by Fred Eisenhammer
LAS VEGAS – came home last week from the 27th National Golden Ladies Classic in Las Vegas – and she returned ecstatic after competing alongside more than 100 of the top women bowlers in the country.
She didn’t return from Las Vegas as a conquering hero . . . then again, perhaps she did.
Even though Siena was eliminated before match play and the stepladder finals, she left the tournament at the Orleans Bowling Center flushed with memorable experiences.
She said she had “a phenomenal time” bowling for two days in the qualifying round.
Siena, in her maiden trip to the Golden Ladies, blasted two 200 games during the 15 games of qualifying (223, Game 4; 200, Game 6) and was able to finish the event despite suffering a painful injury in her 12th game.
Siena finished 100th out of the 105 bowlers who took part. Her final place was dragged down by some substandard scores in her last four games while she was enduring sciatic pain. Carrying a 168 average entering the tournament, Siena averaged 165 for her first five games, 170 for her second five-game set and 158 for her last five games.
Siena, a San Fernando Valley resident, was profiled in the California Bowling News this month for her emergence from a novice league bowler with a 120 average to a competitive force and rising star in women’s bowling.
Jeanne Naccarato, who carries a 216 average and is a Women’s Professional Bowling Hall-of-Famer, finished as the Golden Ladies champion. Tish Johnson, who finished third in the tournament, entered the event with a lofty 232 average, the highest of the entries.
So Siena found herself in some fast company.
Said Siena: “What an exciting time and experience to say the least. Being surrounded by 105 women who love to bowl and who are incredible at it was quite intimidating at moments but inspiring mostly!
“I learned a lot. I felt like that rookie ballplayer who comes to the big leagues for the first time only to be sent down to the minors again! Haha! But not in a bad way but in a ‘I know-what-to-do’ kind of way.
“I have a year to work on some things and you can bet I will be ready. But yet, I had a phenomenal time and even had some great games, some good games and some not-so-great games. But even when I pulled my sciatica, I never quit because quitting isn’t what I do!”
Siena, who has fought through numerous serious injuries during her bowling career, was thankful for the assistance she received from many observers and participants, including talented bowlers Robin Romeo, Tori Romeo and Paula Vidad.
“How lucky was I that for my first time, I was on the same pair as the infamous Romeo sisters! Robin and Tori – your ease at how it’s ‘supposed’ to be done was inspirational,” posted Siena on her Facebook page. “Paula Vidad – thank you for all of your support and sitting down with me afterwards to talk about my experience – that meant the world to me!”
Vidad finished ninth and won $490. Robin Romeo placed 12th and won $460. Tori Romeo won $215.
Siena made it clear about her future plans. “I WILL be back next year,” she said. No doubt, she will be carrying that same high level of enthusiasm along with her.