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Testa comes from the loss side to down Shea in finals of Stop #2 on the JPNEWT

L to R: Erica Testa, Kia Sidbury, Judie Wilson, Nicole King, Chari Slater, Linda Shea

While it’s still a little early to be talking about tour rankings, and who might or might not advance to be the J. Pechauer Northeast Women’s Tour champion at the conclusion of its season in November, the tour’s second stop, held on the weekend of April 28-29, did result in a bit of shuffling at the top of those rankings. Erica Testa, who entered Stop #2 in second place behind Kia Sidbury in the single-event rankings, came from the loss side to down Linda Shea in the finals. Testa moved ahead of Sidbury into first place. In the absence of Heather Platter, who was ranked second, Sidbury, who finished in the tie for 5th place, moved into the second spot. Shea’s runner-up finish moved her from 5th to 3rd, while Judie Wilson’s third-place finish kept her in the #4 spot in the rankings. The event drew 18 entrants to Markley Billiards in Norristown, PA.
After an opening round bye, Testa downed Chari Slater and Anita Sowers to draw Shea in one of the winners’ side semifinals. Wilson, in the meantime (also after a bye) defeated Suzanne Sellet and Melissa Jenkins to meet Sidbury in the other winners’ side semifinal. The four women in those two matches were four of the early-tour’s six best players (Heather Platter and Cheryl Sporleder did not compete in this event). Shea sent Testa to the loss side 7-4, as Wilson was working on a double hill win over Sidbury. Shea claimed the hot seat (her first of the early season) 7-1 over Wilson and waited on the return of Testa.
Over on the loss side, Testa drew a re-match against Slater, who’d defeated Tina Marinelli, Sharon O’Hanlon (double hill) and Melissa Jenkins 7-4 to earn that re-match. Sidbury picked up Nicole King, who’d originally been defeated by Shea, and gotten by Elaine Wilson 7-3 and Nicole Nester 7-2 on the loss side.
Advancement to the quarterfinals was hotly contested with both matches going double hill. When the double hill dust settled, King and Testa had advanced. Testa eliminated King 7-5 in those quarterfinals, and then, spoiled Judie Wilson’s bid for a re-match against Shea (and movement up the rankings ladder) with a 7-3 win in the semifinals.
It was an ‘extended race to 9’ final. Coming from the loss side, Testa had to beat Shea to seven racks, to extend the race to 9. She did so and added two more for a 9-6 win that gave her the event title and sole possession of first place in the tour rankings.
In addition to the Open event, on Sunday, the tour added its second Amateur event, open to players with skill levels at “4” or below. That event was won by Shelah Joner, who, in addition to $40 in cash, was awarded a paid entry into the next JPNEWT event. That event, scheduled for the weekend of May 19-20, will be hosted by First Break Café and Billiards in Sterling, VA.

Miller blanks Shea twice to win JPNEWT season finale

(l to r): Jackie Rivera, Judie Wilson, Briana Miller, Sharon O’Hanlon, Kathy Friend & Linda Shea

