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.


Liz Johnson Wins WBT Tour Finals

The World Bowling Tour Men's and Women's Finals aired Sunday on FS1. Team Storm player, Liz Johnson earned the Women's WBT Tour Finals Title defeating fellow Team Storm member, Danielle McEwan 246-223.

Liz Johnson used a combination of the Storm Hy-Road X and Roto Grip IDOL Pearl to win the title.

Six players qualified for the Tour Finals by competing in WBT events around the world throughout the year. The top three players who earned the most points earned a spot in the TV finals to bowl for the title. The top three men who qualified were EJ Tackett, Anthony Simonsen, and Stuart Williams. The top three women were Liz Johnson, Danielle McEwan, and Daria Pajak.

“Every title is special," Johnson said in the PBA Press Release. "This was my sixth WBT show, but this is my first win."

Team Roto Grip players, Anthony Simonsen and Stuart Williams faced tough matches against EJ Tackett. Both matches were decided by just one pin. Williams was defeated 243-242 and Simonsen was defeated 233-232 in the title match.

Liz Johnson, Anthony Simonsen and Stuart Williams are currently competing in the PBA World Series of Bowling this week in Detroit.  All qualifying rounds can be watched live on Flobowling all week long.

Danielle McEwan will join Johnson, Simonsen, and Williams at the USBC Masters March 26-April 1.

To learn more about the athletes on Team Storm click here.


Champions Crowned at Storm Youth Championships - Las Vegas

BRIGHAM CITY, Utah - Many professional athletes speak about defining moments as a youth throughout their entire career and through these stories of passion, determination, and dedication, it’s evident that these athletes become committed to their sport at a very young age and work hard to reach their goals.

The Storm Youth Championships (SYC) gives youth bowlers the chance to set goals for their future and showcase their talents on a national stage. After two days of competition, six smiling youth athletes are proud to hold the SYC trophies high above their heads.

"The Storm Youth Championships is an event that celebrates all the best parts of bowling," Gary Hulsenberg, Vice President of Business Development at Storm Bowling said. "Families come together to support growing athletes doing what they love to do, while supporting a great charity that helps improve the lives of people going through a tough time."

The first SYC of 2019 was held in Las Vegas, Nevada, February 15-17, 2019. More than 200 youth bowlers from 28 different states, including 7 bowlers from Puerto Rico, and one bowler from Poland traveled to compete at the South Point Bowling Plaza. The youth bowlers competed in four five-game rounds on four different Kegel patterns in six different divisions determined by gender and age (U20 Boys, U20 Girls, U15 Boys, U15 Girls, U12 Boys, U12 Girls) for a national title and a portion of the $19,950 scholarship fund.

The overall champions at the SYC demonstrate consistency across all four patterns and are decided based on their 20 game total pinfall. In the U12 Girls division, Katelyn Abigania, of California, battled a wrist injury to earn the title finishing 194 pins ahead of the field. She also earned the gold medal in all four rounds of competition. Elias O’Hollaren of California, dominated the U12 Boys division finishing with a 442 pin lead. His best block was the long pattern finishing with a 226 average. Bowling for the first time in the U15 Girls Division, Saphyre Nofuente of California, averaged 216 her final block to take home her second SYC title, while Alexander Horton, of Pennsylvania, picked up his first SYC title averaging 226 for the event. In the U20 Division, two past SYC Champions, Mabel Cummins of Illinois and Spencer Robarge of Missouri outlasted the competition to capture their fourth SYC Titles.

The talent of the youth bowlers at the Storm Youth Championships is always remarkable. The top two competitors in each division were named to the Storm All-American Team. Avery Domaguin, Sebastian Huffman, Samantha Conti, Ashton Yamasaki, Jennifer Loredo, and Cerell Cardines will join the Las Vegas champions on the 2019 Storm All-American Team.

