Coté leads high-scoring day at 2021 PWBA Greater Cleveland Open

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QUALIFYING

PARMA HEIGHTS, Ohio
- After an "unacceptable" performance at last week's event in Lincoln, Nebraska, Bryanna Coté of Tucson, Arizona, found the striking formula Friday to pace the field after two rounds of qualifying at the Professional Women's Bowling Association Greater Cleveland Open.

Coté, who won the 2021 PWBA ITRC Classic at the PWBA Kickoff Classic Series in January, averaged more than 242 for her two six-game qualifying blocks at Yorktown Lanes and ended the day with a 2,909 total. She entered the final game of qualifying in a tie with Chicago's Diandra Asbaty but tossed a 259 game to maintain the overall lead.

Coté led after the first six games of qualifying following a strong opening block of 234, 268, 279, 267, 242 and 255 for a 1,545 total.

Asbaty finished second behind Coté with a 2,879 total. She was followed by Taylor Bailey of Joliet, Illinois (2,842), Danielle McEwan of Stony Point, New York (2,838), and Germany's Birgit Noreiks (2,836).

Asbaty, who is bowling in her third event of the season, also started Friday's round strong, rolling games of 202, 278, 248, 276, 248 and 236 for a 1,488 first-round total.

The 76-player field was cut to the top 32 players after Friday's second round, with Jen Higgins of Lewis Center, Ohio, earning the final spot with a 2,592 total, a 216 average. Kayla Crawford of Silvis, Illinois, advanced in 31st after firing 258 in the final game of qualifying for a 2,601 total. Higgins finished five pins ahead of Summer Jasmin of Beckley, West Virginia, and Alexis Neuer of Milton, Pennsylvania (2,587), for the final spot.

McEwan used Friday night's qualifying round to make a major move up the leaderboard, jumping from 39th to fourth after posting a six-game score of 1,545, a 257.5 average. After opening the round with games of 245 and 187, the five-time PWBA champion finished with games of 279, 268, 277 and 289 to end the block.

Shannon Pluhowsky of Dayton, Ohio, also made a move up the leaderboard and put herself in great position for a run at the stepladder finals for a second consecutive week. Pluhowsky fired games of 287, 212, 246, 238, 226 and 269 (1,478) to settle into sixth place with an overall total of 2,834. She sat in 15th position after Round 1.

Defending champion Josie Barnes of Hermitage, Tennessee, did not advance after posting a 2,543 total to finish in 41st place.

Saturday's third round will consist of an additional six games, with the top 12 returning to the lanes for one more six-game round to complete qualifying. The top four players, based on total pinfall for 24 games, will advance to the stepladder finals.

The stepladder will be Saturday at 6 p.m. Eastern and broadcast live on BowlTV.com. The champion will earn $10,000.