Heras, Elliot beat Vanuatu in Fiji

Posted on Aug 04 2022

Isabel Heras, left, and Hye Jin Elliot, seen here in a file photo from the Northern Marianas Pacific Mini Games, gave the CNMI a 2-1 win against Vanuatu at the start of the 2022 Pacific Nations Cup in Lautoka, Fiji last Tuesday.(NMPMG2022/NORMAN DEL ROSARIO)

Isabel Heras and Hye Jin Elliot won their debut in the 2022 Pacific Nations Cup after beating Vanuatu in Lautoka, Fiji.

Elliot topped Vanuatu’s Marie Liwuslili in the first singles match, 6-2, 5-7, 6-2. The three-setter lasted 2 hours and 15 minutes.

Lorraine Bainimatuku evened the score at 1-1 after she got the better of Heras, 6-4, 7-5, in the second singles match that finished after 2 hours and 6 minutes.

In the crucial women’s doubles to decide the tie, Elliot and Heras lost the first set against Liwuslili and Bainimatuku, 2-6, before winning the second, 6-2, to force a super tiebreaker that they eventually won, 10-7. The doubles match was faster than the two previous singles matches at 1 hour and 40 minutes. 

Herras said she and Elliot are just overjoyed to be part of the Pacific Nations Cup this year.

CNMI National Tennis Team member Colin Ramsey holds the CNMI flag during the opening ceremony of the 2022 Pacific Nations Cup in Lautoka, Fiji. (CONTRIBUTED PHOTO)

“The team is really happy to be here competing against all the seven other nations participating. I’m excited to play this tournament with Hye Jin. I think we can place well in this tournament! Hye Jin fought hard and won her singles in three sets and played amazing in doubles! I’m looking forward to seeing how the tournament goes!” she said.

For her part, Elliot thanked Fiji for the warm hospitality Team NMI has so far received.

“I thought that the people were very welcoming toward all the players. Also, I am looking forward to some competition,” the Saipan International School student said.

Heras and Elliot’s match against Tahiti was still being played as of press time and will be reported in tomorrow’s issue of Saipan Tribune.

Playing coach Bobby Cruz and Colin Ramsey, meanwhile, are 1-1 after losing to Samoa last Tuesday and winning against Cook Islands yesterday.

Cruz lost to Samoa’s Marviin Soonalole, 0-6, 0-6, in the first singles match last Tuesday.

Ramsey also went down in defeat against Samoa’s Leon Soonalole in the second singles match, 5-7, 2-6.

In the doubles match, Harley Cronin and Marviin Soonalole made it a 3-0 win for Samoa after turning back Cruz and Ramsey, 6-2, 7-5.

Yesterday against Cook Islands, Cruz defeated Arikitoa Allsworth, 6-2, 6-0.

Ramsey also won against Maka Maui, 6-2, 6-2, and in the doubles match the CNMI pair triumphed over Allsworth and Maui, 6-2, 6-3.

The CNMI National Tennis Team currently seeing action in the 2022 Pacific Nations Cup would like to thank the following sponsors for making their trip to Fiji possible: Paradise Dental, the Rotary Club of Saipan, Tan Siu Lin Foundation, IT&E, as well as other generous community donors.

After three consecutive years of postponements due to COVID-19 border closures, the International Tennis Federation-sponsored 3rd Pacific Nations Cup finally got underway Tuesday. 

The Oceania Tennis Federation-organized event was officially opened by Fiji Commerce, Trade, Tourism and Transport Minister Faiyaz Koya with representatives from major sponsor, Punjas Group, also in attendance.

There are eight men’s and eight women’s national teams competing in two pools of four teams each with the Top 2 teams in each pool playing crossover semifinals to then determine the playoff for the medal matches. 

In the men’s event, the two seeded teams are Tahiti (No. 1) and Samoa (No. 2). In the women’s event, the two seeded teams are Samoa (No. 1) and Fiji (No. 2).

Mark Rabago | Associate Editor
Mark Rabago is the Associate Editor of Saipan Tribune. Contact him at Mark_Rabago@saipantribune.com

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