LIZ JOHNSON CAPTURES TITLE AT PWBA STORM SACRAMENTO OPEN
BATON ROUGE, La. – United States Bowling Congress Hall of Famer Liz Johnson of Deerfield, Illinois, claimed her first title of the 2017 Professional Women’s Bowling Association Tour season, delivering in the final frame of the PWBA Storm Sacramento Open.
The 2015 and 2016 PWBA Player of the Year captured her 17th career PWBA Tour title by defeating Latvia’s Diana Zavjalova, 224-211, in the title match of the stepladder finals that aired nationally on CBS Sports Network on Tuesday.
A back-and-forth championship match saw Johnson take the early lead after Zavjalova opened in the fourth frame, but Zavjalova regained the advantage after striking on her next five offerings.
Stepping up first in the 10th frame, Zavjalova had the opportunity to shut out Johnson with a sixth consecutive strike, but she left a 6-7 split and was unable to convert.
Johnson took advantage by delivering three strikes in the 10th frame to secure the win and $10,000 top prize.
“I didn’t expect that opportunity in the 10th from Diana,” said Johnson, who now has collected a tour-leading six wins since the relaunch of the PWBA Tour in 2015. “I had very little to play with, but had to be aggressive. I don’t feel like I’m afraid to get up in that situation. If I fail, I fail, but I’m not afraid to go up there and make that shot. I don’t think there’s any greater feeling, and I’m very happy and proud of the way I was able to finish that game. I’m very confident and feel mentally and physically strong, and this win gives me a lot of momentum looking ahead at the rest of the season.”
Zavjalova was looking to become the first player to claim a second title in the 2017 season. She won her second USBC Queens title in May, defeating Johnson in the title match.
Zavjalova, the No. 3 seed, worked her way into the title match by defeating three-time PWBA Tour champion Rocio Restrepo of Louisville, Ohio, in the semifinal, 221-198, and two-time winner Danielle McEwan of Stony Point, New York, in the opening match of the stepladder, 192-163.
All qualifying and match-play rounds of the PWBA Storm Sacramento Open were held at Steve Cook’s Fireside Lanes in Citrus Heights, California, on May 5-6.
The stepladder finals were held May 23 at the Raising Cane’s River Center in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, in conjunction with the USBC Queens and the finals of the QubicaAMF PWBA Sonoma County Open and PWBA Fountain Valley Open.
The Queen finals aired May 23 on CBS Sports Network, while the PWBA Sonoma County Open aired June 6. The PWBA Fountain Valley Open will air on CBS Sports Network on June 20 at 8 p.m. Eastern.
For more information on the PWBA, visit PWBA.com.
PWBA Storm Sacramento Open
At Raising Cane’s River Center, Baton Rouge, La.
1, Liz Johnson, Deerfield, Ill., 224 (one game), $10,000
2, Diana Zavjalova, Latvia, 624 (three games), $5,000
3, Rocio Restrepo, Louisville, Ohio, 198 (one game), $3,500
4, Danielle McEwan, Stony Point, N.Y., 163 (one game), $3,000
Match No. 1 – Zavjalova def. McEwan, 192-163
Semifinal – Zavjalova def. Restrepo, 221-198
Championship – Johnson def. Zavjalova, 224-211
About the PWBA
The Professional Women’s Bowling Association (PWBA) originally was formed in 1960. The PWBA Tour has events throughout the country, offering high-level competition and top prize money for women bowlers. The PWBA is supported by the Bowling Proprietors’ Association of America (BPAA) and the United States Bowling Congress (USBC).
ZAVJALOVA BREAKS THROUGH AT PWBA STORM SACRAMENTO OPEN
CITRUS HEIGHTS, Calif. – Since the return of television to the Professional Women’s Bowling Association in 2016, Latvian native Diana Zavjalova had come up just shy of reaching the bright lights, but that sentiment changed on Saturday as Zavjalova broke down the door to earn her first PWBA televised finals appearance at Steve Cook’s Fireside Lanes.
The TV finals of the PWBA Storm Sacramento Open will be taped Tuesday, May 23 during the United States Bowling Congress Queens and is scheduled to air June 13 on CBS Sports Network.
History could’ve repeated itself this week, but a determined Zavjalova defeated Amanda Greene of Romney, West Virginia, 279-236, in the Group B Stepladder Final in an emotional victory. Joining Zavjalova on television is top seed Liz Johnson Cheektowaga, N.Y., Colombia native Rocio Restrepo is the second seed and Danielle McEwan of Stony Point, N.Y., is seeded fourth.
