Texas team coasts to Diamond lead at 2014 WC

RENO, Nev. - The members of Bowlieve In A Cure of Arlington, Texas, came out of the gates firing and never looked back as they captured the lead in Diamond Team at the 2014 United States Bowling Congress Women's Championships on Thursday night.

Led by 2005 USBC Queens champion Tennelle Milligan's 752 series, Bowlieve In A Cure rolled games of 971, 924 and 924 for a 2,819 set at the Reno-Sparks Convention Center. Storm Nation of Brigham City, Utah, set the bar in Diamond Team with 2,745 on the previous squad.

Milligan was joined in the performance by Team USA member Shannon O'Keefe (724), USBC Hall of Famer Lynda Barnes (678) and two-time USBC Women's Championships titlist Kendra Gaines (665).

"When you throw a few strikes early on, it loosens up the swing," said Gaines, who made her 19th tournament appearance. "It makes it more fun, and it's easier to just kind of settle in. When you see your ball do the right thing, and everybody else's ball do the right thing, you know you've got it going."

The talented team has combined for nine Women's Championships titles and more than 30 appearances on Team USA. Although 2014 marked the first time all four have bowled together as a team, they relied on the time-tested formula of developing a strategy and seeing it through.

"The key to success is communication," said Milligan, who made her 16th appearance at the Women's Championships. "We were talking about what was happening, trusting in one another and helping each other out. We had a game plan coming in and stuck to it. We knew what we were going to do and committed to it."

Even with their team name at the top of the leaderboard and the end of the 2014 event just days away, the members of Bowlieve In A Cure know anything can happen, but they feel confident in their performance and the chemistry they have together. The 2014 Women's Championships concludes June 30.

"You can put four big names on paper and say they're going to kick butt, and sometimes they don't," Milligan said. "I think a lot of those teams don't share the closeness and friendship that we have. I'd like to say I feel pretty confident with that number, but you still have some good teams coming in. It's out there. They can hit it just as well as we can."

Teams competing in the Diamond Division have combined entering averages of 725 and above.

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Presenting sponsors for the 2014 USBC Women's Championships include Circus Circus Reno, Eldorado Hotel Casino Reno and Silver Legacy Resort Casino Reno.