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Nebraska wins Prairie View A&M Invitational for fifth consecutive year

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The University of Nebraska women’s bowling team again confirmed its dominance at the Prairie View A&M Invitational, winning the event for the fifth consecutive year, this time defeating top-seeded Vanderbilt University, 4-0, in the championship match at the International Training and Research Center in Arlington, Texas.

The Huskers (pictured above) set the pace in the high-scoring final round Sunday, averaging nearly 218 in the best-of-seven rematch of the 2014 title tilt. Vanderbilt, the 2012 Prairie View A&M Invitational winner and the only other champion in the event’s history, averaged more than 205 in the loss.

Despite a quick start for both teams, the finale was a 182-173 performance that saw Nebraska anchor Julia Bond double in final frame to force Vanderbilt to get at least two strikes and nine pins to necessitate a fifth game.

Freshman anchor Maria Bulanova (back row, far left) got the first strike for the Commodores (pictured), but a 2 pin on her second offering gave Nebraska the sweep.

The final was far different than the Huskers’ win in 2016, where they found themselves down 3-1 to Arkansas State before rallying to victory.

On the way to the 2017 title match, Nebraska defeated Arkansas State University, 4-2, while Vanderbilt topped first-time participant McKendree University, 4-3, in a battle that was decided by final-frame spare shooting. After McKendree’s Taylor Bailey missed a 10 pin, Bulanova converted a 7 pin to advance.

McKendree and Arkansas State then met in the final round to determine who would finish the event in third place, with McKendree rolling to a 4-1 victory. Arkansas State finished fourth.

All 12 teams in the field bowled five Baker matches Friday, five traditional team games Saturday and one traditional game Sunday, before being seeded into three best-of-seven match-play brackets based on total pinfall from the three days of competition.

The top four teams were placed in one bracket, all with a chance to win the tournament. Seeds No. 5 though No. 8 were in a second bracket, with fifth place being the best they could finish. The ninth through 12th seeds competed in the third bracket, with ninth place being the best possible finish.

Along with the Prairie View A&M Invitational trophy on the line, each match the teams bowl goes toward their overall records, which helps determine the teams that qualify for the 2017 NCAA Bowling Championship being held at the Raising Cane’s River Center in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, in April.

Nebraska led the way in the win column this weekend at the ITRC with an 11-2 mark. McKendree was next at 10-3. The 2017 edition featured 11 of the top 25 teams in the most recent poll.

Individually, Arkansas State’s Jordan Richard set the pace on the 36-foot oil pattern with a 1,289 six-game total, a 214.83 average. The performance earned her most-valuable-player honors and a spot on the all-tournament team.

Richard, last year’s individual runner-up, was joined on this 2017 all-tournament team by Madysen Keller of Sam Houston State (1,265), Vanderbilt’s Gisselle Poss (1,261), Paige Kraushaar of Stephen F. Austin (1,259) and Fairleigh Dickinson’s Karsyn Lukosius (1,228).

All rounds of the 2017 Prairie View A&M Invitational are being broadcast live on BowlTV.

Here’s the lineup of teams as they appeared on the featured pairs. Sunday’s traditional game was not live streamed.

Friday’s Five-Game Baker Matches (Watch archive here)
Match 1: Fairleigh Dickinson vs. Nebraska; Maryland Eastern Shore vs. North Carolina A&T
Match 2: Texas Southern vs. Jackson State; Nebraska vs. Prairie View A&M
Match 3: Prairie View A&M vs. Arkansas State; Stephen F. Austin vs. Jackson State
Match 4: Maryland Eastern Shore vs. Stephen F. Austin; Texas Southern vs. Vanderbilt
Match 5: Nebraska vs. North Carolina A&T; Arkansas State vs. Sam Houston State

Saturday’s Five Traditional Team Games (Watch archive here)
Match 6: Jackson State vs. Sam Houston State; Fairleigh Dickinson vs. McKendree
Match 7: Stephen F. Austin vs. Prairie View A&M; Vanderbilt vs. Maryland Eastern Shore
Match 8: Sam Houston vs. Stephen F. Austin; Arkansas State vs. Vanderbilt
Match 9: Vanderbilt vs. McKendree; Sam Houston State vs. Fairleigh Dickinson
Match 10: Arkansas State vs. Jackson State; McKendree vs. Maryland Eastern Shore

Sunday’s Best-Of-Seven Baker Bracket Matches (Watch archive here)
Match 1 (5-8 bracket): Sam Houston State vs. Stephen F. Austin; Fairleigh Dickinson vs. Maryland Eastern Shore
Match 2 (1-4 bracket): Vanderbilt vs. Nebraska (for championship); Arkansas State vs. McKendree (for third place)

Final finishing positions for all teams (weekend record):
1, Nebraska (11-2)
2, Vanderbilt (8-5)
3, McKendree (10-3)
4, Arkansas State (7-6)
5, Fairleigh Dickinson (9-4)
6, Sam Houston State (7-6)
7, University of Maryland Eastern Shore (7-6)
8, Stephen F. Austin (6-7)
9, Jackson State (3-10)
10, North Carolina A&T (3-10)
11, Prairie View A&M (5-8)
12, Texas Southern (2-11)

Day 1 standings
Day 2 standings
Qualifying results
Top individual players
Complete bracket
Final standings

Author: Herbert Bickel
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