Katelyn Simpson Wins PWBA Orlando Regional

Katelyn “KT” Simpson’s favorite city on the PWBA Tour is without a question, Orlando!

It was an exciting week for Simpson that started with the PTQ at the PWBA Orlando Open. After eight games, eight players would earn spots into the Elite Field of the PWBA Orlando Open. Katelyn qualified in the 7th position averaging 207. She bowled 22 more games averaging 214 to earn the fourth seed for her first TV PWBA Stepladder Final on CBS Sports.

Though she lost her match, she quickly had to push it out of her mind and stay focused. Simpson was on the roster for the PWBA Orlando Regional the very next day. She added eight more games of qualifying to her week averaging 211 to qualify as the fourth seed of the stepladder finals which aired on BowlTV.

 

She climbed the ladder and won her first PWBA Regional Title defeating Kayla Bandy 222 to 203 in the finals.

After the 43 games were complete, Simpson could finally catch her breath and think about her exciting week in the Sunshine State!

When the PWBA Tour kicked off in April, Simpson, was among the star studded 2019 Rookie Class hitting the lanes for the first time as full-time PWBA Touring Players. Simpson was an All-American while competing at the University of Pikeville and was a member of Junior Team USA in 2015. After completing her undergrad, she served as a graduate assistant for two years sharing some of her knowledge on the lanes with younger athletes as she worked towards her MBA. She completed her MBA, talked to her family and decided to head out on the PWBA Tour. Her family was in full support of her decision and decided to make it a summer adventure!

Her parents, Terri & Wayne, who own KT Lanes in Emmett, Idaho and the famous Bowling Doodles, Blake and Adam, jumped into their RV and spent the summer on the road traveling from stop-to-stop. They tried to fit in as many pit stops and family memories as they could.

Blake and Adam who learned how to bowl at their home lanes as puppies were fan favorites at all the Pro-Ams and Fan Fests! They signed paw-o-graphs and took tons of photos while KT worked hard on the lanes learning more and more each week.

We chatted with Simpson about her exciting week on the lanes in this exclusive interview.   

Tell us a little about your first full season on the PWBA Tour:

My first year has been full of learning. I’m just trying to embrace the learning curve as best as I can. It’s been full of ups and downs and I’m doing my best to learn from both but especially the downs. I was really frustrated after the Connecticut PTQ. I didn’t have a good start, but I threw it great down the stretch and the pins didn’t fall my way. I sat down with our Tour Managers, Mike DeVaney and Steve Jacobs and we had a really good conversation about what I need to do better and how I can improve out here. I really just bought in to what they were saying and executed as much as possible these last couple events. I only want to keep getting better and I’m trying to learn as much as possible in this first year!

What were your goals going into the season?

My goals going into this season were to make as many cuts as possible and give myself a chance at Rookie of the Year. I didn’t really have many expectations because I honestly wasn’t sure what to expect! These ladies are good so to just be competing against them is a privilege.

The Orlando Open was a great week for you from start to finish! Walk us a little bit through the week from your perspective:

Yes, this week was a really good week for me. I executed pretty well, made most of my spares, had a few hiccups here and there, but I just tried to take what the lanes gave me and make adjustments as needed and of course Mike and Steve were a huge part of my success this week. I like when there is friction, so I was able to play my A game and stay aggressive!

What was your favorite part of bowling on you first PWBA telecast? 

The atmosphere was amazing. Intimidating a little bit at first because all eyes are on you at all times. I really was trying not to have the stone look on my face that I always get made fun of for! You could just feel the energy and the people rooting for you and that was so cool!

The cut was really tight between a few players going into the last game of the PWBA Regional ....tell us about those final games.

I had a rocky start. I made good shots but all 10 pins just didn’t want to fall for me all at the same time in a consecutive fashion so once I found the right ball that went through the pins the right way I just took advantage and put some good games together to give myself a shot at making cut. I knew what the girl close to me had shot the last game, so I knew I needed to at least beat that. I just told myself to make really good shots. Execute them and whatever happens, happens. I had a carry struggle. Four 10 pins and an 8 pin that last game so I knew I just needed to get as many pins as possible in those last couple frames!

