Ballard, Varano Advance Into Junior Gold Bracket

Vandy freshmen still rolling in major event

by Rod Williamson

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. — Vanderbilt freshmen Alyssa Ballard and Victoria Varano remained alive in the elimination bracket of the U18 Junior Gold Championship on Friday as the marathon event heads into its final day of competition.

Varano emerged from the qualifying days and two rounds of cuts with the No. 13 seed in the deciding match play bracket while Ballard grabbed the 15th seed from an original field of 569 competitors.

Varano topped fourth-seeded Brianna Rogers, 349-313, in the two-game format and dropped a one-pin decision to Sydney Bohn, 368-367, in the second round. That pushed her into the elimination bracket of this double-elimination event with a Saturday rematch with Rogers.

Ballard ran into the No. 2 seed, Haley Lindley in the opting round and lost, 401-281. She rebounded in the elimination bracket with a 357-343 win over Ashtyn Woods and faces Kaye Back when play resumes Saturday.

The Junior Gold is youth bowling’s biggest and most prestigious event as boys and girls from across the nation compete for berths on Junior Team USA and USBC scholarships..