ACUI Collegiate Championships Kick Off
Association of College Unions International Collegiate 9-Ball Championships / Normal, IL
by Lea Andrews
College 9-ball players from all over the country are gathered right now at the Bone Student Center at Illinois State University in Normal, IL, for the Association of College Unions International (ACUI) Collegiate 9-Ball Championships. The event, which is being held July 21-23 and will overlap with the Billiard Education Foundation’s Junior Nationals, has drawn 37 men and 16 ladies from over 40 different colleges and universities from across the United States to compete for scholarships and prizes.
While play is still underway on day two, the final four men on the winners’ side have already come through. After receiving a bye in the first round, Adam Maloney of Texas A & M University posted an 8-5 win over Zachary Wilson of the University of North Carolina, followed by an 8-4 win over Juan Sanchez of the University of Texas, and an 8-4 win over Grant Moller of the University of Maryland. Maloney will be playing Mississippi State University’s Sam Golmer, who shut out Jeff Thune of North Dakota State University in the first round, then advanced with an 8-1 win over Adam Pfeifer of Kansas State University, an 8-1 win over Al Odden of Minnesota State University Moorhead, and an 8-7 win over Ryan Gilligan of Richard Stockton College of New Jersey.
Also vying to get into the hot seat match are Lars Vardaman of Southern Illinois University Edwardsville and Quentin Weir of the University of Michigan. Vardaman, after a bye in the first round and an 8-4 win over Andrew Parry of Nassau Community College, had the dubious honor of playing his former roommate David Fitzgerald (also of SIU-E) and sending him west 8-1 before moving on to an 8-3 win over Tommy Najar of New Mexico State University. Vardaman’s quarterfinal opponent, Weir, also received a bye in the first round, moving on to an 8-1 win over Oluwasweyitan “Josh” Durdola of Howard University, an 8-3 win over Jason Burns of Clark State University, and an 8-3 win over Ohio State University’s Luke McDonald.
Meanwhile, the ladies have decided their final four winners as well. Stephanie Sevigny of North Dakota State University, with wins over Cindy Ho of San Francisco State University 7-3 and University of Florida’s Heather Platter 7-5, will be playing Morgan State University’s Karla Yates, who came out on top of a hill-hill match with Lindsey Dorn of Purdue University to face off with University of Delaware’s Caitlin Reynolds, whom she sent to the left side of the bracket 7-4. Kristine Landry of Fitchburg State College will be playing Shari Cui of the University of Illinois – Chicago. Cui advanced past Melanie Gilmer of Mississippi State University and Monica Fox of the University of Florida, while Landry has started off with strong wins over Brittany Clark of the University of Wisconsin 7-2 and Samantha Adler of the University of Delaware 7-1.
Play continues Wednesday and will conclude July 23 with the crowning of one male and one female champion.
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