Volume 79 | Issue 5
September 2011

Social media enhances July 9-ball tournament

Virginia Tech hosted this year’s Collegiate 9-Ball Championships July 15–16, but others all over the world could experience the competition as it happened. Tournament Director Jamie Dresher kept followers informed of competition news with live tweets and Facebook posts. Photography support was provided by Recreation and Leisure Activities Program Team Chair Mike Makoski, which added to the sense of being there with the tournament participants.

The tournament brought 29 men and 15 women to Blacksburg, Va., who qualified via the 14 regional and two independent tournaments held February through May 2011. Championship play was a double-elimination race to seven for women and race to eight for men, alternate break. Additionally, there was a break contest and best sportsman/woman peer voting as part of the event. All told, there were $3,500 in scholarship monies and 10 trophies at stake.

Students hailed from 23 states and represented 33 schools. The men’s top competitors were:

  • Chad Beleber, California State University–Long Beach
  • Chris Futrell, Old Dominion University
  • Mack Harrell, East Carolina University
  • Raymond Linares, Miami Dade College–Kendall
  • Jonathan Strzezewski, Wilbur Wright College
  • Mitch Trainham, Virginia Commonwealth University

The women’s top competitors were:

  • Samantha Adler, University of Delaware
  • Kayla Griggs, Arizona State University
  • Cindy Higa, University of Hawaii–Manoa
  • Mj Jansen, Morgan State University
  • Delia Sinziana Mocanu, Northeastern University
  • Heather Platter, University of Florida

All women in the winner’s bracket had played at the ACUI Championships before.

In the final matches, Mocanu beat Higa 7–5 on the women’s side and Linares beat Futrell in the second game 8–5 in the men’s, making Linares a two-time ACUI champion.

Break competition winners were Beleber and Higa, and Best Sportsmanship winners were Tarissa Martin, Purdue University, and Beleber.

Virginia Tech and BreakZONE Manager Chris Lisanti were hosts for the tournament. Lisanti talked about the tournament in the local media and on the Virginia Tech website (see the July 14, 2011 press release at In addition to being media partners, tournament organizers and participants were pleased with BreakZONE’s lighting, amount of quality tables, and spectator seating. The 2012 site selection committee is accepting host proposals at this time. Photos are available on the Facebook page ACUI Collegiate 9-Ball Championship.