Nerves can't stop Nevada bowler at USBC Open

RENO, Nev. - Matthew Anderson of Las Vegas and his teammates threw a lot of strikes at the 2014 United States Bowling Congress Open Championships on Friday, and he was the one fortunate enough finish off a 300 game on bowling's biggest stage.

The 23-year-old right-hander needed a little good fortune on his final delivery, and the 2, 4, 5 and 8 pins fell like dominoes to give him the 24th perfect game at the National Bowling Stadium this year.

"The nerves definitely got to me, and I was shaking so badly on the last one, I didn't know if I'd be able to get the shot off," said Anderson, who made his third USBC Open Championships appearance and had games of 205, 300 and 182 for a 687 series. "As soon as I let go of it, I was praying. Halfway down the lane, I didn't think there was any way it was going to strike. Shooting 300 on this stage is such an incredible feeling - something you can't explain."

Anderson's talented two-team group is made up of longtime friends who have bowled together for many years. Most of them have enjoyed collegiate success, including Anderson's brother, Andrew, a two-time Junior Team USA member who recently was named the 2013-14 National Collegiate Bowling Coaches Association Rookie of the Year.

The group also features 2011 Regular Doubles champions Brandon Tarabek and Chad Reiffer, and Reiffer matched Anderson strike for strike through nine frames before an eight-count ended his run at perfection.

In the final game of the day, Mike Dole started with nine consecutive strikes on the way to a 279 finish, while Nathaniel Adams posted eight straight strikes in a 277 finale.

Anderson helped TMNT of Cleveland to a 3,080 total, and Dole's 724 set catapulted MMPR to a 3,312 performance. Motion Plus Lanes of Cudahy, Wis., leads Regular Team with 3,561 record score.

Adams added a 704 series for TMNT and was followed by Anderson, John Kaashoek (581), Scott Jones (574) and Aaron Groendyk (534). Tarabek contributed a 678 effort for MMPR and was joined by Andrew Anderson (661), Reiffer (650) and William Haverland (599).

This is the first time Anderson has gotten to hit the championship lanes with his friends, so he made sure to be prepared, despite not bowling much in recent months.

His job as a traveling poker dealer had him on the road for two and a half months, leading to some rare time away from the lanes, but he has had plenty of time to practice since returning home at the end of April.

"Since I knew I was bowling with these guys, and bowling doubles with my brother, I had to step it up," Anderson said. "I drilled up seven or eight new balls and practiced every day. About a week ago, I felt like I was throwing it well and felt confident coming to Reno. Knowing I'm now a part of history here and will be announced every year is incredible."

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Presenting sponsors for the 2014 USBC Open Championships include Circus Circus Reno, Eldorado Hotel Casino Reno and Silver Legacy Resort Casino Reno.