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US and Canadian Teams Announced For World Junior Pool Championship

Three members of Team USA, Sofia Mast, Aryana Lynch and Tiana Jiang (Photo courtesy Roy Pastor)

While the recent changes in requirements for travel to Europe, have the event in a sort of limbo, the Billiard Congress of America is still proud to announce the participants who are slated to travel to Austria on October 6th – 10th for the Predator 2021 WPA World Junior 9-Ball Championships. 

The members of Team USA are:

Riley Adkins, Daniel Martin, Landon Hollingsworth, Joey Tate, Payne McBride, Kyle Yi, Jayden Liu, Niko Konkel, Harry Leinen, Aryana Lynch, Sofia Mast, Tiana Jiang, Savanna Wolford, Skylar Hess, Alice Adams, Hayleigh Marion and Kennedy Meyman

In addition to the seventeen players representing the USA, the BCA also announced that Arnaud Rakovich, Issac Yee and Haydar Ali Cappo are representing Team Canada at this event. 

As announced in a previous release from the BEF, “Allocations for the prestigious 2021 2021 WPA Predator World Junior Pool Championship, (…) will be provided to the highest placed finishers in the boys open 16 & Under and 18 & Under divisions, and in the girls open 18 & Under division”. With some candidates unable to travel to Austria, the BCA opened up invitations to the champions from the 14 & Under Girls, 16 & Under Girls and 14 & Under Boys Divisions. All three of these division winners are confirmed for Team USA.  

Some of these warriors are asking for help on social media to fund their trips to Austria, so if you see one of your favorite players on the list of players, check out their social media pages and help any way that you can. 

Hollingsworth Highlights Slate of New Junior National Champions

Landon Hollingsworth

With a total of ten divisions being contested over five days, the 2021 Billiard Education Foundation’s Junior National Championship at the South Point Hotel & Convention Center was going to have a number of players celebrating hard fought wins, but the player walking away with the most accolades was South Carolina’s Landon Hollingsworth.

Hollingsworth didn’t just turn in one undefeated performance. He went undefeated to win both the 18 & Under Boys Division and the 16 & Under Boys Division. Hollingsworth had an early scare in the 18 & Under Division, going hill-hill before beating Indiana’s Jake Sollman. After that win, it was pretty much smooth sailing as Hollingsworth won twenty three of his next twenty eight racks to take the hot-seat, defeating Ohio’s Riley Adkins in the process. Adkins made quick work of Eric Roberts in the semi-final match 7-1, and then took his best shot at Hollingsworth in the finals. In the end though, it was Hollingsworth with an 11-7 win over Adkins, for the division win.

Hollingsworth was tested in the 16 & Under Boys Division, not only by reigning 14 & Under Boys Division Winner (from 2019) Lazaro Martinez III, but also Joey Tate. After sending Tate to the one loss side in the final four on the winner’s side, Hollingsworth faced off against Martinez for the hot-seat, and Martinez took him to hill-hill before Hollingsworth won the match. Martinez then lost in the semi-final match to Tate, giving Tate an opportunity to avenge his that earlier loss to Hollingsworth. The final match was a close one, but didn’t start out that way. Hollingsworth rushed out to a 9-3 lead, before Tate turned it on and pulled back within two racks at 9-7. Tate kept up the pressure and was within one rack at 10-9 down when he missed a 9-ball while stretched across the table, to leave Hollingsworth with ball-in-hand on the case 9-ball for the title.

The two rack difference in the finals was stressful enough on the parents and fans in attendance, but the finals of the 14 & Under Division did them one better, with a hill-hill final match to determine the Champion. Minnesota’s Harry Leinen had defeated Kyle Yi, out of Texas, in a 9-5 hot-seat match. Yi was right back in the finals, and took Leinen to hill-hill before Leinen deposited the final 9-ball for the title.

