Ranola Runs Down the AWBT Competition
Arizona Women’s Billiard Tour / Phoenix, AZ
by Lea Andrews
Though Filipina superstar Iris Ranola was the sure favorite to win the season finale of the Arizona Women’s Billiard Tour, she did have some hefty competition among a small but strong field of 11. Tour points leader Stacy Novack, who was so far in front she couldn’t be caught, was absent, but among those who gathered at Bull Shooters Billiards in Phoenix, AZ, for the $300-added WPBA regional tour event were tour powerhouses Ashea Erdahl, Heather Torpin, and Susan Williams.
Ranola breezed past Sara Miller to fight for the hot seat against Erdahl, who’d squeaked past Barbara Lee 7-6. Holding Erdahl to four games, Ranola took her seat as winner of the winners’ side and awaited an opponent for the finals.
Meanwhile, on the one-loss side, second-place points leader Williams breezed past Donna Taylor 7-2 to face Miller, while Torpin blew by Terri Johnson-McCauley 7-1 to meet up with Lee. The Williams-Miller battle ended with Williams on top 7-6, and she moved on to face Torpin, who’d held Lee to four games. Torpin’s score got flipped on her in the quarterfinals, though, as she landed in fourth 7-4 courtesy of Williams, who advanced to a semifinal rematch with Erdahl. In their first encounter, Williams had come up just shy of victory 7-6, and though in their second encounter, Erdahl was certainly looking to go on to a rematch with Ranola, Williams wasn’t going to give it to her. She took control of her own rematch 7-3 to earn the right to face Ranola in the finals.
Ranola could afford to give up the first set of the true double-elimination final match, but allowing an opponent to reach seven games was simply not on her agenda at this tournament. Williams hit the string just twice in the finals as Ranola cruised to victory 7-2.
1st Iris Ranola $200
2nd Susan Williams $130
3rd Ashea Erdahl $85
4th Heather Torpin $60