The PWBA Podcast

The PWBA Podcast – Episode No. 16 with Sandra Gongora
Aired on May 20, 2020
Watch on:
BowlTV | YouTube
Audio-only version on: Simplecast
The PWBA Podcast also is available on Spotify, Google Play and Apple iTunes.

Sandra Gongora is on the verge of a breakthrough win on the PWBA Tour, with a runner-up finish to her credit at the 2019 PBA Lincoln Open. The longtime Team Mexico standout joins The PWBA Podcast for Episode 16.

Gongora gets candid with hosts Emil Williams Jr. and Aaron Smith about:

  • Developing a new business from home
  • Getting a chance to recently bowl, three gutters and how she felt after the session
  • The drills she has done at home to try and remain sharp during quarantine
  • Her goals for 2020 prior to the postponement of the tour
  • How she manages expectations of being a talented player who has yet to win a PWBA Tour title
  • An emotional story regarding her mother’s role in her life and bowling career
  • Winning a bronze medal after many sacrifices and fundraising efforts to help Team Mexico get to the World Championships
  • Favorite centers to bowl in on tour, who she’d choose as a doubles partner and how many coffee cups she’s collected while traveling
  • The Sandra Gongora Starbucks order
  • Favorite country to visit while competing
  • Winning 15 gold medals at the 1997 Mexican Youth National Championship
  • Favorite travel stories and routines with friend and tour roommate, Clara Guerrero
  • Emil and Sandra share their typical orders from Chipotle
  • Where to find authentic tacos and having a PWBA event in Mexico
  • Favorite stories about Coach Vadakin and Coach Lewis, winning two national titles at Wichita State and what support from her teammates and coaches meant to her and her family
  • Fan questions: Learning how to persevere through mistakes and simplifying her game
  • Binge-watch recommendations

The next episode of The PWBA Podcast will be Wednesday, May 27 at 2 p.m. Eastern with 2020 PWBA Hall of Fame inductee and 20-time titlist Carolyn Dorin-Ballard.


The PWBA Podcast – Episode No. 15 with Clara Guerrero
Aired on May 18, 2020
Watch on:
BowlTV | YouTube
Audio-only version on: Simplecast
The PWBA Podcast also is available on Spotify, Google Play and Apple iTunes.

Clara Guerrero is a major champion on the PWBA Tour and one of the most accomplished international players in the world. The longtime Team Colombia member joins The PWBA Podcast for Episode 15.

Guerrero chats with hosts Emil Williams Jr. and Aaron Smith about the following:

  • The foul-line drills in her garage and details how she built her incredible home gym
  • A typical workout routine
  • Taking the risk to compete in 2019 without her wrist support 
  • The experience of winning the PWBA Players Championship in 2016
  • Winning the team gold medal with Colombia at the 2019 World Bowling World Championship
  • How fun it was to watch teammate Maria José Rodriguez dominate the week
  • Her 24 years representing Team Colombia, the country’s grueling team trials and why she wasn’t on the team in 2007 and 2008
  • Young Colombian players who could make an impact internationally and on the PWBA Tour
  • Who she’d draft if Tom Clark said she could bring an all-PWBA team to the PBA League
  • Her women’s bowling “Dream Team”
  • Bowling 822 at the 2013 PBA World Series of Bowling to become the third woman to make a PBA telecast
  • What Wichita State and the coaching staff means to her and her family
  • She finds out she has something in common with Emil regarding college bowling
  • Mental game tips and suggestions
  • Favorite cities she’s competed in
  • Binge-watch recommendations

The PWBA Podcast – Episode No. 14 with Dasha Kovalova
Aired on May 13, 2020
Watch on:
BowlTV | YouTube
Audio-only version on: Simplecast
The PWBA Podcast also is available on Spotify, Google Play and Apple iTunes.

Dasha Kovalova made the leap to superstar status on the PWBA Tour in 2019. She won the USBC Queens for her first major championship and rolled a 300 game in the title match of the Pepsi PWBA Louisville Open. Kovalova is the guest on Episode 14 of The PWBA Podcast.