Aryana Lynch

In the 18 & Under Girls Division, eventual winner Aryana Lynch was tested from the starting gun, as she won back to back hill-hill matches (Bailey Barber and Hayleigh Marion) to get things started. After a relatively stress free 7-2 win over Savanna Wolford, Lynch was again tested, this time by Tiana Jiang in Jiang’s first real competition in over a year. Lynch finally sent Jiang to the one-loss side 9-7 and Sofia Mast then defeated Jiang 7-3 to setup the final match between Mast and Lynch. That final match went Lynch’s way 11-6 for the title.

With all of the drama in the other divisions, the 16 & Under Girls Division really had very little drama to speak of. Minnesota’s Kennedy Meyman put on a 9-ball clinic, beating four opponents and not allowing one of them past two racks. Meyman’s final record for the entire division was thirty four wins out of a total of thirty nine racks. She defeated Elli Gonzales for the hot-seat and again in the finals by a combined record of 20-3.

The 14 & Under Girls division was the only division that had a defending champion involved in the finals. Reigning champion Skylar Hess took the hot-seat with a 9-8 win over Virginia’s Hayleigh Marion. Marion was back with a vengeance in the finals, and defeated Hess in another close match, 11-9, for the title.

This year’s event saw the addition of two new divisions for the players to compete in. The 10-ball division was open to any players 22 and younger in a unique “triple elimination” format. While players had to lose three matches to be eliminated from this one, Wisconsin’s Mason Koch showed that the best way to make sure you don’t lose three matches is to not lose any of them. Koch defeated Ricky Evans for the hot-seat, and then Florida’s Justin Toye in the finals.

The 8-ball division was also something new this year, and the field of 65 male and female competitors proved how popular it was. This division saw Lazaro Martinez III in the hot-seat, after a 3-0 win over brother Gabriel Martinez. In the finals though, it was Gabriel taking control and defeating Lazaro for the division win.

Also in play at this event, were two blind draw scotch doubles events that saw Lazaro Martinez III team up with Joey Tate to win the 22 & Under Scotch Division and Landon Hollingsworth teaming up with Savannah Easton to win the 16 & Under Division.

Dates are already set for the 2022 Junior National Championship and the event will take place on June 21st – 25th, right back at the South Point Hotel and Convention Center.

 

Junior National Brackets Tightening Up

Kennedy Meyman

The brackets at the 2021 Billiard Education Foundation Junior National Championship are working their way towards the end and some brackets already have hot-seat occupants. 

In the 16 & Under Girls division, Kennedy Meyman from Minnesota has cruised into the hot-seat. Meyman turned in a combined score of 23-4 to take the hot-seat and will await the winner of Hayleigh Marion and Elli Gonzales in the finals. 

The 18 & Under Girls has Aryana Lynch in the hot-seat, after a marathon 9-7 victory over Tiana Jiang today. Jiang will face either Sofia Mast or Savanna Wolford in the semi-finals early Friday morning. 

Rounding out the Girls divisions, Skylar Hess sits in the 14 & Under Girls hot-seat, after a hill-hill win over Hayleigh Marion today. Marion is facing Bethany Tate today, with the winner earning their place in the finals against Hess. 

The Boys Divisions have a few more matches to go. In the 18 & Under Boys division, Landon Hollingsworth will take on Riley Adkins for the hot-seat on Friday. 

Hollingsworth will also compete for the 16 & Under hot-seat, in a match against Lazaro Martinez III on Friday. 

In the 14 & Under Boys division, Kyle Yi and Harry Leinen will compete for the hot-seat on Friday morning. 

The 8-ball division sees the possibility of an all Martinez hot-seat match on Friday with Lazaro Martinez III and Gabriel Martinez both in the final four on the winner’s side. 

Finally, the 10-ball division has Mason Koch in the hot-seat with a 9-7 win over Ricky Evans. Evans will go to battle with Justin Toye on Friday morning to determine who faces Koch in the finals. 

All of the action can be followed this week with online brackets at compusport.ca and BBTV is streaming select matches on his YouTube and Facebook pages.

2021 BEF Junior Nationals Underway

Donovan Seymour

The 2021 Billiard Education Foundation Junior National Championship is underway at the South Point Hotel, Casino and Spa in Las Vegas Nevada.

