By Lucas Wiseman
USBC Communications

CANTON, Mich. - At the beginning of the season, Delaware State coach Kim Terrell-Kearney wasn't sure her team would be competitive enough to win a national title. Now, they have a shot at the first championship in school history.

Delaware State is joined by Nebraska, Central Missouri and Fairleigh Dickinson as the field was cut in half Friday at the 2009 NCAA Women's Bowling Championship.

Delaware State and Fairleigh Dickinson entered Friday night's semifinals undefeated and needed just one more victory to advance to the championship match. Nebraska defeated Delaware State 4-2 and Central Missouri took down Fairleigh Dickinson 4-2 to extend the semifinals another day.

Each team will match up for a second time in the best-of-seven, double-elimination format at 5 p.m. EDT at Super Bowl in suburban Detroit with the winners advancing to the championship live on ESPN2 at 8 p.m. EDT.

Terrell-Kearney, a former professional bowler and Team USA member, is just happy her squad has a shot after dropping the match to Nebraska.

"I don't think our team will spend a lot of energy rehashing what happened tonight," Terrell-Kearney said. "We got out bowled by Nebraska, and I'm happy with how we played. They just did it better."

Terrell-Kearney, who is in her second season as the Hornets head coach, began the season with modest expectations and goals.

"I knew if I could get enough athletes who were passionate about the game and wanted to learn that we could make a difference," Terrell-Kearney said. "It wasn't until about halfway through the season that I realized how talented our group really was."

The four other teams were eliminated earlier in the day Friday. Defending champion Maryland-Eastern Shore bowed out after losing both of its opening matches, while Arkansas State, the runner-up last year, also went 0-2.

The top-ranked team in the nation, Vanderbilt, advanced to the third round, but was swept 4-0 by Central Missouri. New Jersey City, which qualified as the No. 2 seed, was knocked out by Nebraska 4-3.

THIRD ROUND RECAP: Central Missouri and Nebraska stayed alive in elimination matches and advanced to the semifinals Friday afternoon at the 2009 NCAA Women's Bowling Championship.

Central Missouri swept Vanderbilt, the nation's top ranked team, 4-0 to advance, while Nebraska took out New Jersey City 4-3.

The semifinals will feature Central Missouri taking on Fairleigh Dickinson and Nebraska battling Delaware State.

Should Fairleigh Dickinson or Delaware State win their matches, they will advance to the championship match. Because of the double elimination format, should either unbeaten team lose, they will bowl the same team again at 5 p.m. EDT Saturday for a spot in the finals.

SECOND ROUND RECAP: Delaware State and Fairleigh Dickinson remained unbeaten, moving to 2-0 in double elimination match play Friday at the 2009 NCAA Women's Bowling Championship.

Fairleigh Dickinson, the No. 5 seed, upset top seeded Nebraska 4-1, closing out the match with a 206-187 victory. No. 7 Delaware State, meanwhile, rolled past Central Missouri 4-1. Both undefeated teams will sit out the next round and wait to see who they will take on in the semifinals.

Among the first-round losers, New Jersey City eliminated defending champion Maryland-Eastern Shore 4-1-1. The top-ranked team in the country, Vanderbilt, grinded out a 4-3 win over eighth seed Arkansas State.

In the third round, Nebraska takes on New Jersey City, while Vanderbilt battles Central Missouri. The losing teams in those matches will be eliminated, and the winners will advance to the semifinals.

FIRST ROUND RECAP: Three of the top four seeds, including the defending champion and nation's top-ranked team, fell in the opening round of double elimination match play Friday morning at the NCAA Women's Bowling Championship. Top seed Nebraska, however, survived the rash of upsets.

The Cornhuskers were tested in their best-of-seven match against eighth seed Arkansas State, but easily won the deciding game for a 4-3 victory.

In the closest match of the first round, No. 5 Fairleigh Dickinson defeated the top-ranked team in the country, Vanderbilt, 4-2-1. The Knights took the seventh game with a 206-203 victory.

Defending champion and third seed Maryland-Eastern Shore also was unable to avoid an upset as it lost to sixth seed Central Missouri, 4-0. Second seed New Jersey City took a 3-1 lead on No. 7 Delaware State but was unable to close out the victory as the Hornets surged to a 4-3 win.

In the second round, four teams now face elimination matches. Arkansas State battles Vanderbilt, while Maryland-Eastern Shore takes on New Jersey City. Among the winners, Nebraska faces Fairleigh Dickinson, and Central Missouri battles Delaware State.

(at Super Bowl, Canton, Mich.)
Match Play
(Double-elimination, Best-of-7 Baker games)

First Round
(1) Nebraska def. (8) Arkansas State, 4-3
(147-191, 190-153, 144-234, 190-170, 169-239, 205-197, 202-170)
(7) Delaware State def. (2) New Jersey City, 4-3
(213-214, 199-190, 202-240, 150-163, 277-195, 228-203, 204-184)
(6) Central Missouri def. (3) Maryland-Eastern Shore, 4-0
(198-159, 184-169, 203-180, 212-176)
(5) Fairleigh Dickinson def. (4) Vanderbilt, 4-2-1
(213-172, 203-203, 213-181, 168-207, 182-197, 212-194, 206-203)

Second round
Fairleigh Dickinson def. Nebraska, 4-1
(226-212, 202-185, 154-270, 203-157, 206-187)
Delaware State def. Central Missouri, 4-1
(169-231, 212-182, 192-185, 213-197, 201-173)
Vanderbilt def. Arkansas State, 4-3 (Arkansas State eliminated)
(226-195, 162-208, 201-183, 212-230, 181-201, 225-149, 197-171)
New Jersey City def. Maryland-Eastern Shore, 4-1-1 (Maryland-Eastern Shore eliminated)
(208-200, 205-167. 169=163, 185-210, 202-202, 245-203)

Third round
Central Missouri def. Vanderbilt, 4-0 (Vanderbilt eliminated)
(198-163, 199-196, 188-182, 206-164)
Nebraska def. New Jersey City, 4-3 (New Jersey City eliminated)
(192-182, 278-193, 190-203, 170-233, 200-214, 201-169, 229-166)

Central Missouri def. Fairleigh Dickinson, 4-2
(188-165, 169-212, 205-202, 214-192, 159-197, 212-187)
Nebraska def. Delaware State, 4-2
(169-196, 178-175, 149-200, 223-197, 246-189, 191-171)

Semifinals - 5 p.m. EDT
Central Missouri vs. Fairleigh Dickinson
Nebraska vs. Delaware State

Championship - 8 p.m. EDT
(Broadcast live on ESPN2)
Semifinal winners