Zavjalova, who now resides in Austin, Texas, has run into bad luck on more than one occasion late in PWBA competition, most recently last week at the QubicaAMF PWBA Sonoma County Open. After holding the lead for much of the event, Zavjalova eventually lost in the Group Stepladder Finals to finish fifth.
This week, she again held a lead only to lose it late in match play, but it was a different bowler in the final match thanks to some friendly advice.
“Today, I was just in a different mindset,” Zavjalova said. “I had been putting so much pressure on myself in the past because I kept coming so close. It was very frustrating, and to start off this season the same way was heartbreaking. Before my match (against Amanda), I was talking to Daria Pajak, and she told me a couple of things that really boosted my confidence. I’m not sure if everyone could see it, but I was smiling and just wanted to bowl happy. Once I started smiling, I felt like that monkey was coming off my back, and that’s what happened.
Johnson, the reigning back-to-back PWBA Player of the Year, led the way in Group B with a 5,308 pinfall total, just five pins ahead of Restrepo for the top overall seed. Johnson found success on an unreleased lane condition which forced her to display her versatility.
Although she arguably is the most accomplished player on tour, she still embraces all challenges after many years of competing, and this week would certainly qualify.
“This week required a little more of the C and D game, and that’s why I constantly work on my game,” Johnson said. “My ball reps had me keeping my shoulders back and square so I wouldn’t come around it, and the little things like that helped all week. I did my best to stay out of trouble, and everything kind of came into place. After all of the years out here, I’m not afraid of anything. I may not be as good on some shots as others, but I know I can do it.”
Restrepo, last season’s runner-up for PWBA Player of the Year, earned an automatic TV berth for the second consecutive week after earning the top overall seed at the Sonoma County Open, putting her in position as the early front-runner for PWBA Player of the Year honors in 2017.
The players in the second, third and fourth positions in each group at the conclusion of match play advanced to their respective group stepladders Saturday and battled for the final two spots on the TV show.
The final TV spot went to McEwan, who defeated Shannon Pluhowsky of Dayton, Ohio, 195-170, in the Group A final. McEwan advanced to the final match after dispatching of Shannon O’Keefe of O’Fallon, Illinois, 224-190.
Prior to facing Zavjalova in the Group B final, Greene defeated Jennifer Higgins of Westerville, Ohio, 216-201, to advance.
Competition at the 2017 PWBA Storm Sacramento Open began Friday with two six-game qualifying blocks to determine to the 32 players for Saturday’s Cashers’ Round.
An additional six-game block Saturday morning narrowed the field from the 32 cashers to the top 12 players for round-robin match play.
The 2017 PWBA Tour season continues next week with the PWBA Fountain Valley Open at Fountain Bowl in Fountain Valley, California.
Go to PWBA.com for more information about the PWBA Tour. Qualifying and match-play rounds of PWBA Tour events are broadcast on Xtra Frame, the exclusive online bowling channel for the Professional Bowlers Association.
About the PWBA
The Professional Women’s Bowling Association (PWBA) originally was formed in 1960. The PWBA Tour has events throughout the country, offering high-level competition and top prize money for women bowlers. The PWBA is supported by the Bowling Proprietors’ Association of America (BPAA) and the United States Bowling Congress (USBC)
PWBA STORM SACRAMENTO OPEN
At Steve Cook’s Fireside Lanes, Citrus Heights, Calif.
MATCH PLAY – GROUP A
1, Liz Johnson, Cheektowaga, N.Y., 3-3-0, 5,308.
2, Shannon Pluhowsky, Dayton, Ohio, 4-2-0, 5,164.
3, Danielle McEwan, Stony Point, N.Y., 5-1-0, 5,152.
4, Shannon O’Keefe, O’Fallon, Ill., 4-2-0, 5,098.
5, Maria Jose Rodriguez, Austin, Texas, 1-5-0, 4,986.
6, Natalie Cortese, Hoffman Estates, Ill., 1-5-0, 4,878.
MATCH PLAY – GROUP B
1, Rocio Restrepo, Louisville, Ohio, 6-0-0, 5,303.
2, Diana Zavjalova, Latvia, 4-2-0, 5,195.
3, (tie) Jennifer Higgins, Westerville, Ohio, 3-3-0,
and Amanda Greene, Romney, W. Va., 2-4-0, 5,021.
5, Shayna Ng, Singapore, 1-5-0, 4,934.