Almost 150 junior competitors, ranging in age from 7 to 22, are playing in a total of ten divisions that span singles and doubles, as well as 8-Ball, 9-Ball and 10-Ball. The tournament offers an interesting contrast between the older players and their confident strokes, and the younger players who some might need help just to reach the table. Case in point is 7 year old Donovan Seymour from Raymond, California. Seymour, pictured, had to get approval before the event for his platform shoes that allow him to comfortably reach the table.

Play got underway on Tuesday in the six 9-ball divisions. There are divisions for 14 & Under, 16 & Under and 18 & Under Boys and Girls. None of the brackets are anywhere near complete, but the 18 & Under Girls and 16 & Under Girls are both down to two players left on the winner’s side of each division. The 16 & Under Girls division sees Elli Gonzales from Normal, Illinois and Kennedy Meyman from White Bear Lake, Minnesota set to face off for the hot-seat on Thursday. The 18 & Under Girls division hot-seat match, also scheduled for Thursday, will see Massachusetts’s Tiana Jiang facing off against Texan Aryana Lynch.

In addition to the six 9-ball divisions. This event includes an 8-ball division, as well as a 10-ball division. These two divisions are open to players up to the age of 22. The 8-ball division has a field of sixty five players competing, while the 10-ball field is twenty players. As if these eight divisions weren’t enough, there are 14 & Under and 18 & Under Scotch divisions scheduled to kick off on Thursday night.

All of the action can be followed this week with online brackets at compusport.ca and BBTV is streaming select matches on his YouTube and Facebook pages.

Junior International Championship Player of the Month – Aryana Lynch

Aryana Lynch

There are rumors circulating that come August, women in the Texas pool community will be heaving a huge sigh of relief as 18-year-old Aryana Lynch heads off to Purdue University in Lafayette, IN to pursue a degree in Mechanical Engineering. The former Billiards Education Foundation’s National Champion in 2018 (16 & Under Girls), former member of a BCA Masters all-adult mixed league and two-time BCA World Champion in both 8-ball (at 15) and 9-ball (16), member of the 2019 USA Atlantic Cup Challenge team, veteran of the Texas-based Jerry Olivier Ladies Tour, the Gulf Coast Regional Women’s Tour and most recently, the winner of the first two stops on the current DFW Ladies 9-Ball Tour, has been cashing in professional tournaments since she was 14. Little wonder that with grace, genuine admiration and professional courtesy, the ladies of Texas pool bid her a fond farewell as they heaved that rumored-only big sigh of relief.

“The first thing I noticed about her was her playing mode,” said Jeremy Jones, who, after seeing Aryana play in the Dallas/Fort Worth area and in conversations with her mother, began coaching her in 2018. “She’s a super sweet, super smart girl, always real respectful and very cordial, but when she got to the table you could tell she was there to win.”

“And then,” he added for emphasis, “just seeing her move the cue, you could tell she had natural ability. But more than anything, she has this for-real game face.”

When Aryana’s parents, Jyoti and Brian Lynch, were attending college in Rolla, Missouri, there was not, reportedly, a lot to do and the couple picked up pool for fun. When they moved to Allen, TX with their two daughters, Aryana and Saya, who is two years younger, they found themselves with a game room and a pool table. They also bought the daughters little pool sticks, so they could play, too.

“Lots of families do that,” Jyoti told Deborah Dove in an interview for Allen Image, an online city magazine, “but with this girl (Aryana), something happened.”

“We’d hear the balls clicking upstairs and it was Aryana playing,” Brian told Dove.

Her Dad shifted into training mode, early on, and playing, he’d give her four shots to his one, which, in relative short order, became three and then, only two and finally, to ‘you need to play other people.’ This launched a search for area opportunities to compete and/or train that were compatible with Aryana’s age.

One of the main problems inherent in supporting Aryana’s natural talent at, and desire to play pool were the number of limited venues available that weren’t the smoke-filled rooms that most people seem to assume are part of the ‘pool package.’ 

