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ABC Gates Bowl

Bryanna Coté captures U.S. Women's Open; McEwan places third, Liz Johnson fifth

By Mike Pettinella
Bryanna Cote
Bryanna Coté is congratulated by ABC Gates Bowl owners Russell Vallone, left, and Kelvin Parker after her victory Tuesday night in the U.S. Women's Open. Photo courtesy of United States Bowling Congress.

Coming off a 248 game in the semifinal match, Bryanna Coté of Tucson, Ariz., had to feel confident as she faced top-seeded Clara Guerrero of Columbia for the U.S. Women’s Open championship Tuesday night.

The road to her first major tournament victory became an extremely bumpy one, however, in the title match as Coté overcame opens in the first three frames to turn back Guerrero, 153-142, for the $60,000 top prize before an enthusiastic crowd at ABC Gates Bowl in Rochester.

The stepladder finals, featuring the top five of the 108 entrants, was televised live on CBS Sports Network.

When asked what changed from her 248-199 win over fifth-seeded Danielle McEwan of Stony Point, Coté said it was a matter of “adrenaline kicking in a little bit.”

“When you’re bowling for the U.S. Open title and the adrenaline doesn’t kick in, something (wrong) is going on,” said Coté, the Professional Women’s Bowling Association Player of the Year in 2021. “The lanes definitely got the best of me the first few frames but I settled in and thought I started making some good shots on the right lane and it still kind of wiggled. I was making good shots on the left lane, so I just made a decision to try different balls.”

Calling it “a gutsy move” to make a ball change, Coté said she had to “take a big risk to win the big trophy.”

After Guerrero failed to convert the 2-4-10 split in the 10th frame – her fourth open frame of the game, Coté stepped up in the 10th needing nine pins on two balls to secure the win.

The ball came high on the head pin and the 3-6-10 was left standing. Coté had to get at least two of those pins for the victory and she did that and one more, converting the spare. She got eight pins on her final ball for the 153.

This is the fifth PWBA crown for Coté, a 37-year-old right-hander.

“To be a major champion now is just incredible,” she said.

For Guerrero, who posted a tournament-high 209.7 average for 56 games, the loss was a bitter pill to swallow.

She started with a spare and strike but didn't record another strike – failing to convert a split and two spares before the disastrous 10th frame.

“I felt good. I felt calm and I felt confident, but for some reason I couldn’t throw it as good as I needed,” said Guerrero, an international tournament star with one PWBA major title under her belt. “The lanes were very hard all week. I mean, a 140 or 150 game was coming.”

She was unable to keep the ball to the right of the head pin all game.

“I needed to keep my hand a bit cleaner (as far as the release), but I kept grabbing it a bit and that’s why the ball kept hooking,” she explained. “I moved a bit left (on the approach) in the 10th frame and thought it was a good shot, but it hydroplaned a bit and left the 2-4-10.”

Guerrero, who won $30,000 for placing second, didn’t hold back her disappointment.

“I have won Women’s World Championships (a separate tour) several times and have had a beautiful career,” she said, “however, this one hurts. I had a great week. I led the tournament, which isn’t easy to do, but not being able to close it out, it’s a tough day.”

The stepladder finals began with a pair of New Yorkers battling it out, with McEwan edging six-time U.S. Open champion Liz Johnson of Niagara Falls, 212-201.

McEwan rolled six strikes in the match, including a double entering the 10th frame. Another strike in the 10th would have locked it up but she left a solid 10-pin, giving Johnson a chance.

With strikes in the eighth and ninth frames, Johnson had to get another on the first ball in the 10th but left a 10-pin as the ball finished a bit late.

“It was in the right spot; it just didn't come off my hand great. I may have squeezed it a little bit, but I bowled a good game,” said Johnson, who has 25 PWBA titles. “It was not an easy shot this week, so I’m happy the way I finished. You always want to win, of course, but I got fifth in the U.S. Open.”

McEwan went on to defeat two-time United States Bowling Congress Queens champion Diana Zavjalova of Latvia in the second match, 227-192, to advance against Coté.


1, Bryanna Coté, Tucson, Ariz., 401 (two games), $60,000.

2, Clara Guerrero, Colombia, 142 (one game), $30,000.

3, Danielle McEwan, Stony Point, N.Y., 638 (three games), $22,000.

4, Diana Zavjalova, Latvia, 192 (one game), $17,000.

5, Liz Johnson, Niagara Falls, N.Y., 201 (one game), $13,000.