6, Missy Parkin, Laguna Hills, Calif., 2-4-0, 4,924.
Group A Stepladder
Semifinal – Greene def. Higgins, 216-201 (Higgins finishes tied for seventh, earns $1,900).
Final – Zavjalova def. Greene, 279-236 (Zavjalova earns No. 3 seed for stepladder based on average; Greene finishes tied for fifth, earns $2,100).
Group B Stepladder
Semifinal – McEwan def. O’Keefe, 224-190 (O’Keefe finishes tied for seventh, earns $1,900).
Final – McEwan def. Pluhowsky, 195-170 (McEwan earns No. 4 seed for stepladder based on average; Pluhowsky finishes tied for fifth, earns $2,100).
TELEVISED STEPLADDER FINALS
(Will be taped May 23 and will air June 13 on CBS Sports Network)
Match No. 1: (4) McEwan vs. (3) Zavjalova
Match No. 2: (2) Restrepo vs. Match No. 1 winner
Final: (1) Johnson vs. Match No. 2 winner
CASHERS’ ROUND (18-game totals; top 12 advance)
1, Liz Johnson, Cheektowaga, N.Y., 3,964. 2, Diana Zavjalova, Latvia, 3,862. 3, Shannon O’Keefe, O’Fallon, Ill., 3,825. 4, Rocio Restrepo, Louisville, Ohio, 3,809. 5, Shannon Pluhowsky, Dayton, Ohio, 3,765. 6, Shayna Ng, Singapore, 3,756.
7, Natalie Cortese, Hoffman Estates, Ill., 3,742. 8, Amanda Greene, Romney, W.Va., 3,737. 9, Danielle McEwan, Stony Point, N.Y., 3,733. 10, Jennifer Higgins, Westerville, Ohio, 3,729. 11, Maria Jose Rodriguez, Austin, Texas, 3,717. 12, Missy Parkin, Laguna Hills, Calif., 3,704.
DID NOT ADVANCE
13, Summer Jasmin, Beckley, W. Va., 3,689, $1,200. 14, Robyn Renslow, Brentwood, Calif., 3,676, $1,200. 15, Amanda Fry, Antelope, Calif., 3,652, $1,200. 16, Hui Fen New, Singapore, 3,647, $1,200. 17, Brandi Branka, Fairview Heights, Ill., 3,624, $1,200. 18, Sandra Gongora, Mexico, 3,609, $1,200.
19, Clara Guerrero, Pflugerville, Texas, 3,602, $1,200. 20, Daphne Tan, Singapore, 3,588, $1,200. 21, Stephanie Martins, Brazil, 3,573, $1,200. 22, Jodi Woessner, Oregon, Ohio, 3,567, $1,200. 23, Daria Pajak, Poland, 3,566, $1,200. 24, Michelle Duncan (a), Lincoln, Calif., 3,559, $1,200.
25, Liz Kuhlkin, Schenectady, N.Y., 3,557, $1,200. 26, Brittany Smith, Johnston, Iowa, 3,529, $1,200. 27, Linda Walbaum, Brighton, Colo., 3,511, $1,200. 28, Tnia Moore, Greensburg, Pa., 3,495, $1,200. 29, Wendy Macpherson, Henderson, Nev., 3,478, $1,200. 30, Kelly Kulick, Union, N.J., 3,472, $1,200.
31, Amber Vega, Orangevale, Calif., 3,443, $1,200. 32, Cassandra Leuthold, Lincoln, Neb., 3,378, $1,200.
QUALIFYING (12-game totals; top 32 advance)
1, Rocio Restrepo, Louisville, Ohio, 2,598. 2, Liz Johnson, Cheektowaga, N.Y., 2,590. 3, Diana Zavjalova, Latvia, 2,560. 4, Shannon O’Keefe, O’Fallon, Ill., 2,548. 5, Danielle McEwan, Stony Point, N.Y., 2,526. 6, Robyn Renslow, Brentwood, Calif., 2,525.
7, Shayna Ng, Singapore, 2,504. 8, Natalie Cortese, Hoffman Estates, Ill., 2,490. 9, Missy Parkin, Laguna Hills, Calif., 2,488. 10, Shannon Pluhowsky, Dayton, Ohio, 2,481. 11, (tie) Summer Jasmin, Beckley, W.Va., and Jodi Woessner, Oregon, Ohio, 2,461.
