Holloway making her way back at 2019 USBC Senior Queens

BRACKET: Winners | Contenders

LAS VEGAS - Heidi Holloway of North Las Vegas, Nevada, has enjoyed being back on the lanes this week at the 2019 United States Bowling Congress Senior Queens and is one of eight undefeated players left in match play.

Holloway's journey back to the competitive side of the sport has seen her conquer challenge after challenge, and she hopes that perseverance will help her advance all the way to the championship round at the Gold Coast Hotel and Casino.

A total of 16 players remain in contention in the tournament's double-elimination bracket, and the top five players will advance to Monday's stepladder finals, which will be broadcast live at BowlTV.com starting at 8:30 p.m. Eastern. The champion will claim the coveted tiara and $8,000 top prize.

BowlTV is providing wire-to-wire livestream coverage of the 2019 USBC Senior Queens.

Holloway competed collegiately for Erie Community College and Wichita State and found herself among the top players in the world at events such as the USBC Queens before injuries eventually forced her to step away from the sport.

The encouragement from one of her friends helped her back onto the approach last year, and she now has no intentions of slowing down.

"I hadn't bowled in about 10 years, because injuries had made me step away," Holloway said. "I had three surgeries in five years - I had my appendix taken out and neck and elbow surgery - and I had breast cancer a year and a half ago. But, a friend of mine mentioned that I would be turning 50 and that there were a lot of great tournaments to bowl in. I really had wanted to get back into it a few years ago, and now that I'm feeling good, I picked up a ball in July and haven't looked back."

Holloway said there were additional challenges in getting her game back to where she wanted it, but the effort has showed this week at Gold Coast. After finishing qualifying in sixth place, she defeated Tina Peavy of Lakeland, Florida, and Cindy McBride of Plano, Texas, in her first two matches Sunday.

"It was hard getting back into shape," Holloway said. "But I've been really working on making my legs as strong as they can be. Having a strong base is so important in bowling, so that's what I've been focusing on the most."

Holloway will face USBC Hall of Famer Jeanne Naccarato of Tacoma, Washington, in the next round, which will kick off Monday at 11 a.m. Eastern, and she's now two wins away from securing her spot in the stepladder finals.

She'll continue to focus on the fundamentals and filling frames Monday in hopes of putting herself in position to claim the title.

"It's a marathon," Holloway said. "You bowl 15 games just to make match play, and it's a grind. I'm going to come into tomorrow with the same game plan - make good shots and make my spares. My spare shooting has saved me a lot this week, and hopefully it will put me in position to come out on top."

Other matchups in the winners bracket Monday will include defending champion Tish Johnson of Colorado Springs, Colorado, taking on 2011 Senior Queens champion Paula Vidad of Sun City, California, Juli Bayer of Phoenix against Australia's Lee Booth and Linda Walbaum of Brighton, Colorado, versus Lisa Wasson of Murphy, Texas.

Top qualifier Laura Hardeman of Chula Vista, California, is among the eight players in the contenders bracket and will face Lesia Herider of Castle Rock, Colorado, on Monday at 11 a.m. Eastern.

Bracket competition consists of three-game matches, with total pinfall determining who advances. The stepladder finals will feature one-game matches, and the tournament's true double-elimination format will give the No. 1 seed for the stepladder finals two opportunities to clinch the title.

All competitors bowled 15 games of qualifying over two days to determine the 31 players joining Johnson in the bracket.

DebbieWade_637The top eight players age 60 and older who did not qualify for match play at the Senior Queens were seeded into an additional bracket to compete for an additional prize fund. Each round consisted of a one-game match to determine who advanced.

Debbie Wade of Salt Lake City was able to claim the victory and $500 top prize by defeating Rosanne Costanzo of San Diego in the title match, 186-147. Costanzo received $450 for her runner-up finish.