Naccarato among eight undefeated players at 2018 USBC Senior Queens


United States Bowling Congress Hall of Famer Jeanne Naccarato of Tacoma, Washington, already has collected one title in her time this week in Las Vegas, and she's now one step closer to adding another as one of the eight undefeated players left in match play at the 2018 USBC Senior Queens.

Naccarato defeated 2010 champion Char Hammel of Las Vegas, 632-576, and Terri Stynes of San Jose, California, 673-546, in her first two three-game total-pinfall matches at Gold Coast on Saturday, and she'll attempt to continue her journey Sunday against Sharon Powers of Lakewood, Colorado.

Naccarato, a 60-year-old right-hander, kicked off the festivities in Las Vegas by claiming her third win at the National Golden Ladies Classic, held prior to the start of the Senior Queens.

The win gave Naccarato some momentum heading into Friday's opening round of qualifying, but she didn't really begin to settle in at Gold Coast until match play, where she averaged more than 217 in her two wins.

Naccarato heads into Sunday's action two wins away from securing herself a spot in the event's stepladder finals, and she hopes to maintain the composure she showed Saturday.

"The win gave me confidence, but I never really got comfortable here during qualifying," said Naccarato, a Professional Women's Bowling Association Tour Hall of Famer. "The important thing with this event is making it to match play. I just tried to bowl my game today, and I'm going to have to stay within myself and continue to do that tomorrow. I'm going to try and calm my nerves and take things one frame at a time, one match at a time."

Naccarato advanced to the stepladder finals of the USBC Queens on four occasions, highlighted by a runner-up finish in 1991, but she is making her debut at the Senior Queens in 2018.

She still enjoys the opportunity to compete, but her family always was the top priority. Her husband, Stan, battled with Alzheimer's disease until his death in 2016.

"My husband was very ill, and I was his primary caregiver," Naccarato said. "I would bowl the Golden Ladies, but I didn't want to take any additional time away. He was the most important part of my life, so that was more important than bowling."

Other matches in the winners bracket Sunday include USBC Hall of Famer Tish Johnson of Colorado Springs, Colorado, taking on Laura Hardeman of Chula Vista, California, Beth Owen-Cipielewski of Bradenton, Florida, against Michele Carter of National City, California, and MeiLing Billingsley of Lee's Summit, Missouri, facing off with Australia's Julie Harrison.

Three USBC Hall of Famers remain in the contenders bracket as three-time Senior Queens champion Robin Romeo of Newhall, California, Leanne Hulsenberg of Pleasant View, Utah, and Linda Kelly of Dayton, Ohio, will continue their runs Sunday.

Defending champion Lucy Sandelin of Tampa, Florida, was eliminated during Saturday's final round of competition, falling to Debbie Ayers of La Mesa, California, 667-579. Sandelin, also a three-time champion and USBC Hall of Famer, finished the week tied for 17th place.

The 16 players remaining in the field will return to the lanes Sunday at 11 a.m. Eastern to continue match play until five players remain for the stepladder finals, scheduled to begin at 8:30 p.m. Eastern.'s BowlTV is providing wire-to-wire coverage of the event.

Qualifying at the 2018 Senior Queens consisted of 15 games over two days to determine the 32 players advancing to the double-elimination match-play bracket. The final five-game round took place Saturday morning.

Johnson led qualifying with a 3,517 total, a 234.47 average. Debbie Wade of Salt Lake City earned the final spot through qualifying, finishing 31st with a 2,988 total, a 199.2 average.

Sandelin finished qualifying in 33rd place with a 2,978 total, but she was guaranteed the No. 32 spot in the bracket as defending champion.

PamLawrence_637The top eight players age 60 and older who did not qualify for match play at the Senior Queens were seeded into an additional bracket to compete for an additional prize fund. Each round consisted of a one-game match to determine who advanced.

Pam Lawrence of Pflugerville, Texas, rolled a clean game to claim the $500 top prize, defeating Marci Williams of Wichita, Kansas, 212-170. Williams earned $450 for the runner-up finish.