13, Maria Jose Rodriguez, Austin, Texas, 2,447. 14, Amanda Greene, Romney, W.Va., 2,445. 15, Sandra Gongora, Mexico, 2,444. 16, Jennifer Higgins, Westerville, Ohio, 2,431. 17, Clara Guerrero, Pflugerville, Texas, 2,419. 18, Amanda Fry, Antelope, Calif., 2,417.
19, New Hui Fen, Singapore, 2,408. 20, Daphne Tan, Singapore, 2,391. 21, Stephanie Martins, Brazil, 2,387. 22, Linda Walbaum, Brighton, Colo., 2,381. 23, Liz Kuhlkin, Schenectady, N.Y., 2,376. 24, Daria Pajak, Poland, 2,359.
25, Brandi Branka, Fairview Heights, Ill., 2,358. 26, Michelle Duncan (a), Lincoln, Calif., 2,349. 27, Wendy Macpherson, Henderson, Nev., 2,344. 28, Amber Vega, Orangevale, Calif., 2,343. 29, Cassandra Leuthold, Lincoln, Neb., 2,338. 30, Kelly Kulick, Union, N.J., 2,333.
31, T’nia Moore, Greensburg, Pa., 2,331. 32, Brittany Smith, Johnston, Iowa, 2,330.
DID NOT ADVANCE
33, Cherie Tan, Singapore, 2,325. 34, Anggie Ramirez Perea, Austin, Texas, 2,318. 35, (tie) Bryanna Cote, Red Rock, Ariz., and Megan Kelly, Dayton, Ohio, 2,313.
37, Brandi Calderon, Tempe, Ariz., 2,311. 38, Marcia Kloempken (a), Pleasant View, Utah, 2,310. 39, Kayla Bandy, Salisbury, Md., 2,296. 40, Tannya Roumimper, Indonesia, 2,285. 41, (tie) Heather Dettrey, Lincoln, Calif., and Jazreel Tan, Singapore, 2,274.
43, Samantha Schaden, Baltimore, 2,271. 44, Felicia Wong, Canada, 2,266. 45, Lynda Barnes, Double Oak, Texas, 2,257. 46, Sarah Muench, Johnston, Iowa, 2,243. 47, (tie) Tish Johnson, Colorado Springs, Colo., and Kristie Leong (a), Daly City, Calif., 2,226.
49, Kimberly Power, San Leandro, Calif., 2,217. 50, Roxanna Horton (a), Napa, Calif., 2,211. 51, Ashly Galante, Palm Harbor, Fla., 2,201. 52, Kayla Johnson, Washington, Ill., 2,200. 53, Brittany Himmelreich, Cressona, Pa., 2,168. 54, Mariana Ayala, Euless, Texas, 2,162.
55, Danielle Johnson, Fresno, Calif., 2,157. 56, Kaitlyn Commane, Melbourne, 2,156. 57, Kayla Pashina, Minnetonka, Minn., 2,150. 58, Elysia Current, Ephrata, Pa., 2,132. 59, Kaidee Sutphin, Mount Dora, Fla., 2,127. 60, Leanne Hulsenberg, Pleasant View, Utah, 2,120.
61, Dena Buxton, Melbourne, 2,113. 62, Gabby Mayfield, Lake Isabella, Calif., 2,111. 63, Paula Vidad, Sun City, Calif., 2,101. 64, Tannya Lopez, Monterrey, Mexico, 2,065. 65, Nichole Hiraoka (a), Daly City, Calif., 2,053. 66, Stephanie Sanders (a), Bakersfield, Calif., 2,017.
67, Kristin Romero (a), Lincoln, Calif., 2,011. 68, Jennifer Reven (a), West Sacramento, Calif., 1,986. 69, Adrianna Tadiello (a), Oakley, Calif., 1,980. 70, Amanda Duplan (a), Citrus Heights, Calif., 1,965. 71, Jennifer Dirckx (a), Antioch, Calif., 1,957. 72, Joanne Gonzalez (a), Stockton, Calif., 1,946.
73, Stephani Cooksey (a), Reno, Nev., 1,914. 74, Jeanette Adams (a), Sacramento, Calif., 1,902. 75, Melanie McAllister (a), Colorado Springs, Colo., 1,894. 76, Karen Russell, El Dorado Hills, Calif., 1,860. 77, Cyndee Sutherland, San Jose, Calif., 1,843. 78, Jenny Scott (a), Sacramento, Calif., 1,771.
79, Jordan Lazaro (a), Sacramento, Calif., 1,594. 80, Jill Creamer, Folsom, Calif., 724 (WD).