Back-to-back NMSA honors for jr. tennis players


Richard Steele, seen here serving to Daniel Kang during a local tournament at the Fiesta Resort & Spa Saipan tennis courts, won the Northern Marianas Sports Association/Tan Siu Lin Foundation Student Athlete of the Month award for February. (Obet Aguilar)

For the second straight month, the Northern Marianas Sports Association/Tan Siu Lin Foundation’s student-athletes top honors went to the Commonwealth’s junior tennis players.

Robbie Schorr took the NMSA/TSL Foundation Student Athlete of the Month award for March for his outstanding showing in the 2018 Junior Davis Cup Asia/Oceania Pre-Qualifying Event, joining February winners Richard Steele and Helen Kim on the elite list.

Schorr suited up for the Pacific Oceania Team that competed in the pre-qualifying event in Colombo Sri Lanka last month and helped the squad advanced to the finals. The 15-year-old was unbeaten in the elimination round games, dominating his singles and doubles opponents from Lebanon and Bangladesh. Schorr teamed up with fellow CNMI player Ken Song and Vanuatu’s Clement Mainguy and the squad was coached by Hall of Famer and 2017 NMSA Coach of the Year Jeff Race.

After sweeping pool play, Schorr and company went on to top Kuwait, 3-0, and Vietnam, 2-1, in the playoffs to move into the finals opposite eventual champion Pakistan. Despite the loss to Pakistan, Pacific Oceania made the grade in the qualifier and earned a slot to the 2018 Asia/Oceania Qualifying Finals.

The qualifying finals will be played in Kuching, Malaysia from April 9 to 14 and Schorr, Song, and Race had already left Saipan last Friday in time for the opening day of the competition. In Malaysia, the CNMI representatives and Mainguy will be up against Australia, Thailand, Japan, and Korea. Ten other countries will be participating in the qualifying finals with the Top 4 teams advancing to the 2018 World Junior Davis Cup.

Meanwhile, Steele and Kim earned the February honors after ruling their respective competitions in the 2018 Coconut Tennis Classic.

The No. 1 seed Steele lived up to his lofty billing after downing Daniel Kang in the boys U14 singles finals, 6-3, 6-1. Steele did not drop a single set in his event en route to clinching the division crown.

Kim, on the other hand, survived a tough finals showdown against Ye Jin Son, 3-6, 6-2, 10-8, to bag the girls U12 singles championship.

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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