Texas Tornado blows down from Canada and storms to undefeated WPBA victory in Louisiana
Skip Maloney
Jun. 25, 2018
Vivian Villarreal (Photo courtesy of Erwin Dionisio)
Vivian Villarreal (Photo courtesy of Erwin Dionisio)
Fresh off her victory over Brittany Bryant in the Ashton Twins Classic in Calgary last weekend (June 14-17), Vivian Villarreal flew down to New Iberia, Louisiana on the weekend of June 22-24 to join 62 other WPBA competitors in what was billed as the “Signature Tour Stop.” She went undefeated through the field. Punctuating her undefeated run, the Texas Tornado, sitting in the hot seat, almost shut out Allison Fisher in a true double elimination final to claim the event title. The $13,000-added event was hosted by Emerald Billiards and through the services of Ray Hansen and his PoolActionTV crew, was streamed live via Facebook.
 
It took Villarreal seven matches to claim the title, four of which went double hill. She started with a double hill win over Gerda Hofstatter Gregerson, got by Louisiana Le 7-2, and then, in a re-match against Brittany Bryant, whom she’d defeated twice in the Ashton Twins Classic, she won her second double hill match; up on the hill at 6-1, Villarreal watched Bryant fight back and force a deciding 13th game. Villarreal then got by Gail Eaton 7-5 (reaching an aggregate score of 28-19) to draw Jia Li in one of the winners’ side semifinals.
 
Allison Fisher, in the meantime, advanced to her winners’ side semifinal against Monica Webb, sporting an aggregate score of 28-13. She’d given up two racks (one each) to Kelly Cavanaugh and Meghan Buchanan, before running into teenage ‘phenom’ April Larson, who battled her to double hill, before she (Fisher) advanced to meet and defeat Jennifer Baretta 7-5 and then, draw Webb.
 
Fisher downed Webb 7-1 and, in the hot seat match, faced Villarreal, who’d chalked up her third double hill win against Li. Villarreal and Fisher battled to double hill, as well, before Villarreal closed it out to sit in the hot seat.
 
On the loss side, Webb picked up Line Kjorsvik, who, after being defeated by Jia Li in a double hill, winners’ side quarterfinal match, had chalked up two more double hill wins, eliminating Larson and Gail Eaton. Li drew Bryant, who was in the midst of a four-match, loss-side streak that included a 7-3 win over Emily Duddy and 7-2 victory over Gerda Hofstatter Gregerson.
 
Jia Li and Bryant locked up in a double hill fight that eventually advanced Li to the quarterfinals, where she was met by Kjorsvik, who’d shut out Webb. Li eliminated Kjorsvik 7-5, only to be eliminated by the same score by Fisher in the semifinals.
 
Having endured the double hill hot seat match against Villarreal and Fisher, spectators, as well as commentators on the stream, were expecting a tight final match, possibly two in the double elimination format. It never came to pass. The Texas Tornado blew into that final match, brimming with confidence, a sense of humor, and in spite of an alternate break format, she  was up quickly 4-0. In the fifth rack of this quick, and even to Villarreal, surprising run, Fisher left her with the necessity of making a jump shot from the middle of the table. Villarreal reached for a new bridge she’s recently acquired, and reaching deep over the table, using that bridge, she jumped the middle ball, sunk her target ball, made a long-table shot at the 8-ball and left herself in perfect position to chalk up the fifth rack.
 
And then, two racks later, with Villarreal one rack away from reaching the hill first, the momentum shifted, briefly. Villarreal broke the rack, and though she sank a ball, she missed her opening shot at the 1-ball. Fisher calmly stepped to the table and cleared it to get on the board at 7-1. Villarreal reached the hill in the next rack, and suddenly, for the first time in nine racks, things started to tighten up. Villarreal became just a tad more cautious, as Fisher promptly won two in a row to make it 8-3. It was as far as Fisher got. Villarreal chalked up rack #12 to capture the event title.