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Five Am. Samoa Junior Tennis players go on to compete in Fiji

jeff@samoanews.com

The American Samoa junior tennis players that competed in the 2013 International Tennis Federation (ITF) East Pacific Regional Championships in Apia, Samoa from August 5-9 concluded with five players being chosen for the East Pacific Regional team that will be competing in the Pacific Oceania Junior Championships (POJC) in Laukota, Fiji beginning today and continuing thru next  Friday.
 
In Fiji, the East Pacific team will be competing against the West Pacific and North Pacific region teams.
 
The five American Samoa junior tennis players picked for the East Pacific Team are Kevin Maukoloa (Boys 15 & Under), Larry Magalasi (Boys 15 & Under) Jumas Vigas (Boys 15 & Under), Charity Saigiao (Girls 15 & Under) and Lesei Perelini (Girls 12 & Under).
 
At last year’s ITF East Pacific Regional Championships that were held here in the territory, American Samoa qualified ten players. In this year’s championships, American Samoa had a very young team that saw players stepping up in age groups for the very first time. It had some players that competed in the 12 & Under last year, compete in the 15 & Under for the very first time, according to the team's head coach, Dave Godinet.
 
“We sent a very young team this year to the championships with the majority of the players taking a step up in competition as it showed, but that’s ok, because if these players are going to improve, they have to play against players better than themselves,” said Godinet to Samoa News.
 
“I am very proud of them. We qualified five players for the POJC that played very well. I hope they play well and do their very best next week,” he said.
 
He said that he would like to thank the parents who brought their children out to the training sessions during the summer program and the after- school program.
 
“I would also like to thank the Director of the Parks and Recreation Maeata’anoa Pili Gaoteote for his ongoing support of the junior tennis players,” said Godinet.
 
Last week in Apia, Maukoloa started the tournament off strong and stayed that way throughout making it to the finals against Christopher Shan of Tahiti.
 
Shan was able to defeat Maukoloa 6-3 6-1.
 
Maukoloa and Magalasin however, dominated the Boys 15 & Under Doubles. Magalasin, who competed last year in the 12 & Under and was one of the top players in that division, competed this year in the 15 & Under where he did just enough to make it to the POJC. Charity Saigiao defeated Lyla Tapusoa of Samoa in her last match to earn a spot in the POJC, as did Lesei Perelini who had a walkover victory over Eleanor Shuster of Samoa in her last match.



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