Rebecca Voukolos has won the first women’s ranked event of 2020 by claiming the Darwin Tenpin Cup on the weekend at Planet Tenpin, Northern Territory (NT).
A stellar 2019 season for Voukolos saw achievements such as winning the Australian Masters at the nationals, 3rd placing at NSW Open, and two 4th placings at the Gold Coast Cup and Fishing & Outdoor Classic. A successful season but also a busy one on the body.
The superstar from the NT was close to pulling out of her home town tournament before it even started. Following the nationals in October 2019, Voukolos would require an urgent knee operation. The surgery provided uncertainty for Voukolos, who feared her knee was not ready to hold up to the demand of bowling a whole weekend in a tournament setting.
“Given the gravity of the procedures done on my knee, the doctor gave me three months to be back to ‘normal activities’ but I really pushed my rehab to be back bowling in two” explained Voukolos. “This essentially gave me the month of January to start bowling again which to be ready for a national tournament is a HUGE push”.
During those months of returning to bowling, Voukolos would send videos to her coach Chris Batson along the way to show the progress being made.
“I essentially decided to withdraw from the tournament as I was not at the point of being comfortable with where I was at, bowling wise” explained Voukolos. “The Tuesday before the tournament I once again sent video and received very helpful feedback. When I went to training that Thursday, I implemented that feedback and changes which made me feel a bit more confident. At the last minute, I decided to bowl the next day for the first day of qualifying”.
No stranger to winning titles, Voukolos won the inaugural Fishing and Outdoor World Classic in 2014. Voukolos would ensure she would be the first name etched on the trophies of the newly named Darwin Tenpin Cup at Planet Tenpin.
Planet Tenpin is one of two Tenpin Bowling Australia registered centres in the NT. The centre is and has been owned by the Maglieri family since May, 2017. The family consists of Bruno and his wife- Nicola Coalter. Both who are proud parents to their daughter, Jaime.
Bruno Maglieri, a great bowler in his own right, is the head technician and someone who is “at the bowl 24/7 to run the place”. His daughter Jaime, made her Australian representative debut in 2019 when being selected for the team that travelled to Kuwait for the Asian Championships. In 2020, she is again part of the National Training Women’s Squad.
Like so many bowlers, Jaime juggles her bowling with a number of commitments. Working at the family bowl full time and also studying full time.
“I study Psychology and am moving into the field of neuroscience” explained Jaime. A field that her mum knows all too well about as she also works in the psychology industry and is the CEO of Amity Community services who do meaningful and great work in the NT.
This is a family that live and breathe bowling. A family that was proud as punch to host an event like this in their home centre they have worked so hard at for many years.
“It’s been a struggle getting it to where it is now” explained Jaime Maglieri. “It’s especially good to be able to hold one (ranked event) in a city that’s a bit different from the rest- I think people like coming to Darwin for that reason”.
“It’s so good for the sport and growing it in the territory by having this event here. Especially being able to include the men and graded bowlers in it this year. What an experience for them to be able to bowl with some of the best women bowlers in the country” explained Jaime.
The father and daughter would put a hold on running the bowl by competing in this year’s event, leaving mum in control of running the event.
With a new tournament comes new ideas and formats. The Darwin Tenpin Cup would see three divisions taking place. The women’s division would be a nationally ranked event while also hosting a men’s and graded division for visitors to the NT.
Along with new ideas and formats comes the need for new silverware for the winners. With nostalgia an important element for all humans, the tournament organisers saw the opportunity to create a perpetual trophy with an interesting story behind it.
In his early years, Bruno’s parents raced horses and greyhounds. In 1986, they would win the Winfield Darwin Cup with the horse – Flaugh-a-ballagh. That very cup received 34 years ago was now once again reused and repurposed. It would become the perpetual trophy for the inaugural Darwin Tenpin Cup.
Qualifying would kick start the cup and would take place over two days with 4 game block squads on offer to create the highest 8 game pinfall. The top 12 would progress forward to the finals on Sunday.
Jaime Maglieri would lead the way for the women after 8 games averaging 205.1. The eventual champion, Rebecca Voukolos would finish in 8th place averaging 193 over the eight games. Voukolos had a simple goal in mind for qualifying after the off-season she endured.
“I pretty much just had the goal of getting through qualifying unscathed and just needed to make top 12” explained Voukolos. “Going into the finals I felt well within myself, my knee had held up well as I spaced qualifying with only having bowled 4 games per day”.
The finals would see pinfall dropped and a fresh start for all. The first step to the finals would involve another four games to cut the field to eight.
Voukolos would take the opportunity to announce her intentions for the weekend by turning it on for this round. The 2019 Australian Adult Master winner would begin her attack with games of 235 and 224 on her way to the number one seed position after the first round.
