Lee, Lizama triumph anew


Carol Lee notched her third straight division crown, while Luther Lizama earned back-to-back, as they ruled the U18 singles competitions in the 2015 CNMI Junior Tennis Championships held over the weekend at the American Memorial Park tennis courts.

Lee bagged the girls U18 tiara in Northern Mariana Islands Tennis Association’s last junior tournament for the 2014-2015 season after topping the round-robin contest with her unbeaten 3-0 record. Lee, who won the same division title in the Coconut Tennis Classic and PIC Tennis Championships this year, boosted her chances for the third straight championship after downing Isabel Heras, 6-0, 6-1, and Negahr Rastguiy, 6-1, 6-4, last Saturday.


The Saipan Community School student then clinched the division crown last Sunday after surviving Mikayla Lopez in three sets. Lopez prevailed in the opening set, 6-3, but failed to stop Lee’s string of successes in the girls U18 finale after the latter swept the last two sets, 6-4, 6-0. Lopez settled for another runner-up honor as she also defeated Heras, 6-2, 6-0, and Rastguiy, 6-1, 6-1, in the earlier games last weekend.

In the boys U18 singles, which had a round-robin format, too, Lizama went perfect in three games to gain his second consecutive title this season.

Lizama, who earned his first boys U18 plum in last month’s PIC tournament, won NMITA’s last event after outclassing Michael Ren last Sunday, 6-3, 7-5. Lizama’s two other victories in the weekend competition were against Steve Lee, 6-1, 6-0, and Coconut Classic champion Colin Ramsey, 6-2 6-4.

Ren took the second place as he prevailed over Steve Lee via walkover and against Ramsey, 6-4, 6-1.

Meanwhile, Eu Bin Park, Mimi Sakano, and Tania Tan joined Carol Lee and Lizama in the singles champions circle after topping their respective divisions.

Tan nailed the girls U16 singles tiara after notching two victories in the round-robin contest. She was first paired against Ami Tsukagoshi and needed only two sets to win, 6-2, 6-0. The eventual champion picked up where she left off last Sunday and swept long-time doubles partner Julia Ishikawa, 6-1, 6-1. Ishikawa finished second as he also downed Tsukagoshi, 6-4, 6-1.

In the girls U14, Mimi Sakano took the short route to beating Asia Raulerson, 6-2, 6-1, while Park also had an easier time against Anthony Gregoire, 6-1.

Besides the singles events, NMITA’s season-ending local tournament also featured doubles contests and results in various age groups will be reported later this week.

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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