2023 Storm PBA/PWBA Striking Against Breast Cancer Mixed Doubles Tournament Preview
For the past few years, the Striking Against Breast Cancer Mixed Doubles tournament, much like the 2023 PBA Tour, has been defined by a certain player from Huntington, Ind.
EJ Tackett has won three of the past four mixed doubles events, better known as the Luci. While he partnered with a different PWBA star for each victory, he and Diandra Asbaty will aim to defend their 2022 title this year.
Last year’s victory came down to the wire as four other teams finished within 50 pins of Tackett and Asbaty.
Jakob Butturff and Stefanie Johnson finished as the runners-up, while Chris Via and Bryanna Coté took third place. Ryan Ciminelli and Dasha Kovalova brought home a fourth-place finish just ahead of Wes Malott and Shannon Sellens.
Each of those teams are back in 2023, but a few new pairings could be major factors: Anthony Simonsen and Danielle McEwan, Jason Belmonte and Sandra Gongora, and Kyle Troup and Liz Johnson.
A pair of Michigan natives, Andrew Anderson and Jordan Richard, hope to channel the state pride that Tackett and Asbaty found last year. After they took home an eighth-place finish last year, Richard elevated her game in 2023 by winning three of the PWBA Tour’s first seven events this season.
While PBA and PWBA titles are up for grabs, the true calling card of the Luci is its charity. Donna Conners founded the tournament in 2000 to honor her late friend Luci Bonneau, a veteran PWBA player. Conners and the Striking Against Breast Cancer Foundation have raised over $1 million in the fight against breast cancer.
This year’s festivities begin with a practice session on Thursday, before the top five men and women from last year’s qualifying compete in the Beauties vs. Beasts match. Five mixed doubles teams, listed below, will bowl five baker games as part of the annual pre-tournament exhibition.
- Wes Malott and Karsyn Lukosius
- Matt Russo and Juliana Botero
- Ryan Ciminelli and Stephanie Zavala
- Jakob Butturff and Felicia Wong
- Justin Veitch and Sarah Gill
Qualifying for the main event takes place across four squads, two on Friday and two on Saturday. Each team will bowl seven games of qualifying on a 41-foot oil pattern.
The top fourth of the field will advance to Sunday morning’s semifinals, an additional five-game block. Then the top eight teams will bowl round-robin match play on Sunday afternoon with the highest scoring team after match play claiming the title.
All rounds of the tournament will be livestreamed on BowlTV.
The full tournament roster, including squad pairings, is available here.
Scores will be added throughout the weekend here.
Copperfield Bowl | Houston, Texas
All times listed in Eastern.
Thursday, July 27
5 pm. — Beauties vs. Beasts baker match
Friday, July 28
9 a.m. — A-squad qualifying (seven games)
3 p.m. — B-squad qualifying (seven games)
Saturday, July 29
9 a.m. — C-squad qualifying (seven games)
3 p.m. — D-squad qualifying (seven games)
Top-fourth of field advances
Sunday, July 30
9:30 a.m. — Semifinals (five games)
1:30 p.m. — Finals (eight games of round-robin match play)
More information on the Striking Against Breast Cancer Mixed Doubles tournament is available here.