“I pretty much had nothing to lose at this point and knew that I was bowling the most consistent out of everyone” explained Voukolos. “Hopefully with the right moves and changes I would get more carry and just make it through another 4 games and onto the next block”.
Pinfall would drop once again with the next round of four games purpose – to find the top 4 bowlers to progress to finals day. Voukolos would be disappointed in her second round of qualifying by finishing in 4th place.
“I was not happy with how I bowled during the second round of the finals” explained Voukolos. “A few unlucky breaks and fatigue definitely did not help the situation”. Her performance though was enough to book a ticket to the top 4 elimination match play phase.
All final four positions for the women’s division would be held by National Training Squad members. Queenslander Ivy Dickinson would be the number one seed after averaging 215 over the second round of four games. Victorian Jenny Notman would finish as the second seed, followed by home town bowlers Jaime Maglieri and Rebecca Voukolos.
The final four would see the format turn into one game elimination match play. 1v4 and 2v3.
“Live scores don’t really do justice to the feeling in the air that was around when finals started” explained Tournament Director Nicola Coalter. “Having a large crowd of bowlers and others- along with a few of our socials in to stay and watch parts of it was good to see”.
With the atmosphere building, the lanes in use at a minimum, and attention narrowing onto the final four, bowlers would experience high levels of pressure and receive no second chances. An environment that Voukolos had experienced many times in her career before. Experience provides confidence and simplicity to the game.
“My mindset going into the match play was pretty simple. Make good shots” clarified Voukolos. “You can never control what the other person does and how their pins fall. I could only control what I was doing and just remembering what I have been working on and try to execute good shots”.
True to her word, Voukolos the 4th seed would make good shots and defeat the number one seed Dickinson 209-168 and advance to the final.
“I knew coming up against Ivy would be tough” explained Voukolos. “It’s great to see these girls coming through. She had bowled well all weekend and I knew she was going to put up a fight. We were both bowling a pretty similar line so it was going to come down to who could execute the shot and get the carry”.
Her Planet Tenpin friend Jaime Maglieri would also reign supreme in her matchup with Notman winning 212 -178. The victory creating a grand finale between two good friends in their home centre. Voukolos vs Maglieri.
The grand final would take place on the ‘championship pair of 7 & 8”. Voukolos and her experience would shine through. Rebecca Voukolos would defeat Jaime Maglieri 255-169 in the final.
Voukolos would save her best score of the tournament for this game. Starting the game with a six pack of strikes, Voukolos would complete an impressive final performance sparing in the 7th, striking in the 8th and 9th, before sparing and striking in the 10th, finishing with a score of 255.
“It’s always tough to come up against a friend” described Voukolos. “Jaime has turned a corner with her bowling and I can’t wait to see where she goes from here”.
The final game did not go as planned for Maglieri but she remained upbeat about her overall performance for the weekend.
“I was actually really happy with my performance – I’m never sad when I lose to someone like Bec” explained Jaime. “She’s an awesome bowler and has so much experience behind her. She is a true star when it comes to bowling and deserves the win” said Jaime. “I’m so happy with a 2nd place at a ranked event. There’s only 1 spot better, so go me!”
For Voukolos, a win continued her 2019 hot form into the new year. Last year was a mixture of highs and lows for the bowler from the NT in Voukolos. A highlight was winning the Australian Masters last year for the third time (2005, 2007 and 2019). An amazing feat that is only held by four other women – Ruth Guerster (HOF) (1966/1975/1980/1983) , Jeanette Baker (HOF) (1981/1982/1985/1986) and Cara Honeychurch (1995, 1996, and 1997).
A low was missing out on Australian selection for the World Women’s championship. “I try not to look behind me as I am focused on what’s in front” replied Voukolos. The bowler from the NT is not short of things to keep busy and occupied while juggling bowling.
“Working in the family business and having a little side hustle of my own is tough. Throw in two young kids and training!! – I have friends ask me how I do it and sometimes I don’t know how, or even why sometimes!” said Voukolos.
Kick starting the New Year with a win brings new goals for Voukolos. Mirroring her mentality for games, her experience shows through her list of goals – simple and one foot in front of the other style.
“2020 brings more training” said Voukolos with a laugh.
The next ranked women’s event is the Vic 150 at ZONE BOWLING Keon Park from the 10th-12th April 2020. All details can be found here
Women’s Top 4
- Rebecca Voukolos (NT)
- Jaime Maglieri (NT)
- Ivy Dickinson (QLD)
- Jenny Notman (VIC)
Men’s Top 4
- Daniel York (NT)
- Brendan Murray (NT)
- Rory McMillan (NT)
- Bruno Maglieri (NT)
Graded Top 4
- Bianca Shima (NT)
- Katrina Arnold (NT)
- Malakai Sammut (NT)
- Zoe White (NT)