“There was a lot of smoke around,” Jyoti noticed, to her chagrin. “It was a big reason that we invested in a table (a 9ft. Diamond Pro, which would only fit in their master bedroom and which, as a result, they vacated). But then, more and more of (the rooms) went non-smoking and fortunately more tournaments became more non-smoking, too. And that did make a difference.

Aryana Lynch

“The scene itself,” she added of the general bar atmosphere where a lot of Texas pool happens, “wasn’t a concern because we were always with her.”

They discovered that the American Poolplayers Association (APA) ran a juniors’ league in the area; 25 juniors, ranging in age from nine to 18. She joined, and at age 11, played in her first national tournament, when she and her Dad competed as partners in an APA National Scotch Doubles tournament, and finished as the runners-up.

“She carried me,” Brian Lynch told Allen Image, with a laugh.

At the APA Scotch Doubles event, Aryana and her Dad had learned, for the first time, about the Billiards Education Foundation (BEF) and its annual National Junior Championships. Two years later (2016), she finished third in the event that would prove to be the last of five straight junior national championship titles for April Larson, with whom Aryana became fast friends and eventual teammates on the Atlantic Cup Challenge’s USA Team in 2019. Two years after that (2018), she became the first ’16 and Under Girls’ (new category) champion at the BEF Junior Nationals.

As all of this was happening, with Aryana’s teen years flying by like utility poles on a train ride, she was maintaining a 4.0 grade point average at the largest high school in the state of Texas; Allen High School with nearly 6,000 students in three grades this past school year. She’s preparing to follow in the footsteps of her parents. It’s been speculated that there is very little labor cost associated with any kind of home repairs at the Lynch household, because with Dad as a mechanical engineer and Mom as an electrical engineer and soon, Aryana with a Mechanical Engineering degree of her own, that base is now and will be for some time, covered.

“What I loved about her,” said DFW 9-Ball Tour representative Monica Anderson, in an address at Aryana’s last appearance on the tour before heading off to college (Saturday, May 16),  “was that when she wanted to play at the BCA World Championships in Vegas and needed to qualify, she found a pool hall (The Hideaway, that would accept juniors under 21), played on Doc Reyes’ Dallas 8-Ball league on a team called Boom Shaka Laka, and on league nights, when she wasn’t at a table shooting, would find a quiet area of the pool hall to do her homework until she was called on to play. She’d leave, often late at night and go to school the next morning.”

The academic met the athletic when Aryana, at around the time she was participating in her first BEF national tournament, wrote a Quest for Excellence award and sponsorship-qualifying essay for Kamui in which she responded to three questions – How would you improve the billiard industry and why? How would you improve the image of the sport and why should you be chosen to receive the Quest for Excellence Award? Without recreating her complete answer, she answered the first by noting that “the sport . . .  helps with building self-control, and improving with math and physics,” adding that “providing more scholarship opportunities and partnering with high schools and universities will also give more exposure to the sport.” She noted, answering the second question, that the “image of the sport” is “very adult focused. . . located in a bar area with smoking and drinking, which gives a bad image for kids. Leagues should partner with schools or TV networks to showcase junior athletes and their abilities to play and compete.”

“I am a self-driven person,” she wrote in answer to the third question, “and am always focused on improving myself in everything I do.”

Aryana Lynch

She won the award and Kamui became her first sponsor, later to be joined by J. Pechauer Custom Cues and the Fort Worth Billiard Superstore. As she prepares for the major adventure of attending college away from home, she is predictably excited, although, not surprisingly, given her simultaneous dedication to pool and academics, grounded in what she’s already accomplished and looking ahead to the challenges of her future. She is keenly aware of her own strengths and weaknesses, and considers patience and self-control to be among a list of peripheral skills she brings to the table.

“When I was younger,” she said, “I didn’t possess that. I had to train myself at it; to know that if things are not going my way, to compose myself, control it and not let it affect my game.”

“I would say ‘kicks’ are one of my strengths,” she said of her table skills. “I can always see the angles and I know how to take a simple ‘kick’ and adjust it to the table. It’s that problem-solving thing that I like.”

