The Akron Atom Splitters and Las Vegas High Rollers each went 2-0 in the opening rounds of the 2024 PBA Elite League presented by Snickers season.

In fact, all six matches contested on Tuesday evening at Bowlero Northrock in Wichita, Kan. were two-game sweeps. All matches were livestreamed on BowlTV.

Players competed on the 38-foot Wayne Webb oil pattern that will be used this week during the PBA Players Championship presented by Snickers. 

All eight PBA Elite League teams completed their Round 1 match, headlined by a 2023 Elias Cup Finals rematch between the Portland Lumberjacks and Waco Wonders.

Additional Round 2 matches — Waco vs. Motown and Portland vs. New Jersey — will be contested Feb. 3 at 4 p.m. on FS1 from Indianapolis’ Royal Pin Woodland.

The early pole position belongs to Andrew Anderson and the High Rollers. Las Vegas swept the Motown Muscle, led by EJ Tackett and Anthony Simonsen, before defeating the GoBowling Dallas Strikers 2-0.

“Every team is strong, but EJ and Simo are probably the two best in the world, with Belmo right there,” Anderson said. “To get by that one was a confidence booster.”

Anderson, acting as player-manager in manager Amleto Monacelli's absence, said the team has developed trust early in the young season. That trust results in games of 278 and 248 in their sweep of the Strikers.

“We played the lanes smart and put an emphasis on hitting the pocket,” Anderson said. “We got a lot of fortunate slap-out 5-pins and we left a 5-pin. The second game came down to the 10th frame and the guys trusted me. Amleto trusted me to make the decisions and I was feeling really good.”

With two victories under their belt, Las Vegas tallied more wins on Tuesday than Anderon’s beloved Detroit Pistons have achieved in over two months.

Based south of the Toledo Strip, Chris Via and the Akron Atom Splitters also earned a pair of victories on Tuesday. The Atom Splitters defeated the New Jersey KingPins and Bowlero L.A. X in consecutive games.

“I think this is the first time since I’ve been an Atom Splitter that we’ve actually won a match,” Via said. “Not only did we win one, but we got two so that’s an exciting start to the season.”

With manager Mark Baker not in attendance, he tabbed Via as the acting manager. Via said Baker watched very closely on BowlTV and that the team has gelled incredibly well already.

“I really like this group,” Via said. “We had a couple errant shots in the middle part of the match, but no one strayed away from anything and we rallied together. It’s a good feeling to have Baker’s trust in me. I feel like with this group, anyone can throw the shots whenever they need to, so that makes the job really easy.”

Though L.A. X fell in the second match to the High Rollers, Jason Belmonte earned his first victory as player-manager in L.A. X’s opening round win over the Strikers.

“I’m having a really good time,” Belmonte said after their Round 1. “In terms of lane-play, talking to the boys and figuring out lineups, I'm really enjoying this role. So far, the team has been really responsive. They make it easy to be a player-manager when everyone's buying into what I'm saying.”

The Lumberjacks earned a modicum of revenge against a new-look Waco Wonders squad, dominating in a 2-0 rematch of the 2023 Elias Cup. Portland boasted the highest average of any team with games of 254 and 279.

With Wes Malott unable to arrive in time due to snowstorms in the Midwest, the Lumberjacks were forced to compete without him for the first time in franchise history.

“We had a little extra incentive to bowl for our big fella. He’s our franchise,” manager Tim Mack said.

Mack said Portland’s strong communication, forged by years of keeping the same core together, will play a massive role in the Lumberjacks’ success this season.

“You can’t substitute experience in the heat of the moment,” he said.

More information on the PBA Elite League is available here.

Round 1 Results

Portland def. Waco, 2-0 (254-216, 279-213)
Las Vegas def. Motown, 2-0 (198-181, 218-214)
L.A. X def. Dallas, 2-0 (213-184, 244-215)
Akron def. New Jersey, 2-0 (217-215, 198-178)

Round 2 Results

Akron def. L.A. X, 2-0 (253-249, 191-189)
Las Vegas def. Dallas 2-0 (278-237, 248-232)

The following matches will be contested Feb. 3 at 4 p.m. ET on FS1

Waco vs. Motown
Portland vs. New Jersey


Akron 2-0
Las Vegas 2-0

Portland 1-0
L.A. X 1-1
Waco 0-1
Motown 0-1
New Jersey 0-1

Dallas 0-2