Match No. 1 – McEwan def. Johnson, 212-201.

Match No. 2 – McEwan def. Zavjalova, 227-192.

Semifinal – Coté def. McEwan, 248-199.

Championship – Coté def. Guerrero, 153-142.

Johnson, McEwan advance to tonight's televised finals of U.S. Women's Open at ABC Gates Bowl

By Mike Pettinella
U.S. Open finalists
The finalists for tonight's U.S. Women's Open, which will be televised on CBS Sports Network, are, from left, Clara Guerrero, Bryanna Cote, Diana Zavjalova, Liz Johnson and Danielle McEwan. Photo by Mike Pettinella.

Liz Johnson of Niagara Falls, a 25-time champion on the Professional Women’s Bowling Tour, is back on television.

On Monday night at ABC Gates Bowl in Rochester, Johnson secured the No. 4 seed for the stepladder finals of the U.S. Women’s Open – a major tournament that she has won six times, beginning in 1996.

The finals will be televised live at 7 tonight on CBS Sports Network. First place is worth $60,000.

Johnson defeated Maria Jose Rodriguez of Colombia, 225-191, in the position round match last night to capture the fourth seed, and will take on another New Yorker – Danielle McEwan of Stony Point, who earned the No. 5 spot despite a 215-195 loss to Diana Zavjalova of Latvia.

Zavjalova is the third seed, while Clara Guerrero of Colombia and Bryanna Cote of Tucson, Ariz., are the No. 1 and No. 2 seeds, respectively. All of the finalists are right-handers.

Guerrero amassed 12,227 pins (including 30 bonus pins for each match play victory) en route to a 16-8 record. She posted a tournament-high 209.77 average for the 56 games.

For Johnson, who turned 49 in May, the finals’ appearance is her first in a couple years.

“I feel good. I’ve been bowling everything, all year on tour,” she said. “This is my first show probably since the middle of 2021. So, I’m excited just to be able to bowl tomorrow.”

She stayed in the top five throughout last night’s final eight-game block, but uncharacteristically lost a couple matches – game two against Cote and game four against Birgit Noreiks of Germany -- with opens in the 10th frame.

“Yeah, I struggled with that all week.  It’s gut-wrenching but you have to forget about it,” she said. “There were way too many of those to count. Open frames late in the games; that’s usually not me.”

She bounced back, however, winning her last two games with scores of 232 and 225 on the difficult oil pattern.

“The lanes change so fast. The lanes within the pairs – the left lane versus the right lane, they never played the same. The last couple games, I was using two different balls and, on and off, playing two different areas. It was one big grind.

“But, this is what the U.S. Open is all about. It’s not supposed to be a house shot.”

McEwan, 31, will be seeking her second U.S. Open title. She won the tournament in 2019, and was the runner-up last year.

“The U.S. Open is always a really hard tournament, but this week in particular was extra challenging and difficult in so many different ways. So, to be on the show took a lot of work,” she said.

“Every single lane and every pair plays totally different. The four different patterns made us play all different angles, lines, bowling balls, releases, speeds; every tool you had came into play this week.”

McEwan finished on the TV pair (31-32) last night and said she hopes to use that to her advantage in the opening match tonight.

“I have really good notes (on that pair) now,” she said. “The four and five seeds mean you're the first out on the pair and you have more of a ladder to climb, but it also gives you the advantage of figuring out what the pair is doing and getting comfortable on it before the other competitors come on.”

Unfortunately for the two New York bowlers, one of them will exit after just one game tonight and take home the $13,000 prize for fifth place.

The tournament pays $30,000 to the runner-up, $22,000 for third and $17,000 for fourth. For tickets to watch the show at ABC Gates Bowl, call 585-426-9099.

Shannon O’Keefe of Shiloh, Illinois, and Juliana Franco of Puerto Rico withdrew from the event prior to the start of the second round of match play on Monday morning. O’Keefe was replaced by Haley Richard of Tipton, Michigan, and Franco was replaced by Estefania Cobo of Puerto Rico.

All 108 competitors bowled 24 qualifying games over three days to determine the 36 players advancing to Round 4. After eight additional games, the field was cut to the top 24 bowlers for round-robin match play.


