Liz Kuhlkin Moves into Lead After Two Rounds at 2021 USBC Queens

by Aaron Smith, USBC Communications 0

RENO, Nev. – Liz Kuhlkin of Schenectady, New York, posted the highest five-game block Friday at the 2021 United States Bowling Congress Queens to move into the overall lead after two rounds.

The two-time Professional Women’s Bowling Association Tour champion now leads the field with a 10-game total of 2,284, a 228.4 average. She’s followed in the standings by USBC Hall of Famer Liz Johnson of Niagara Falls, New York (2,257), opening-round leader Jordan Richard of Maumee, Ohio (2,246), Danielle McEwan of Stony Point, New York (2,243), and Germany’s Birgit Noreiks (2,238).

The USBC Queens is the first major championship on the 2021 PWBA Tour schedule, and is providing wire-to-wire coverage of the event.

Kuhlkin improved on a strong opening round at the National Bowling Stadium (1,126 for five games on Thursday), rolling scores of 235, 255, 246, 190 and 232 for a 1,158 total Friday.

The 27-year-old right-hander saw a little more hook on this week’s 42-foot lane condition during Friday’s block, which played to her strengths.

“I was really satisfied with how I bowled yesterday, but I did miss a couple of moves and threw some splits at inopportune times,” Kuhlkin said. “They hooked a little earlier today, and I had to throw a different ball. I had to shape the ball a little bit more, which I like to do, and because of that, my angle into the pocket was better. I was able to strike a lot today.”

Kuhlkin bowled the USBC Women’s Championships at the NBS prior to the start of Queens, and she was able to average more than 244 for the event to help her team take the lead in the Diamond Division. She currently sits in a tie for third place in Diamond All-Events with a 2,197 nine-game total.

Although the events are much different, Kuhlkin feels that seeing her ball strike at the NBS during the Women’s Championships helped her confidence looking ahead to the Queens.

When the 78-lane venue hosted the Queens in 2018, Kuhlkin missed the cut to the bracket, finishing in 130th place.

“The last time the Queens was here, I didn’t make the cut,” Kuhlkin said. “That was in the back of my mind, but I had a really good showing at the Women’s Championships. My ball was going through the pins really well, and I had that confidence going into this tournament. Knowing I’m capable of striking a lot at a center is a momentum thing for me, and I feel like I have a good look and just have to execute shots. If I keep doing that, I’ll be OK.”

Qualifying concludes Saturday, with A Squad kicking the day off at noon Eastern. After 15 games, the field will be cut to the top 63 players and Dasha Kovalova of Ukraine, who is guaranteed a spot in the double-elimination bracket as the defending champion.

Kovalova is in 27th place after two rounds with a 2,115 total.

The 64th spot heading into Saturday’s final round of qualifying belongs to South Africa’s Jody Scheerer, who has recorded a 1,992 total through 10 games, a 199.2 average.

Match play will begin Sunday, with all matches prior to the stepladder finals featuring a three-game total-pinfall format. Bracket play resumes Monday, with the top five athletes advancing to Tuesday’s stepladder finals at 8 p.m. Eastern on BowlTV.

With the finals being broadcast on BowlTV, the top seed will have to be defeated twice in the true double-elimination format.

The champion at the 2021 Queens will take home the $20,000 first-place prize and tiara awarded to the winner.

For more information on the USBC Queens, visit

2021 USBC Queens
At National Bowling Stadium
Reno, Nev.

Friday’s Results

(10 games)

     1, Liz Kuhlkin, Schenectady, N.Y., 2,284. 2, Liz Johnson, Niagara Falls, N.Y., 2,257. 3, Jordan Richard, Maumee, Ohio, 2,246. 4, Danielle McEwan, Stony Point, N.Y., 2,243. 5, Birgit Noreiks, Germany, 2,238. 6, Stephanie Zavala, Downey, Calif., 2,235.

     7, Taylor Bulthuis, Coral Springs, Fla., 2,216. 8, Caitlyn Johnson, Beaumont, Texas, 2,192. 9, Shannon Sellens (n), Long Beach, N.Y., 2,185. 10, Abby Ragsdale, Aurora, Ill., 2,181. 11(tie), Kara Mangiola, Spencerport, N.Y., and Stefanie Johnson, McKinney, Texas, 2,180.

     13, Erin McCarthy, Elkhorn, Neb., 2,176. 14, Rocio Restrepo, Uniontown, Ohio, 2,172. 15, Elise Bolton, Merritt Island, Fla., 2,168. 16, Lilia Robles, Mexico, 2,151. 17, Julia Bond, Aurora, Ill., 2,149. 18, Estefania Cobo, North Richland Hills, Texas, 2,134.

     19, Christine Gill, Lebanon, Ill., 2,131. 20(tie), Alexis Neuer, Milton, Pa., and Kelly Kulick, Union, N.J., and Gazmine Mason, Cranston, R.I., 2,129. 23, Carolyn Dorin-Ballard, Keller, Texas, 2,127. 24(tie), Anggie Ramirez-Perea, Austin, Texas, and Sabrena Divis, Gillette, Wyo., 2,117.
     26, Bryanna Coté, Tucson, Ariz., 2,116. 27, Dasha Kovalova, Ukraine, 2,115. 28(tie), Shannon Pluhowsky, Dayton, Ohio, and Kayla Pashina, Minnetonka, Minn., 2,113. 30, Brandi Branka, Belleville, Ill., 2,109.

