Wednesday, January 11, 2017

Missy Makes Team USA 2017

Last week, I travelled to Henderson, Nev. to compete at the Team USA Trials at Sunset Station for a chance to earn a bern onto Team USA 2017. Team USA Trials features five days of competition on five different WTBA oil patterns. The format features a unique point system in which you earn ranking points based on your overall finish each day. If you finish in 1st place, you earn 1 point, 2nd place, 2 points, etc. The 4 lowest ranking points, after five days of competition earn an automatic spot onto Team USA 2017.

On Day 1, we competed on the 35' Los Angeles oil pattern.

Typically the short patterns have been my weakness, but I've put in a lot of work to get better at attacking them. I started out slow, shooting back-to-back 181 games, but then switched to my New Ebonite Game Breaker 2 Phenom Pearl to shoot 213, 246, 200 and 233 to end up +54. This put me in 15th place for the day, giving me 15 ranking points.

Knowing I needed to bowl four amazing days to get back up to the top, I really focused on keeping things simple. I did not look up at the score board at all and simply thought of simple execution keys the rest of the week. This definitely paid off. 

I started out Day 2 on the 40' Athens oil pattern using my Ebonite Warrior Supreme to shoot a perfect 300 game to start the day. Check out the 10th frame of my 300 game here.  

I then shot games of 216 and 258 before switching to my Hammer Scandal Peal to shoot 229. I had to Switch balls again to my Columbia 300 Impulse to shoot 216 and finished the day going back to my Hammer Scandal Pearl to shoot 229. This put me at +248 for the day, which was enough to lead the block and earn me 1 ranking point for a total of 16 points overall.

On Day 3, we competed on the 45' Rome oil pattern.

I again started out the block strong using my trusty Columbia 300 Oath, throwing the first 9 strikes in a row. Check out the 10th frame to see what happened. I followed up that game with games of 256, 205, 279, 257 and 278 for +362 on the day, which was possibly a USBC scoring record for Team UA Trials. I finished in the top spot for the day, which again earned me 1 ranking point, putting my total at 17 points for the week and moved me into the overall lead. Check out the video to see my thoughts on this crazy, fun day of bowling. 

On Day 4, we competed on the 44' Tokyo oil pattern.

I started out slow shooting 196 using my Columbia 300 Oath. I then switched to my Ebonite Game Breaker 2 Phenom and shot 213 and 206. As the lanes continued to break down, I switched to my Hammer Scandal Pearl and shot 248, 236 and 205 to end up +105 for the day. I am happy with my execution, but unfortunately with the scores being so high that put me in 20th place for the day and gave me a total of 37 ranking points, which dropped me down to 3rd place overall. 

On Day 5, the final day of qualifying, we bowled on the 39' Seoul oil pattern. 

Being 10 points behind 1st and 2nd place going into the final day, I knew I needed a good day on the lanes. I had a great look playing near the track with my Game Breaker 2 Phenom. Unfortunately that quickly went away towards the end of the game 1, as I shot 199 to start the block. I then switched strategies and played further right with a flatter release, more speed and used my Track Heat Xtreme to shot 207. Having carry issues, I again switched strategies and moved inside, slowed down my ball speed and used my Oath to shot 201. I again needed better carry to compensate for the higher scores and changed my hand position and switched to my Hammer Scandal Pearl to shoot 200. In game 5, I continued to have carry problems and switched to my Columbia 300 Impulse in the 9th and 10th frame to shoot 186. Going into the final game, I threw every shot really well and again used both my Hammer Scandal Pearl and Columbia 300 Impulse and ended the block shooting 236 for +29 on the day. This put me in 34th position for the day, due to the higher scoring pace.  

Despite my finish on the day, I was extremely happy with my execution. I tried a variety of bowling balls, areas on the lane, changed my ball speed and changed hand positions, but I just couldn't seem to get my ball to go through the pins correctly. I definitely showed a lot of versatility and guts to be able to make all of those changes in a crucial point in the tournament. Some days that's just the way things go. 

Overall I lead the field by 130 pins finishing at +798 over the 30 games of qualifying, averaging 226.6. I was extremely consistent all week with my low game only being 181 (during day 1 of qualifying.) I am extremely happy with my overall execution all week long. With my final day of qualifying, I finished in 7th place in the ranking points, which did not earn me an automatic spot onto Team USA.

Fortunately, I was selected my the National Selection Committee to be a part of Team USA 2017 based on my performance at Team USA Trials. I am elated to again be a part of the best Team in the World! This is my 8th year on the adult team and I couldn't be happier to be surrounded by an amazingly talented group of ladies! 

Congratulations to Erin McCarthy and Jakob Butturff for winning Team USA Trials and Julia Bond and Matt Russo for winning the US Amateur. Big congratulations to everyone that qualified for Team USA and Junior Team USA! The future is definitely bright for Team USA! #TeamUSA #BestTeamInTheWorld  

For the full recap on Team USA Trials, click here.