The Nebraska bowling team dominated the Pittsburgh Regional last weekend to punch its ticket and advance to this weekend’s National Collegiate Women’s Bowling Championship in Las Vegas.
The Huskers will face McKendree in the first round on Friday morning at 11 a.m. (central) at the South Point Bowling Plaza in a matchup of the past two NCAA Champions. The other first-round match will feature Arkansas State and Vanderbilt, and all matches prior to the championship finals will be in the Mega Match Format and available online at NCAA.com. The championship match will be carried live on ESPNU on Saturday, April 15, at 8 p.m. (central) and will be a best-of-seven Baker match play format.
The Huskers are familiar with the South Point Bowling Plaza, having competed at the Stormin’ Blue & Gold Vegas Classic back in January. The team finished third out of 14 teams while Crystal Elliott took first place with a total pinfall of 1,209 and an average of 241.80.
The Huskers are looking for their seventh NCAA Championship and first since 2021. NU returns a pair of starters from that team in Elliott, who was the MVP of the 2021 event, and fifth-year senior Kendyl Hofmeister. In addition, Gwen Maeha and Amara Smith-Speights saw significant action that season for the Huskers.
The semifinals will have a distinct Nebraska flavor, with three of the four teams featuring coaches who competed for the Nebraska men’s club program. The group includes Husker Head Coach Paul Klempa, Arkansas State’s Head Coach Justin Kostick, and McKendree’s Director of Bowling and Associate Head Coach Bryan O’Keefe. The four programs in action this weekend have accounted for five of the past seven NCAA championships dating back to 2015.
Nebraska went 3-0 in the NCAA Pittsburgh Regional, posting wins over Mercyhurst (2-0), Duquesne (2-0) and Stephen F. Austin (2-1).
In the finals against SFA, NU fell to the Ladyjacks (932-890) in the traditional match to fall behind 1-0. Freshman Jillian Martin led the Huskers with 232. Elliott sported a 188 followed by Kendyl Hofmeister with a 161. The Huskers bounced back in the mega match format by defeating SFA, 1,034-930, in the five-game baker format,…