UMES ALUMN MARIA RODRIGUEZ STILL UNDEFEATED AT QUEENS
July 2, 2014
RENO, Nev. - Maria Rodriguez (Ibague Tolima, Colombia) a former National Collegiate Player of the Year, and two-time National Champion with the University of Maryland Eastern Shore, is one of six remaining bowlers at one of the largest and most prestigious women's bowling events in the world, the United States Bowling Congress Queens, presented by Storm.
Rodriguez will bowl today at noon (ET) as one of the four remaining women who are undefeated at the event. The qualifying round started with 178 of the best women bowlers in the world. If she wins, she will be one of five to make the stepladder finals, televised live on ESPN2 on July 3 at 7:00 p.m. A loss means she bowls at 3:00 p.m. for a chance to still make the finals. She will take on the 2011 Queens champions Missy Parkin of Laguna Hills, Calif.
The other winners match is Jennifer Higgins of Westerville, Ohio vs. Tannya Roumimper of Indonesia, who bowled at Wichita State.
Parkin, who takes on Rodriguez today, defeated former Hawk star and four-time National Champion T'nia Falbo (Greensburg, Pa.) in the previous round to send her to the elimination bracket where she fell to Amanda Green who bowled for Lindenwood, ending her tournament in a tie for the ninth-12th spots, giving UMES two of the top 10 bowlers in the prestigious event. She qualified 20th in the field of 32 finalists.
Rodriguez, who was the 16-seed, is hoping for a win, the first for a UMES bowler. She already defeated defending champion Diana Zavjalova of Latvia, who bowled for Webber International, 626-623. She then knocked off the top-seed, Brittni Hamilton of New Jersey 687-657. Hamilton is now an assistant coach at Fairleigh Dickinson after bowling collegiately at Vanderbilt. In the third round she topped two-time Queens champion Kelly Kulick, also of New Jersey. Rodriguez trailed her by 47 pins after two games, but rallied in the third to toss a 248 and win 639-629. Kulick is the first woman to ever win a PBA Tour title.
"It was a pretty tough bracket," said Rodriguez in an interview with bowl.com. "The lanes weren't easy at the beginning, so I tried to keep it in play knowing that later in the day, I was going to have an advantage because I could create more room. For tomorrow, I'm keeping the same mindset and mentality, and I am going to try to get a little bit better on the fresh."
Along with all the collegiate accolades, Rodriguez has won numerous medals in international competition, including tossing a perfect game at the 2009 World Tenpin Bowling Association World Women's Championships as a member of the Colombian national team.
The matches start with Kulick taking on Amanda Greene of Romney, W.V., and 2009 Queens champion Liz Johnson of Cheektowaga, N.Y., battling Team USA member Shannon O'Keefe of Arlington, Texas.
The winner of the 2014 Queens will take home the coveted tiara and $20,000 of the more than $91,000 prize fund, which includes a $20,000 contribution by presenting sponsor Storm.
UMES had another alumn in the event, four-time All-American Kristina Frahm (Oswego, Ill.) who missed the bracket play, qualifying in 72nd place overall and still averaging over 200 in the 15 games qualifier.
All of the qualifying rounds and match play competition at the 2014 Queens are being broadcast live on BowlTV. The Queens is open to any female USBC member.
Watch live below!