Lincoln – One Nebraska bowler joined an exclusive club of Husker greats, while another earned the first All-America award of her career, as the National Tenpin Coaches Association (NTCA) announced its 2019-20 All-American teams Monday evening.
Raquel Orozco (pronounced Rah-KELL oh-ROZ-co) capped her decorated career, as she was named the Division I Player of the Year and a first-team All-American for the third time, while Cassidy Ray was chosen as an honorable-mention All-American. Both bowlers were instrumental in the Huskers finishing with a 79-35 record and a final No. 3 national ranking in 2019-20.
Orozco becomes the 10th Husker bowler to be chosen as the National Collegiate Bowler of the Year and ninth since the program earned varsity status. She is NU’s first National Collegiate Bowler of the Year since Lizabeth Kuhlkin in 2015.
“I could not be more happy and proud for Raquel being honored as a first-team All-American and the NCAA Division I Player of the Year,” Nebraska Head Coach Paul Klempa said. “She deserves these honors and it is testament to her skills, hard work and perseverance. Raquel is only the 10th player of the year in the history of Nebraska Bowling which puts her in very elite company. Raquel truly has had an exceptional career as a Husker.”
A senior from Tijuana, Mexico, Orozco becomes the 11th Husker bowler to be at least a three-time All-American since bowling became a varsity sport at Nebraska during the 1997-98 campaign. Dating back to the club program days, NU has now had at least one All-American in 27 straight years.
Orozco posted a team-high average of 211.9 in 46 games this past season, an average that ranked ninth on Nebraska’s single-season chart. Orozco collected five top-10 finishes in nine events, including top-five finishes at the Columbia 300 Saints Invitational (third), the Prairie View A&M Invitational (fourth) and Big Red Invitational (third). Orozco averaged 200 or better in eight of nine meets, including six straight meets with at least a 210 average. She set a season high with a 223.8 average at the Big Red Invitational. Last week, she was recognized for leading Division I bowling in Strike Percentage across all competitions (54.5 percent), Baker Double percentage (60.1 percent) and Baker Frame scoring (21.41 points per frame). During her four-year career at NU, Orozco finished fourth all-time in career average (208.696), while posting 15 top-10 finishes in 37 career events as a Husker.
Ray, a sophomore from Herrin, Ill., competed in all nine events for the Huskers in 2019-20, averaging a 201.1 in 39 games bowled. In all, she raised her average by over 11 pins per game compared to her redshirt freshman campaign. Ray posted the first two top-five finishes of her collegiate career, placing second at the Track Kat Klash and fifth at the Columbia 300 Saints Invitational. She was one of the Huskers’ most consistent bowlers during the second half of the year, averaging over 190 in five of the last six competitions during the spring semester.
“I am so happy for Cassidy to be honored as an NCAA All-American this season,” Klempa said. “Cassidy has worked extremely hard these past three seasons to reach this milestone, including mid-season work this year designed to increase her skill set and versatility to become more competitive. She took a chance, trusted her coaches, and now it has paid off with this honor. I am extremely pleased to see Cassidy receive the national recognition she has earned.”
Ray becomes the 25th different Husker bowler to earn NTCA All-America honors since the sport earned varsity status during the 1997-98 season.