“Breaks can always get better,” she added of a known weakness. “I’ve grown a lot with that since I started.”

She’s also grown in another area that’s related to de-mythologizing the pool pros. It’s a lesson she learned when she was afforded the opportunity to play in a Scotch Doubles tournament with Shane Van Boening. 

“I got to play with him at the BCA Nationals,” she said, adding that it wasn’t originally intended to be. “It was the first time that I was really able to interact with a male professional.”

Playing with Van Boening as a partner was a raffle prize that she didn’t even win. It was won by a friend, Carlos Sanchez, who passed the winning ticket on to her. The lesson that emerged for her was not as much about pool as it was about human nature.

“I think what I saw was that even pros make mistakes,” she said. “No one is always going to play their best game, every time.”

Over the next five years, her first plan is a Master’s Degree, in what, precisely, she is, at the moment, unaware. In pool, she’s hoping that she’ll be able to just compete in tournaments, whenever she has the time. Seeing pool as a career, however, is not, at present, on the agenda.

“For me and my personality,” she said, “I don’t like to do just one thing. I like to be diverse; art, music (note self-portrait, elsewhere on this page). I think if I just had pool, I don’t think I’d like the game any more.”

It should be noted that she’s attending the university at which Nick Varner won two straight ACUI Pool championships in 1969 and 1970, and best-laid-plans aside, she might find her career travelling an unexpected path. In any case, she’s got a bit of a ‘leg up’ on whatever she hopes to accomplish.

“She’s got some priorities that others (her age) just don’t have yet,” noted coach Jeremy Jones. “She’s a level or two above most of them.”

“Aryana,” said Monica Anderson at the youngster’s last appearance on the DFW Ladies 9-Ball Tour, “we wish you more success in all you do, and know that we love you and will keep tabs on your continuing life successes, today and always.” 

This article originally appeared in the June 2021 issue of the Billiards Buzz Online Publication.

Aryana Lynch goes undefeated again to win second straight DFW Ladies 9-Ball Tour stop

Aryana Lynch

In the second of six scheduled stops on the DFW Ladies 9-Ball Tour (an adjunct of the Open DFW 9-Ball Tour), 18-year-old Aryana Lynch, the Billiards Education Foundation’s Junior Champion (16 and Under Girls) in 2018 and the BCAPL Women’s 8-Ball Singles Champion in 2019, proved herself, once again, to be a formidable adversary. For the second time in a row, she went undefeated to claim a DFW Ladies 9-Ball Tour event title. She improved her game winning average since she went 36-9 (80%) in games the first time out in February, going 30-6 (83%) this past weekend. The $500-added event drew 27 entrants to Snookered Billiards in Frisco, TX on Saturday, April 3.

Lynch was awarded an opening round bye in the 27-entrant bracket and didn’t have an opponent chalk up a rack against her until the third winners’ side round. She opened her second round with a shutout over Riza Pili and followed it with a 6-1 victory over Sheila Lowe, which set her up for a winners’ side semifinal battle versus Amanda Rowland. Her hot seat and finals opponent, Tina Soto, in the meantime, was also awarded a bye and downed Calaia Jackson 5-2, and Becky Smith 5-1 to draw Kathy Knuth in the other winners’ side semifinal.

Lynch got into the hot seat match with a 6-1 victory over Rowland. Soto joined her after sending Knuth to the loss side 5-1. Lynch claimed the hot seat 6-2 over Soto and waited on her return from the semifinals.

On the loss side, Rowland picked up Alicia Stanley, who, at skill level 7, had been Lynch’s toughest opponent in the tour’s opener in February. Stanley had a slow start this time out, falling to Ramona Baker Lee 4-2 (Stanley racing to 7) in the opening round. She went to work on a six-match, loss-side winning streak that would end in the semifinals. She had recently shut out Becky Smith and successfully wreaked her vengeance on Baker Lee 7-2 to face Rowland. Knuth drew Sheila Lowe, who followed her defeat at the hands of Lynch with two straight shutouts, over Calaia Jackson and April Gonzales to face Knuth.

