SYRACUSE, N.Y. – Joshua Volk of Jamestown, New York, put together the highest set of his United States Bowling Congress Open Championshipscareer on the way to the lead in Regular Singles on Saturday.
The 30-year-old right-hander shook off a slow start in doubles to begin singles with a 290 game, the highest game of the 2018 event. Volk finished his set at the Oncenter Convention Center with 208 and 246 to surpass Andrew Burke of St. Clair Shores, Michigan, who took the lead Thursday with 725.
Working on four consecutive strikes to start the 10th frame of his final game, Volk needed the first strike to go around Burke’s number. He delivered all three to cap off his first series above 700 in 10 USBC Open Championships appearances.
“I honestly wasn’t even thinking about it,” Volk said. “I didn’t have any idea on what I needed to get into the lead. Everything was feeling great, and I was just in the zone and focusing on making the shots I needed.”
Volk’s start to competition Saturday didn’t go as well as he would have liked, finishing with a 541 doubles total, but he worked with his teammates to set up a look in singles.
“I tried playing the gutter in doubles,” said Volk, who added 530 in team for a 1,815 all-events total. “Everyone else on my pair was deeper than me, and I ran into a lot of transition. I ended up jumping in to where everyone else was at, and we really burned a nice spot and all bowled pretty well in singles.”
A ball change after his 290 performance also helped propel Volk to the top of the leaderboard.
“The midlane started to read early, and the pin-down ball I was throwing was starting to check early,” Volk said. “I kept jumping in and ended up losing my angle and carry, so I switched to something pin up and was able to create the look I needed.”
Volk’s previous high set on the lanes at the Open Championships was 695, which he rolled during singles at the 2017 event in Las Vegas.
He enjoys the opportunity to see continued improvement at the event, and being able to see his name at the top of the leaderboard is something he’ll enjoy with members of his family.
“I never really thought about being on the leaderboard, so this is pretty awesome,” Volk said. “My mom will probably be more excited than I was when I tell her about it, so I hope the score will hold up decently in the standings. I don’t think it will hold on for first, but you never know.”
The Regular Division features bowlers with entering averages of 210 and above.