Thursday, July 28, 2016

PWBA St. Petersburg-Clearwater Open

A week ago, I competed in the PWBA St. Petersburg/Clearwater Open. Taking advantage of the nice Florida location, I decided to fly straight from the previous stop in Rochester, NY and meet my husband Drew for a mini vacation prior to the start of the tournament.

Prior to Drew’s arrival, I met up with my good friend John Janawicz for dinner. He took me to this unbelievable steak house that I HIGHLY recommend – Bern’s Steak House in Tampa. The atmosphere was incredible and the steak was to die for! That’s not even the best part. After diner, we got a tour of the kitchen and then headed to the dessert room.  If you are ever in Tampa, at the very least, take a trip to the dessert room! All I can say is WOW!

The Dessert Room

Bern's Steak House

Drew and I were very fortunate to be able to stay at Drew’s uncle’s house for our entire duration. It is such a quaint and comfortable home and conveniently located too! Our first day of vacation, we drove from St. Pete beach, where we had lunch overlooking the water, and then headed along the coast to Dunedin, making our way to Honeymoon Island.  

While we were driving on the island, we came across a turtle in the middle of the road.  Drew went out to help it get across quicker, so it wouldn’t get hit by any cars. To our surprise, it scurried rather quickly across the road and into the brush, when Drew approached it. I guess turtles get a bad rap.

Honeymoon Island

Honeymoon Island

The next day, we drove to Clearwater Beach. We had lunch nearby and walked out along the pier. While on the pier, a tourist speed boat happened to pass by and we were able to witness a few dolphins playing in it’s wake. I absolutely love dolphins, and the dolphins in Florida seem to be smaller in size, but definitely just as playful as our native California dolphins.

The following day I had to get back into competition mode. We had our practice session, after which, I caught this gorgeous rainbow behind the PBA truck. Hopefully it would be a sign of good luck for the week! After the practice session, we had a very nice VIP event at the host center – Seminole Lanes. The manager and proprietor did an amazing job all week with this event! 

This week, we bowled on a 40’ pattern.  I started out strong during the first block of qualifying using my Track Heat X-treme to shot 257 game 1. With the lanes quickly breaking down, I had to switch to my Paradox Pearl and move an entire zone inside shooting games of 195 and 237. I then switched to my New Hammer Rebel and shot games of 224, 225 and 234 for +172 overall, which put me in 3rd place.

The next block, later that afternoon, proved to be pretty difficult. I grinded most of the block shooting only +6 for +178 overall, which dropped me down to 11th place going into the casher’s round.

Needing a good block to advance to the top 12 match play finals, I again grinded and couldn’t seem to adjust correctly. I ended up coming in 18th place overall in the tournament.

After the tournament, Drew and I had another day of vacation and we decided to go to Adventure Island, Tampa’s water park. Drew and I both hadn’t been to a water park since we were about 14. It was a great idea for some fun in the sun and to try and beat the crazy, hot and humid Florida weather.

After the PWBA Florida stop, we had a much needed week-long break from the tour. I was finally able to go home after being on the road for a month. I took the opportunity to see my friends and family, get in some practice, give some lessons and take in some much needed fun and relaxation.

I am now en route to Houston for one of my favorite tournaments of the year - the PBA/PWBA Striking Against Breast Cancer Luci Mixed Doubles.  Be sure to follow all of the action LIVE on to watch myself and partner Scott Norton.  #letsbowl

Until then!

Monday, July 11, 2016

PWBA Rochester Open

This week we travelled to AMF Gates Lanes in Rochester, NY for the PWBA Rochester Open. 

The tournament was unique in the sense that there would be no re-oiling in between squads. It was a trial run for possible future events. 

We bowled on a 37' foot pattern this week using ice conditioner on 27.635 mL of oil.

During the first block of qualifying, I used my Track Paradox, Heat X-treme and New Ebonite Game Breaker 2 Phenom to shoot 200, 213, 267, 169, 232 and 216 for +97.

The next block of qualifying on the burn (no re-oil), I started with my Game Breaker 2 Phenom and shot 225 and then struggled again on the high end shooting 177 and 169. Needing some big games, I switched to my New Hammer Rebel and shot 247, 267 and 225 to get to +207, which put me in 9th place overall going into the casher's round.

