).
  • The Husker bowling program has now won six national titles (1991, 1995, 1997, 1999, 2001 and 2004) under Head Coach Bill Straub dating back to the days when it was a club sport. The last three titles have been won since the club was elevated to varsity status for the 1997-98 academic year.
  • Nebraska's seven tournament titles in 2003-04 equals a school record set by the 2001-02 Husker squad.

2004 NCAA Women's Bowling Championship Results
Nebraska def. New Jersey City Univ., 4-3 (188-146, 245-140, 211-222, 171-183, 237-134, 184-200, 191-178)
Nebraska def. Central Missouri State, 4-2 (183-176, 168-200, 195-170, 212-212 (60-40), 168-203, 246-195)
Nebraska def. Central Missouri State, 4-2 (170-131, 160-208, 185-190, 239-150, 219-197 and 215-173)

Nebraska Coach Bill Straub
On winning the NCAA title
"It is a big relief more than anything. When the championship were announced last spring, we knew we had a job to do, and knew that second place wasn’t good enough. It was something that kept Coach Klempa and myself up at nights, knowing that our goal was to bring home the national title. We downplayed it in front of the team all year, but it was something that was always in the back of our minds."

The way we lost in the winner’s bracket on Friday was unfortunate, but we played well and didn’t get the breaks. Today, the girls came out and really performed admirably. I’m proud of our performance, having to win three matches today."

On the pressure of being on TV and winning
"You never know how someone is going to perform under pressure until you get to that situation, and we met the challenge head on. In the last game, when push came to shove, our girls showed their true colors."

On the 2003-04 team
"Many of the other coaches came up to me and said that they were impressed with not only our girls' bowling abilities, but also in the manner they represented themselves and the program. As a coach, that is one of the highest compliments you can receive because this is a great group to be around."

Nebraska Bowler Shannon Pluhowsky
On winning the NCAA title
"It is unbelievable. It hasn’t sunk in yet because it happened so fast."

On battling back today
"I talked with the girls last night (after the loss to CMSU), that if we hung together today, we would do well. We only got beat by one pin last night, and having to bowl the extra match was a benefit for us because we got used to the lane conditions and the TV lights. It played to our advantage. There was a difference in the lanes between yesterday and today, and bowling the extra game helped us take advantage of the conditions."

On rolling the clinching shot
"It was great, and I knew I had it when I let it go. It had a chance to be a strike and with the ball ¾ down the lanes I was screaming and celebrating. It was a great feeling to win a national title for the program."

Nebraska Bowler Adrienne Miller
On Winning an NCAA Title
"It is unbelievable. It is an amazing feeling because not many people get to do that (win an NCAA Championship) in their lifetimes.

On the team's focus
"It was one game at a time for us, and we were on top of it all day. The long day was tough both physically and mentally, but our mental toughness carried us through the day."

On being in the roll-off against Central Missouri State
Coach Straub asked me if I would be in the roll-off and I said I was ready. After the strike, I was not only relieved, but excited and pumped up."

Nebraska Bowler Jamie Martin
On winning the NCAA title
"This is a big accomplishment for all of us, and I’m proud to be part of this team."

On the team title
"All the girls had a lot of determination to win and that what it takes to be a good team, and that’s what we are."

Nebraska Bowler Jennifer Schultz
On Winning an NCAA Title
"It is a good feeling."

On battling the conditions (which included a power outage)
"It was a long day for both the players and fans because it was so warm inside the lanes because of the TV lights and got hotter after the power went out."

2001 National Champions

Grand Rapids, Mich. - The University of Nebraska Cornhuskers won their fourth national title in six years at the Intercollegiate Bowling Championships earlier today.

The Huskers, who took first-place in the qualifying rounds on Thursday with 6,103 pins and an average of 190.7, had a bye in the first two double-elimination rounds on Friday and finished the day with wins against Erie Community College (4-3) and Cal-State Fresno (4-2).