Tell us about the final frame of that title match at the PWBA Regional. What was going through your mind?

Honestly, I sound kind of repetitive but just to execute a good shot. I tried not to think about anything else. Just focus, breathe and execute. See the shape first that I wanted and then to execute. Kayla did the right thing, she made me finish on the hard lane, it was a lot tighter, so it required a little more focus.

What balls did you use this week?

In the Orlando Open I used a Hy-Road X, a little bit of the PhysiX and AstroPhysiX and actually on the show when I switched to the Idol PRO that was the first time I had thrown it all week! In the regional, I used a little bit of a HALO Vision but mostly the Idol PRO!

What has been the hardest part about competing on the PWBA Tour?

These ladies are soooooo good! You have to be on top of your game all the time. They are sharp and if you are not on top of it, they will run you over. We also bowl a lot of games, so I’ve had a few issues with my hand over the course of the tour. I actually changed my fit in between the US Open and the second half of the tour. We may still have some tweaking to do. I had a couple skin patches on, on the show.

Though Simpson wanted to thank everyone at Storm for all they do, we want to thank her for choosing to throw Storm and Roto Grip on the lanes every day. We’re proud that she’s part of our team.

 

The PWBA Tour travels to Buffaloe Lanes North in Raleigh, North Carolina next for the QubicaAMF PWBA Players Championship September 3-8.


SYC Travels to Nebraska

Summer in the Midwest is filled with lots of sunshine, family fun, BBQs, and lots of corn on the cob! Sometimes the temperature climbs so high that families find themselves looking for an excuse to stay indoors. Last weekend, youth bowlers and their families took the opportunity to stay cool inside at Sun Valley Lanes testing their skills at the Storm Youth Championships!

A sold-out field filled with SYC veterans as well as several new smiling faces eager to join the SYC Family traveled to spend the weekend competing in three rounds on three challenging lane conditions designed by KEGEL. Each round consisted of four games and the tournament is composed of six different divisions determined by gender and age (U20 Boys, U20 Girls, U15 Boys, U15 Girls, U12 Boys, U12 Girls).

“The SYC is designed to bring a boutique national event to communities around the country,” Gary Hulsenberg, VP of Business Development said. “It’s exciting to give families the opportunity to experience these events and help to connect more members to our bowling family.”

The top three bowlers in each round were presented a gold, silver, or bronze medal. After both rounds were complete, the tournament champions in each division based on their total pinfall were awarded the SYC Shield Trophy, a banner, and a gold medal. In addition, the SYC awarded $13,950 in scholarships to the youth bowlers.

Consistency is key to earning an SYC title. The SYC bowlers work hard, respect their fellow competitors and come together at the end of the weekend to celebrate those who earn the coveted SYC trophies in our awards ceremony.

In the U12 division, two bowlers were awarded with their first SYC titles. In the girl’s division, Faith Sprout of Illinois, medaled in each round and captured her first SYC title leading the U12 girl’s field by 74 pins. In the boy’s division, Noah Sicard of Oregon, competing in his second event claimed his first title. In the U15 girl’s division, Rachel Moore of Iowa, also earned her first SYC title while Joshua Collins of Georgia, earned his second consecutive SYC title leading the U15 boys division by 95 pins. In the U20 girl’s division, Addy Schiffelbein of Kansas, picked up her first title while two past champions battled for the U20 boys title. In the end Spencer Robarge of Missouri, edged out past-champion, Brandon Bonta to earn his fifth SYC title.

The friendly staff at Sun Valley Lanes helped us welcome all of the SYC families who traveled to Nebraksa. Tournaments run effortlessly when John Losito and his incredible staff are part of the event. Prior to the Storm Youth Championships, Sun Valley Lanes has hosted the World Youth Championships, PWBA events, and will be home to the 2020 US Open. Their generosity and efforts truly helped to make the SYC a success.

The youth bowlers at Storm Youth Championships spend the weekend listening, learning, and bowling as much as they can. Often bowlers arrive early and host “unofficial” practice sessions with fellow competitors they’ve made in other events or new friends that they’ve just met. In Nebraska, the SYC bowlers were able to continue to build their bowling toolkit through our seminars. Team Storm Players, Leanne Hulsenberg and Julia Bond joined Gary Hulsenberg to learn about lane play and surface adjustment as well as an informational seminar filled with tips about being ready for their upcoming tournaments and events.