2019 Storm All-American Team BACK ROW: U12 Girls – Avery Domaguin, CA, Katelyn Abigania, CA, U15 Girls - Saphyre Nofuente, CA, Samantha Conti, NV U20 Girls - Jennifer Loredo, CA, Mabel Cummins, IL FRONT ROW: U12 Boys – Elias O’Hollaren, CA, Sebastian Huffman, NV U15 Boys - Alexander Horton, PA, Ashton Yamasaki, OR U20 Boys - Spencer Robarge, MO, Cerell Cardines, NV

In addition to the overall champions, the top three bowlers in each division were presented a gold, silver, or bronze medal after each round. Each round proved to be challenging but several youth bowlers conquered the patterns and rose to the top. Some highlights included TJ Rock of Las Vegas throwing two 279 games in a five game block to earn the gold on short, Ashton Yamasaki with 11-in-a-row in game three averaging 247 to earn the gold medal on the medium pattern in the U15 Division, and Solomon Salama dominated the medium pattern in the U20 division throwing games of 278, 279, 243, 264, 300 to capture the gold medal.

Throughout the weekend participants and their families were able to attend the, “How To Make A Storm Bowling Ball,” seminar with Storm’s Technical Director, Chad McLean. They also were able to meet and practice with members of the Storm Bowling Pro Staff, and discuss lane play strategies with Storm Tour Representatives, Mike DeVaney and Del Ballard Jr. Every bowler who entered the tournament received a Storm Phaze II bowling ball to add to their tournament arsenal and were given the opportunity to have it drilled at the South Point Pro Shop.

Charitable giving continues to be a focus for the Storm Youth Championships. A donation of $10 from each entry goes directly to 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. BVBC also raises money for nutritional supplements and treatments for those going through the cancer journey. The Ballard Family was on site to host a BVBC silent auction, raffles and more throughout the weekend. The SYC event raised $8900 for BVBC.

"At Storm, we're incredibly lucky to have owners who give back through the sport of bowling as much as they can," Hulsenberg said. "Bill and Barbara Chrisman's generosity is felt through the events that they sponsor and the community that they have built throughout the world."

This tournament would not be possible without the support of our sponsors; Storm, Roto Grip, Logo Infusion, Turbo 2-N-1 Grips, Kegel, 3G Shoes, and Bowlers Journal International. The event was livestreamed throughout the two days of competition on the Storm Bowling Facebook Page.

The 2019 SYC Tour will host a total of six events in 2019. The SYC will travel to Double Decker Lanes in Rohnert Park, California, March 22-24. This event is sold-out with a waiting list. Entries for the next event in Smyrna, Tennessee, May 24-26, will open on March 18 at Noon MST. This event sold-out quickly in 2018. Two new cities, Lincoln, Nebraska and Wichita, Kansas will host events in June and August. In October, the SYC will return to Shallotte, North Carolina. For more information about our upcoming events visit our website, stormbowling.com/SYC or check the StormJr Facebook Page.


Danielle McEwan In The Lab

Tonight at the PWBA Tour Championships the #2 seed, Danielle McEwan, will take on Maria Jose Rodriquez in the Semifinal Match on CBS Sports at 8pm Eastern Time.

Prior to the start of the week, we talked to Danielle about some of the work that she’s been doing off the lanes to prepare for the 2018 PWBA Season. This summer, Danielle spent a lot of time traveling to bowl. During the weeks she was home, she spent some time training at the New York Sports Science Lab (SSL) to better understand ways she can train off the lanes.

You can WATCH some of what she was working on in this video from the SSL.

According to the SSL’s website, “The Sports Science Lab (SSL) is a world-class facility focused on optimizing performance of all athletes through measuring and quantifying the subtleties and complexities of athletic movement using state-of-the-art sports science technologies. Our mission is rooted in the philosophy that every athlete, regardless of age, body type or experience level, deserves to perform at their personal best.”

Find out what Danielle has been up to in our interview below.

What’s your favorite part of training at the SSL?

I love training at the Sports Science Lab for so many reasons. The trainers are awesome, they are so supportive and are always looking for new ways to learn about and help me in my sport.

The facility is so cool, they literally have every piece of technology an athlete would ever need. From training tools for your brain, to physical tools for your body, to recovery- they have it all.

In what ways do you feel it’s improved your bowling game?

The biggest way I’ve seen it improve my bowling game is mentally. In the beginning of the season, I was really struggling with keeping a quiet mind and staying focused.

At the lab, we did a lot of work that focused on the task at hand and eliminating distractions and I instantly saw a change on the lanes.

What types of exercises do the trainers work with you for bowling?

One of the first things we noticed through my physical evaluation was that my hips were really tight and imbalanced. They gave me a bunch of stretches and exercises to add into my normal fitness routine to help focus on this.