MATCH PLAY (56 games, 30 bonus pins for a win, 15 bonus pins for a tie)

1, Clara Guerrero, Colombia, 16-8-0, 12,227. 2, Bryanna Cote, Tucson, Ariz., 18-6-0, 12,173. 3, Diana Zavjalova, Latvia, 18-6-0, 12,112. 4, Liz Johnson, Niagara Falls, N.Y., 16-8-0, 12,102. 5, Danielle McEwan, Stony Point, N.Y., 13-11-0, 12,050. 


6, Maria Jose Rodriguez, Colombia, 15-9-0, 12,008, $9,500. 7, Birgit Noreiks, Germany, 10-14-0, 11,929, $8,500. 8, Missy Parkin, San Clemente, Calif., 14-10-0, 11,925, $7,900. 9, Jordan Richard, Tipton, Mich., 10-13-1, 11,667, $7,400. 10, Verity Crawley, England, 9-15-0, 11,663, $6,950. 11, Erin McCarthy, Elkhorn, Neb., 14-9-1, 11,651, $6,550. 12, Dasha Kovalova, Muskegon, Mich., 10-13-1, 11,619, $6,150.

13, Kelly Kulick, Union, N.J., 11-13-0, 11,617, $5,900. 14, Lauren Pate, Ballwin, Mo., 10-13-1, 11,600, $5,700. 15, Shannon Pluhowsky, Dayton, Ohio, 10-13-1, 11,573, $5,500. 16, Taylor Bulthuis, New Port Richey, Fla., 11-13-0, 11,558, $5,300. 17, Olivia Farwell, Elizabethtown, Pa., 13-11-0, 11,530, $5,150. 18, Sydney Brummett, Fort Wayne, IN, 11-13-0, 11,493, $4,900.

19, Lindsay Boomershine, Brigham City, Utah, 9-15-0, 11,481, $4,750. 20, Stefanie Johnson, McKinney, Texas, 9-15-0, 11,449, $4,600. 21, Julia Bond, Aurora, IL, 11-13-0, 11,448, $4,450. 22, Haley Richard, Tipton, MI, 7-17-0, 11,404, $4,300. 23, Stephanie Schwartz, Racine, Wis., 11-13-0, 11,385, $4,150. 24, Estefania Cobo, Puerto Rico, 4-20-0, 11,046, $4,000.

New Yorkers McEwan, Liz Johnson in contention at U.S. Women's Open

By Mike Pettinella

Update 2:30 p.m., June 19:

Danielle McEwan of Stony Point and Liz Johnson of Niagara Falls have moved up to fourth and fifth place, respectively, after today's second of three eight-game match play blocks at the U.S. Women's Open at ABC Gates Bowl in Rochester.

Both bowlers won seven of their eight matches with McEwan registering a high game of 279 while averaging 220 and Johnson averaged 212.5. The top five bowlers will advance to the stepladder finals on Tuesday night.

Clara Guerrero of Columbia, Bryanna Cote of Tucson, Ariz., and Diana Zavjalova of Latvia are 1-2-3 heading into tonight's final eight matches. Competition gets underway at 5 p.m.


While Germany’s Birgit Noreiks continues to lead the pack, two New Yorkers remain in contention for Tuesday night’s stepladder finals at the U.S. Women’s Open.

Noreiks won four of her eight matches at ABC Gates Bowl in Rochester on Sunday to stay on top with a 40-game total of 8.605, which includes 30 bonus pins for each victory.

Rounding out the top five are Colombia’s Clara Guerrero, (8,592), Bryanna Coté of Tucson, Ariz. (8,530), Latvia’s Diana Zavjalova (8,468), and Shannon O’Keefe of Shiloh, Ill. (8,456). Zavjalova won all eight of her matches to jump from 10th place into fourth.

Missy Parkin of San Clemente, Calif., sits in sixth place at 8,438, followed by Danielle McEwan of Stony Point and Liz Johnson of Niagara Falls at 8,412 and 8,407, respectively.

McEwan is a former U.S. Open champion while Johnson, one of the best professional women bowlers ever, has won six U.S. Open tournaments. Johnson's many tournament wins include the New York State Queens at Mancuso Bowling Center in 1996.

The 24 match game competitors will bowl two more eight-game rounds today, the first at 10 a.m. and the second at 5 p.m., to determine the five bowlers who will vie for the $60,000 first prize on Tuesday night.

The stepladder finals will be broadcast live at 7 p.m. on CBS Sports Network.