Every bowler who entered the tournament received a Storm Fever Pitch and had the option to have their new ball drilled by Dwyane DaMoude inside the pro shop at Sun Valley Lanes. Many bowlers took advantage of this option to add this ball to their bags in time for the practice session where all three KEGEL patterns were made available. After the practice session, all the bowlers traveled to the host hotel, The Marriott Cornhusker where families enjoyed an indoor BBQ with music, games and an exciting cornhole tournament. Bowlers, family members, parents and even our Team Storm Pros, Diandra Asbaty and Leanne Hulsenberg teamed up to battle the bracket.

Friends and family can come to cheer on their favorite youth athlete in person or virtually through the Storm Facebook Channel. Every game of the event was livestreamed on Facebook. Storm Team Members share insights about the event and youth bowlers through commentary. Some of our hosts in our livestream booth included Diandra Asbaty, Julia Bond, Jamie Rangel, Sean Rangel, Brian Shannon, Leanne Hulsenberg and Gary Hulsenberg.

We choose to align our SYC tournament with a charity close to the Storm family. The SYC event supported BVBC also known as Ballard vs. the Big “C.” BVBC raises funds for continued research in cancer treatment, specifically in head, neck, and throat cancer through the sport of bowling. SYC families contributed to the cause through raffles and a silent auction in addition to the $10 donation that is contributed directly to BVBC from every entry.

This tournament would not be possible without the generous donation from all of our sponsors, Storm, Roto Grip, Logo Infusion, Kegel, 3G Shoes, Bowlers Journal International.

The SYC will travel to Northrock Lanes in Wichita, Kansas over Labor Day Weekend for the next event! This event is sold-out with a waiting list. Entries open for the SYC – Coastal Classic event on August 5.

For final results of all rounds of competition visit this page.

For more information on the SYC visit the Storm SYC page at www.stormbowling.com/SYC.

 


Gazmine Mason Visits I PROMISE School

Team Storm Member and PWBA Tour Rookie, Gazmine “GG” Mason was recently invited to share her story through sports and interact with the students at the I PROMISE school in Akron, Ohio.

The LeBron James Family Foundation and Akron Public Schools partnered to design a brand new school for the public school students in Akron. According to their website, “a culmination of years of on-the-ground work and research-based interventions through LeBron’s I PROMISE program, the I PROMISE School will be more than a 1st - 8th grade academic institution. It will infuse APS’s rigorous curriculum with a STEM, hands-on, problem-based learning focus with LJFF’s ’We Are Family’ philosophy to create a complete wraparound for its students and their families.”

The I PROMISE students were able to ask Mason questions about her journey through youth and college bowling and she was able to share how she has persevered. The school also set up an inflatable bowling set and also some plastic bowling pins so that all the students could bowl with Mason and learn a little about the sport of bowling. Her favorite part of the day was being able to say the student promise with the kids.

“All I know is that they inspired me more then they know,” Mason said. “These kids are brilliant and so special!”

Mason said in her blog. “I PROMISE kids, family, faculty, staff, LeBron James, friends & family, and Akron, I appreciate and love you all! An unforgettable, eye-opening experience that I will forever be grateful for!”

A graduate of Nebraska, Mason is currently competing on her first year on the PWBA Tour. A few of her goals for the season are to make cuts consistently, win at least one event, and make it to the PWBA Tour Championship in Richmond.

If you get the opportunity to meet Mason on the lanes this summer, you’ll find out quickly that her passion for the sport of bowling is contagious. She hopes to inspire the next generation of youth athletes to set their goals high and work hard.

“DREAM BIG and work towards that dream every single day no matter what ANYONE says.” Mason said.

 

Photo Credit: I Promise School


A New PWBA Tour Season Begins

The 2019 PWBA season kicks off in Cleveland, Ohio this weekend and the ladies of Team Storm and Roto Grip are prepped and ready for a spring and summer filled with travel and trophies.

