RENO, Nev. - Bryanna Coté of Red Rock, Arizona, will bowl for her first major championship after earning the top seed in the stepladder finals Monday at the 2018 United States Bowling Congress Queens.
The stepladder finals will air live on CBS Sports Network on Tuesday at 8 p.m. Eastern. The winner will claim the coveted tiara and top prize of $20,000. The USBC Queens is the first major of the 2018 Professional Women's Bowling Association Tour season.
Coté, a 32-year-old right-hander, won six consecutive matches in the double-elimination bracket at the National Bowling Stadium over two days to claim the top seed, including a come-from-behind win against Shannon O'Keefe of O'Fallon, Illinois, in the winners bracket final, 641-637.
O'Keefe was up by 11 pins heading into the third game of the total-pinfall match and had the opportunity to shut out Coté in the 10th frame with a 29-pin fill, but left a 10 pin on her first delivery. Coté needed a mark to complete the comeback, and she converted a 7 pin to earn her spot in the title match.
"My keys were to keep it simple," said Coté, the 2016 PWBA Lexington Open champion. I stayed focused, slow and aggressive with my shot. "If you're aggressive and committed to your shot, the pins should fall your way, and I'm thankful they did."
Coté will bowl for the title for the second consecutive week on the PWBA Tour. She was the top seed at the PWBA Fountain Valley Open but fell to Danielle McEwan of Stony Point, New York, in the finals, 215-182.
She plans on sticking to the same process for Tuesday's title match, knowing she only can control what happens behind the foul line at the NBS.
"I'm just thankful to be in the position to be on another show," Coté said. "I'm not going to do much differently, though. I plan on making the best 10 shots I can, and if the pins fall, they fall. I can't ask for too much, since this is the first time I've advanced to the second day of match play at this event, so I'm ecstatic to get this far. I'm grateful to be in this position."
USBC Hall of Famer and two-time Queens champion Liz Johnson of Palatine, Illinois, Stefanie Johnson of McKinney, Texas, and Amanda Fry of Antelope, California, are the No. 3, No. 4 and No. 5 seeds for the stepladder, respectively, after advancing through the elimination bracket Monday.
In the shootout round, Liz Johnson used the momentum of a 287 effort in Game 2 to lead the way with a 731 series to earn the third spot, while Stefanie Johnson grabbed the fourth spot with 663. Fry rolled 225 in her final game to hold onto the final spot with 620.
Sydney Brummett of Fort Wayne, Indiana, was eliminated in the shootout round and finished in sixth place after posting a 585 series.
A total of 191 bowlers from 14 countries competed in three five-game blocks of qualifying over three days this week to determine the 63 players joining defending champion Diana Zavjalova of Latvia in the double-elimination match-play bracket.
Zavjalova, a two-time Queens champion, finished this year's event tied for 17th place.
Each bracket match leading up to the stepladder included three games, with total pinfall determining which player advanced. The televised portion of the event will feature one-game matches.
All rounds of competition leading up to the stepladder finals were broadcast on Xtra Frame, the exclusive online bowling channel for the Professional Bowlers Association. To subscribe, visit XtraFrame.TV.