Biondo leads all-events at Women's Championships

RENO, Nev. - A day after helping Eagle's Edge Pro Shop into the Diamond Team lead, three-time United States Bowling Congress Women's Championships titlist Joey Biondo of Carpentersville, Ill., returned to the Reno-Sparks Convention Center to claim the top spot in Division 1 All-Events with a 2,074 total.

The 42-year-old right-hander held off her teammate and two-time titlist Tina Becke of Carol Stream, Ill., who moved into second place Thursday morning with 2,038. Stacie Watson of San Diego previously held the lead with 2,031.

Biondo rolled sets of 744 in team, 726 in singles and 604 in doubles to reach her leading score, while Becke was clean in 89 of 90 frames on the way to 718 in doubles, 674 in singles and 646 in team.

Wednesday's team event, which was shown live on BowlTV, proved why Biondo and her Eagle's Edge Pro Shop teammates are a threat to contend for a championship every year. They bounced back from a slow start and out-distanced their companion team, VISE/IT Grips of Waukesha, Wis., to secure the top spot in the standings.

Biondo showed the same resilience Thursday after coming out of the gates in doubles with a 150 game. She went on to average 236 in her final five games.

"This means so much to me," said Biondo, a former Team USA member who made her 15th USBC Women's Championships appearance. "Life has been crazy lately, but when I step out here, I'm at peace. I find my zone and just leave it all out on the lanes. I had another rough start today, but I managed to dig deep and make the best of it."

Biondo has been on a historic run at the Women's Championships since 2011, when she helped Eagle's Edge Pro Shop capture the Diamond Team title. Her return to the championship lanes in 2012 started with a 299 game and ended with her capturing the Diamond All-Events crown.

At the 2013 event, also held at the RSCC, she once again helped Eagle's Edge Pro Shop into the winner's circle, taking home the Scratch Team title with the second-highest team score in tournament history, 3,357. She also left the 2013 tournament with the lead in Diamond and Scratch All-Events but went on to finish sixth and 10th, respectively.

She is one of just nine bowlers in the 95-year history of the Women's Championships to take home a title in three consecutive events and leaves the 2014 event with the chance to become just the fifth competitor to capture a title in four consecutive tournaments, a feat that hasn't been accomplished in more than 40 years.

"It's hard to put into words," Biondo said. "There were really no expectations this year other than to enjoy it and have fun. I walked in this year very content and happy with what's happened the past three years. It makes me nervous trying to be able to live up to that every single year. No matter what happens, if it holds up or not, I just hope to come out here and do my best."

A new era in Women's Championships history has been ushered in this year, as the tournament transitioned from five-player to four-player teams for the first time. The tournament also returned to an all-scratch format and introduced new average-based divisions.

Bowlers competing in Division 1 have entering averages of 190 and above.

Visit us on Facebook at the official USBC Open/Women's Championships page.

Presenting sponsors for the 2014 USBC Women's Championships include Circus Circus Reno, Eldorado Hotel Casino Reno and Silver Legacy Resort Casino Reno.