Kovalova joined hosts Emil Williams Jr. and Aaron Smith to discuss:

  • How she’s staying busy
  • Her love of art, how she gained a passion for it and how much time she spends drawing
  • An impromptu sketch of Emil and Aaron
  • Good karma and highlights from the 2019 USBC Queens
  • Stories from her time at Wichita State with Coach Lewis
  • What she learned during her first couple of years on tour, leading to her breakout in 2019
  • The tough week in East Hartford preceding her historic performance in Louisville and bowling shoe troubles
  • The best part about shooting 300 to win in Louisville
  • The Rockstar shower after shooting 300 on TV
  • Her first Tour Championship experience at Richmond Raceway
  • Fast laps with NBC Sports’ Parker Kligerman, being introduced and tossing swag at the GoBowling! 250, “drivers, start your engines…”
  • How she got her start in bowling and what role Rick Benoit played in attending Wichita State
  • How her Wichita State teammates helped her transition to college in the United States
  • Initial discussions of a mini-golf rematch between Emil and Dasha
  • Current PWBA Tour players she faced in Europe and international competition
  • Gamers on the PWBA Tour
  • Binge-watch recommendations

The PWBA Podcast – Episode No. 13 with Leanne Hulsenberg
Aired on May 11, 2020
Watch on:
BowlTV | YouTube
Audio-only version on: Simplecast
The PWBA Podcast also is available on Spotify, Google Play and Apple iTunes.

PWBA and USBC Hall of Famer Leanne Hulsenberg has won 27 titles in her illustrious career, including the 1999 USBC Queens and 2011 U.S. Women’s Open. The 1990 and 1991 PWBA Player of the Year is the guest on Episode 13 of The PWBA Podcast.

Hulsenberg sits down with hosts Emil Williams Jr. and Aaron Smith to chat about:

  • Celebrating Mother’s Day during quarantine
  • The Storm social shows bringing the bowling community together
  • Her strategy in selecting winners in the Ultimate Queens Bracket Challenge and memorable matches with Kelly Kulick
  • Her induction to the PWBA Hall of Fame in 2019, 300 at the USBC Women’s Championships and the keys to speech preparation
  • Her run at the 2018 PWBA Las Vegas Open and bleeped-out words with Del Ballard Jr.
  • Developing her style, earning her nickname “Boomer” and stories from the tour
  • Growing up as a bowler in Northern California
  • White Castle and missing trophies from Hammond, Indiana
  • Her win and overall experience during the 2011 U.S. Women’s Open
  • Why it’s been easier to represent Senior Team USA compared to the adult team
  • Her love of the San Francisco 49ers, Super Bowl LIV and Barrett’s excellent record in the Hulsenberg family fantasy football league
  • A lifelong friendship from a Bowl With The Pros event
  • Meeting Gary Hulsenberg

The PWBA Podcast – Episode No. 12 with Liz Johnson
Aired on May 6, 2020
Watch on:
BowlTV | YouTube
Audio-only version on: Simplecast
The PWBA Podcast also is available on Spotify, Google Play and Apple iTunes.

USBC Hall of Famer Liz Johnson has captured 24 PWBA Tour titles and 10 major championships in her legendary career. The three-time PWBA Player of the Year is the guest on Episode 12 of The PWBA Podcast.

Johnson chatted with hosts Emil Williams Jr. and Aaron Smith about:

  • Celebrating her birthday during quarantine
  • A family of unwanted houseguests
  • The Ultimate Queens Bracket Challenge and her favorite moments at the Queens
  • Favorite matches against Shannon O’Keefe
  • Recaps of each of her six U.S. Women’s Open titles and her favorite win
  • What she told Dasha Kovalova after her 300 game at the PWBA Pepsi Louisville Open
  • The unique circumstances surrounding her own televised 300 game in 2001
  • Recounting the 2017 PBA Chameleon Championship and which PWBA players have the best chance to win a PBA title
  • The atmosphere in Abu Dhabi when she tossed a 300 game to win team gold for Team USA at the 2015 World Bowling Women’s Championships
  • Which players she would choose to create her own “Dream Team” 
  • Favorite memorabilia she’s kept from major wins or moments in her career
  • Favorite travel stories, including below-zero temperatures, frozen RVs and cars that wouldn’t start
  • Binge-watch recommendations
  • Fan questions

The PWBA Podcast – Episode No. 11 with Kelly Kulick
Aired on May 4, 2020
Watch on:
BowlTV | YouTube 
Audio-only version on: Simplecast
The PWBA Podcast also is available on Spotify, Google Play and Apple iTunes.

USBC Hall of Famer Kelly Kulick is one of the most decorated bowlers in the history of the sport. The six-time major champion joins The PWBA Podcast for Episode 11.

