PBA Hall of Famer Brian Voss and women’s tour titlist Diandra Asbaty won Sunday’s Don and Paula Carter Mixed Doubles bowling tournament in Wheat Ridge, Colorado. Despite being the fifth and final seed for ESPN’s televised final round, the pair looked dialed in for most of the four matches they had to win. Just to reach the final, Brian Voss had to come through with a clutch 7-10 split pickup in the eighth frame of the final qualifying match. The first match of Sunday’s final saw Voss and Asbaty face laid off GM worker turned PBA World Champion Tom Smallwood of Michigan and regional titlist Jodi Woessner of Ohio. The format dictated that the teams alternate frames for a single score, with each player staying on his or her lane for the match’s entirety. Voss and Asbaty had no trouble, striking in the first seven frames before an 8-spare by Voss in the eighth frame. Asbaty rolled all strikes in the odd-number frames as they won 276-224.
In the second match, Voss and Asbaty squared off against former Big 12 collegiate stars Rhino Page (University of Kansas) and Shannon Pluhowsky (University of Nebraska). The advantage they had as the only lefties in the final round did not play a factor in the match, as Pluhowsky struck just once in five frames. Even with Page’s six strikes, they could not overcome a repeat score by the five seeds in a 276-227 loss.
Voss and Asbaty saw a closer score in the third match, as they faced reigning PBA Player of the Year Wes Malott and recent regional titlist Shannon O’Keefe of Arlington, Texas. O’Keefe struggled finding the pocket and struck just once. Malott played a big hook from gutter to gutter but could not control his ball speed, often coming in light but still finishing with four strikes. Brian Voss changed his angle from the first two matches to a bigger hook as well but failed to strike in three consecutive turns. Asbaty stayed consistent, however, and they moved to the championship match with a 224-202 win.
In the final, the impressive team of two-time women’s titlist Michelle Feldman and reigning PBA Rookie of the Year Jason Belmonte stood as the last obstacles for Voss and Asbaty. Feldman and Belmonte dominated the field in the qualifying rounds and employed the same big hook strategy as Wes Malott had earlier. The five seeds Voss and Asbaty again got out to a quick lead as Belmonte struggled to strike early on, relying on Feldman to keep them in striking distance. With a 32-pin lead in the seventh frame, Asbaty went high in the pocket and left a difficult 4-7-10 split. It looked like the break the top seeds needed, but Asbaty calmly stepped up and converted to keep the lead at 29. In the eighth frame, though, Voss left a single 10 pin but missed left to drop the lead to 17. Jason Belmonte then came through with a timely strike, but Feldman could not follow and had to settle for a single pin spare. By the tenth frame, Voss needed a strike and seven pins to shut out the top seeds. He was able to forget his bad miss in the eighth and struck three times in a row for a 234-212 win. It was the 24th PBA win for Voss and 2nd Women’s Series title for the 29-year old Asbaty.