Finalists set for 2014 USBC Queens

USBC Queens bracket

RENO, Nev. -
Colombia's Maria Jose Rodriguez earned the top seed for the stepladder finals of the 2014 United States Bowling Congress Queens presented by Storm after finishing match play Wednesday with a perfect record.

The 25-year-old right-hander rallied back from a 58-pin deficit after one game to defeat Tannya Roumimper of Indonesia, 614-582, to secure the No. 1 seed, and now is just one win away from her first major title. Roumimper, a two-time National Collegiate Bowling Coaches Association Most Valuable Player at Wichita State, will be the second seed.

The stepladder finals of the 2014 USBC Queens will be televised live on ESPN2 on Thursday at 7 p.m. EDT. The winner will earn $20,000 and the coveted Queens tiara.

Rodriguez, who averaged more than 212 on the way to a 5-0 match-play record, was guaranteed a spot on the show after defeating 2011 Queens champion Missy Parkin of Laguna Hills, Calif., 621-579, at the National Bowling Stadium earlier Wednesday. Roumimper downed Jennifer Higgins of Westerville, Ohio, 650-637, to earn her spot on the show and set up the showdown with Rodriguez.

"I learned how to be patient on the fresh because I didn't have anything on it," said Rodriguez, a three-time collegiate national champion at the University of Maryland-Eastern Shore. "I knew it would come to me, and I tried to make good shots. It was really important to win the match for the top seed because I'll get a chance to see where everyone else is playing and where I can find some hold and create some room to play with. It would mean the world if I won."

Higgins and Parkin both found their way back into the spotlight through a shootout round that included the last four players in the elimination bracket. All four bowled three games on the same pair of lanes, and total pinfall determined the three who would advance to the stepladder.

Higgins, who is making her second consecutive Queens TV show, led the way with a 736 series and was followed by two-time Queens winner Kelly Kulick of Union, N.J., (703) and Parkin (689). The fourth bowler in the shootout was 2009 Queens champion Liz Johnson of Cheektowaga, N.Y., who shot 589 and was eliminated, giving her a sixth-place finish.

The 2014 Queens featured 178 players vying for the major title and top prize from the more than $91,000 prize fund, which includes a $20,000 contribution by presenting sponsor Storm.

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