Stanley advanced to the quarterfinals 7-2 over Rowland and was joined by Lowe, who stopped Knuth’s loss-side run at a single match 5-3. Stanley stopped Lowe’s loss-side run at three with a 7-3 win in those quarterfinals.

Soto then ended Stanley’s loss-side run at six matches with a 5-4 win in the semifinals (Stanley racing to 7). Soto turned for a second shot at Lynch in the hot seat.

Lynch duplicated the victory that had put her in the hot seat. She completed her second straight undefeated run with a second straight 6-2 win in the finals.

The DFW 9-Ball Ladies Tour Committee of Monica Anderson, Jennifer Hooten, Ginger Abadilla and Tournament Director David “Doc” Reyes thanked the tour’s sponsors OB Cues and Fort Worth Billiards Superstore. The next stop on the tour, scheduled for May 15, will be a $500-added event, hosted by Stixx & Stones in Lewisville, TX.

Aryana Lynch Chalks Up the Win on DFW 9-ball Ladies Tour Stop #1

The 2021 DFW 9-Ball Ladies Tour Season kicked off their 1st of 6 stops on Saturday, February 27th at Rusty’s in Arlington, TX. 30 ladies from various parts of the state wanted to play some 9-ball and play they did. Lots of players primarily from the DFW Metroplex participated in this one-day event but there were also players from Houston, San Angelo, San Antonio and Victoria, TX who made the trek to Big D and we thank everyone who came out for some nail-biting competition.

The DFW 9-Ball Ladies Tour is an extension of the DFW 9-Ball Tour. All ladies 9- ball events are handicapped (SL 3 to SL 7), Fargo rated, double-elimination tournaments. They are all guaranteed $500 money added, $40 entry fee, one day events, non-smoking venues and played on 7’ Diamond bar tables.

The mission of the DFW 9-Ball Ladies Tour is to give lower-level skilled players an opportunity to test their mettle against higher level skilled players. Our higher- level skilled players also provide advice, pool knowledge and are inspirations for all on how we want to play when we grow up. It is a win-win for everyone, maybe not with cash, but a reward in knowing that we share a love and passion for this game and can help someone out in the process.

DFW 9-Ball Ladies Tour is proud to be sponsored by Fort Worth Billiards Superstore, OB Cues, Dallas Eight Ball League and Doc’s Billiards Office. We thank all sponsors for their interest in pool and keeping the competitive flame burning for lady pool players all over the country.

April Gonzales

Before the action commenced for the day, one of our junior players, April Gonzales (SL 3), will be celebrating her 13th birthday on March 4th, so we wanted to make it an early memorable occasion for her. She is our little princess, and always a good sport, while we tried to “harmoniously” sing Happy Birthday, shared pizza with everyone, delicious pool ball cupcakes, sodas (graciously given by her Dad), and photo opportunities galore. Happy 13th Birthday April! We love you!

Aryana (SL 6), no stranger to the winner’s circle, had a winning record of 36-9. This girl can play, and she is only 18 years old. Her closest tournament match was against Alicia Stanley (SL 7) and both players were playing very well as champions so often do. They both performed some well executed defensive plays, but it was Aryana who took the win 6-4 and the rest of her tournament day was smooth sailing from there. She went undefeated to take the 1st place title and $500.

Jennifer Pavlovick, Aryana Lynch and Yvonne Ramirez

Main Event top finishers and payouts:
1st – Aryana Lynch (SL 6) – $500
2nd – Jennifer Pavlovick (SL 5) – $340
3rd – Yvonne Ramirez (SL 5) – $220
4th – Ileana Sullivan (SL 4) – $140
5th/6th – Monica Anderson (SL 5), Linda Long (SL 4) – $100 7th/8th – Yvette Cox (SL 5), Tiffany Pryor (SL 5) – $75

As some of the ladies were not quite ready to go home early, we had a Second Chance event with a $20 entry and $100 added by the Tour with 7 players vying for the SC Crown.

