Nebraska tied atop leaderboard after Day 1 of national championship
CANTON, Mich. -- Nebraska completed Day 1 of the NC Bowling Championship on Thursday at Super Bowl Lanes with a 5-2 record. Fairleigh Dickinson and Sam Houston State also posted five wins.
Among the front-runners, Nebraska led with 7,210 pinfalls, while FDU had 6,990 and SHSU totaled 6,486.
The Huskers started with a close loss to Sam Houston State. Nebraska lost 961-955 despite a valiant effort by sophomore Liz Kuhlkin, who recorded a high score of 214 for the Huskers.
In the second game, Nebraska matched up with returning national champion Maryland-Eastern Shore. The Huskers were too much to handle in the game, beating UMES 1,045-1,019. Nebraska was led by Kristi Mickelson, who scored 236.
The third game pitted a matchup between the Huskers and perennial power Vanderbilt. The Huskers routed the Commodores 1,079-985 behind dominant performances from Mickelson, Kuhlkin and sophomore Elise Bolton. Mickelson scored a 269, which was the high score of the game, while Kuhlkin added a 236 and Bolton scored 229.
Nebraska then played Central Missouri in the fourth game of the qualifying round. The Huskers beat UCM 1,090-1,014 behind a tremendous team effort. Four of the five Huskers competing bowled more than a pinfall of 200, led by Kuhlkin and Mickelson, who both scored 236.
The fifth game saw a matchup between Nebraska and Wisconsin-Whitewater, with the Warhawks edging the Huskers 1,011-975. Kuhlkin led Nebraska with a score of 223.
The Huskers then faced Fairleigh Dickinson, beating the Knights 1036-970. Four of the five Huskers bowlers competing scored a pinfall above 200.
In the final game of the qualifying rounds, Nebraska faced Arkansas State in a closely fought battle, coming down to the last two bowlers. The Huskers edged the Red Wolves 1,030-1,022, led by a dominant effort by Bolton, who recorded a 236 total pinfall in the game.
Nebraska was well represented in the individual standings, with three bowlers in the top five. Mickelson showed her senior leadership all day, recording a 1,574 total pinfall through seven games, making her first in the overall standings.
Kuhlkin, a recently announced first-team NTCA All-American squad member, recorded a 1,539 total pinfall through seven games, placing her second. Bolton scored a 1,475 total pinfall in seven games, earning fifth place.