Wendell took the lead after the opening six games of qualifying and kept the top spot after 12 games with a total of 2,752 (229.33 average) at Steve Cook's Fireside Lanes.
The top 16 players in the qualifying standings Friday advanced to Saturday's round-robin match play, which begins at 9 a.m. Pacific. The event concludes with the stepladder finals at 6:30 p.m. Pacific on Saturday. All rounds are being broadcast live on Xtra Frame.
"I struggled with my look on the fresh but as the blocks went on my look got better and better," said Wendell. "I just made the right moves today and got the right ball in my hand. That always helps make things easier."
Samantha Schaden of Baltimore qualified second with 2,654, while T'nia Falbo of Greensburg, Pennsylvania, was third with 2,626. Stefanie Johnson of Grand Prairie, Texas, finished fourth with 2,604 and Diandra Asbaty of Chicago took the fifth spot with 2,580.
Maria Jose Rodriguez of Colombia earned the last spot in the match-play field, qualifying 16th with 2,522 (210.17 average).
The remaining players will bowl 16 games of match play Saturday at 9 a.m. and 2 p.m. Pacific. Match play will conclude with a position round to finalize the top four for the stepladder finals.