SUNDAY’S MATCH PLAY RESULTS (40 games, 30 bonus pins for a win, 15 bonus pins for a tie):

      1, Birgit Noreiks, Germany, 4-4-0, 8,605. 2, Clara Guerrero, Colombia, 7-1-0, 8,592. 3, Bryanna Cote, Tucson, Ariz., 6-2-0, 8,530. 4, Diana Zavjalova, Latvia, 8-0-0, 8,468. 5, Shannon O'Keefe, Shiloh, Ill., 3-4-1, 8,456. 6, Missy Parkin, San Clemente, Calif., 4-4-0, 8,438.

      7, Danielle McEwan, Stony Point, N.Y., 3-5-0, 8,412. 8, Liz Johnson, Niagara Falls, N.Y., 5-3-0, 8,407. 9, Maria Jose Rodriguez, Colombia, 5-3-0, 8,368. 10, Kelly Kulick, Union, N.J., 6-2-0, 8,349. 11, Shannon Pluhowsky, Dayton, Ohio, 3-5-0, 8,295. 12, Lindsay Boomershine, Brigham City, Utah, 4-4-0, 8,266.

      13, Jordan Richard, Tipton, Mich., 4-3-1, 8,246. 14, Sydney Brummett, Fort Wayne, IN, 5-3-0, 8,238. 15, Dasha Kovalova, Muskegon, Mich., 2-5-1, 8,212. 16, Taylor Bulthuis, New Port Richey, Fla., 3-5-0, 8,207. 17, Lauren Pate, Ballwin, Mo., 4-4-0, 8,197. 18, Erin McCarthy, Elkhorn, Neb., 4-3-1, 8,196.

      19, Stephanie Schwartz, Racine, Wis., 3-5-0, 8,096. 20, Stefanie Johnson, McKinney, Texas, 3-5-0, 8,072. 21, Olivia Farwell, Elizabethtown, Pa., 2-6-0, 8,048. 22, Verity Crawley, England, 2-6-0, 8,042. 23, Juliana Franco (n), Colombia, 2-6-0, 7,973. 24, Julia Bond, Aurora, IL, 2-6-0, 7,863.

ROUND 4 (32 games):

      1, Birgit Noreiks, Germany, 6,880. 2, Missy Parkin, San Clemente, Calif., 6,772. 3, Shannon O'Keefe, Shiloh, Ill., 6,711. 4, Bryanna Cote, Tucson, Ariz., 6,675. 5, Clara Guerrero, Colombia, 6,659. 6, Danielle McEwan, Stony Point, N.Y., 6,658.

      7, Dasha Kovalova, Muskegon, Mich., 6,629. 8, Liz Johnson, Niagara Falls, N.Y., 6,624. 9, Verity Crawley, England, 6,589. 10, Diana Zavjalova, Latvia, 6,578. 11, Sydney Brummett, Fort Wayne, IN, 6,560. 12, Shannon Pluhowsky, Dayton, Ohio, 6,558.

      13, Lindsay Boomershine, Brigham City, Utah, 6,556. 14, Stefanie Johnson, McKinney, Texas, 6,532. 15, Kelly Kulick, Union, N.J., 6,524. 16, Lauren Pate, Ballwin, Mo., 6,508. 17, Taylor Bulthuis, New Port Richey, Fla., 6,498. 18, Stephanie Schwartz, Racine, Wis., 6,478.

      19, Maria Jose Rodriguez, Colombia, 6,469. 20, Juliana Franco (n), Colombia, 6,455. 21, Olivia Farwell, Elizabethtown, Pa., 6,449. 22, Jordan Richard, Tipton, Mich., 6,445. 23, Julia Bond, Aurora, IL, 6,404. 24, Erin McCarthy, Elkhorn, Neb., 6,401.


      25, Haley Richard, Tipton, Mich., 6,398, $2,590. 26, Sanna Oksanen, Finland, 6,392, $2,520. 27, (TIE) Ani Juntunen, Finland, and Estefania Cobo, Puerto Rico, 6,373, $2,425. 29, Peppi Konsteri, Finland, 6,369, $2,350. 30, Ashly Galante, Palm Harbor, Fla., 6,356, $2,300.

      31, Felicia Wong, Canada, 6,323, $2,250. 32, Josie Barnes, Hermitage, Tenn., 6,302, $2,200. 33, Kerry Smith, Lititz, Pa., 6,296, $2,150. 34, Hope Gramly, Aubrey, Texas, 6,293, $2,100. 35, Shannon Sellens (n), Long Beach, N.Y., 6,263, $2,050. 36, Jessica Earnest, Hermitage, Tenn., 6,210, $2,000.

