Lee reigns supreme in U16

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Posted on Jun 17 2019

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The CNMI’s Sean Lee returns to Guam’s Jacob San Augustin during a pool play game in the boys U16 singles event of the 2019 North Pacific Regional Championships. Lee topped the division after beating fellow CNMI player Sam Ryu in the finals, 6-0, 6-1. (Roselyn B. Monroyo)

The CNMI’s Sean Lee bagged a pair of titles after ruling the boys U16 singles and doubles event of the 2019 North Pacific Regional Championships last Friday at the Pacific Islands Club Saipan tennis courts.

Lee first clinched the singles crown after sweeping fellow CNMI player Sam Ryu in the finals, 6-0, 6-1. The two Commonwealth players were then handed the doubles championship, as one of their opponents in the title match had cramps and could not play. Lee and Ryu were supposed to duel the Federated States of Micronesia’s Deavyn Etscheit and Nolen Narruhn in the doubles finale.

The 15-year-old Lee earned two division titles without dropping a single set in the five-day tournament. In the singles event, he gave up no more than one game to his foes and blanked his first two opponents. In doubles, Lee and Ryu allowed their first two opponents to a combined two points before yielding four to fellow CNMI players Isaac Heo and Eugene Park in the second set of their semis game. Park was last year’s doubles champion, partnering with Ryu.

Meanwhile, FSM players stood out in the boys U14 and girls U16 singles and doubles events.

No. 1 seed Jones George gave FSM the boys U14 singles title after beating No. 2 Daniel Kang of the CNMI, 6-1, 6-0. George also played in the doubles finale and worked with Theodore Ned in outclassing Palau’s Kaekoa Mamis and Ton Perez in the finals, 7-6, 6-1. Joining the FSM and Palau players in the Top 3 were the CNMI’s Anthony Gregoire and David Kwon, who labored through a 5-7, 6-1, 10-7 victory over No. 2 seed and Guam’s Jacob Jackson and Aarman Sachdev.

In the girls U16 age group, Anne Skilling gave FSM to more titles. She topped the singles event, which had a round-robin format, after earning a perfect 3-0 record following her 6-2, 6-2 triumph over compatriot Ridianne Wolphagen. In the doubles finals, Skilling this time teamed up with Wolphagen in defeating the CNMI’s Maria Gregoire and Isabella Sipos, also of FSM, 7-5, 6-3.

In other results, the unranked Alicia Addison of Guam completed her stunning show in the regional tournament after downing No. 4 seed and CNMI bet Helen Kim in their girls U14 singles title game, 6-1, 6-3. In the battle for third place in the division, the Commonwealth’s Hyejin Elliot prevailed over FSM’s Leila Etscheit, 7-5, 6-1.

Elliot and Etscheit met anew in the girls U14 doubles finale with the former partnering with Kim and the latter with Movida Jerry. The CNMI duo took the opening set of their title match, 6-4, but missed getting the division crown when the FSM players won the second set in similar scores, sending the game in the super-tiebreaker third. Jerry and Etscheit went on to frustrate the hometown bets after recording a 10-5 victory.

Guam sweeps U12 team event
Guam was unscathed in the boys and girls U12 team event.

Guam Girls 1 finished the round-robin tournament with a 6-0 record, earning the perfect slate following a 2-1 win over CNMI Girls 1 in the deciding pairing last Friday. Freemont Gibson and Sydney Packbier topped Irin Chung, 6-1, 6-1, and Dana Lee, 6-3, 6-2, respectively to secure the division championship. Chung and Lee averted a shutout loss after taking the doubles game, 6-3, 6-0, to finish third out of seven teams after logging a 4-2 record.

FSM 1 placed second, while Guam 2 was ranked fourth and followed by CNMI 2, Guam 3, and FSM 2.

In the boys division, a 3-0 victory over CNMI 1 gave Guam 1 the title, as the visiting team completed the tournament with a 5-0 record. The champion team is made up of Ryunosuke Roesch and Johnny Jackson with the former dominating the Commonwealth’s June Yu, 6-1, 6-0, and the latter beating Juncheol Hwang in the other singles game, 6-2, 6-3. The Guam players also took only two sets in beating Yu and Hwang in the doubles, 6-1, 6-3.

Northern Mariana Islands Tennis Association official Jeff Race, left, and ITF Development Officer, Pacific Oceania Gary Purcell, right, pose with the Top 2 placers in the girls U16 doubles event of the 2019 North Pacific Regional Championships during the trophies presentation last Friday at the Pacific Islands Club. (Contributed Photo)

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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