Online Tournament Coverage

by Dec 9, 2001, 10:07 AM EST

Laura Smith attributed her perfomance to "a little more relaxation and practice."

Laura Smith came within one match of her first TV competition, but a finals-savvy Allison Fisher ended Smith's run at fifth place and a $3,000 payday, Saturday.

Smith had worked her way to the last undefeated eight with impressive winsover Helena Thornfeldt, 9-7, and Vivian Villarreal, 9-8. "I don't think I've ever beaten Vivian," said a happily dazed Smith later. But the "un-luck" of the draw sent Smith up against Karen Corr next, and the dominating Corr never gave Smith a chance to bring her re-energized game to the table. "She ran five racks," said Smith. "Just sitting down, it's hard to get momentum going."

And Smith's momentum was shut down completely when the defending Nationals champ, Fisher, ended Smith's run, 9-2. "I made a couple of mistakes," said Smith. "That's the frustrating part."

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