Huskers Wrap Up Pool Play in Sixth in Arkansas

Jonesboro, Ark. - The Nebraska bowling team completed day two of the Mid-Winter Invitational, finishing match play with a 8-2 record and 10,239 total pinfall, securing the sixth overall seed for Sunday's championship bracket. 

The Huskers opened day two with a ranked match against No. 3 Arkansas State. Kayla Verstraete and Alexis Buchert led the way for NU with 205 pins and 202 pins respectively. Jillian Martin provided 185, with Breanna Harztler following close behind with 184. Desiree Buchert rounded out the Big Red at 179 as Nebraska took down the Red Wolves, 955-946, to give the Big Red wins against all three of the top three nationally ranked teams over the first two days.

NU then faced No. 11 Sam Houston State for its second-straight ranked match of the day. The Huskers kept the same lineup with three out of five shooting above 200. Martin led the Big Red with 212 followed closely by Hartzler (202) and Verstraete (200). A. Buchert and D. Buchert closed out the Huskers with 182 apiece despite Nebraska dropping its first match of the tournament to the Bearkats, 978-1032, to fall to 6-1.

Up next, the Big Red met No. 7 Louisiana Tech to continue its string of top 10 matchups. Martin paced Nebraska as the anchor, putting together a score of 203, with Hartzler (201) narrowly eclipsing the 200-pin mark. The other three Huskers finished not too far behind with A. Buchert (195), Verstraete (193) and D. Buchert (191) rounding out the lineup. However, the Huskers fell just short to the Bulldogs, 983-999, as they lost their second consecutive match. 

In match four, the Huskers were tasked with their fifth and final top 10 opponent during pool play in No. 8 Stephen F. Austin. D. Buchert bounced back, leading the Huskers with a 264 while Martin shot a 214. A. Buchert tallied a 210 with Hartzler giving NU four ladies over 200 in the match. Verstraete added a 181 to the team total (1069) for a win over the Lumberjacks, 1069-864, marking the Big Red’s seventh win of the tournament and highest pinfall total on the afternoon.

In the final match of the day, Nebraska faced Jackson State. Just as the day started, Verstraete (214) and A. Buchert (202) were leaders for the Huskers in the last match of pool play. Hartzler put together a solid showing, rolling a 189. D. Buchert and Martin each finished with a score of 158, as Nebraska downed Jackson State to end pool play with an 8-2 record and the sixth overall seed entering bracket play on Sunday.

Arkansas State (10,570), Jacksonville State (10,460), Vanderbilt (10,336), Youngstown State (10,291) and Maryville (10,254) made up the top five in pool play.

The Big Red returns to the lanes tomorrow at 8:10 a.m. (CT) for Sunday's championship bracket to conclude the tournament where each team will compete in three matches of best 4-of-7 baker games for final placements and awards. 

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