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TUNCAP JR. & SAN NICOLAS WIN ALL-ISLAND

For the past week, the best players of the 2015 tennis season have been locked into an All-Island tournament. Wednesday evening concluded the tournament with FD Friars Brian Tuncap Jr. and St. John’s Knights Margaux San Nicolas claiming top honors in the singles division.

By Robert Balajadia

For the past week, the best players of the 2015 tennis season have been locked into an All-Island tournament. Wednesday evening concluded the tournament with FD Friars Brian Tuncap Jr. and St. John’s Knights Margaux San Nicolas claiming top honors in the singles division.

Tuncap Jr. had to battle the league MVP in Guam High Panthers Sydney Gadsden for the title, and Micronesian Games gold medalist Tuncap Jr. started to pull away after a close few sets with a bunch of his FD classmates and family members cheering him on.

“I tried my best not to notice [my classmates] because they would have tried to make me laugh, so I try not to lose my focus. I’d lack to thank coach Dan for a successful year and also thanks to coach Joe and Pete Cepeda from Guam Tennis Academy for training me,” said Tuncap after the win.

Tuncap took a 7-4 lead after a slicing shot, pulling him just one game away from taking the All-Island title. Gadsden fought back to get one last game at 7-5, but Tuncap finished in the following game after employing a strategy to try and avoid as many rallies with Gadsden as he could.

Guam High Panthers Sydney Gadsden dips low to return a serve. (photo by Kyle Twardowski)

Guam High Panthers Sydney Gadsden dips low to return a serve. (photo by Kyle Twardowski)

“I was expecting him to out rally me, but I stopped it by coming up closer to the net. Some of those balls are 50/50 so some balls I tend to hit just in case it doesn’t go out,” said Tuncap Jr. on what he was seeing from his opponent Gadsden.

For San Nicolas, winning the All-Island title came at the expense of her own teammate in Kanasta Abrams. San Nicolas won the match 8-2, and admitted that the friend-switch gets turned off in the state of competition.

“Once we’re in there, she doesn’t want to be my friend and I don’t want to be her friend! It’s not a bad thing, but that’s our job as competitors. We’re not going to be mean to each other, but we’re also not going to be pushovers. We just had to play tennis, there’s no slowing that down,” admitted San Nicolas.

San Nicolas has had a terrific senior year of tennis, winning the MVP for the season, drawing attention form college tennis scouts, winning the team title for the Knights, and closing it out with an All-Island victory.

St. John's Margaux San Nicolas proves strong in a rally.  (photo by Kyle Twardowski)

St. John’s Margaux San Nicolas proves strong in a rally. (photo by Kyle Twardowski)

“This is the perfect ending, it feels like something from a movie. In my mind, this is everything I wanted to win since I started playing tennis. After this season, I’ve gained a lot more confidence, and I’m prepared to face many different opponents. It also gives my potential college coaches more confidence knowing that, ‘hey look, this girl can play!’,” said the animated San Nicolas.

Doubles Matches

The doubles titles were equally exciting, especially the Boys Doubles B title winning match where Panther duo Joseph Connelley/Daniel Perez defeated FD Friars Lucas Martin and Chris Hattori 8-5. The tandem finished the last two sets strong to break away from the close contest.

The Harvest duo of Gavin Lee and Nathan Zhao defeated Knights John Pedro and Fujin Shimoda 8-3 for the Boys Doubles A title.

The Harvest Eagles duo of Nathan Zhao and Gavin Lee take the Doubles A title.  (photo by Kyle Twardowski)

The Harvest Eagles duo of Nathan Zhao and Gavin Lee take the Doubles A title. (photo by Kyle Twardowski)

Harvest also took the Girls Doubles A  title with Kimberly Johnson and Sophia Takasu after sweeping St. John’s Bella Moon and Christina Song 8-0 in Doubles A. JFK Islanders Rocel Molina and Jennifer Suh took the Girls Doubles B title over Eagles Melissa Balagtas/Mayuko Tsuboyama.

All-Island Medalist

Team Titles:

Boys:
1st – FD
2nd – St. John’s
3rd – Harvest

Girls:
1st – St. John’s
2nd – Harvest
3rd – Academy

Boys Singles:
GOLD – Brian Tuncap Jr. (FD)
SILVER – Sydney Gadsden (GHS)
BRONZE – Anthony John (STJ)

Girls Singles:
GOLD – Margaux San Nicolas (STJ)
SILVER – Kanasta Abrams (STJ)
BRONZE – Alyssa Bristol (GHS)

Boys Doubles A:
GOLD – Gavin Lee/Nathan Zhao (HCA)
SILVER – John Pedro/Fujin Shimoda (STJ)
BRONZE – Nho Jaein/Alex Wu (HCA)

Girls Doubles A:
GOLD – Kimberly Johnson/Sophia Takasu (HCA)
SILVER – Bella Moon/Christina Song (SJT)
BRONZE – Mika Rosario/Grace Yoon (JFK)

Boys Doubles B:
GOLD – Joseph Connelley/Daniel Perez (GHS)
SILVER – Kenny Cheon/Danny Kwan (FD)
BRONZE – Tatsuya Cepeda/Kyle San Nicolas (GW)

Girls Doubles B:
GOLD – Rocel Molina/Jennifer Suh (JFK)
SILVER – Melissa Balagtas/Mayuko Tsuboyama (HCA)
BRONZE – April Talledo/Colleen Naden (SHS)

PHOTO GALLERY:

 (photo by Kyle Twardowski)

Chants Abrams of the Knights battles against teammate Margaux San Nicolas for the All-Island title. (photo by Kyle Twardowski)

 (photo by Kyle Twardowski)

Knights John Pedro returns a serve the Doubles A finals. (photo by Kyle Twardowski)

Tennis 5

Harvest Eagles Kimberly Johnson serves up another point in their Girls Doubles A sweep. (photo by Kyle Twardowski)

 (photo by Kyle Twardowski)

Knights Bella Moon goes high for a return. (photo by Kyle Twardowski)

 (photo by Kyle Twardowski)

An FD doubles players uses a full swing to score a point in the Boys Doubles B finals. (photo by Kyle Twardowski)

 (photo by Kyle Twardowski)

Islanders Jennifer Suh takes a step back to return the ball. (photo by Kyle Twardowski)

 (photo by Kyle Twardowski)

Eagles Mayuko Tsuboyama eyes a strong forehand in the Doubles B finals. (photo by Kyle Twardowski)

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