Eight members of the CNMI Junior Tennis Team made the cut in the singles event in the 2018 Pacific Oceania Junior Championships.
In the boys U16 singles, Sean Lee, Robbie Schorr, and Ken Song qualified in the quarterfinals after placing in the Top 2 in their respective pools. Schorr ruled Group C as he finished the eliminations with a 2-0 record following a 6-0, 6-0 win over the Solomon Islands’ Junior Micky yesterday at the Nadove Park in Fiji. Song had a 2-1 mark and placed No. 2 in Group D after downing Joel Riju, also of the Solomon Islands. In Group A, Sean Lee had a 1-1 mark, but still make the grade despite dropping his game against No. 1 seed Jeremy Guinnes, 0-6, 1-6.
Lee, however, will be pitted against Schorr in one of the two quarterfinal matches at the lower half of the draw today. Song is also at the bottom half of the draw and will challenge No. 2 seed Clement Mainguy of Vanuatu for a semis berth. At the top half of the draw, the pairings are Guinnes versus Micky and Tahiti’s Mohearii Polin against Guam’s Marshall Zang.
In the girls U16 singles, only two CNMI bets—Malika Miyawaki and Conatsu Kaga—qualified to the quarterfinals.
Miyawaki placed second in Group B, as she fell to Fiji’s Saoirse Breen yesterday for a 1-1 record. Kaga also had a 1-1 slate in Group D, winning her last match in the pool against Fiji’s Kajol Chand, 6-0, 6-0. Both CNMI bets will be going up against seeded players in the quarterfinals with Kaga taking on the No. 2 seed Breen and Miyawaki facing No. 4 Lea Lamoelle of Tahiti. In the two other quarterfinal matches, it will be No. 1 Eleanor Schuster over fellow Samoan player Chrystal Christman and Vanuatu’s Desiree Signo against compatriot and No. 3 seed Rosalie Molbaleh.
In the boys U14 singles, the Commonwealth also has two entries in the quarterfinals in Jimin Woo and Seung Jin Paik.
Woo was unbeaten in three games in Group B, completing the sweep with a 6-2, 7-5 win over Tahiti’s Ariitea Cotti-Helme yesterday. Paik also topped Group D and logged a 3-1 mark after winning back-to-back games yesterday against the Federated States of Micronesia’s Jones George, 7-5, 7-6, and New Caledonia’s Tiago Lopes, 7-6, 6-2. Paik and Woo’s quarterfinals foes have yet to be determined as off press time with organizers still finalizing the qualifiers from the other pools.
In the girls U14 singles, the quarterfinals cast was completed with the CNMI’s Coume Kaga making the grade. She was unscathed in Group C, earning a perfect 3-0 record after dominating Fiji’s Charlotte Nicolaus yesterday, 6-2, 6-0. The No. 3 seed Kaga will be paired against the unranked Chrissy Vonge of Tahiti in the quarterfinals.
Meanwhile, David Kwon and Anthony Gregoire bowed to Pacific Boys’ Jonny Jackson and Heremana Courte in the U12 team event. Jackson defeated Kwon in the first singles match, 6-0, 6-2, while Courte downed Gregoire in the other singles game, 6-1, 6-0, to hand Pacific Boys the early win.
The CNMI duo fell to a 1-2 mark in the team competition and is likely to miss the playoffs, as only the Top 2 squads after the pool play will advance to the next round. Gregoire and Kwon’s other loss was against Vanuatu 2 and they will play their last game in the pool today against Tahiti.