Sean, Conatsu in semis

The CNMI’s Sean Lee returns to Fiji’s Abbas Jiwanji during their boys U16 singles game in the Vanuatu Junior Regional Championship 2018 last Tuesday at the Korman Tennis Centre in Port Vila. (Vanuatu Tennis/Ron Swiers)

The CNMI’s Sean Lee and Conatsu Kaga are in the semifinals of their respective singles and doubles events in the Vanuatu Junior Regional Championship 2018.

Kaga was undefeated in pool play in Group B to advance to the Final Four of the girls U16 singles, while Lee earned a 3-1 record to finish second in the elimination round in Group A of the boys U16 age group.

The 15-year-old completed the sweep in the preliminary games after winning a pair of matches yesterday at the Korman Tennis Centre in Port Vila. Kaga first whipped Vanuatu’s Naomie Sipiti, 4-0, 4-0, and then got a free win over the latter’s compatriot, Rayline Daniel, to top her group with a perfect 4-0 mark. Kaga’s two other victories were against Fiji’s Kajol’s Chand last Monday, 4-2, 4-1, and versus Vanuatu’s Ajah Pritchard-Lolo last Tuesday, 4-1, 4-2.

With her clean record, the CNMI player and No. 2 seed in the draw, arranged a semis duel against Japan’s Rioka Umekuni, who also won all her four matches in Group C. The other Final Four pairing will have No. 1 seed Rosalie Molbaleh of Vanuatu challenging Tahiti’s Vaiani Dussere-Valleaux. Molbaleh matched Kaga and Umekuni unbeaten records, while Dussere-Valleaux entered the semis with a 3-1 slate. Both semis games will be played today.

The boys U16 singles semis will also take place today with Lee taking on No. 1 seed Clement Mainguy. The Commonwealth player prevailed in his final two games—versus Fiji’s Abbas Jiwanji last Tuesday, 4-0, 4-0, and against New Caledonia’s Fabien Paitio of New Caledonia yesterday, 4-0, 4-1—to make up for his loss to Mainguy, 0-4, 1-4. Before bowing to Mainguy, Lee crushed Fiji’s Lixin Chen last Monday, 4-0, 4-0.

The winner in the Lee-Mainguy semis will face the victor in the all-Vanuatu duel between Zachary Sands and Noah Molbaleh in this Friday’s finals.

Lee is also playing in the doubles and he and Fiji’s Charles Cornish coasted to the semis round after a walkover win against Vanuatu’s Warea Tigona and Robert Yolou. Lee and Cornish will also have their doubles semis match today against the Fiji pair of Chen and Jin Park, who eliminated New Caledonia’s Mathieu Monimeau and Tom Pestana, 4-2, 1-4, 5-1. The other Final Four game will have No. 1 Mainguy and Sands battling the Norfolk Island’s Sam Cribb and Fiji’s Yong Park. Mainguy and Sands automatically moved into the semis after getting a bye in the opener, while Cribb and Yong Park advanced following their 3-4, 4-3, 5-1 triumph over New Caledonia’s Fabien Paitio and Jalane Sallaun-Ouillemon.

In the girls U16 doubles, Kaga partnered with the Solomon Islands’ Prudence Bird and they moved a step away from reaching the finals after dominating Vanuatu’s Sonya David and Lily Tasarofa, 4-0, 4-0. In the semis, Kaga and Bird will take on the pair of Dussere-Valleaux and Umekuni, who ousted New Caledonia’s Alice Delboy and Norah Pugibet, 4-0, 4-2.

The duos of Molbaleh and Pritchard-Lolo and Chand and Vanuatu’s Desiree Digno will collide in the other Final Four pairing. Chand and Digno marched into the semis after a walkover victory against Vanuatu’s Rayline Daniel and Stephanie Nikahi, while Molbaleh and Pritchard-Lolo barged into the Final Four following a 4-1, 4-0 win over New Caledonia’s Amandine Mestre and Alizee Tollet.

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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