What exercises do you do to help with your mental game?

We do a lot of sensorimotor skill exercises that train my brain to focus on the task at hand, avoid distractions and make decisions quickly on the fly. We also do a lot of rhythm drills that are bowling specific. This helps with both timing and keeping a clear mind.

As soon as you start overthinking the situation and get off timing, it’s impossible, just like overthinking a shot in bowling!

What did they discover in their analysis?

One major thing that they noticed on my body is how imbalanced I am, especially in my hips from my left to right side. I’ve know, and have been working on this for years. The motion that our sport demands us to do over and over again makes it very difficult to avoid this issue.

I cannot stress enough to anyone who bowls a lot, at any level, how important it is to take care of you body and to train outside of the bowling center.

It is so important to keep your body as balanced as you possibly can.

What kind of exercises are you able to do while traveling or at home that you learned at the SSL?

I started working with the SSL during the PWBA season, therefore, most of our focus has been on recovery and mental game. They have taught me a bunch of different ways of stretching to add to what I already do that have helped out tremendously.

As the end of the PWBA Tour Season nears, what are your bowling plans for the end of 2018?

Even though the PWBA season is ending, the end of my personal bowling season is no where in sight. I will be going overseas immediately to compete on the World Bowling Tour, as well as a few additional international events, followed by competition for Team USA and then competing with the men on the PBA Tour.

To follow updates on Danielle and all the other #TeamStorm players visit pwba.com.


Danielle McEwan Wins Nationwide PWBA Rochester Open

It all came down to the 10th frame at the 2017 Nationwide PWBA Rochester Open. In the end, Danielle McEwan of Stony Point, New York, defeated Shannon Pluhowsky 226-224 to win her third PWBA title. The win earned McEwan $10,000 and a spot in the Smithfield PWBA Tour Championship in Richmond, Virginia. We caught up with Danielle between her travels to ask her some questions about her most recent win.

It means a lot that I was not only able to compete but able to walk away with a title from an event in my own state.

CBS Sports aired the Nationwide PWBA Rochester Open where you earned your third PWBA title this week? What did it mean to you to take home that title for a tournament that was hosted in your home state?

It was awesome to have a PWBA stop in New York, my home state. Even though Rochester isn't very close to where I live, I grew up bowling high school and other state tournaments all over the state. Therefore, I found myself constantly bumping into people that started conversations with phrases such as "I haven't seen you since high school" at this tournament.

What were your favorite Storm Bowling Balls in your bag this summer?

All of them!! The patterns we bowled on this summer were so drastically different from weekend to weekend, having multiple options to choose from allowed me to be consistent each week. Some of my favorites that stand out are the Sure Lock, Phaze II and Code Red.

What have you been up to during the off-weeks of the PWBA Tour on the road to the PWBA Tour Championships?

They may have been off weeks for the PWBA tour, but they haven't been off weeks for me by any means. I just got home from traveling to Sweden for the World Bowling Tour event. I now will have 3 days to get back on this time zone, get some good quality practice days on the lanes and in the gym and then it's off to Richmond!

What do you plan to do on the off-season?

Over the last few years, I've competed on the PWBA tour, the PBA tour, the World Bowling Tour, as well as represent Team USA in multiple international competitions. Therefore, there is really no off season for me. As soon as the PWBA Tour Championship wraps up, I will be training with Team USA and will then go right into another World Bowling Tour event in Thailand. The rest of the year will then be spent competing against the guys!

Do you have advice for bowlers who might be thinking about going out to test their skills on the PBA Tour or PWBA tour?

The advice I always give people who ask how to get to this point is to plan out your stepping stone path. For me, my path started with high school bowling, which led to college bowling, which led to Jr. Team USA then Team USA, and then out to competing on tour. For others that might mean competing in local tournaments, to regional events, to national events.

If your goal is to compete on the highest level on either tour - set a game plan on how to get there and work hard every day for it.

What’s one thing about yourself that fans might not know about you?

I love flying and I love airports. It's just recently become a new obsession- 100% related to my travel schedule over the last few years. In addition to constantly booking flights, I find myself doing research and reading tons of articles and blogs on different planes, airports and everything that has to do with travel. If you ever have any questions about seats on different aircrafts, fare classes, upgrades, the best places to eat in any given airport or the best way to argue with airline representatives, I can definitely help you out!