Carol Lee out of Mini Games


Carol Lee, seen here suiting up for the Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets, will not play for the CNMI National Tennis Team in next month’s Northern Marianas Pacific Mini Games 2022.(CONTRIBUTED PHOTO)

The CNMI’s goal of sweeping the gold medals in tennis suffered a major setback after the withdrawal of Carol Lee in next month’s Northern Marianas Pacific Mini Games 2022.

Northern Mariana Islands Tennis Association and CNMI national tennis coach Jeff Race confirmed Lee’s non-inclusion in the eight-player CNMI National Tennis Team for the Mini Games to Saipan Tribune the other day.

“It’s a huge blow to the team that Carol isn’t playing but all the other players are very much looking forward to the competition,” he said.

As far as the reason Georgia Tech women’s team’s No. 1 singles player is not coming to the Mini Games, Race said it had something to do with the Mini Games Organizing Committee’s COVID-19 protocols for athletes, officials, and even media taking part in the quadrennial event.

“All competitors and officials must be vaccinated. Carol refuses,” said Race.

With Lee out of the picture, the CNMI Sports Hall of Famer said there will be no more round-robin qualifier for Asia Raulerson, Hye Jin Elliot, and Serin Chung as the three automatically make the team joining Isabel Herras.

“Since Carol dropped out we are down to four so no need,” he said.

Elliott admitted to having mixed reactions to making the team.

“I am sad that Carol won’t be able to compete with us for this year’s Mini Game, but I am excited that I was given this opportunity to play in the Mini Games alongside other amazing players,” said the Saipan International School student and the CNMI No. 1 girls juniors player.

Chung, the islands’ No. 2 girls juniors netter, also shared her classmate’s sentiments.

“I’m grateful for the opportunity to play in the Mini Games but it’s sad that Carol is not going to be playing in the tournament since she was going to be a very crucial player on the team,” she said.

Saipan Tribune reached out to Raulerson on her reaction to being named to the team, but she has yet to respond as of press time.

The former Saipan resident and Albany State University varsity player was supposed to fly out to Saipan this month to try out for the national team, but will be coming home to train for the Mini Games instead.

The 19-year-old is the daughter of former Marianas High School teacher John and Pattana Raulerson

Earlier, NMITA named ITF Tour veteran Colin Sinclair, Samoa Games carryover Robbie Schorr, Bobby Cruz, and Colin Ramsey to the men’s team and Lee and Herras for women’s team in the Mini Games, which is set from June 17 to 25 this year.

A total of 98 players will suit up for the sport that will take place at the American Memorial Park tennis courts in Garapan and the Pacific Islands Club Saipan tennis courts in San Antonio.

Northern Marianas, Fiji, Guam, Nauru, New Caledonia, Solomon Islands, and Tahiti will have eight players each, while Papua New Guinea, Samoa, and Vanuatu will have seven apiece. The rest of the countries taking part in tennis are Cook Islands (2), FSM (3), Kiribati (5), Tonga (6), Tuvalu (3), Vanuatu (3), and Wallis & Futuna (3).

Mark Rabago | Associate Editor
Mark Rabago is the Associate Editor of Saipan Tribune. Contact him at

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