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Current ready to defend at 2016 PWBA Storm Sacramento Open


2015PWBA02ElysiaCurrent.jpgFor Elysia Current of Ephrata, Pennsylvania, winning the first standard event of the new era of the Professional Women’s Bowling Association was blessing, a curse and a dream come true, all rolled into one special and rewarding moment.

Current will be the first 2015 tournament winner to defend her title when the PWBA Storm Sacramento Open (pictured left with the trophy) takes place May 12-14 at Steve Cook’s Fireside Lanes in Citrus Heights, California.

Last year, the opportunity to be a competitor on a professional tour for women became a reality she never thought would exist, and winning the first standard event was a nice reminder of all the hard work she’s put in. But, the victory also would present her with some unforeseen challenges the rest of the season.

“It meant so much to be able to go out on tour and win the first regular event,” said Current, who defeated top seed Kristina Wendell of Kingston, New York, to win the 2015 PWBA Storm Sacramento Open.

“But, it was really nerve-racking after that because it left me trying so hard to keep performing at that level. I really wanted to back up that performance.”

Current, a past winner at the Intercollegiate Team Championships and Intercollegiate Singles Championships while at Wichita State and the runner-up at the 2011 United States Bowling Congress Queens, would make one more match-play appearance in 2015, but the season as a whole gave her the motivation to re-evaluate things during the offseason.

Now, she’s two events and two cashes into the 2016 PWBA season and ready to put her title on the line this week.

“A lot of my focus has been on the mental parts and handling the pressure and expectations,” said Current, who is the head coach of the Delaware State bowling program. “Going through another year with my team really helped me see some things, and I was able to step back and apply it to my own game. I feel prepared and excited for the rest of this season.”

2016PWBALogo.jpgAt this year’s PWBA Storm Sacramento Open, all competitors will bowl two six-game blocks Friday, with the field being cut to the top 32 based on the 12-game pinfall totals. Advancing players will bowl six additional games Saturday morning, before the field is cut to the top 12 for match play. The 12 will compete in two six-player groups.

At the conclusion of round-robin match play, the top qualifiers in each group automatically will earn spots in the televised finals, where they will be joined by two additional bowlers advancing through the unique dual-stepladder format.

The finals of the PWBA Storm Sacramento Open will be taped during the USBC Queens (May 26) and will air on CBS Sports Network on June 21.

All qualifying rounds will be carried on Xtra Frame, the exclusive online bowling channel for the Professional Bowlers Association.

Current has been the head bowling coach at Delaware State since 2012, and with the support of the school’s athletic director, she’s able to chase her professional bowling dreams, too.

Though the venture, and her first cross-country trip as a PWBA member, paid off immediately in the form of a $12,000 payday, Current’s hard work in the months leading up to the 2016 season, both mentally and on her physical game, has left her with a balanced set of expectations for her sophomore campaign.

“I just want to be as successful as I can, with my initial goal being to make the top 32 each week and hope for the best,” said Current, who has finished 32nd and 21st, respectively, in the first two events of the year.

“If something doesn’t go well, I’ll stay calm, regroup and prepare for next week. Whatever happens, happens. I can’t control the carry or anything else. All I can do is go out there knowing I’m prepared.”

The PWBA made its return in 2015 after a 12-year hiatus, and the schedule has grown in 2016, from 11 events to 14.

The 2016 season kicked off April 29 in Las Vegas, and as part of an agreement with USBC, CBS Sports Network will televise 23 major championship bowling events in 2016, including 13 PWBA Tour events.

For more information on the PWBA, Click here.

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2016 PWBA Tour Schedule & Champions

PWBA Storm Sacramento Open Schedule

Steve Cook’s Fireside Lanes in Sacramento, Calif., United States (May 12-15, 2016)

(All times local)

Thursday, May 12, 2016
Noon: PWBA Qualifier
5 p.m. – 7 p.m.: Practice
7 p.m.: VIP event

Friday, May 13, 2016
8 a.m. – 9 a.m.: Practice
10:30 a.m. – 2 p.m.: Six games of qualifying
5 p.m. – 8:30 p.m.: Six games of qualifying

Saturday, May 14, 2016
8:30 a.m. – 11:30 a.m.: Cashers’ round – six games
1 p.m. – 4 p.m.: Round-robin match play – six games
5 p.m. – 6 p.m.: Group stepladder finals
7 p.m. – 9 p.m.: Pro-Am

Herbert Bickel

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