Texas Tornado sweeps through Reno

Vivian Villarreal

Vivian “The Texas Tornado” Villarreal swept all three ladies events at CSI's 2011 US Bar Table Championships, held at the Sands Regency Hotel Casino in Reno, NV on the week of February 21-28. She went undefeated through the largest field of 36 entrants that signed on for the 8-Ball event, and came from the one-loss side to win the 9-Ball (23 entrants) and 10-Ball (16) events. Sixteen of the 38 women, overall, that competed, did so in all three events.

Canada's Brittany Bryant, who won the 2010 19th Annual WPA World Junior Championships three months prior, in the same city, was the only person to defeat Villarreal all week. Bryant finished all three events with a 4-2 record. She challenged Villarreal in the finals of the 10-Ball event (held first in the week), the semifinals of the 9-Ball (held second) and finished in the tie for fifth place in the 8-Ball event. Bryant was in the hot seat for the 10-Ball event, having handed Villarreal a 5-3 defeat (her first of the week) that sent her to the semifinals. Villarreal moved over to challenge Susan Williams, defeating her 5-2 for a second chance at Bryant. She returned to beat Bryant twice, both 5-2, in a true double elimination final.

In the 9-Ball competition, Bryant faced Villarreal among the winners' side final four. She handed Villarreal her second and only other defeat of the entire week's competition, sending her to the one-loss bracket 7-3. Bryant went on to challenge Keeney for the hot seat, and was sent to a re-match versus Villarreal, when Keeney prevailed in a double hill battle. First up for the Texas Tornado on the one-loss side was Williams, who'd challenged her in the semifinals of the 10-Ball competition. Villarreal moved into the quarterfinals with a double hill victory over Williams, and was joined by Heather Pulford, who'd downed Bonnie Plowman 7-4.  Villarreal got a second chance versus Bryant with a 7-3 victory over Pulford.

Over the next three matches, 26 games, Villarreal gave up a total of only five racks. She didn't allow Bryant any in the semifinal match that sent her to the finals versus Keeney. She gave up only one in the opening set of the true double elimination final, and though Keeney rallied to win four in the second set, Villarreal prevailed to win her second overall event.

With a two-event record of 13-2, Villarreal moved on to the 8-Ball competition, where she went 6-0, defeating Pulford a second time in the event's second round, and Keeney a third time in the third round. A victory over Mary Ann Starkey put her among the winners' side final four, where she defeated Bonnie Plowman 4-2 to get into the hot seat match versus Shawn Modelo; Modelo had defeated Melissa Little in a double hill matchup. Little would return to challenge Villarreal in the finals. Villarreal gained the hot seat with a shutout victory over Modelo, who moved west to take on Little in the semifinals.

Little moved over to the one-loss side and got caught up in three straight double hill matches to get back to the finals. Her first opponent on the one-loss side had been Bryant, and after defeating her in a double hill match (which proved to be Bryant's lowest finish in the three tournaments), Little went on to the second double hill match, defeating Plowman in the quarterfinals, as well. She completed her double hill trifecta versus Modelo in the semifinals and got a chance to stop the sweeping Tornado in the finals of the week's last event. It was not, however, meant to be. In the only single set final of the entire week, Villarreal punctuated her sweep of the three events, by allowing Little only a single rack.

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