“I am very excited to get the 2019 PWBA season underway! Many of our returning PWBA staff have been steadfast in perfecting their craft during this off season. Our staff has been more diligent and focused in their tour preparations than ever before.” PWBA Tour Manager, Mike Devaney said.

PWBA Champions Liz Johnson (24 titles), Kelly Kulick (6 titles), Danielle McEwan (4 titles), Rocio Restrepo (4 titles), Bryanna Cote (1 title), Diandra Asbaty (1 title), and Elysia Current (1 title) will be looking to add more titles to their resume while our stable of non-champions will be striving for that thrilling first PWBA title.

“My goal for this season is to execute the process of performing.  My experience and athleticism build my overall confidence. Knowing that, I am capable of winning every week!”

– Kelly Kulick, newly elected USBC Hall of Famer and PWBA Champion

The Rookie of the Year race on the PWBA Tour will be a competitive one this season and Team Storm has four very talented young ladies aiming to win that honor.  Collegiate standouts, Gazmine Mason (University of Nebraska), Katelyn Simpson (University of Pikeville), Jackie Evans (Monmouth University) and Julia Bond (University of Nebraska) will be taking what they learned in their collegiate careers to the next level as full-time traveling PWBA Players.

“We have a group of first and second-year players who I am anxious to see compete on a more regular basis. I am looking forward to the opportunity to work with these players. To support players who are reaching for their dreams and seeing them actually realize those dreams gives you a very gratifying feeling.” PWBA Tour Manager, Mike Devaney said.

Some of these rookie players shared their goals for the season and gave us a glimpse into their mindset for the summer.

Gazmine Mason, a Collegiate All-American, was invited to participate in the CP3 PBA Celebrity Invitationals in February and won the Mini-Clash. She’s been diligently practicing and bowling tournaments to prepare for her first year on tour.

“My goal for the season is to win one title and qualify for the Road to Richmond Tour Championship.”

– Gazmine Mason, PWBA Rookie

Katelyn Simpson has been working toward her MBA at the University of Pikeville and will graduate in May. She served as a graduate assistant for two years sharing some of her knowledge on the lanes with younger athletes. Now, she’s ready to test her skills on tour.

“My goal for this year is to learn as much as possible, be consistent in making cuts, and if things fall into place, I’d like a shot at Rookie of the Year.”

– Katelyn Simpson, PWBA Rookie

Competing part-time on tour this summer will be Hall of Famers Carolyn Dorin-Ballard (20 titles), Tish Johnson (25 titles), and Leanne Hulsenberg (27 titles).  Leanne is also being inducted into the PWBA Hall of Fame on May 15 in Wichita before the USBC Queens competition begins along with fellow Team Storm members, Wendy Macpherson and Donna Conners.

Photo Credit: USBC

The PWBA season begins April 25. The ladies will travel to 14 events including 4 majors, the USBC Queens, the U.S. Open, the PWBA Players Championship and the PWBA Tour Championship to end the season.  Visit PWBA.com for more information.

Click here to learn more about Team Storm and Team Roto Grip.


Collegiate Spotlight | Will Mateffy | Minnesota State Mankato

Name: Will Mateffy
School: Minnesota State University Mankato
Location of school: Mankato, MN
Year in School: Senior

What is your favorite part of collegiate bowling?
My favorite part about college bowling is being part of a team that cares about the sport of bowling as much as I do and being able to compete at such a high level of competition. Another part I love is seeing all of my friends that I have made from other teams across the country.

What is your preparation routine before a big event?
My preparation before a tournament is getting my physical game the way that I feel is good and getting my arsenal ready with the right surfaces and the right ball selections.

How often are you/your team working on your game(s)?
Our team practices Monday-Thursday from 4:30-6:00pm. We also have 1 on 1 times with the coaches to work on specific aspects.

What is teamwork? What does it look like on the lanes?
Teamwork means working together and pushing each other to be the best they can be, both on and off the lanes. Everybody sees the lanes differently, communication about the lanes and ball choice are essential pieces to perform well at tournaments and it is a way for the younger players to learn about lane play and transitions. Having someone that keeps up the energy is also important because it keeps everyone more active and involved throughout the entire tournament.

