Race bares Mini Games tennis pool

4 assured slots

National tennis coach Jeff Race said the core of the 2019 Apia, Samoa Pacific Mini Games will make up the CNMI National Tennis Team for next year’s Northern Marianas Pacific Mini Games.

The CNMI Sports Hall of Fame inductee said 2019 Mini Games gold medalists Colin Sinclair, Robbie Schorr, and Carol Lee are guaranteed spots as well as Samoa veteran Isabel Herras.

Sinclar won the men’s singles gold in Apia and together with Schorr and Ken Song bagged the men’s team gold. He also partnered with Lee to win the mixed doubles gold.

“We have at least six men trying out for the team. We have two spots in our men’s team remaining and two spots are getting automatic spots—that’s Colin Sinclair and Roby Schorr. It’s pretty much the same thing with the women. Carol Lee and Isabel Herras will be our automatic players on the team. They’re part of the core of our team from 2019,” he said.

Sinclair recently led Pacific Oceania to promotion to Group II of the Davis Cup in 2022 after beating Syria in the finals of Group III in Amman, Jordan.

Schorr, meanwhile, was named to the AMC/HAAC Second-Team Singles and Second-Team Doubles after going 12-2 on the season in singles play and 11-2 on the season in doubles play while suiting up for Pacific William Woods University.

Lee, playing for Georgia Tech, most recently went undefeated in both the singles and doubles competition in the Debbie Southern Furman Fall Classic in Greenville, S.C. Herras suits up for Metropolitan State University of Denver. “The other six who will compete for the two remaining slots in the men’s team are Ken Song, who was in the 2019 team, and also Tony Atalig, who lives in New York, who might come out to try out I’m not sure but he’s interested. Here on Saipan we have Colin Ramsey, Bobby Cruz, Luther Lizama, and Morris Villanueva,” said Race.

He said they will have a playoff among the four who are on island and then when the other two players—Song and Atalig—come from off-island they will have a final playoff to determine the last two members of the men’s team.

Like the men’s team, Race said included in the women’s pool are off-island netters.

“We have Asia Raulerson who plays at Albany University. She was a freshman last year and played No. 1 in that Division II team. She’s really interested and she really wants to try out and I hope she does. Then of course we have Tania Tan and Malika Miyawaki who played in the 2019 team and are playing club tennis at their schools.”

On-island women’s players that might get consideration are junior players Hye Jin Elliot and Serin Chung, according to Race.

“Hye Jin and Serin will also try out for the team and we might even have a surprise in there. It’s possible we may have one other player.”

The Pacific Mini Games 2022 Organizing Committee said nearly 1,900 athletes and officials from 21 island nations have so far confirmed their participation in the quadrennial sports event the CNMI is hosting next year from June 17 to 25. 2022.

For tennis, 128 players are so far booked. The venue for tennis are the American Memorial Park tennis courts in Garapan and the Pacific Islands Club Saipan tennis courts in San Antonio.

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

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