In today's competition, Nebraska defeated No. 2 Arizona State 4-2 in the seventh round, making Nebraska the only undefeated team in the competition. In round eight, Arizona State and Wichita State, each with only one loss, competed in a contender's bracket game to determine Nebraska's final opponent. Arizona State topped third-place Wichita State, 4-3.

Arizona State beat Nebraska 4-3 in the championship round, and with both teams having one loss, Arizona State's win forced a final match between the two teams.

After losing the first game 189-167, Nebraska came back to take the final four games of the match, beating Arizona State by a score of 4-1 with a total pinfall of 961-904.

Nebraska scores by round
Qualifying Rounds
Round 1 3,130 pins 195.6 Avg.
Round 2 6,103 pins 190.7 Avg.

Double Elimination Rounds
Round 1,2 bye
Round 3 1381 pins 197.3 Avg.
Round 4 1224 pins 204.0 Avg.
Round 5,6 bye
Round 7 1153 pins 192.2 Avg.
Round 8 bye
Round 9 1246 pins 178.0 Avg.
Final Match 961 pins 192.2 Avg.

Nebraska Round by Round

Double Elimination Round 3
#1 Nebraska (203-168-170-231-186-201-222) def.
#9 Erie CC (172-191-202-213-192-155-148)
Nebraska - 1,381 pins 197.3 Avg.
Erie CC - 1,273 pins 181.9 Avg.

Double Elimination Round 4
#1 Nebraska (199-232-212-224-162-195) def.
#4 Cal State-Fresno (223-153-170-176-213-152)

Nebraska - 1,224 pins 204.0 Avg.
Cal State-Fresno - 1,087 pins 181.2 Avg.

Double Elimination Round 7
#1 Nebraska (151-143-206-224-207-222) def.
#2 Arizona State (192-184-199-178-188-221)

Nebraska - 1,153 pins 192.2 Avg.
Arizona State - 1,162 pins 193.7 Avg.

Double Elimination Round 9
#2 Arizona State (154-202-159-193-175-198-212) def.
#1 Nebraska (168-187-178-191-179-172-171)

Nebraska - 1,246 pins 178.0 Avg.
Arizona State - 1,293 pins 184.7 Avg.

Final Match
#1 Nebraska (167-181-176-255-182) def.  #2 Arizona State (189-159-154-221-181), 4-1

Nebraska - 961 pins 192.2 Avg.
Arizona State - 904 pins 180.8 Avg.

Nebraska's IBC Championships Final Stats
Record: 19-12

Qualifying Pinfall: 6,103
Finals Pinfall: 5,965
Total Pinfall: 12,068

Qualifying Average: 190.72
Finals Average: 192.4

1999 National Champions 

Lincoln - The Nebraska women's bowling team defeated Fresno State, 2-1, to win the 1999 National Intercollegiate Bowling Championship held this week at Wichita, Kan.

Senior All-American Jennifer Daughtery was selected to the All-Tournament team, while freshman Diandra Hyman earned honorable mention All-America honors.

Nebraska ended with four strikes in a come from behind win over the Bulldogs, 194-190. The Huskers were trailing by 20 in the 8th frame, when Kim Claus and Jennifer Daugherty closed the match. Daugherty threw a solid first shot in the 10th, and carried a cross over in the 11th to set up the final shot. Leading by 1 pin, Daugherty threw a solid strike to lock up the game.

Game 2: Fresno State topped Nebraska - Lincoln 222 - 199 in game two to tie the match. Fresno State opened the match with strikes by Stephanie Long, Traci Anderson, and Cathy Krasner. While the Huskers fought back with strikes in frames 7 through 9 by Diandra Hyman, Amanda O'Hayre and Claus to close within 18 pins. However, the Fresno lead was to much as Pam Inloes and Keli Rapp filled the 9th and 10th frames to secure the win.

Nebraska took an early lead that was too much for Fresno State to overcome, winning the third game 233 to 196, and capturing the 1999 National Championship 2 - 1. The Huskers again closed the game with strikes in frames 7 through 9 by Hyman, O'Hayre and Claus to put it out of reach.