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Zavjalova, Johnson top qualifiers at Rockford events

Matt Cannizzaro
USBC Communications
Published: July 23, 2014 | Bowl.com
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Standings: BPAA Women's All-Star | Senior Women's U.S. Open


ROCKFORD, Ill. -
Diana Zavjalova of Latvia and Tish Johnson of Colorado Springs, Colorado, outdistanced their respective fields Wednesday to earn top qualifier honors at the Bowling Proprietors' Association of America Women's All-Star Tournament and 2014 Bowling's Senior Women's U.S. Open.

Zavjalova, a 22-year-old right-hander, averaged more than 216 at The Cherry Bowl this week on the way to a 3,893 total for 18 games of qualifying. Jodi Woessner of Oregon, Ohio, is second with 3,805 and left-hander Shannon Pluhowsky of Dayton, Ohio, sits third with 3,797.

"I'm pretty happy with how I bowled, especially because I was consistent all three days," said Zavjalova, the 2013 United States Bowling Congress Queens champion. "It hasn't been too difficult to get to the pocket, but I struggled with carry at times. After so many games now, I know a little better what to do if I leave a 10 pin, so I'm really looking forward to tomorrow."

JohnsonTish2014at250x140The Senior Women's U.S. Open is being held simultaneously at The Cherry Bowl, and Johnson set the pace with a 3,509 pinfall total, a 194.9 average. Defending champion Paula Vidad of Sun City, California, is second with 3,484 and USBC Hall of Famer Lucy Sandelin of Tampa, Florida, is third with 3,435.

"I don't really pay attention to the standings, and I never give up until the last ball is thrown," said Johnson, a USBC Hall of Famer. "Qualifying is qualifying, but I really enjoy when we get to match play. It's a different mindset. It's exciting. And with the 30 bonus pins, that's where you really get the opportunity to try and separate yourself."

All competitors bowled 18 qualifying games over three days before the field was cut to the top 16 in the BPAA Women's All-Star Tournament and top eight in the Senior Women's U.S. Open. The week started with 103 participants, 75 in the Women's All-Star and 28 on the senior side.

Team USA member Brittni Hamilton of Webster, New York, grabbed the final spot in match play at the All-Star with a 3,637 total, and Lil Johnson of Lawton, Oklahoma, rounded out the match-play roster at the Senior Women's U.S. Open with 3,315.

The remaining All-Star participants will bowl 16 games of round-robin match play, while the final eight in the Senior Women's U.S. Open bowl eight games of match play to determine the stepladder finalists for each event.

The Senior Women's U.S. Open stepladder finals are scheduled for Thursday, and the BPAA Women's All-Star Tournament finals will be Friday.

All match play and championship-round competition will be broadcast live on BOWL.com's BowlTV. Competition resumes Thursday at 9 a.m. EDT.

The Women's All Star Tournament, which began in 1971, was the pre-cursor to Bowling's U.S. Women's Open, which is on hiatus until 2015. This year's event will showcase today's top talent, highlight the history of women's bowling and celebrate the 40th anniversary of formation of the Ladies Pro Bowling Tour.

The Women's All-Star winner will take home $15,000, and the Senior Women's U.S. Open champion will earn $3,000.

The Senior Women's U.S. Open marks the third and final stop of the Senior Women's Triple Crown Series presented by The Orleans. The Triple Crown Series is a special competition for bowlers who compete in the United States Bowling Congress Senior Queens, National Golden Ladies Classic and Senior Women's U.S. Open.

The top 10 players in the Triple Crown standings, which combines qualifying totals from all three events, will take part in the Triple Crown Shoot-Out presented by The Orleans.

The Triple Crown Shoot-Out will be held at The Cherry Bowl immediately after the Senior Women's U.S. Open competition Thursday.

After Vidad won the 2013 Senior Women's U.S. Open, Sandelin claimed the Triple Crown Shoot-Out later in the year.

Bowling's U.S. Open officially will return in 2015 after USBC and BPAA agreed to a three-year deal that will see USBC operate and conduct the U.S. Open for men and women in 2015, 2016 and 2017.

As part of the agreement, USBC and BPAA each will contribute at least $100,000 annually toward operating the events. Further details will be announced at a later date.

For more information on the BPAA All-Star Tournament and Bowling's Senior Women's U.S. Open, visit BPAA.com/tournaments.

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