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Jumpin’ Janet Takes Stop One

Janet Atwell

After a moment of silence to pray for our friends, families, and fellow Americans, the first stop of the 2001/2002 SEAL season got underway.Several tough match ups in the early rounds resulted in many top players taking an early trip to the one-loss side, with Jessica Crooks defeating Betty Sessions (7-5), Janet Atwell taking Marcia Manuel (7-5), Tori Duncan nudging out Kelly Willis (7-6), Fran Taylor beating a somewhat crippled Sally Herrick (7-3), Margo Yoder defeating Kim Young (7-2), and a new sub-SEAL member, Christy Simpson, proving to be a strong competitor with a win of Lil Bunch.Betty, Sally, and Lil stuck it out to return for Sunday’s matches, along with Jessica Crooks (who subsequently lost to Tori Duncan after defeating Betty), Lisa O’Boyle, Christy Simpson, and Beverly Knight on the one-loss side.Four undefeated players remained on Sunday as well:Tori Duncan vs. Margo Yoder and Janet Atwell vs. Debi Johnson, with her first-ever return on Sunday in the main event.
With Janet defeating Debi and Margo edging out Tori after a tough hill-hill battle, Janet and Margo would play for the “hot seat” and a spot in the finals.Janet’s road consisted of wins over Marcia Manuel (7-5), Stacy Gravitt, Donna Friesen (7-6) in a very close and hard fought battle, Lisa O’Boyle (7-6), who was aptly named last year’s Most Improved Player, and Debi Johnson (7-0).Margo consistent play all weekend had resulted in wins over Kim Young (7-2), Michelle Davis (7-4), Christy Simpson (7-5), and Tori Duncan (7-6), but fell short in the winners bracket final losing to Janet 7-2.
Meanwhile in the one-loss bracket, Betty Sessions had played hard to defeat Beverly Knight and Lisa O’Boyle but was held to a 5th place finish by Tori Duncan.Jessica Crooks, who started her run with wins over Kat Griffith (7-4) and Betty Sessions (7-5) before being sent left at the hands of Tori Duncan, would alsoemerge victorious with wins over Lil Bunch (7-3), Michelle “The Comeback Kid” Vaughn (7-4), and Debi Johnson (7-1).Michelle found herself trailing in Sunday’s opening match to Christy Simpson 5-1 and turned it around to defeat Christy (7-5).Congratulations to Debi Johnson for a personal best finish of 5th place.
As the participants dwindled late Sunday afternoon, Jessica was determined that the rematch with Tori would have a different outcome, and although Tori had wowed the crowd all weekend with her great play, Jessica would prove to be unstoppable as she left Tori with a 4th place finish and prepared to face off with Margo to see who would earn the right to play Janet in the final match.The competition was fierce, and it was obvious that both ladies wanted a win as the match seesawed back and forth until it was tied at hill-hill, but Jessica was a woman with a mission and would be the one to advance to the finals with Margo earning a great 3rd place finish!
The opening set of the finals began with Jessica Crooks knowing that she must defeat Janet twice to win the tournament, and she came out of the game with a strong 4-0 lead.After a short break, Janet returned to the fifth game with a defensive shot on the 1-ball.Jessica made a good hit but left a 1-9 combination for After a short break, Janet returned to the fifth game with a defensive shot on the 1-ball.Jessica made a good hit but left a 1-9 combination for Janet’s first win.It appeared that Janet’s game plan was to slow Jessica down with outstanding safety play, this paid off for Janet because the score climbed 5-3 with Jessica in the lead.The ninth game began with Janet successfully placing Jessica on two fouls, but then Janet decided to run out the rack and close the score 5-4.Just as it looked liked the match was swinging in Janet’s direction; she scratched leaving Jessica a beautiful 2-9 combination for the 10th game and a score of 6-4.After numerous safeties back and forth in the 11th game, Jessica prevailed victorious in the first set.
The second set began with Jessica on a high after handing Janet her first loss of the weekend, but Janet came out of the gate with an early 2-0 lead.Jessica rebounded in the third game with a 2-9 combination for her first win of the 2nd set.The fourth game was highlighted by a defensive shot on the 1-ball by Jessica that forced Janet to bring out the ole’ jump cue.True to her name, “Jumpin Janet” didn’t let the spectators down as she executed an awesome jump shot over two balls to make a difficult cut shot on the 1-ball and leave perfect position for a 2-9 combination to make the score 3-1.With that, the match really began to swing in Janet’s direction as she continued her outstanding play and wrapped up all the remaining games to defeat Jessica in the Finals 7-1.Congratulations to Janet Atwell for her victory and to Jessica Crooks for an outstanding 2nd place finish.