Janet Ybarra, Ginger Abadilla and Rachelle Dytko

1st – Ginger Abadilla (SL 3) – $130* 2nd – Rachelle Dytko (SL 5) – $80* 3rd – Janet Ybarra (SL4) – $30

*They chopped it up and Rachelle got the extra $10. From the picture below, it looks like they are all repping Hustlin – not a pre-requisite for playing in the Second Chance

Thank you to Rusty’s (Jeff and his hard-working crew), to all our sponsors, players and fans and everything you do for the game we love. We cannot thank you enough!

Our next ladies’ event will be Saturday, April 2nd at Snookered Billiards & Bar, 9550 Dallas Parkway, Frisco, TX. For registration info, go to the DFW 9-Ball Tour web page, dfw9bt.com

DFW 9-Ball Ladies Tour Committee
David “Doc” Reyes
Jennifer Hooten
Ginger Abadilla
Monica Anderson

Europe Retain The Atlantic Challenge Cup

T. Brikmanis, D. Siranchuk, M. Nguyen, W. Zielinski, S. Pehlivanovic, C. Froehlich and J. van Lierop

Team EUROPE retained the Atlantic Challenge cup for the fifth year running, beating Team USA 11-4 here in Treviso Italy. The best youth players from either side of the Atlantic met up for the fifth edition of this prestigious event, and they did not disappoint the fans with their performance. The score line flatters Europe a little because there were some very close matches that could have gone the other way with a bit of luck from the pool gods, but it wasn’t to be.
 
After the first day’s play left the Americans with a mountain to climb and trailing 6-1, day two was a different story. April Larson started the morning session for team USA with a great win over the strong My Nguyen 6-1. This win lifted team spirits and showed a glimmer of hope, but Europe were never going to surrender their strong lead and took the next match to lead overall 7-2. Aryana Lynch picked up another point for team USA in the afternoon session, but it was sandwiched between two wins for team Europe which put the score at 9-3 for Europe.
 
The Evening session loomed, and team USA needed to win two of the three scheduled matches to keep day three alive, and any hopes they had of taking the cup back home as well. It was a partnership of April Larson and Ricky Evans who took the first point of the evening and the crowd were hoping for one more point to see us into day three. Europe had other plans and made sure there is a free day to enjoy their victory and closed out the last two matches to retain the cup for a fifth successive year.
 
Launched by the European Pocket Billiard Federation and the Billiard Congress of America in 2015, the Atlantic Challenge Cup pits the best of youth from Europe and America in a Mosconi Cup style event in a race to 11 with a possible 21 matches in total. Six players on each team, four boys and two girls, will battle it out to see who will have the bragging rights across the Atlantic. 
 
More information can be found at atlanticchallengecup.com or visit the official Atlantic Challenge Cup Facebook page.
 
Press release issued by the EPBF Press office, contact press@epbf.com

Bishoff takes two out of three versus Kraber to win Jerry Olivier Ladies’ Tour season finale

(l to r): Winner Jenna Bishoff & Tour Champion Kim Pierce

Looking for her second 2019 tour victory, her first having come on the North Central Pool Tour in Illinois (August), Jenna Bishoff shifted south a bit to join the Jerry Olivier Ladies Tour in League City, TX for its 7th tour stop and season finale, where she met up with Jennifer Kraber three times. The last two meetings were in the finals where Bishoff double-dipped Kraber to claim the event title. The $3,000-added event drew 45 entrants to Legends Billiards in League City.
 
Following victories over Natalie Rocha, Yvonne Asher, Ming Ng and Michelle Yim, Bishoff advanced to her first meeting with Kraber in one of the winners’ side semifinals. Kraber had gotten by Regina Gomez, Gail Roles, Aryana Lynch, and Calaia Jackson to draw Bishoff. Kim Sanders, in the meantime, faced off against tour director Teresa Garland in the other winners’ side semifinal.
 
