Sixth-ranked Nebraska captured its second consecutive Prairie View A&M Invitational Championship Sunday afternoon, defeating Vanderbilt 4-2 in the championship match. The 12-team tournament featured seven NTCA top-10 ranked teams and was hosted all three days at the International Training and Research Center in Arlington, Texas.
The finale was a rematch of the 2013 NCAA championship match, as Nebraska won 4.5-2.5, despite the Huskers having to rally from behind to capture its fourth NCAA National Championship.
NU once again started out cold against VU, as the Commodores opened up to a quick 2-1 lead, before NU got hot and won three consecutive games earning the victory. The Huskers closed out the Commodores in the final game 171-154 to win their second straight PVAMU Invitational.
The road to the championship match wasn’t an easy one to say the least, as Nebraska Interim Head Coach Paul Klempa noted, returning All-American Liz Kuhlkin came down with the flu Saturday morning.
“This weekend was a really-really-really good win for us. The team worked extremely hard, and we even had an extra challenge with Liz Kuhlkin getting the flu,” Klempa said. “She [Kuhlkin] actually bowled through it, when she got done yesterday she went to the hospital and she had a 102-degree fever, so they diagnosed her with the flu and gave her meds. I think it helped her today, but it was tough.”
Klempa also mentioned that the lane conditions were not the best throughout competition, as expected, but the team really rallied to secure the victory.
“The teams down there were really good, and the lanes were not so good like we expected. It was a dog-eat-dog weekend, but at the end of the day we pulled out the victory,” Klempa said. “I feel really good about it and the girls deserve it. I am proud of them, now it is time to move on for next week.”
Nebraska entered Sunday’s match-play portion of the event as the No. 2 seed, and started the morning off by beating Sam Houston State 4-3 earning a spot in the championship match. Vanderbilt, earned its spot in the title tilt with a 4-1 win against top-seeded and NTCA No. 1 Arkansas State.