Kulick joined hosts Emil Williams Jr. and Aaron Smith to chat some on the following topics:

  • Her home improvement skills and the latest news from New Jersey
  • Her passion for line dancing and other dances she’s ready to learn
  • Why she dances before shows on CBS Sports Network
  • The Ultimate Queens Bracket Challenge and her favorite memories from the USBC Queens
  • Her dominant performance at the 2020 Team USA Trials and takeaways from performance
  • Why getting a chance to return to the QubicaAMF World Cup is important to her
  • Who she would pick as her Team USA “Dream Team”
  • Her struggles during the 2019 season and her initial plans for a reduced schedule in 2020
  • The sights, sounds and smells of the 2012 U.S. Women’s Open experience
  • Reliving the final frame in Reno for the 2020 USWO title and a few souvenirs from The Biggest Little City in the World
  • Lessons learned while competing on the PBA Tour after earning an exemption in 2006
  • Which current PWBA players have the best chance to win on the PBA Tour
  • Her role as a mentor to young players and who she looked up to as a young competitor
  • Favorite memories from 2010 after winning the Tournament of Champions, Queens and U.S. Women’s Open
  • The media attention that ensued after earning an exemption in 2006 and winning in 2010
  • Appearing in a Spider-Man comic book
  • Binge-watch recommendations with an Al Pacino twist

The PWBA Podcast – Episode No. 10 with Sydney Brummett
Aired on May 1, 2020
Watch on:
BowlTV | YouTube
Audio-only version on: Simplecast
The PWBA Podcast also is available on Spotify, Google Play and Apple iTunes.

Team USA’s Sydney Brummett is one of the brightest young stars on the PWBA Tour after an incredible collegiate career at Wichita State. The 2017 Intercollegiate Singles Championships winner and National Collegiate Bowling Coaches Association Player of the Year is on Episode 10 of The PWBA Podcast.

Brummett shared her thoughts on a few of the following topics:

  • Quarantine activities
  • How she’s staying prepared both mentally and physically during quarantine
  • How she assess her first two seasons on the PWBA Tour
  • Why she went from 14- to 15-pound equipment
  • Mental and physical items she’s worked on since becoming a professional
  • The three things she completes daily to remain mentally tough
  • Favorite PWBA moments
  • What she learned by finishing sixth at the 2018 USBC Queens
  • Travel stories with roommate Bryanna Coté and how they became tour roommates
  • Favorite Team USA moments and why the program is important to her
  • A deeper look into her career at Wichita State with favorite and toughest moments
  • Winning the 2017 Intercollegiate Team Championships
  • Leaving coach Mark Lewis at the hotel during the Hoosier Classic
  • Favorite foods and desserts made by mom
  • Who would make her all-Indiana five-player team
  • Binge-watch recommendations with a reality show twist

The PWBA Podcast – Episode No. 9 with Julia Bond
Aired on April 29, 2020
Watch on:
BowlTV | YouTube
Audio-only version on: Simplecast
The PWBA Podcast also is available on Spotify, Google Play and Apple iTunes.

Team USA’s Julia Bond is one of the up-and-coming stars on the PWBA Tour and has found instant success on the regional circuit, claiming three wins and the Go Bowling! PWBA Regional Showdown title on CBS Sports Network. The former collegiate standout at Nebraska joins The PWBA Podcast for Episode 9.

Hear what Bond had to say on the following topics:

  • First thoughts after seeing the winning shot of the GoBowling! PWBA Regional Showdown
  • How she is staying busy during quarantine
  • Her perfect record in PWBA Regional competitions
  • Expectations during her rookie season in 2019 and the learning curve from college to the tour
  • What it was like to join an experienced Nebraska team as a freshman and win a national title in 2015
  • Looking back on an unbelieve 782-772 loss to Emily Eckhoff at the 2016 Intercollegiate Singles Championships
  • Favorite stories and moments from legendary Nebraska coach Bill Straub
  • Winning the Junior Gold Championships in 2013; favorite parts of the Team USA program and future goals
  • Her rise as a high school player in Illinois and the coaches who played a role
  • A crazy elimination match against Maryland Eastern Shore at the 2017 NCAA National Championship featuring an illegal player, tie and ridiculous roll-off
  • Degree in forensic biology, why she loves DNA and a look into the legitimacy of CSI television series
  • Binge-watch recommendations with a DeNiro twist

The PWBA Podcast – Episode No. 8 with Elysia Current
Aired on April 24, 2020
Watch on:
 BowlTV | YouTube
Audio-only version on: Simplecast
The PWBA Podcast also is available on Spotify, Google Play and Apple iTunes.

PWBA Tour champion Elysia Current is the guest for Episode 8 of The PWBA Podcast. Current won the first standard event of the newly relaunched tour in 2015 (PWBA Storm Sacramento Open) and is the women’s head bowling coach at Delaware State. A former collegiate standout at Fairleigh Dickinson and Wichita State, Current also spent two years on Junior Team USA and is a USBC Women’s Championships titlist.