Kraber won the first of three versus Bishoff 7-5 and in the hot seat match, faced Sanders who’d sent Garland west 7-4. Kraber gave up only a single rack to Sanders in the match that followed, winning what proved to be her last match and claiming the hot seat.
 
Over on the loss side, Bishoff picked up Autumn Duncan, who’d been sent to the loss side in the second round by Michelle Cortez in a double hill fight and was in the midst of a seven-match, loss-side winning streak that included recent victories over Belinda Lee 7-1 and Kim Pierce 7-2, and was about to come to an end. Garland drew Janeen Lee, who’d recently eliminated Calaia Jackson and Michelle Cortez, both 7-5.
 
Bishoff’s bid for a rematch against Kraber in the hot seat was almost stopped by Duncan, who battled her to double hill before giving way and settling for the two-way tie for 5th place. Lee, in the meantime, defeated Garland 7-5 to join Bishoff in the quarterfinals.
 
Bishoff then chalked up three straight 7-2 wins; against Lee in the quarterfinals, Sanders in the semifinals and Kraber in the opening set of the true double elimination finals. Bishoff punctuated her run with a shutout over Kraber in the second set of the finals to claim the tour’s season finale title.
 
In what was described as a “battle to the (tour) finish line,” Kim Pierce was announced as the 2019 Jerry Olivier Ladies Tour Champion. Kelly Jones was identified as the tour’s Most Improved Player, while Calaia Jackson picked up the Best Sportsmanship Award; all were awarded trophies for the accomplishment. Pierce and Jones received free entries for 2020. Jackson will receive one free entry. Jennifer Kraber received a $50 scratch-off ticket at the tour’s player with the most break-and-runs. Jackson was identified as the competitor with the season’s most 9-on-the-breaks.
 
Tour representatives thanked Mindy and Craig Cohen and their Legends staff, as well as title sponsor Jerry Olivier Custom Cues and tour affiliates Mz Tam and Strokin’ Billiards.

2019 Team USA Announced For Upcoming Atlantic Challenge Cup

The Billiard Congress of America today announced its team for the 5th annual Atlantic Challenge Cup, to be held in Treviso, Italy November 28 – 30 at the BHR Best Western Premier. 
 
The 2019 Atlantic Challenge Cup Team USA includes: 2018 and 2019 BEF Junior National 9-Ball  Champion (U16 & U18) Kaiden Hunkins, 2018 BEF Junior National 9-Ball Champion (U16) Aryana Lynch, five-time BEF Junior National 9-Ball Champion April Larson, two-time BEF Junior National Champion and Atlantic Challenge Cup veteran Ricky Evans, 2018 WPA Junior World 9-Ball Champion (U17) Mahkeal Parris, and 2019 BEF Junior National 9-Ball Champion silver medalist (U18) Lukas Fracasso-Verner.
 
"I am really excited to be working with the members of Team USA as we face the challenging task of competing against Team EUROPE in just a little over a month," said ACC Team USA Captain Allison Fisher. "Team Europe has assembled a great team for us to compete against and we look forward to seeing Team USA give it their all in the tremendous location of Treviso, Italy. It is truly an honor for all of us involved to be a part of this prestigious event."
 
Members of 2019 Team U.S.A.
April Larson, Bloomington, MN
Aryana Lynch, Allen, TX
Kaiden Hunkins, Waukesha, WI
Lukas Fracasso-Verner, Wallingford, CT
Mahkeal Parris, St. Croix, VI
Ricky Evans, St Peters, MO
 
The event will be shown in its entirety live on the EPBF social media channels with more information to follow.
 
What Is The Atlantic Challenge Cup?
The Atlantic Challenge Cup pits the best youth from Europe and America in a Mosconi Cup style event in a race to 11 with a possible 21 total matches.  On an annual basis, six players (19 years old and younger) on each team, four boys and two girls, battle it out to see who will have the bragging rights across the Atlantic. The event takes place in Europe during odd years and in the United States during even years.
 
More information on the event can be found at AtlanticChallengeCup.com or visit the official Atlantic Challenge Cup Facebook page.