In a circumstance about as rare as a teenager that doesn’t play video games, Linda Shea, tour director of the J. Pechauer Northeast Women’s Tour (JPNEWT) was shut out twice, in the hot seat and finals of her tour’s season finale. Briana Miller was the culprit. She went undefeated through a field of 17, on-hand for the $1,250-added ($500 from Coins of the Realm) event, hosted by Triple Nines Bar & Billiards in Elkridge, MD on the weekend of November 18-19.
Miller’s five-match trek to the event victory saw her win 35 of her 44 games. She gave up a single rack to Tina Marinelli in her opening round of play, and four to Carol V. Clark, which set her (Miller) up to face Judie Wilson in one of the winners’ side semfinals. Shea, in the meantime, who would finish with a 21-24 game record, got by Terri Stovall and Heather Platter, both 7-3, to draw Sharon O’Hanlon in the other winners’ side semifinal.
Miller sent Wilson to the loss side, as Shea was downing Hanlon, both 7-4. Miller chalked up the first of her two straight shutouts over Shea to claim the hot seat, and waited for Shea to get back from the semifinals.
On the loss side, Wilson and O’Hanlon drew two competitors in the middle of a three-match, loss-side winning streak. Wilson picked up Kathy Friend, who’d defeated Kia Sidbury 7-3, Melissa Jenkins 7-1 and Heather Platter 7-3. O’Hanlon drew Jackie Rivera, who’d gotten by Elaine Wilson 7-3, Eugenia Gyftopoulos 7-4 and Nicole King 7-2.
Friend and Rivera made it four in a row with identical 7-5 wins over Wilson and O’Hanlon, respectively. In the quarterfinals that followed, Rivera made it five loss-side wins in a row, defeating Friend 7-3.
Shea ended Rivera’s run with a 7-5 win in the semifinals. Miller claimed the season finale event title with her second shutout over Shea.
The win moved Miller up into third place (from eighth) in the tour’s season-end rankings, behind Shea, and Elaine Wilson, who, by virtue of her finish in the tie for 13th place, stayed just five points ahead of Miller in the final standings. Miller had competed in only three events this season, winning two of them and finishing as the runner-up (to Karen Corr) in the third. Rounding out the tour’s top-ten-ranked players were in order, from fourth place – Carol V. Clark, Nicole King, Kia Sidbury, Jenn Keeney, Jia Li, Sharon O’Hanlon and Judie Wilson.

Jia Li comes back from winners’ side semifinal loss to defeat Pao in finals of JPNEWT Stop #5

Jia Li

Just back from an appearance in the North American Pool Tour's (NAPT) third Division I Pro tournament in Greyslake, IL, where she finished fourth on the weekend of August 18-20, Jia Li returned to the familiar confines of the J. Pechauer Northeast Women's Tour (JPNEWT) to compete in their fifth stop of the year on the weekend of August 26-27. Li came back from a loss to Caroline Pao in a winners' side semifinal of the event to meet and defeat her in the finals. The event, which drew 21 entrants to Classic Billiards in Phoenixville, PA, was a qualifier for the next NAPT Division I Pro event, scheduled for September 28-October 1 at Eagle Billiards in Dickson City, PA, and with Li already qualified, Pao picked up the invitation that will allow her to compete in that event.
Following a 7-5 win over Carol V. Clark in the event's opening round, Li met up with fellow NAPT competitor, Kia Sidbury, who had come within a match of meeting Li in the quarterfinals of the recent NAPT event (Sidbury was eliminated by Eleanor Callado, just prior to those quarterfinals). Li shut Sidbury out, and then defeated Jenn Keeney 7-2, to draw Pao in the winners' side semifinal. Elaine Wilson, in the meantime, who, following an opening round bye, had survived two straight double hill matches against Kathy Friend and Tina Marinelli, squared off against Tina Malm.
In their first of two, Pao downed Li 7-4 and advanced to the hot seat match. She was joined by Wilson, who'd sent Malm to the loss side 7-2. Pao gave up only a single rack in the hot seat match against Wilson, which proved to be her last match victory of the weekend.
Li moved to the loss side and picked up Marinelli, who, following her defeat by Elaine Wilson, had chalked up two straight double hill matches against Kathleen Lawless and Sidbury. Malm drew Friend, who, following her defeat by Wilson had, after a loss-side bye, chalked up three straight 7-5 wins, over Clark, Nicole King and Sharon O'Hanlon.
Li eliminated Marinelli 7-3, and in the quarterfinals, faced Malm, who'd defeated Friend, double hill. Li defeated Malm 7-5, and then, heating up, allowed Elaine Wilson only one rack in the semifinals, to earn her a second shot against Pao.
In the single race-to-9 final, Li defeated Pao 9-6 to claim her first JPNEWT victory of the year. The two could conceivably meet again, in two weeks, at the sixth stop on the JPNEWT, scheduled for September 16-17 at Q Master Billiards in Virginia Beach, VA or in a month, when they travel to Dickson City, PA for the next NAPT Division I Pro event