The next day, I struggled in the casher's round. The lanes were flatter and definitely tricky. I ended up coming in 17th place in the tournament and missed the next cut to the top 12 for Matchplay. 

BIG congratulations to my roommate and Team C300 teammate Clara Guerrero for qualifying as the No. 2 seed for the TV Show! I'd also like to congratulate fellow Team C300 teammate Josie Earnest for making the TV Show as well! 

After the tournament, Clara and I both bowled the pro-am event on Sunday and then hosted a clinic immediate following. Thanks to everyone that came out!

Now it's on to Florida for a little R&R before the next PWBA Tour stop. #letsbowl 

Team USA Training Camp

Immediately following the PWBA Lexington Open, I travelled to Arlington, TX for Team USA Training camp. It was a very shortened camp of only 3 days since we had to squeeze it in between PWBA Tour stops. 

Although it was short, I felt that it was very productive as I was able to work on a lot in a very short amount of time.

I had a great time hanging out with my teammates on and off the lanes all week.

The last day of camp, we were joined with the men's team. We had pictures, went over our elite training assessments from camp and got down on the lanes and practiced some more.

For our team bonding activity that night, we went curling. It was fun to learn a new sport. Unfortunately, I had injured my back at the PWBA Lexington Open and didn't want to overdo it. I had fun learning the basics, but I didn't participate the entire time to give my back a rest. 

From team camp, we then flew straight to Rochester, NY for the PWBA Rochester Open. Until then...

PWBA Lexington Open

Immediately following Bowl Expo in Las Vegas, we flew straight to the next PWBA Tour stop at Collins Bowling Center- Eastland in Lexington, KY.

I was excited for this stop because my mom's entire family is from Louisville, which is only a little over an hour away. Because of my crazy bowling schedule, I haven't been able to visit them for a very long time.

This week we bowled on a 38' pattern using 25.8mL on volume.

Most bowlers found success playing inside the track to start and then migrating left and opening up their angles. I, on the other hand, found a shot playing outside around 1st arrow, throwing it hard and straight. 

For those that follow along on Xtra Frame, you may have noticed that I was wearing a small wrist brace this week. This brace is actually more of a training tool that I use to practice, but it came in handy this week and it allows me to stay more behind the ball. 

The scores this week were very low, which put a premium on shot making and spare shooting. I shot games of 201, 254, 160, 221, 167 and 200 for +3 overall. I used my New Track Heat X-treme for most of the block.

I will say it was very easy to shoot low games this week. With bowling on twister pins, all it took was a bad pair, coupled with a few bad breaks to shoot a low game. 

The second block of qualifying, I had a cheering section as my Uncle Kevin and his wife Dana came to watch me bowl. I started out strong and used my New Heat X-treme the entire block, shooting games of 260, 234, 164, 279, 203 and 192 for +135, which put me in 5th place going into the casher's round.

I drilled a pin up Heat X-treme for the next day to help when the lanes started to dry up. This allowed me to stay near the same part of the lane, but help the ball get through the heads better when the lanes started to dry up.

In the casher's round, the lanes were brutal. I shot games of 214, 211, 215, 191, 186 and 166 (with my only open being a pocket 4,9 in the 10th frame.) That dropped me down to 10th place going into Matchplay. 

After regrouping, fixing surfaces and mentally recharging, I was determined to bowl well in match play. I went 2-4 in Matchplay, although my scores were pretty solid for the low scoring pace. I shot 228, 209, 210, 179, 214 and 189 using both of my Track Heat X-tremes and a Paradox. This put me in 4th position for the stepladder finals in my bracket.

In the opening match, I faced Diana Z. I used my pin up Heat X-treme and won shooting 223 to her 181. I then faced Shannon O'Keefe. The winner of this match would join Kelly Kulick and Bryanna Cote on the TV show. I bowled a very good game, never missing the pocket but left a stubborn 8 pin in the middle of strikes to shot 214 and lost to her 239. 

It was another good week, but again just short of making the TV finals. 

Congratulations to Shannon O'Keefe and Shannon Pluhowsky for joining Bryanna and Kelly for the TV show stepladder finals. 

The next day, I was able to visit with some of my family for lunch before flying out to Team USA training camp. It was so great to catch up with everyone!

Until next time...