Season Preview: Power Rankings

Season Preview: Power Rankings

ARLINGTON, Texas – Power rankings.

The unscientific science of ranking teams or players based on performance is a standard in nearly every sport. The Professional Women’s Bowling Association Tour will be no different in 2021.

We now present to you our preseason power rankings for the 2021 PWBA Tour season!

We’ll be rolling these out all season, and the best way to follow the players and debate the rankings will be by watching the action live on BowlTV.com. We’re bringing you wire-to-wire coverage of every PWBA Tour event in 2021, and from now until Dec. 31, 2020, you can pick up a one-year subscription for just $49.95 – a savings of $30.

This story still will be here in a minute, but this deal won’t be. Go ahead and sign up now.


The ranking criteria moving forward will be based on performances during the 2021 season, starting with next month’s PWBA Kickoff Classic Series, but the preseason rankings are compiled from the 2019 points list and any opportunities to compete during 2020.

The tricky part of all of this is gauging the tour’s strong international presence and whether the pandemic will limit the opportunities for the likes of Singapore’s Cherie Tan and Shayna Ng, Germany’s Birgit Pöppler, Poland’s Daria Pajak and Sweden’s Sandra Andersson. Hopefully, we’ll get to see them make a few appearances in the rankings during the season.

With all of that being said, let’s get to it. Power rankings!

1. SHANNON O’KEEFE
2019 Points Rank: 1
2019 Wins: 5

In our preview story, we detailed why we wouldn’t be surprised if Shannon O’Keefe continued her torrid pace from the 2019 season into 2021, and we named her as one of the front-runners for PWBA Player of the Year in this one. Check them out!

2. DANIELLE MCEWAN
2019 Points Rank: 2
2019 Wins: 1

Danielle McEwan has been the model of consistency since her rookie season in 2015, and she’s been the POY runner-up to O’Keefe the past two seasons. McEwan had a pretty impressive run during several PBA events in 2020 as well, and we spoke to why 2021 could be her season to surpass O’Keefe and earn the PWBA Player of the Year award for the first time.

3. DASHA KOVALOVA
2019 Points Rank: 3
2019 Wins: 2

Dasha Kovalova’s rise to stardom in 2019 will mean greater expectations moving forward, and she already has shown improvement each season on tour. She arguably was the most consistent performer for the Miami Waves during the PBA League, which helps solidify her spot in the preseason rankings.

4. LIZ JOHNSON
2019 Points Rank: 4
2019 Wins: 0

Is it weird to feel guilty about ranking Liz Johnson fourth on any list involving bowling? Because … we do. Johnson arguably is the greatest of all-time, but 2019 was the first season since the 2015 PWBA relaunch she didn’t collect a win. In fact, she recorded at least two wins in each of the previous four seasons. She advanced to three championship rounds during the 2019 season, but her consistency still landed her fourth in points. Expect to see more wins and an increase in championship-round appearances with more events on the schedule in 2021.

5. JORDAN RICHARD
2019 Points Rank: 6
2019 Wins: 1

Jordan Richard most likely will win PWBA Player of the Year at some point during her career, to go along with her PWBA Rookie of the Year award from 2018. Will 2021 be the year? Richard has two titles and seven championship-round appearances in two seasons, so she’s consistently put herself in position to win. She’s been keeping busy with tournaments in Ohio during 2020, and she performed well for the Phoenix Fury during the PBA League.

6. CLARA GUERRERO
2019 Points Rank: 5
2019 Wins: 0

Clara Guerrero really had a phenomenal season on tour in 2019. She made a major change to her game by removing her wrist brace, made a pair of championship-round appearances and finished fifth in points. She has limited her events during the pandemic, but she was incredibly impressive during her appearance at the PBA King of the Lanes in July.

