WPBA Nationals Day Two

Ga Young Kim

Friday morning 11:00am; the tension was high; there was a lot at stake for many of these players in the one loss side, several of whom are “on the bubble” on the 2009 WPBA Rankings.  Only the top 48 ranked players after this event will earn their exemption for 2010.   

The first web match of the day featured four-time Collegiate Champion Eleanor Callado shooting against Canada's Cathy Metzinger.  Eleanor played strong, and won convincingly 9-3.  Next up was crowd favorite Sarah Rousey (Sponsored by Pooldawg.com who is also the Presenting Sponsor for Web Streaming) versus veteran player Liz Taylor, who had a fantastic  5th place tie finish at the WPBA Colorado Classic in September.    Sarah had lost her first round match to veteran Vicki Paski hill-hill, and could not shake the tenacious Taylor off track.  Liz took advantage of the opportunities she received and defeated Sarah, also hill-hill, sending Sarah home two & out.  

The WPBA's Most Improved Player 2009, Denise Belanger, played a tough match against Borderline Billiards co-owner, Janet Atwell but in the end, defeated Janet 9-7.  Meanwhile, Ga Young Kim played against Anna Kostanian in the 2nd round one loss side.  Ga Young had lost to Kyoko Sone on Thursday but wasn't about to make an early exit, beating Anna 9-4.  Back at the web table, Jennifer Barretta matched up against the 2008 APA U.S. Amateur National Champion, Amy Chen, and defeated her 9-5.   

As we moved further into the tournament, the fight was on for those coveted top 48 Exemptions for 2010.  The WPBA will see some fresh faces on the exemption list including Holly Sholes, Michell Monk and Eleanor Callado.  Their accomplishment is made more special since all three lost their first round matches to top players; Michell lost to Karen Corr,  Eleanor lost to Kelly Fisher and Holly lost to Kim Shaw.  They've all barreled their way through the one loss side and can now say they are WPBA Pro's for 2010, congratulations!  Michell moved on to Saturday's round of 24 while Eleanor finished tied for 25th.  

The 8:00pm winner's bracket 3rd round saw Karen Corr run her way to the Final 16, defeating Liz Ford 9-3, while Kelly Fisher and Jeanette Lee played an exciting match.  Kelly was focused though and beat Jeanette 9-6.  Meanwhile Gerda Hofstatter matched up against Tracie Hines and looked to run away with the match taking a 5-0 lead.  But Tracie fought back to tie things up at 5 all and the two proceeded to trade games until Tracie closed out the match 9-7.   Xiaoting Pan and Monica Webb played the feature web stream match for the round and also fought tooth and nail, trading games all the way to 7 all but Xiaoting pulled away to win 9-7.   

The final round of the day began in earnest with the web stream feature matchup between the hometown favorite Vivian Villarreal versus Kim Shaw who were vying for a top 16 spot.  The other three winner's bracket matchups were Kyoko Sone against Melissa Herndon; two-time winner this year Jasmin Ouschan played against Holland's Tamara Rademakers who had already locked up her exemption for 2010 alongside Angel Paglia who matched up versus Allison Fisher.  Kyoko Sone, who had defeated Ga Young Kim in her 2nd round match, continued to impress by knocking Melissa Herndon into the 1 loss side and reach the Final 16.  On the one loss side, Laura Smith continues her strong play this season, defeating the 2000 World 9 Ball Champion, Julie Kelly 9-5. Ewa Laurance couldn't fend off Line Kjorsvik who had finished in the top 8 at the Pacific Coast Classic; Line won 9-4.   Melissa Morris moved on into the top 24 round after defeating Joanne Ashton in a grinding hill-hill match while Jennifer Barretta and Holly Sholes battled back and forth.  After an hour and fifty minutes, the score was tied up at 7 all.  After Jennifer scratched on the 4 ball in game 15, Holly ran out to reach the hill first.  That same four ball proved to be Jennifer's thorn in the side as she jawed it in game 16 but Holly returned the favor on the 6 ball and Jennifer ran out to go hill-hill.  Holly earned an open shot in the final game but missed the 6 in the side, leaving Jennifer a long shot on the 6 which she pocketed and continued to run out to win the match 9-8 and advance into tomorrow's rounds.  

Back to the winner's bracket we went as Jasmin moved on to the final 16 beating Tamara soundly 9-1. Kyoko also advanced to another Final 16 berth by winning 9-3 against veteran Melissa Herndon.  Angel Paglia was not going to let Allison roll over her and took the lead 6-5 midway while Vivian and Kim Shaw were knotted up at 8 as the web kept a watchful eye. Vivian certainly felt pressure to perform since this is her home turf; The Seminole Tribe of Florida and the Hard Rock are her sponsors.   Vivian would go into the final game with the break advantage.  Vivian had no shot on the 1 and was forced to play a safe.  The game progressed slowly but Kim came to the table with an open shot on the 2 and began the task of running out.  She was stopped cold as her position play to the 5 came up short forcing her to play safe leaving Vivian to ponder the dilemma for several minutes as she faced a long, difficult 5/7 combination. She nailed the shot and ran out to advance to the Final 16.  Back to Angel & Allison as they spent 20 minutes in game 15 going back and forth until Angel had an open shot, ran out to the 9 but hung the ball in the pocket, allowing Allison to go up a game 7-6.   Allison never looked back and finished off the match at 9-6 for the last of the Final 16 spots.  

Matches start at noon tomorrow with the first four of the one loss side.