     31, Josie Barnes, Hermitage, Tenn., 2,101. 32, Valerie Bercier, Muskegon, Mich., 2,100. 33, Aseret Zetter, Mexico, 2,096. 34, Tannya Roumimper, Indonesia, 2,094. 35, Emily Eckhoff (n), Denver, 2,091. 36, Lauren Pate, Inver Grove Heights, Minn., 2,090.

     37, Diana Zavjalova, Latvia, 2,073. 38, Kerry Smith, New Holland, Pa., 2,069. 39, Clara Guerrero, Colombia, 2,063. 40, Shanna Chepelsky, East Rochester, N.Y., 2,060. 41, Verity Crawley, England, 2,058. 42, Blair Blumenscheid (n), Columbus, Ohio, 2,056.

     43, Amanda Vermilyea, Apple Valley, Minn., 2,053. 44, Laura Plazas, Colombia, 2,050. 45, Maria José Rodriguez, Colombia, 2,048. 46, Ana Molina (n), Guatemala, 2,047. 47(tie), Shalin Zulkifli, Malaysia, and Maria Bulanova, Russia, 2,043.

     49, Elysia Current, Ephrata, Pa., 2,038. 50, Haley Richard, Tipton, Mich., 2,037. 51, Shannon O'Keefe, Shiloh, Ill., 2,034. 52, Nicole Kleutgen (n), Plainfield, Wis., 2,033. 53(tie), Breanna Clemmer, Clover, S.C., and Sharon Powers (n), Lakewood, Colo., 2,031.

     55, Daria Pajak, Poland, 2,030. 56(tie), Taylor Bailey, Joliet, Ill., and Sydney Brummett, Fort Wayne, Ind., 2,025. 58, Missy Parkin, Laguna Hills, Calif., 2,015. 59(tie), Ashly Galante, Palm Harbor, Fla., and Ana Ruiz (n), Guatemala, 2,010.

     61, Jennifer Cupples, Colorado Springs, Colo., 2,002. 62, Katie Robb (n), Swedesboro, N.J., 1,999. 63, Debbie Ayers, La Mesa, Calif., 1,994. 64, Jody Scheerer, South Africa, 1,992. 65(tie), Lindsay Boomershine, Perry, Utah, and Diandra Asbaty, Chicago, 1,985.

     67, Giselle Poss, Maitland, Fla., 1,977. 68, Nichole Hiraoka (a), Daly City, Calif., 1,976. 69, Mallory Nutting (n), Topsham, Maine, 1,975. 70, Courtney Ermisch, Big Bend, Wis., 1,973. 71, Alejandra Urrutia (n), Highland, Calif., 1,972. 72, Kayla Bandy, Wichita, Kan., 1,968.

     73, Sandra Gongora, Mexico, 1,964. 74(tie), Sofia Granda (n), Guatemala, and Leanne Hulsenberg, Pleasant View, Utah, 1,960. 76, Jodi Woessner, Oregon, Ohio, 1,952. 77, Addy Nelson (n), Gregory, S.D., 1,947. 78, Brianna Andrew, Grand Rapids, Mich., 1,934.

     79, Kristin Nieter (n), Homewood, Ill., 1,929. 80, Michelle Sterner (n), Niagara Falls, N.Y., 1,927. 81, Raelyn Hazen (n), Roy, Utah, 1,926. 82, Claudia Cabrera (n), Guatemala, 1,916. 83, Jasmine Snell (n), Papillion, Neb., 1,915. 84(tie), Angelica Anthony (n), Converse, Texas, and Kristie Leong (n), Daly City, Calif., 1,909.
     86, Rina Sabo, Bennett, Colo., 1,908. 87, Megan Allensworth (n), Plainfield, Ill., 1,900. 88, Hope Gramly (n), Aubrey, Texas, 1,892. 89, Tabetha DuVall (n), Gillette, Wyo., 1,891. 90, Samantha Knab (n), Antioch, Ill., 1,887.

     91, Melissa Perez, Miami, 1,882. 92, Melissa Kammerer (n), Staten Island, N.Y., 1,865. 93, Alyssa Ferraro (n), Deltona, Fla., 1,864. 94, Summer Jasmin, Beckley, W.Va., 1,863. 95, Madeleine McDuff (n), Katy, Texas, 1,857. 96, Kalee Tripp (n), Butte, Mont., 1,854.

     97(tie), Karen Rosprim (n), Albany, Calif., and Terysa Wojnar, New Lenox, Ill., 1,843. 99, Stephani Cooksey (n), Reno, Nev., 1,831. 100, Shawna Strause (n), Tucson, Ariz., 1,827. 101, Heather D'Errico, Rochester, N.Y., 1,809. 102, Cassondra Mize (a), Toledo, Ohio, 1,795.

     103, Rebecca Azurmendi (n), Winnemucca, Nev., 1,774. 104, Jennifer Hocurscak, Orange, Conn., 1,769. 105, Kristal Coppinger (n), Woonsocket, R.I., 1,766. 106, Jessica Abel (n), Broadalbin, N.Y., 1,762. 107, Jill Creamer, Folsom, Calif., 1,742. 108, Jennifer McLean (n), Seattle, Wash., 1,715.

     109, Karrie Brunner (n), Gobles, Mich., 1,706. 110, Stephanie Dennis, Kingston, Mo., 1,688.

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