CNMI edges Cook Islands, moves into finals


Members of the CNMI men’s and women’s teams pose for a photo during the opening ceremony for the Inaugural Nations Cup Pacific last week in Fiji. (Ocveania Tennis Federation)

The CNMI showed grace under pressure after eking out a 2-1 victory over the Cook Islands in the playoff round in the women’s division team event of the Inaugural Nations Cup Pacific yesterday in Fiji.

Carol Lee and Isabel Heras teamed up in securing the close win and a finals berth for the CNMI, as they defeated Tamara Anderson and Britanny Teei, 6-3, 6-1.

Earlier in the first singles game, Lee extended her winning run in the tournament after dominating Teei, 6-1, 6-1. Then in the second singles game, Anderson topped Heras, 6-2, 6-1, to keep the Cook Islands in contention. However, Heras made up for the loss quickly with the help of Lee as they swept their foes in the deciding doubles match.

With the victory, the CNMI earned the right to face Samoa, which is also undefeated in the tournament following a 2-0 triumph over Oceania Women’s Combined 2 yesterday. Steffi Carruthers and Eleanor Schuster delivered the pair of wins for Samoa after they outclassed Papua New Guinea’s Patricia Apisah, 6-0, 6-2, and Tuvalu’s Alesi Molotii, 6-2, 6-3.

The CNMI-Samoa title game today will be played at 8:30am.

Meanwhile, in the men’s division, the CNMI also won over Tonga, 2-0. The Commonwealth crew made up of Robbie Schorr, Ken Song, and Jimin Woo, are playing for the No. 9 to 14 rankings after missing the Top 8 cut.

Schorr defeated Filipe Huni in the first singles match, 6-2, 6-1, while Woo was handed the win in the second singles after Siale Fatai retired in the deciding super tiebreaker third set due to fatigue. Woo lost the opening set, 2-6, but remained in the race after taking the second, 6-4. The CNMI junior player was then up in the third set, 1-0, when Fatai decided not to continue playing.

Woo and company will see action in their last game today when they duel American Samoa, which also swept Tuvalu yesterday, 2-0.

In the finale, it will be Tahiti versus Vanuatu. Tahiti gained the first finals berth after blanking the Solomon Islands, while Vanuatu posted a similar win over the Cook Islands.

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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