7. MARIA JOSÉ RODRIGUEZ
2019 Points Rank: 10
2019 Wins: 0

Maria José Rodriguez had a total of five championship-round appearances from 2015-2018. She had four in 2019. Though she didn’t collect a win in 2019, the two-time major winner is trending in the right direction for the 2021 season. We also won’t forget this clutch strike to send the Phoenix Fury to the next round at the PBA League.

8. MISSY PARKIN
2019 Points Rank: 7
2019 Wins: 0

Like Rodriguez, Missy Parkin set a new personal mark for championship-round appearances in a season (three) in 2019. Parkin seems poised to make her first visit to the winner’s circle since the 2011 USBC Queens, and she successfully defeated YouTube sensations The Try Guys in a one-versus-four match. We expected her to do that, but it’s definitely a must-watch video. It has more than 2 million views.

9. STEFANIE JOHNSON
2019 Points Rank: 9
2019 Wins: 0

Stefanie Johnson saved her best performance for last during the 2019 season, making an impressive run to the stepladder finals at the PWBA Tour Championship, before finishing tied for third place. She also was the spark at the top of the lineup for the Phoenix Fury during the PBA League over the summer.

10. LIZ KUHLKIN
2019 Points Rank: 8
2019 Wins: 0

After winning the U.S. Women’s Open and making three championship-round appearances in 2018, Liz Kuhlkin put together another strong showing in 2019, again making three CRAs and finishing in the top eight in points for a second consecutive season. She has had limited opportunities to compete in 2020, due to many local and state regulations concerning the pandemic in New York.

11. DIANA ZAVJALOVA
2019 Points Rank: 17
2019 Wins: 0

Diana Zavjalova had unfinished business to settle in 2020 after missing the PWBA Tour Championship for the first time in her career in 2019. Although 2020 didn’t work out like anybody planned, she still has her sights set on a big 2021. She has stayed busy competing in Texas, and we won’t be surprised to see her quickly make her way into the top 10 of the power rankings.

12. BRYANNA COTÉ
2019 Points Rank: 11
2019 Wins: 0

Bryanna Coté put together another stellar season in 2019 after her bounce-back year in 2018. She was one of four players to cash in every event in 2019 and added another two championship-round appearances. Coté is one of the hardest workers on tour, and she’s due for a trip to the winner’s circle in 2021.

13. SHANNON PLUHOWSKY
2019 Points Rank: 12
2019 Wins: 0

Shannon Pluhowsky recorded four top-10 finishes and advanced to two championship rounds in 2019, which included a strong showing at the Players Championship to secure her spot in the Tour Championship for the fifth consecutive season. She’s the lone left-hander in our preseason rankings, and she knows how it can be feast or famine from time to time on the left side. Pluhowsky knows when the window is open to toss a bunch of strikes, and she won’t let many opportunities slip by.

14. ROCIO RESTREPO
2019 Points Rank: 27
2019 Wins: 0

Rocio Restrepo is a four-time PWBA Tour champion, but she struggled with injuries during the 2019 season and only competed in eight events. She found some momentum late in the season, however, and has had time to get healthy once again. Restrepo could easily move up the rankings to the top 10.

15. VERITY CRAWLEY
2019 Points Rank: 21
2019 Wins: 0

We listed Verity Crawley as the player to make the leap to the winner’s circle in 2021. She’s incredibly talented and knows how to navigate a week on tour in order to advance to a championship round. She now just needs to cash in on one of those opportunities.

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BROADCAST SCHEDULE

(All times Eastern; subject to change)

Thursday, Jan. 21 - 9 p.m.
PWBA Bowlers Journal Classic
Championship Round
BowlTV.com

Saturday, Jan. 23 - 9 p.m.
PWBA ITRC Classic
Championship Round
BowlTV.com

Sunday, Jan. 24 - 9 p.m.
PWBA Arlington Regional
Championship Round
BowlTV.com

Tuesday, Jan. 26 - 9 p.m.
PWBA Hall of Fame Classic
Championship Round
BowlTV.com

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