RENO, Nev. - With just a week left until the final team squad hits the lanes at the National Bowling Stadium, the members of Coefficient of Friction of Palo Alto, Calif., only have a few days to wait and see if they posted a big enough score to become the Scratch Team champions at the 2012 United States Bowling Congress Women's Championships.
Led by Brittany Hillman's 720 series, Coefficient of Friction rolled games of 1,160, 1,053 and 1,089 for a 3,302 total, five pins better than previous leader, Together Once Again of Keller, Texas. The group also moved into the top five in Diamond Team. An additional 40 pins of handicap per game helped them to a 3,422 total, which is fourth overall. Hawaiian Punch - Hana Hou of Kapolei, Hawaii, leads with 3,522.
Hillman was joined by Mandy Green (655), Bowling Writers Association of America board member Jackie Wyckoff (654), Terri Stynes (639) and Kimberly Power (634).
Coefficient of Friction was crunching the numbers down the stretch to figure out what it would take to catch USBC Hall of Famer Carolyn Dorin-Ballard and her talented team. Although two bowlers opened in the final frame, Green did her job as the anchor and ran down her spare to vault the team to the top of the leaderboard.
"We knew exactly what we needed," said Wyckoff, who made her 14th USBC Women's Championships appearance. "I have to say we were a little more confident in the ninth frame. A couple of us opened in the 10th, and it was getting pretty scary there for a minute. Luckily, our two younger bowlers pulled it out for us, and we're just so excited."
Hillman and Power both made a visit to USBC Silver coach Mike Jasnau at Lane 81 in the Stadium's pro shop area before hitting the lanes this weekend. It helped the team develop a lane-play strategy to suit its style.
"Brittany and Kim both took a lesson with Mike, and it helped to get everybody lined up," said Wyckoff, who served as BWAA President from 2009-11. "We have distinct styles but tried to break the lanes down the way they discussed with him, and it worked for us."
As July 7 looms as the final team date, Coefficient of Friction can't wait to count down the final days of the 2012 Women's Championships.
"We're going to be holding our breath for the next few days and see what happens," Wyckoff said. "We bowled well. We're really confident with our score, and if somebody is going to beat us, they're going to have to work really hard to do it."
Another team from California finds itself in a similar position as the Ruby Team leader. Team Paulos 3 of Suisun City, Calif., also surged to the top of the leaderboard Saturday.
The group bowled games of 823, 922 and 906 for a 2,651 scratch total and received 125 pins of handicap per game for 3,026. Jungle Kats of Salem, Ore., previously held the top spot with 2,928.
Della Kallenback led Team Paulos 3 with a 680 series and was joined by Coleen Hedspeth (552), Patricia McNally (493), DeAnna Pinger-DeVoto (488) and Nichole Bigham (438).
"I think we thought we were bowling pretty well," McNally said. "A couple of us were hitting our average every game. We all pulled together, and this is a team event, so that's what it's all about. I think it's pretty phenomenal, and we're very excited and looking to see if it stands."
The top scratch bowlers in team, doubles, singles and all-events are recognized as overall tournament champions. Click here for the latest standings.
Diamond Team is made up of bowlers with combined averages of 900 and higher, with handicap based on 1,100. Ruby Team includes bowlers with combined averages of 750-899, with handicap based on 100 percent of 900 for the team set.
Presenting sponsors for the 2012 USBC Women's Championships are Circus Circus, Eldorado Hotel Casino and Silver Legacy Resort Casino in Reno, Nev. Other sponsors include Harrah's Reno Casino, official brackets sponsor, Kegel, official lane maintenance provider, Humana, official registration sponsor, Steltronic, official scoring system, and supporting sponsors Storm Bowling Products, Nationwide Insurance, Sands Regency Casino Hotel and Atlantis Casino Resort and Spa and MyBowlingVacation.com.