Final Eight Revealed in Riverwind
WPBA U.S. Open 9-Ball Championships / Norman, OK
The last eight ladies standing will go to battle Saturday in the quarterfinal matches of the Women’s Professional Billiard Association (WPBA) U.S. Open 9-Ball Championships, hosted by the Riverwind Casino in Norman, OK. It is surprise performer Iris Ranola who leads the pack, having disposed of several key WPBA players so far in this event.
Far from inconspicuous, Ranola started off her event by defeating the WPBA’s top player and number-one seed, Allison Fisher, in a hill-hill match. From there she disposed of Aileen Dimmick 9-2 and Helena Thornfeldt 9-2. Down to the final 16, she faced off against Ga Young Kim, runner-up in the GenerationPool.com 9-Ball Championships in June, and again went double-hill to win. Ranola will meet Sarah Ellerby, who also went undefeated, in the quarterfinals.
Karen Corr, who is tied for second place in the WPBA’s rankings with two other ladies, has had an easy event so far, besting Line Kjorsvik 9-4, Joanne Ashton 9-4, Vivian Villareal 9-4, and Thornfeldt 9-1. Her opponent in the quarterfinals will be Yu Ram Cha, the Korean sensation who recently joined the tour. Cha won her first two matches but ended up faltering against Ellerby hill-hill in the third round. She faced down Gerda Hofstatter 9-7 to rejoin the group in the final 16, where she ousted GenerationPool.com champ Xiaoting Pan 9-4.
Pam Cimarelli, formerly known as Pam Treadway, bounced back from a second-round defeat by Ellerby 9-8 to work her way through the west side of the chart. She eliminated Candi Rego 9-2 and Vicki Paski 9-2 before going double-hill with Susan Williams to earn a spot in the final 16. There she bested Kim Shaw 9-6 and will face off against Jeanette “The Black Widow” Lee in the quarterfinals. Lee lost her third-round match to Pan 9-3 and ousted Tiffany Nelson 9-3 to get back to the winners’ side, from there ousting feared Austrian Jasmin Ouschan 9-3.
Vivan “The Texas Tornado” Villareal joins the pack in the final eight. After her third-round defeat at the hands of Corr 9-4, she came back from the one-loss side by virtue of a 9-4 win over young gun Anna Kostanian. Villareal will meet England’s snooker star, Kelly “KwikFire” Fisher, in the quarterfinals. Fisher survived up to the third round but there met Ouschan, who sent her to the one-loss side after a hill-hill match. She ousted Dimmick 9-5 to return to the final 16, where she eliminated Julie Kelly 9-1.
Of the top four ranked ladies in the WPBA, only one remains in Corr, tied for second. Allison Fisher went two and out, first falling to Ranola and then being ousted by Sarah Rousey 9-8. Pan made it to the final 16 to be eliminated by Cha 9-4, and Kim also fell in the same position to Ranola after their hill-hill match. It is very possible that Corr will be the new top-ranked player in the WPBA after A. Fisher’s performance at the Riverwind Casino.
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