LINCOLN — Defending champion Nebraska topped the preseason bowling poll of the National Ten Pin Coaches Association released Wednesday.
The Cornhuskers received 19 of the 26 first-place votes to tally 744 points, well ahead of second-place Vanderbilt, which was last year’s runner-up.
NU returns four starters from the national championship team, including All-American and Junior Team USA member Liz Kuhlkin. She recorded a team-high 214.9 average throughout her sophomore season. She had a pinfall average of 219.8 at the 2013 NCAA championships, earning the most valuable bowler honors.
Senior Yan Ling also returns for the Huskers, and could be one of the key bowlers as Nebraska looks to repeat as national champion. The senior from Singapore came through in a big way on the season’s biggest stage, finishing with a 200.5 average in the NCAA title match.
The Commodores received two first-place votes and had 671 points. Central Missouri, which was No. 1 much of last season, came in third and received three first-place ballots. Arkansas State was fourth after receiving the other two first-place votes. Maryland-Eastern Shore was fifth. Rounding out the Top 10 were Sam Houston State, Fairleigh Dickinson, Wisconsin-Whitewater, Stephen F. Austin and Saint Francis University.
The Huskers’ first competition is Nov. 8, when they travel to the Crusader Classic in Valparaiso, Ind.