Current dishes on some of the following topics:

  • How she is staying busy during quarantine
  • How her student-athletes at Delaware State reacted to the cancellation of NCAA winter sports due to COVID-19 and how she first received the news
  • In her second stint as head coach of the Hornets, she describes what it means to lead the program again along with some of the similarities and differences from her first tenure with the team
  • Why Delaware State’s 2016 win at the MEAC Championship is near and dear to her heart
  • How her passion for coaching started with bumper bowlers and progressed to the collegiate ranks
  • Reaction to the news of the PWBA relaunching in 2015
  • How she went from nearly missing getting her entry in for the 2015 PWBA Storm Sacramento Open to winning the tournament and the history associated with that event.
  • Travel stories with Lindsay Boomershine
  • Her standout collegiate career and, specifically, her national championship teammates at Wichita State and why those relationships are important
  • Family values and binge-watch recommendations

The next episode of The PWBA Podcast will air live on BowlTV.com on Wednesday, April 29 at 2 p.m. Eastern and feature Team USA's Julia Bond.


The PWBA Podcast – Episode No. 7 with Tennelle Milligan
Aired on April 22, 2020
Watch on:
 BowlTV | YouTube
Audio-only version on: Simplecast
The PWBA Podcast also is available on Spotify, Google Play and Apple iTunes.

PWBA Director of Operations and USBC Hall of Famer Tennelle Milligan joins Emil Williams Jr. and Aaron Smith for Episode 7 of The PWBA Podcast. Milligan also is a three-time major champion and former competitor on the PWBA Tour.

Some of the topics she discusses include:

  • Quarantine activities with husband, Jason, and daughter, Abby
  • Status update regarding the PWBA Tour (2020 season originally scheduled to start this week)
  • What it meant to become the PWBA Director of Operations and differences between being a player versus an administrator
  • How she handled the tour folding in 2003
  • Favorite PWBA stories, cities to visit
  • Her win at the 2000 U.S. Women’s Open as a tour rookie
  • Favorite Team USA moments
  • The importance of her upbringing in Southern California
  • Getting the call on being inducted into the USBC Hall of Fame and hot flashes
  • Baby Yoda and binge-watch recommendations

The PWBA Podcast – Episode No. 6 with Shannon Pluhowsky
Aired on April 17, 2020
Watch on: 
BowlTV | YouTube
Audio-only version on: Simplecast
The PWBA Podcast also is available on Spotify, Google Play and Apple iTunes.

Shannon Pluhowsky is one of the most decorated players to ever put on a Team USA jersey. The 20-time Team USA member joins The PWBA Podcast for Episode 6.

Among the items she discusses:

  • Her family’s favorite board games and game shows during quarantine
  • How she’s enjoyed being able to spend some extra time at home after her first season as the assistant coach at Nebraska
  • How she landed the role at her alma mater and the very specific rules her daughter, Autumn, put in place before accepting the position
  • The differences from being a coach versus a player and how picking an arsenal for her players is easier than picking one for herself
  • Her favorite stories on legendary Nebraska coach Bill Straub, including airport races, lucky pants and playing catch with him (with a bowling ball) at the U.S. Women’s Open
  • Her storied tenure on Team USA, including her incredible run at the 2011 World Bowling World Championships in Hong Kong
  • The 2006 Queens, where she faced three USBC Hall of Famers in the stepladder and had to defeat one of them twice to claim the tiara

The PWBA Podcast – Episode No. 5 with Josie Barnes
Aired on April 15, 2020
Watch on: 
BowlTV | YouTube
Audio-only version on: Simplecast
The PWBA Podcast also is available on Spotify, Google Play and Apple iTunes.

Episode 5 of The PWBA Podcast welcomes three-time champion Josie Barnes.

The last time PWBA fans saw Barnes was at the 2019 Tour Championship, prior to giving birth to her daughter, Lisa Ruth. Barnes joins the podcast to discuss how life has changed since becoming a mother.

Barnes, who also serves as the associate head coach at Vanderbilt, talks about the impact COVID-19 had on her team and reflects on the time spent with the four seniors on the Vanderbilt roster, why Adel Wahner is a great spare shooter and why Maria Bulanova’s skillset would transfer well to the PWBA Tour.

During the conversation, Barnes also chats about the determination needed to win the 2018 PWBA East Hartford Open following a tough elimination from the 2018 USBC Queens at the hands of Liz Johnson because of a missed single pin. She also travels back in time and discusses her first career TV appearance at 2012 Queens.

She also opens up about her tough week in Hartford in 2019 following the passing of her mother, what her family has meant to her and Lisa Ruth, a couple of Erin McCarthy stories, binge-watch recommendations and more.


