LAS VEGAS – Vanderbilt’s Maria Bulanova will be among the 179 athletes representing 34 countries when the World Bowling Women’s Championships begins competition here Saturday.
The six-day event at the South Point Bowling Plaza features competition in singles, doubles, trios, team and overall Masters play.
Bulanova, a Vanderbilt senior and current Division I Player of the Year, will be bowling for her native Russia although she will be coached by Vanderbilt Head Coach John Williamson.
Maria has spent the summer in Nashville, attending class in June and working at an employment recruiting agency as part of her Vanderbilt internship since July 1. She has been able to practice with some of her Commodore teammates after work and thinks her game is sharp.
“I am physically ready,” Bulanova says. “My spare shooting is good and I’m in good condition. The World Championships will be conducted on a short pattern and that is not my favorite. It’s been a few years since I’ve even bowled on a short pattern (college events are on longer oil patterns) so the competition will reveal if I’ve practiced well enough.”
Bulanova has extensive international experience on the junior circuit, having made the quarterfinals at last year’s World Youth Championship in addition to winning the European Champion’s Cup in 2015 and bowling in events around the globe. She was the first Russian to win a European Bowling Tour title at age 14.
“I know a lot of the people who will be in Las Vegas,” she says, “so the environment doesn’t scare me. It is a different experience from a collegiate tournament but I’m comfortable with it as I got to travel to many countries before coming to college.”
Complete coverage of the World Bowling Championships can be found at 2019wwc.worldbowling.org.