Team All-Events champion returns to Open Championships, makes run in 2022 Article Image
(pictured above: Ryan Reese, Andrew Herbert, Chad Mee, Kevin Bienko and Joseph DiNardo with the Earl Anthony trophy for their win in Team All-Events at the 2021 Open Championships)

- The members of the two-team contingent representing BowlU of Kenmore, New York, have established themselves as a must-watch group at the United States Bowling Congress Open Championships.

Five of the members returned to the event this week at the South Point Bowling Plaza after winning the Team All-Events title at the 2021 USBC Open Championships, and although they are not leaving with the lead in 2022, the group put together another strong performance at the tournament.

The champions in 2021 - Andrew Herbert, Joseph DiNardo, Ryan Reese, Kevin Bienko and Chad Mee - were split between the two teams in 2022, but the teamwork and communication that has made the group successful was on display again as they now are in the top 15 in Team All-Events, Regular Team, Regular Doubles, Regular Singles and Regular All-Events.

BowlU 1 in 2022BowlU 1, featuring Herbert, Reese, Bienko, Mee and Thomas Sorce, took over fourth place at the 2022 Open Championships in Team All-Events with a 10,422 total, continuing the momentum from a 3,403 team series that moved them into a tie for fifth place in Regular Team.

Reese and Jacob Klein paired up to move into a tie for eighth in Regular Doubles with 1,455, and 2017 Regular All-Events and two-time Professional Bowlers Association Tour champion Brad Angelo is tied for 12th in Regular Singles with 778.

Sorce, who returned to the team this year after missing the 2021 Open Championships, fired sets of 775 in team, which included a 299 game, 739 in singles and 685 in doubles to take over eighth place in Regular All-Events with 2,199.

In addition to Sorce's 2,199, the run to fourth in Team All-Events for BowlU 1 included 2,098 from Herbert, 2,051 from Bienko and matching 2,037 totals from Reese and Mee.

Angelo led the way for BowlU 2 with 2,135 and was followed by Klein (2,104), DiNardo (1,943), Branden Simone (1,818) and Adam Michaud (1,772) to move into the top 30 in Team All-Events with 9,772.

"It just feels good to know that everything we've done leading up to this is paying off and coming to fruition," said Bienko, who made his sixth tournament appearance. "Hopefully, we can continue to do that in the future. I have confidence in all our guys to go out there and get it done, and I think we did that for the most part this year."

In 2021, BowlU left the South Point Bowling Plaza and Bowling Center with the lead in Team All-Events with a 9,958 total. Bienko also left Las Vegas as the leader in Regular All-Events with a 2,226 nine-game tally and was second in Regular Doubles with Mee with 1,462.

Bienko ultimately finished third in Regular All-Events, while the doubles total with Mee held on for a runner-up finish.

The Team All-Events score held on as each team member collected their first victory at the Open Championships, but they were not sure if they had gotten enough to retain the top spot.

"I did not anticipate winning at all," Bienko said. "I thought that number was going to be beat, but obviously, we're very happy it held on. We had a group chat with the guys from back home, and we would watch the scores every day. If there were good teams coming in, we were watching. It was awesome to win. I wish we could go home and do it again, but we'll continue to try and work hard to put ourselves in position to win year in and year out."

The return to the tournament in 2022 had its fair share of excitement and anticipation, including the whirlwind of their championship presentation to starting competition.

The group was able to settle in after a couple frames to start its charge toward another strong showing at the Open Championships, leaning on the experience and training provided by their work in the BowlU program.

"It's a whole new experience," Bienko said. "You look up and see the cup next to your name, and I feel there's a lot of pressure and expectations with that. We kind of got tricked for the first five frames in team, but then we caught on and bowled pretty well after that. When scores are this high, you can't waste frames like that, but I think we bowled all right. BowlU is an integral part of how we've been able to be successful at this tournament, and it feels good to know all the work and dedication are paying off."

DiLaura Brothers 1 of Clinton Township, Michigan, leads Team All-Events at the 2022 event with a record score of 10,585. Storm Products Inc. 1 of Alva, Florida, holds the top spot in Regular Team with 3,486.

Kyle Krol of Tinley Park, Illinois, and Kyle Damon of Orland Park, Illinois, lead Regular Doubles with 1,522, while Scott Patke of Lansing, Michigan, leads Regular Singles with 835.

Three-time Eagle winner Brian Waliczek of Frankenmuth, Michigan, leads Regular All-Events with 2,241.

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