Former Team USA member takes early lead at Queens

Standings: Queens | Senior Queens

RENO, Nev. -
Former Team USA member Ashly Galante of Palm Harbor, Fla., took the early lead Saturday at the 2014 United States Bowling Congress Queens presented by Storm.

The 25-year-old right-hander paced the field with games of 213, 269, 267, 224 and 266 for a five-game total of 1,239, a 247.8 average, at the National Bowling Stadium. Tawni Vollmer of Chicago finished the day in second place with 1,193, and Team USA member Shannon O'Keefe of Arlington, Texas, is third with 1,186.

Qualifying will continue with five games Sunday and a final five-game block Monday. After 15 games, the top 31 competitors from the 178-player field will join defending champion Diana Zavjalova of Latvia for double-elimination match play, which will begin Tuesday at 1 p.m. EDT.

Zavjalova finished the first day in a tie for 29th place with 1,073. Should she not qualify for match play, she automatically will earn the 32nd seed.

Match play will continue Wednesday, and the final five players will advance to the stepladder finals, which will be televised live on ESPN2 on July 3 at 7 p.m. EDT. The winner will take home the coveted tiara and $20,000 of the more than $91,000 prize fund, which includes a $20,000 contribution by presenting sponsor Storm.

All of qualifying rounds and match play competition at the 2014 Queens will be broadcast live on BowlTV. The Queens is open to any female USBC member.


Lilia Johnson of Lawton, Okla., found herself in familiar territory atop the standings at the USBC Senior Queens presented by Storm after averaging more than 234 at the National Bowling Stadium on Saturday.

The 62-year-old has been the early leader at the event before, but still is waiting for her breakthrough win. She closed her five-game block with games of 257 and 254, catapulting her into the lead with a 1,174 total.

USBC Hall of Famer Tish Johnson of Colorado Springs, Colo., is second with 1,143, while fellow hall of famer Robin Romeo of Newhall, Calif., is third with 1,140. Defending champion Lucy Sandelin of Tampa, Fla., is eighth with 1,057.

All 56 Senior Queens participants will bowl 15 games of qualifying over three days before the field is cut to the top 15, plus Sandelin, a USBC Hall of Famer, for the double-elimination match-play bracket starting Tuesday at 1 p.m. EDT. Should Sandelin not qualify, she automatically will earn the 16th seed.

BowlTV is providing free live streaming coverage of the four-player stepladder finals Thursday at 1 p.m. Eastern.

The player who survives the bracket to win the event will take home $3,500 of the $21,000 prize fund, which includes a $5,000 contribution by presenting sponsor Storm.

The Senior Queens, open to all female USBC members age 50 and older, marks the second 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 Senior Queens, National Golden Ladies Classic and Bowling's U.S. Senior Women'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.

Lilia Johnson finished fourth in the Senior Division (50 and over) of the 2014 National Golden Ladies Classic, while Tish Johnson was the runner-up to Sharon Powers of Lakewood, Colo.

The Triple Crown Shoot-Out will be held after the U.S. Senior Women's Open qualifying rounds July 24 at The Cherry Bowl in Rockford, Ill.