CANTON, Mich. - The University of Nebraska earned the top seed after qualifying Thursday at the 2009 NCAA Women's Bowling Championship. Now, the Cornhuskers will try to avoid the fate it faced last year in the same position.

Nebraska easily led qualifying, which consisted of four five-player traditional games followed by 20 Baker games, at Super Bowl in suburban Detroit. The Cornhuskers tallied 8,335 pins, topping New Jersey City by 256 pins.

In the opening round of double elimination match play, Nebraska will face eighth seed Arkansas State. At last year's NCAA Championship, the Cornhuskers earned the top seed and proceeded to lose its two opening matches and was eliminated.

"Once you throw out the pins, it becomes a crap shoot," Nebraska coach Bill Straub said. "Last year, we got off to a bad start and we were back home. I'm not a big fan of throwing pins out. The more times you keep score without starting over, the better chance the better teams succeed."

Straub said keeping his players emotions in check will also play into whether his team has success in match play Friday.

"This team is so young that it's hard to predict what they will do," said Straub, whose team features mostly freshmen and sophomores. "They are mature in their youth and held their emotions in check nicely today. I try to tell them that there is no defense in bowling and you have to do your best to pay no attention to the other team. If you do that, you have a better chance of managing your emotions."

Nebraska found itself in fourth place after the second game of qualifying Thursday morning before surging into the lead and never looking back.

New Jersey City earned the second seed with a total pinfall of 8,079 and will face seventh seed Delaware State in the opening round of match play.

Defending champion Maryland-Eastern Shore edged the top ranked team in the nation, Vanderbilt, by four pins to take the third seed with 7,973 and will face sixth seed Central Missouri. No. 4 Vanderbilt will take on fifth seed Fairleigh Dickinson.

Friday's match play competition begins at 9:30 a.m. EDT and concludes with the semifinals, beginning at 5:20 p.m. If one or two second semifinals are needed due to the double-elimination format, they will take place at 5 p.m. Saturday.

The championship match is scheduled for 8 p.m. EDT Saturday, which will be aired live on ESPN2.

(at Super Bowl, Canton, Mich.)
Thursday's Results

Team Qualifying Totals
(Four five-player team games plus 20 Baker games)

1, Nebraska, 8,335. 2, New Jersey City, 8,079. 3, Maryland-Eastern Shore, 7,973. 4, Vanderbilt, 7,969. 5, Fairleigh Dickinson, 7,892. 6, Central Missouri, 7,737. 7, Delaware State, 7,729. 8, Arkansas State, 7,598.

Match Play (Double-elimination, Best-of-7 Baker games)
First Round - 9:30 a.m. EDT

(1) Nebraska vs. (8) Arkansas State
(4) Vanderbilt vs. (5) Fairleigh Dickinson
(3) Maryland-Eastern Shore vs. (6) Central Missouri
(2) New Jersey City vs. (7) Delaware State