Four years ago, on this day, CNMI players Robbie Schorr and Ken Song arranged a family affair after prevailing in their respective playoff matches in the boys U14 singles division in the 2016 Pacific Oceania Junior Championships in Lautoka, Fiji.
Schorr first advanced to the semifinals after sweeping Vanuatu’s Warea Tigona, 6-1, 6-2, in the upper bracket quarterfinals. Song followed suit after eliminating fellow CNMI player Sean Lee 6-2, 7-6 (7), at the bottom half of the bracket.
Schorr then went on to clinch a finals ticket in the division following a 6-1, 6-1 triumph over Song in the semifinals. Next up for Schorr was Tahiti’s Vaitei Molinier and the Commonwealth bet needed a super-tiebreaker third set to notch the singles crown. Schorr took the opening set of the finals, 6-2, but missed another sweep when Molinier fought back in the second with a tough 7-6 victory. Then in the decider, Schorr recovered after posting a convincing 10-5 win.
With his title victory in the boys U14 division, Schorr gave the CNMI its second singles championship in the 2017 edition of the POJC. The other singles crown was courtesy of Carol Lee, who bagged her second straight U16 title after waltzing past Fiji’s Vienna Kumar in the finals, 6-1, 6-2.
Besides the two singles championships, the Jeff Race-coached CNMI Junior National Team got two more titles, making the islands the squad with the most crowns.
Lee also won the girls U16 doubles division after partnering with Malika Miyawaki, while Schorr and Song took the boys U14 doubles title.
The Commonwealth edged the favored Tahiti and the 12 other island-nations in the race for the most championships in the POJC. Tahiti had three titles with its team topping the boys U12 and U16 doubles, and girls U14 doubles.
Lee, Miyawaki, Schorr, and Song are done with junior tennis and are now in college.