How important is the physical and mental game? Is one more important than the other?
Both aspects are very important but I believe that the mental game is more important. The mental game helps you bounce back from a bad game and help you focus on what you should be doing on the next pair. It also takes longer to develop and understand than the physical game, especially if your team needs to be on the same page.

How does Storm and their products help you and your team?
We are very blessed as a small program to be sponsored by the Storm and Roto Grip Companies and to that we say thank you very much! They have given us the best bowling ball options that are available on the current market and new equipment to replace all our old stuff, that are great for moving from pair to pair at tournaments.

What is your life like as a collegiate athlete?
My life as a collegiate athlete is great, I get to practice everyday with some of my best friends and study about my favorite topics that we discuss in class.

What does a typical practice session look like at your program?
We usually start by spreading out and throwing balls to get warmed up. After we are warmed up, we split into 2 groups and shoot at 10 10 pins and 10 7 pins. As a team each group has to make 10 consecutive 10 pins or 7 pins without missing, if someone misses, that group has to start over. The first group to 10 forces the other group to do 25 reps of something, whether it's push-ups, sit-ups or lunges etc. After we finish both 10's and 7's, we tend to do baker tournaments, can be 2, 3, 4 or 5 players.

Are there mandatory workouts at your program? If no, how do you stay fit?
We do not have mandatory workouts, I keep in shape by working out at the campus gym. I'll run around the track, play pick up basketball or lift weights. Outside of practice, I bowl on Tuesday night league.

How close/far is/are the practice facilities?
The practice facility is on campus, otherwise there are 2 other bowling alleys within 10 minutes of the school.

 

How interactive are your men’s and women’s teams?
The men's and women's teams practice together everyday. The 1 on 1 times are also scheduled between the men and women.

What is your favorite Storm bowling ball? Why?
My favorite Storm bowling ball has to be the IQ Tour Solid. I love the benchmark motion that it has and I can use it on any pattern. I have owned 4 of these and I'll order another one this semester to replace my oldest one.

How do you pick your limited (5 or 6 balls) arsenal for collegiate tournaments?
I pick my arsenal around my IQ Tour, since I use that ball every tournament. I have a urethane for my spare ball. The other 3 or 4, I'll usually have a strong ball that can roll early in the mid-lane. Next, I'll have a pearl for when the pattern gets burnt up and we need to start lofting. My last ball is a Roto Grip Show Off, it's a lower end ball, which is good for when my IQ Tour starts to lose its' surface and I need a little more backend. The other option is another IQ Tour but it has a different drilling. It all depends on what kind of tournament we go to, either a tier 1 or tier 2.

What is it like competing against friends on opposing teams?
I can say that it is so much to have side competition between all my friends. It's amazing the people that I have met through college bowling and that is why I love going to tournaments.

Is it possible to have a job at your program while going to school full time, bowling most days a week, traveling, etc?
Yes, it is possible to have a job. Employers are very flexible with students and are willing to work with you if you work with them. We have jobs on campus with very flexible hours and days.

What's the funniest thing that has happened in college bowling?
The funniest thing was last year at club nationals, my teammate was doing his final shot of college bowling and he decided to loft it. The first time he guttered but the second time, the ball slipped out of his hand and bounced off the gutter cap of his lane and landed on the lane to the right of him. It straightened out once it landed and struck the other lane! Everybody on our pair laughed and all the pairs next to us laughed and gave him high-fives.

What's one thing that a high school bowler should know before going into college that may surprise them?
College bowling is much more intense than high school. There are hundreds more players and many more teams at every tournament than the high school meets. It can be very intimidating but your teammates and coach will help you feel just as comfortable as you did in high school, while learning about the atmosphere at the same time.


Collegiate Standout | Daniel Hanson | Robert Morris University

https://youtu.be/1iNzIMmH7iI

Name: Daniel Hanson
School: Robert Morris University- IL
Location of school: Chicago Illinois
Year in School: Junior


What is your favorite part of collegiate bowling?

My favorite part of collegiate bowling has to be the team feeling. My teammates have become a second family to me and I can always count on them for anything.

What is your preparation routine before a big event?

Practice 4-5 days a week for an hour to an hour and a half each time.