The PWBA Podcast – Episode No. 4 with Danielle McEwan
Aired on April 10, 2020
Watch on: 
BowlTV | YouTube
Audio-only version on: Simplecast
The PWBA Podcast also is available on Spotify, Google Play and Apple iTunes.

Episode 4 of The PWBA Podcast welcomes 2019 U.S. Women’s Open champion Danielle McEwan.

McEwan discusses how closely she had been following news on COVID-19 earlier this year, which resulted in her skipping the Brunswick Euro Challenge in Germany to bowl the World Series of Bowling in Las Vegas in early March.

She ended up advancing to match play at the PBA Scorpion Championship before the pandemic forced the postponement of the event, which still has not been rescheduled.

During the conversation, McEwan talks about her late start in bowling, the knowledge she’s gained and the players who’ve helped shape her future in the sport. She also takes a trip down memory lane to look back at the 2019 U.S. Women’s Open stepladder finals, where she tossed doubles in the 10th frames of the semifinal and championship matches to claim her second major title.

The five-time tour champion also describes her favorite PWBA and Team USA moments, why she doesn’t make her goals public, what it’s like to have her siblings embrace the sport and lists the top five countries she’s visited along with her best and worst travel stories.


The PWBA Podcast – Episode No. 3 with Shannon O'Keefe
Aired on April 8, 2020
Watch on: 
BowlTV | YouTube
Audio-only version on: Simplecast
The PWBA Podcast also is available on Spotify, Google Play and Apple iTunes.

The third installment of The PWBA Podcast welcomes two-time PWBA Player of the Year Shannon O’Keefe.

O’Keefe hits on a wide array of subjects during the conversation, including a heartfelt look at the collegiate bowling season being cut short due to COVID-19 health concerns and some of her favorite moments with her standout seniors at McKendree University, Breanna Clemmer and Taylor Bailey.

The 13-time tour titlist discusses the differences between her 2018 and 2019 player-of-the-year campaigns, her first stint on tour in the early 2000s and how her loss to Liz Johnson at the 2015 U.S. Women’s Open served as a catalyst to jumpstart the run she’s been on the last four seasons.

She also looks into her 16-year career on Team USA, going into detail on two of her most memorable appearances at the World Bowling Women’s Championships – her first team gold medal at the 2011 event in Hong Kong and a trios gold at the 2017 event in Las Vegas while battling kidney stones.

O’Keefe wraps up the podcast with the story of how she met her husband, Bryan, and welcomes a cameo appearance from the latest addition to her family of dogs, Sonoma.


The PWBA Podcast – Episode No. 2 with Liz Kuhlkin
Aired on April 3, 2020
Watch on: 
BowlTV | YouTube
Audio-only version on: Simplecast
The PWBA Podcast also is available on Spotify, Google Play and Apple iTunes.

Episode No. 2 of The PWBA Podcast features 2018 U.S. Women’s Open champion Liz Kuhlkin, who works as a produce clerk at Price Chopper in Albany, New York, when she’s not ripping racks on the PWBA Tour. 

Kuhlkin joins the show to discuss her first-hand experiences at the store since the outbreak of COVID-19 and some of the precautions she must take to help combat the pandemic.

Kuhlkin also discusses the ups and downs of her PWBA Tour journey, beginning with an early victory as a rookie in 2015, her struggles in 2016 and 2017, and becoming a major champion in 2018.

She also reflects on numerous moments in her career, including shooting 890 and 879 in league competition, rolling 299 during the stepladder finals at the 2019 PWBA Tucson Open and striking to clinch the trios gold medal at the World Bowling Women’s Championships in 2019.

No conversation with Kuhlkin is complete without talking about her love for the New York Yankees and Denver Broncos, and we find out how she became fans of both teams.


The PWBA Podcast – Episode No. 1 with Erin McCarthy
Aired on April 1, 2020
Watch on: 
BowlTV | YouTube
Audio-only version on: Simplecast
The PWBA Podcast also is available on Spotify, Google Play and Apple iTunes.

The first edition of The PWBA Podcast features tour champion Erin McCarthy, who spends her time away from the lanes as a registered nurse at two hospitals in Omaha, Nebraska.

With many events being either postponed or canceled due to COVID-19, McCarthy shares what it’s like to be working on designated COVID-19 units and is blunt in her suggestions to help curb the pandemic.

McCarthy also tells the story of how she ended up at Midland University and why her decision to major in biology before taking an accelerated nursing program at Creighton was one of the best, but toughest, decisions she’s ever made.

She also reflects on her 2018 PWBA Louisville Open title, shares the story of hanging out with fellow PWBA Tour champion Josie Barnes for the first time and discusses why a U.S. Women’s Open title is in her sights.

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