NEB BOWLING: Huskers Back in Action at Mid-Winter Invitational

Posted By: Sports

Courtesy: UNL Media Relations

#3 Nebraska Cornhuskers
at Mid-Winter Invitational

Friday-Sunday, Jan. 13-15, 11:20 a.m., 9:35 a.m., 8:35 a.m. (CT) – Jonesboro, Ark. (Hijinx Family Entertainment Center)

Huskers Back in Action at Mid-Winter Invitational
The third-ranked Nebraska bowling team returns to action at its first tournament of the 2017 calendar year this Friday through Sunday at the Mid-Winter Invitational at Hijinx Family Entertainment Center in Jonesboro, Ark. The tournament is hosted by top-ranked Arkansas State. The Cornhuskers finished in the top five at the Mid-Winter Invitational every year from 2007 to 2015.

Eighteen teams will compete this weekend in Arkansas, including 10 ranked teams and one other team receiving votes in the latest National Tenpin Coaches Association Top 25 Poll.

Four of the top-five teams in the country will be represented, including Nebraska, Arkansas State, No. 4 McKendree and No. 5 Stephen F. Austin. Top-10 teams in sixth-ranked Vanderbilt, No. 8 Central Missouri, No. 9 Monmouth and 10th-ranked Maryland-Eastern Shore will also bowl this weekend in Arkansas. The list of teams also includes No. 23 UAB and No. 24 Valparaiso, in addition to Jackson State, which is receiving votes in the latest poll. Alabama A&M, Alabama State, Drury, Lincoln (Mo.), Lincoln Memorial, Louisiana Tech and Maryville will also compete at the tournament.

The Huskers closed the fall semester with a third-place finish at the Warhawk Invitational in Kenosha, Wis., the weekend of Nov. 11-13. Meghan Straub led the way for the Huskers individually, finishing 15th overall with an average of 209.6. Julia Bond finished 17th with an average of 209.2, while Briana Zabierek posted an average of 200 to help the Husker effort. The Big Red fell to Vanderbilt in the opening round of the championship tournament, but rebounded with a pair of victories to seal the third-place finish in Wisconsin. The Huskers posted a strong record of 9-3 on the weekend, and they defeated six ranked teams.

Competition begins Friday morning at 11:20 a.m. (CT) with five sets of five-game Baker matches, followed by five traditional team matches on Saturday morning, beginning at 9:35 a.m. Combined results from Friday and Saturday will determine the seeding for Sunday’s bracket-play championship tournament, in which each team will play three rounds of best-of-seven Baker matches, beginning at 8:35 a.m.

Mid-Winter Invitational Notes
The Huskers finished seventh at the Mid-Winter Invitational last season, after finishing in the top five every year from 2007 to 2015. Nebraska won the tournament in 2013, and also won the Arkansas State Invitational in both 2004 and 2006. At the 2016 edition, the Huskers defeated Central Missouri, 4-3, in the seventh-place match. Briana Zabierek led the way for the Big Red with an average of 209.8, good for 10th overall. Julia Bond finished 17th overall with an average of 202.2. Bond finished first overall with an average of 223.4 at the Mid-Winter Classic in 2015.

Bond Wins U.S. Amateur Championship, named to Team USA
Julia Bond was crowned United States Amateur Bowling Champion and was named to Team USA for the 2017 season after winning the women’s U.S. Amateur final at the 2017 United States Bowling Congress Team USA Trials the week of Jan. 4-8 in Henderson, Nev. Bond finished fourth overall at the trials with 54 ranking points. Kayla Johnson, a Husker from 2010-2012, was also named to Team USA for the 2017 season by the National Selection Committee based on her performances throughout the week, while Shannon Pluhowsky, who competed for Nebraska from 2000-05, was selected by the National Selection Committee based on her submitted resume. Husker senior Gazmine Mason and junior Kelly Belzeski also competed at the trials.

Nebraska Third in NTCA Poll
In the latest NTCA Top-25 poll, Nebraska placed third behind Arkansas State and Sam Houston State. The Red Wolves garnered a total of 28 first-place votes, while SHSU received eight first-place votes. The Huskers received a total of 1,170 points in the poll. McKendree was ranked fourth, while Stephen F. Austin rounded out the top five.

NU Notches Third-Place Finish at Warhawk Invitational
Nebraska ended the 2016 calendar year with a third-place finish the weekend of Nov. 11-13 at the Warhawk Invitational in Kenosha, Wis. The Huskers went 9-3 on the weekend, defeating six ranked teams. NU entered the final day as the third seed, but was swept in the opening round of the championship tournament by Vanderbilt. The Huskers rebounded with a win over Sacred Heart to reach the third-place match, where the Big Red took down Vanderbilt in seven games. Meghan Straub led the Huskers with a 209.6 average, while Julia Bond posted a 209.2 average and Briana Zabierek added a 200 average.

Huskers Finish Second at KAT Klash
Nebraska posted its highest finish of the season at the KAT Klash the weekend of Nov. 4-6 at Emerald Lanes in Houston. The Huskers went 9-1 over the first two days of competition, leading the tournament heading into the final day. The Huskers dropped their opening round match in the championship tournament, but rebounded with a win over fourth-ranked Vanderbilt to reach the final. Sam Houston State defeated the Huskers by a score of 4.5-1.5 to win the title. NU went 10-3 overall during the tournament, defeating eight ranked teams. Gazmine Mason posted a 206.2 average to lead the Big Red.

Huskers Open Season with Fifth-Place Finish
Nebraska opened its season with a fifth-place finish at the Wildcat Invitational at Boardwalk Bowl in Orlando, Fla., the weekend of Oct. 21-23. NU defeated 16th-ranked Monmouth in the fifth-place match, one of three ranked teams the Huskers took down on the weekend. NU went 6-6 overall during the tournament.

Huskers Gain International Experience in 2016
Gazmine Mason and Julia Bond were selected to Junior Team USA for the 2016 season. Bond and Mason represented the United States at the 2016 World Bowling Youth Championships, held July 24-August 3 at Sun Valley Lanes in Lincoln. Freshman Raquel Orozco also competed at the tournament for her native Mexico. Mason earned gold medals in singles and all-events, silver in doubles and team-of-four and bronze in masters, while Bond earned silver medals in doubles and team-of-four and bronze in singles.

Kuhlkin Sets Record with Three-Game Series Score of 890
Lizabeth Kuhlkin, a Husker from 2011 to 2015, set a USBC women’s record with a three-game series score of 890, which she bowled on Monday, Oct. 17 in the Reis Group Kim Brown Memorial League at Towne Bowling Academy in Schenectady, N.Y. Kuhlkin, a member of the Professional Women’s Bowling Association, was a three-time All-American and the 2015 National Collegiate Player of the Year for the Big Red.

Looking Ahead
The Huskers will return to action in two weeks at the Prairie View Invitational at the ITRC in Arlington, Texas, the weekend of Jan. 27-29. Nebraska has won the Prairie View Invitational in each of the last four seasons. Julia Bond led the Big Red with an average of 220, good for fifth overall, in 2016.

Mid-Winter Invitational – Teams Competing
No. 3 Nebraska
No. 1 Arkansas State
No. 4 McKendree
No. 5 Stephen F. Austin
No. 6 Vanderbilt
No. 8 Central Missouri
No. 9 Monmouth
No. 10 Maryland-Eastern Shore
No. 23 UAB
No. 24 Valparaiso
Jackson State (RV)
Alabama A&M
Alabama State
Lincoln (Mo.)
Lincoln Memorial
Louisiana Tech