Major players in women's professional bowling advance at U.S. Open tournament

By Mike Pettinella

The biggest names in professional women’s bowling are among the 36 competitors who have advanced to the cashers’ round of the U.S. Women’s Open at ABC Gates Bowl in Rochester.

Led by Germany’s Birgit Noreiks, who topped the standings after each of the three eight-game qualifying squads, the list of bowlers who made the cut is a “who’s who” of stars on the Professional Women’s Bowling Association Tour.

Noreiks knocked down 1,652 pins on Saturday to finish qualifying with 5,277 – a 219.88 average on three extremely challenging oil patterns. She holds a 175-pin advantage over Lindsay Boomershine of Brigham City, Utah, who posted the day’s best score of 1,806 for the eight games – finishing with 279-247-257.

Boomershine, an Amherst native, is coming into this PWBA major tournament on the heels of her victory in the USBC Queens last month, another major.

Six former U.S. Women’s Open champions entered this week and five of them have advanced.

They are three-time winner Kelly Kulick of Union, N.J. (eighth with 4,985), six-time champion Liz Johnson of Niagara Falls (10th with 4,956), Josie Barnes of Hermitage, Tenn. (11th with 4,950), Danielle McEwan of Stony Point (15th with 4,908) and defending champion Erin McCarthy of Elkhorn, Neb. (34th with 4,767).

Competition resumes at 10 a.m. this morning Sunday with the cashers’ round (another eight-game block) on a 41-foot oil pattern. The top 24 (after 32 games) will proceed to round-robin match play over two days, with seeding based on their 32-game pinfall totals.

Thirty bonus pins will be awarded for each win in match play, and the 56-game pinfall totals, including bonus pins, will determine the five players for the championship stepladder.

All rounds of qualifying and match play are being broadcast live at through Monday night, and the event will conclude live Tuesday on CBS Sports Network at 7 p.m. Eastern.

First prize is $60,000 and the right to wear the coveted green jacket.

QUALIFYING -- (24 games)

      1, Birgit Noreiks, Germany, 5,277. 2, Lindsay Boomershine, Brigham City, Utah, 5,102. 3, Missy Parkin, San Clemente, Calif., 5,091. 4, Bryanna Cote, Tucson, Ariz., 5,051. 5, Dasha Kovalova, Muskegon, Mich., 5,045. 6, Diana Zavjalova, Latvia, 5,039.

      7, Shannon O'Keefe, Shiloh, Ill., 5,020. 8, Kelly Kulick, Union, N.J., 4,985. 9, Maria Jose Rodriguez, Colombia, 4,968. 10, Liz Johnson, Niagara Falls, N.Y., 4,956. 11, Josie Barnes, Hermitage, Tenn., 4,950. 12, Verity Crawley, England, 4,945.

      13, Sydney Brummett, Fort Wayne, IN, 4,943. 14, Clara Guerrero, Colombia, 4,936. 15, Danielle McEwan, Stony Point, N.Y., 4,908. 16, Jordan Richard, Tipton, Mich., 4,905. 17, Estefania Cobo, Puerto Rico, 4,886. 18, Sanna Oksanen, Finland, 4,884.

      19, Stefanie Johnson, McKinney, Texas, 4,880. 20, Olivia Farwell, Elizabethtown, Pa., 4,879. 21, Ashly Galante, Palm Harbor, Fla., 4,874. 22, Shannon Pluhowsky, Dayton, Ohio, 4,869. 23, Juliana Franco (n), Colombia, 4,860. 24, Taylor Bulthuis, New Port Richey, Fla., 4,853.

      25, Felicia Wong, Canada, 4,845. 26, Haley Richard, Tipton, Mich., 4,827. 27, Stephanie Schwartz, Racine, Wis., 4,819. 28, Ani Juntunen, Finland, 4,815. 29, Julia Bond, Aurora, IL, 4,814. 30, Hope Gramly, Aubrey, Texas, 4,803.

      31, Jessica Earnest, Hermitage, Tenn., 4,795. 32, Peppi Konsteri, Finland, 4,791. 33, Lauren Pate, Ballwin, Mo., 4,781. 34, Erin McCarthy, Elkhorn, Neb., 4,767. 35, Kerry Smith, Lititz, Pa., 4,763. 36, Shannon Sellens (n), Long Beach, N.Y., 4,761.

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