How often are you/your team working on your game(s)?

Tuesday-Thursday from 2:30 to 5:00 pm with optional practices on Monday and Friday's

What is teamwork? What does it look like on the lanes?

Teamwork is breaking the lanes down as a team, and always trusting one another. Another key to teamwork is a lot of communication and understanding how one person see's a lane differently than another but using the information given to make the best decisions possible.

How important is the physical and mental game? Is one more important than the other?

You have to have both. One is not more important than the other. If you have an amazing physical game and no mental game you will never dominate, if you have an amazing mental game but not the best physical game you will never dominate either. The best bowlers in the world have to have both or they would never make it on the tour.

How does Storm (or Roto) and their products help you and your team?

Roto Grip helps our program by providing us with the best equipment in the sport. Having the best equipment in the sport gives us a big advantage against our competitors. Roto Grip has a wide variety of shapes that match up to college patterns phenomenally.

What is your life like as a collegiate athlete?

I wake up at 8:30 am, cook some breakfast and get ready for class at 10 am. From 10 am to 2 pm i'm in class. After class I take the train and bus to practice, usually that takes about 45 minutes to an hour, so by 3pm, I'm at the bowing alley practicing until 5 pm. After that we take the hour bus and train back to the apartment and cook dinner around 6:30 pm. By the time I'm done with cooking and eating dinner it's about 7:30pm and then I start my homework for the night. If it's a little homework night I'll be done by 10pm and watch some tv until I go to sleep but if it's a busy night of homework I won't get done until 12 am. I'm usually in bed by 12:30am everyday


What does a typical practice session look like at your program?

Our varsity team all practices on the same pair of lanes everyday. Each of us is working on our own game but the others are watching and helping each other out. Our coach DJ Hayes is always behind somebody helping them understanding something new everyday. Right around February we start to do bakers everyday and start practicing Monday-Friday.

Are there mandatory workouts at your program? If no, how do you stay fit?

We do not have any mandatory workouts, but most of us live in the same building downtown and it has a gym. For us it's all on your own but if you do not take care of your body you will never reach your full potential, just like in every other sport.

How close/far is/are the practice facilities?

From the school it is a 10-15 minute drive, or up to an hour depending on Chicago traffic , but if you don't have a car it is a train ride and then you connect to a bus. Depending on how well you connect the 2 it could be as little as 40 minutes or it could take you up to and hour and 20 minutes.

How interactive are your men’s and women’s teams?

Our teams are very interactive off of the lanes but when we are practicing we only practice 1 or 2 times a month together. The other days in the month the girls do there own thing and the guys do there own thing.

What is your favorite Storm bowling ball? Why?

My favorite Storm bowing ball has to be the Torrent. I love my Torrent because for me it is such a benchmark ball that rolls nice and even. Also it is the ball that helped me place 6th individually at the Hoosier this year and got me to the ISC for the 2nd year in a row.

How do you pick your limited (5 or 6 balls) arsenal for collegiate tournaments?

I make picking my arsenal for college tournaments really simple.

1. Strong smooth ball
2. Weak smooth ball
3. Weak angular ball
4. Strong angular ball
5. My favorite ball

What is it like competing against friends on opposing teams?

It's really fun! I've known some of these guys since I was 10 and to grow up with them and experience college bowing together is a true blessing. It's always nice to have bragging rights if you win, but the friendships you make in bowling are like nothing else and they will create life long friends, and that's the important thing.

Is it possible to have a job at your program while going to school full time, bowling most days a week, traveling, etc?

Yes it is possible, some kids work nights after practice from like 6-10 or shifts, or some work on Monday and Friday's when we don't have practice.

What's the funniest thing that has happened in college bowling?'

All of our van rides to and from tournaments always have some funny moments in them. The best was on our way to a tournament and Michael Martell was sleeping in the first row of the van. We are driving down the road and a tow truck was hauling a semi so that the semi was facing us. On the count of 3 we all screamed so that Michael would wake up and when he did he started freaking out because he thought the semi was coming right at us. That was a great laugh.

What's one thing that a high school bowler should know before going into college that may surprise them?

Learn time management skills in high school. You will use time management more than you would ever imagine.