WALKER VAN WEY | Reporter
After another 17-10 victory by the Lindenwood billiards team on Tuesday night, it’s clear that coach Mark Wilson sets players up, and the Lions knock opponents down.
Lindenwood coasted to victory against Southern Illinois University – Edwardsville, marking the team’s fourth straight victory.
“You know it’s funny, we won 17-10 tonight and we won 17-10 last tournament,” Wilson said. “Last time it was a close 17-10. This time it was a distant one. We started out ahead and always had a four- or five-match lead.”
Key contributors to the comfortable win were some of the consistent winners of the team.
The night’s spotlight wasn’t just reserved for the known heavy hitters. New faces have also begun honing their skills and sharpening their reputations.
“Hunter [Davis] also went undefeated today,” Wilson said. “Last tournament he won one match and was kind of knocking on the door; tonight he kicked it down.”
Although Davis went 3-0, he doesn’t feel his game has reached its ceiling based off one tournament.
“There were a couple times I didn’t get to the table until the 9 ball, so that’s not necessarily me, that’s just kind of luck,” Davis said. “Winning all my matches today makes me feel really good, but it means there’s a lot more to live up to now.”
Wilson said another newcomer to the sport began to “knock on the door” in Tuesday’s matchup.
“Joe Collins really never played pool in his life and he’s showing real spark,” Wilson said. “He won his first match tonight, and the team couldn’t have been any more supportive.”
Collins not only embraced his first taste of success, but also the reception of his teammates.
“It felt so good to get that first, ‘W,’” Collins said. “It’s got me speechless, especially since I literally just started playing pool competitively. My teammates were very encouraging and it was very heartfelt. It was like I was the little brother accomplishing something for the first time.”
With contributions from all angles, the wins piling up and the top-tier players performing the way they’re expected to, the Lions said they have become a cohesive unit that’s begun firing on all cylinders.
“I feel pretty good about the way the team is playing,” Davis said. “Everybody gets to the table and everybody shoots well even when it’s hard to. It’s really starting to click.”
The Lions take on club team Maplewood Shotmakers 6 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 11, at home.