Strong finish for Conatsu, Ji Min

The CNMI’s Hye Jin Elliot returns to Fiji’s Charlotte Nicholas during their U12 singles game in the 2017 Pacific Oceania Junior Championships Team Event in Fiji yesterday. Elliot won, 6-2, 6-4. (Contributed Photo)

Ji Min Woo and Conatsu Kaga won their last games in the 2017 Pacific Oceania Junior Championships Team Event to give North Pacific the temporary lead against East Pacific, 2-1.

Woo routed Tonga’s Christopher Maasi, 6-1, in the first set of the opening boys U14 singles match in the North-East tiff and then completed the sweep with a tough 7-6 (2) triumph in the second yesterday in Fiji. Conatsu duplicated Woo’s victory in two sets after downing Samoa’s Penina Kamu in the third singles game, 6-2, 6-3. In the other girls U14 singles match, Tahiti’s Celine Snogan put East Pacific on the board following a 6-1, 6-1 win over Conatsu’s sister, Coume.

With its 2-1 lead against East Pacific, North Pacific improved its record to 4-7, pending results of the remaining five games in the pairing. A North Pacific sweep of the four doubles matches and one singles will give the squad a 9-7 record—the same mark West Pacific earned after completing the round-robin play last Tuesday. East Pacific has a 6-5 slate, going into the last five matches.

The CNMI’s Seung Jin Paik was scheduled to play in one of the five final games, facing Tahiti’s Manovai Elie, while Sean Lee and Richard Steele were to see action in the doubles, teaming up with the Federated States of Micronesia’s Jerson Freddy and Guam’s Andrew Leng, respectively. Maria Gregoire was also set to compete in the doubles, as she and Guam’s Kaia Malkooti were paired against Samoa’s Kamu and Tonga’s Ana Vaka.

In other initial results yesterday, East Pacific won the first three singles matches against West Pacific in the U16 age group, giving East Pacific a good chance to top the division.

Tahiti’s Jeremy Guines outclassed Vanuatu’s Clement Mainguy in the boys Singles 1, 7-6 (3), 6-3, and East Pacific swept the two singles games with Samoa’s Eleanor Schuster and Tonga’s Brookie Maassi prevailing against Fiji’s Saoirse Breen, 6-1, 6-0, and Vanuatu’s Rosalie Molbaleh, 6-1, 6-2, respectively.

With its three wins, East Pacific earned a 6-5 record, overtaking West (4-7) in second spot. North Pacific is done in the division with its 9-7 mark and could keep the top spot and the division title if East Pacific would win only two or less of the five remaining games and West Pacific would not sweep the rest of the matches. North Pacific was in a good position to rule the U16 age group after beating East last Tuesday, 5-3, and tying West, 4-4, last Monday.

In the U12 division, Hye Jin Lee foiled West Pacific’s bid for a sweep in the singles play after winning over Fiji’s Charlotte Nicholas, 6-2, 6-4. Elliot was also scheduled to play in the doubles with FSM’s Leilah Etscheit and the North Pacific duo was to take on the Tuvalu pair Telupe Iupeli and Oliver Peseli. The West and North were battling for the second spot in the division as East had already secured the age group championship.

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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