Saturday, May 9, 2009

Queens and USBC Women's Championships

I ventured to Reno for the USBC Queens and Women's Championships both held at bowling's premiere venue - the National Bowling Stadium. For those of you that have never had the privilege of bowling at the National Bowling Stadium, let me try and describe the experience.

As you take the escalator ride up to the main level of the stadium, you see the enormous Lane 81 bowling pro shop, full of merchandise from every bowling ball manufacturer out there. You may also catch a glimpse of the full-size bowling lane located inside the pro shop, where you can get your game video taped and fully analyzed on the C.A.T.S system.

Then, as you get off of the escalator and approach the bowling lanes, your jaw will drop at the sight of 80 lanes, giant score boards spanning 440 feet total (the longest video screen in the world) and stadium seating much like other sporting events. The ceiling is a measly 5 stories above the lanes, making the bowling center seem larger than life. So you can imagine that when you first step foot on the lanes, it may take a little while to get used to the environment not to mention that your name up on the huge scoreboard can bee seen from about 20 lanes away.

Enough about the venue, let's talk about the actual bowling. First I bowled in the USBC Women's Championships. I bowled team event first and shot 222, 246 and 216 for a 684 series and our team shot 3015 total. Then in doubles, I died. We hit a pretty tough pair and every adjustment I tried didn't work. I only shot 523! (See everyone has bad days!) And then for singles, I rebounded and shot 195, 267 and 233 for a 695 series, giving me 1902 for all-events. Right now, in the classic division I am in 15th in singles, 15th in team event and 47th in all-events.

Then in the Queens tournament, I shot +134 for the 10 games of qualifying and was in 31st going into the final 5 games of round 3 qualifying. I bowled a really good set, shooting +130 and moving up into 9th place. Then the tournament was cut to the top 63 women plus last year's defending champion Lynda Barnes.

That's when the real tournament began. In the three-game total pins, double elimination style match play finals, I first bowled Kristen Warzinski and won 677-610. The next match I faced Jodi Woessner and lost 614-684, knocking me into the loser's bracket.

In the loser's bracket, I faced one of the Japanese pros Reiko Kosuda and won 686-622. The next match I faced fellow Japanese pro Takiko Naganawa and also won shooting 707-588, after being down 30 pins and shooting 170 the first game. Then I hit a terrible pair (which there were a couple of) and I couldn't match up. I lost to Jamie Martin 569-536 and was knocked out of the tournament.

I finished in 17th place overall.

The USBC Queens marked my last tournament for a while. I'll be bowling PBA Regional tournaments throughout the summer until the Women's U.S. Open in August.