Nebraska earns third NCAA Women's Championship title


By Lucas Wiseman
USBC Communications

CANTON, Mich. - Nebraska locked up its third national title in six years as it defeated Central Missouri 4-1 in the championship match of the 2009 NCAA Women's Bowling Championship on Saturday.

After splitting the first two games in the best-of-seven match, the Cornhuskers ran away from the Jennies to win the title. They won the opener 200-185, dropped the second game 198-149 and then pulled away with wins of 201-168, 201-177 and 190-134 at Super Bowl in suburban Detroit.

Nebraska coach Bill Straub said he wasn't exactly sure what to expect from his young squad as they took to the lanes under the bright television lights and in front of a capacity crowd. The Cornhuskers feature four freshmen, four sophomores and two juniors, none of whom had previously bowled on television.

"This is real sweet because this team is just so dang young," said Straub, whose team has beaten Central Missouri for all three of its national titles. "I can't know how these teenagers are going to react and to do it on TV - amazing."

Nebraska anchor Cassie Leuthold, one of the two juniors on the team, was named the tournament's most outstanding player as she helped lead the Cornhuskers to a final record of 72-20 on the season.

"It's been a hard road and the work has definitely paid off," Leuthold said. "I couldn't have made it this far without my teammates."

Joining Leuthold on the all-tournament team was Sara Litteral and Erica Perez of Fairleigh Dickinson, Jazmyne Hefflefinger of Delaware State, Teresa Christopher of Central Missouri and Valerie Calberry of Nebraska.

Leuthold and Calberry's Nebraska teammates included Kaleena Henning, Jasmine Laugerman, Erin McCarthy, Chelsey Mero, Kristina Mickelson, Katie Ann Sopp, Kayla Stram and Danielle van der Meer.

In the semifinals, which concluded just before the televised finals, Nebraska defeated Delaware State 4-2, while Central Missouri took out Fairleigh Dickinson 4-3.

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

Central Missouri def. Fairleigh Dickinson, 4-3 (Fairleigh Dickinson eliminated)
(152-185, 194-220, 180-172, 221-184, 179-208, 234-169, 235-171)
Nebraska def. Delaware State, 4-2 (Delaware State eliminated)
(201-190, 149-215, 156-204, 241-173, 214-209, 216-179)

Nebraska def. Central Missouri, 4-1
(200-185, 149-198, 201-168, 201-177, 190-134)