4 CNMI jr. netters enter semis

Carol Lee, seen here getting ready to serve in a local tournament at the American Memorial Park tennis courts early this year, is among the four CNMI junior players who advanced to the semifinals of the 2014 Pacific Oceania Junior Championships in Fiji. (Roselyn B. Monroyo)

Carol Lee, seen here getting ready to serve in a local tournament at the American Memorial Park tennis courts early this year, is among the four CNMI junior players who advanced to the semifinals of the 2014 Pacific Oceania Junior Championships in Fiji. (Roselyn B. Monroyo)

Four CNMI junior tennis players kept their spotless record in pool play to march into the semifinals of their respective events in the 2014 Pacific Oceania Junior Championships.

Robbie Schorr went 3-0 in Group B to clinch one of the Final Four spots in the boys U12 singles division. The Whispering Palms student recorded a sweep in his pool after defeating Samoa’s Phillip Warren, 6-0, 6-2, yesterday at the Dr. Robin Mitchell Tennis Centre in Lautoka, Fiji. Next up for the second-ranked Schorr is Vanuatu’s Clement Mainguy, as they battle for the finals berth at the lower half of the draw today. Top seed Gilliant Osmont of Tahiti and Kiribati’s Banien Ioera collide in the other semis pairing.

The top finisher in each pool (three groups) were given semis berths, while the last Final Four slot was awarded to the player that had the best record among the third to fourth placers in the three pools.

Malika Miyawaki, Carol Lee, and Luther Lizama ruled their respective pools to duplicate Schorr’s semis stint.

Miyawaki reigned supreme in Group C of the girls U 12 singles after topping Vanuatu’s Rosalie Molballeh, 6-2, 6-2. With her 3-0 slate in the pool, the third-ranked Miyawaki will be paired against the fourth-seeded Lea Lamorelle of Tahiti in the semis today with the winner taking on the victor of the Naia Guitton-Eleanor Schuster semis tiff in the finals tomorrow. Samoa’s Schuster arranged a semis showdown with Tahiti’s Guitton after beating the CNMI’s Conatsu Kaga in the tiebreak for the last semis ticket. Kaga won her last pool play match against Samoa’s Leafine Cronin, 6-0, 6-0, to finish the elimination round with a 2-1 record, the same mark Schuster had. However, Schuster earned a 4-2 sets won/loss slate compared to the 4-3 of Kaga to catch the last bus to the semis round.

The same tough luck hit Tania Tan, who forced a three-way tie for first place in Group C of the girls U14 singles. She finished the elimination with a 2-1 record after surviving Fiji’s Vienna Kumar, 6-4, 4-6, 6-4, for a standoff against the latter and Vanuatu’s Emma Maucotel. In the tiebreak, Kumar prevailed and advanced to the semis with her 5-2 sets won/loss mark against the 4-2 and 4-3 of Maucotel and Tan, respectively. Tan also lost to Fiji’s Ruby Coffin in the fight for the fourth and last semis seat with the latter having a 4-2 sets won/loss slate.

With Tan falling short in her semis bid, the CNMI will have only one bet in the girls U14 singles semis in the unbeaten Lee. Lee kept her perfect record in the elimination after blanking Namratya Nand of Fiji, 6-0, 6-0. The shutout win yesterday was the second for Lee, who allowed only two points in the entire pool play and never lost a single set to dominate Group A. The top-ranked Lee aims to keep her streak when she faces Coffin in the upper bracket semis today. In the lower bracket, Kumar will take on New Caledonia’s Lea Bolo.

In the boys U14 singles, Lizama also went 6-0 (sets loss/won), following his 6-2, 6-1 victory over Vanuatu’s Ben Pechan. Lizama topped Group C and will be pitted against Group B winner Michael Emery of Tahiti in the semifinals. American Samoa’s Larry Maglasan and Tahiti’s Honoarli Joutain will square off in the other semis pairing.

In other singles results, Colin Ramsey finally entered the win column in the boys U16 singles after sweeping Fiji’s Shivneel Chand, 6-1, 6-0. Ramsey finished third in Group B with his 1-2 record, missing the semis and will have to play in the consolation round. Tahiti’s Manoa Desvignes, American Samoa’s Jummah Vigas and Kevin Maukoloa, and the Federated States of Micronesia’s Terry Rush are the semifinalists in the boys U16 singles.

Julia Ishilawa, Ami Tsukagoshi Ken Song, and Asia Raulerson will also play in the consolation games after faltering in their semis bids. Song had a 1-2 record in Group A after a sorry 6-1, 4-6, 10-6 loss to Vanuatu’s Samuel Strid yesterday in the boys U12 singles, while Raulerson (1-2) also dropped her last pool match in the same age group, bowing to Guitton, 0-6, 0-6. In the girls U14 singles, Ishikawa and Tsukagoshi fell to Bolo, 1-6, 1-6, and American Samoa’s Michelle Miller, 3-6, 0-6, respectively, to place third in their respective groups.

Roselyn Monroyo | Reporter
Roselyn Monroyo is the sports reporter of Saipan Tribune. She has been covering sports competitions for more than two decades. She is a basketball fan and learned to write baseball and football stories when she came to Saipan in 2005.

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