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Team Bahamas Dominant In The Pre-Qualifier For Junior Davis, Fed Cups

By RENALDO DORSETT Sports Reporter rdorsett@tribunemedia.net FOLLOWING a year when the Bahamas' male junior national tennis team made history when they first placed in regional Junior Davis Cup Pre-Qualifying, both male and female teams have taken major steps toward a repeat performance this year. At the 2012 North Central America and Caribbean Pre Qualifying for the Junior Davis Cup and Junior Fed Cup, both teams have been dominant thus far in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic. In the Junior Fed Cup, the team of Erin Strachan, Simone Pratt and Gabriella Bowe are in Group B, which includes Panama, Curacao and Guatemala. They blanked Panama and Curacao in their opening matches. In opening play against Panama, Strachan defeated Maria Peralta 6-1, 6-0, Pratt disposed of Daniela Diez 6-1-6-0 in less than an hour and the duo paired to take down Diez and Lorena Villarreal 6-0, 6-1. They clinched the tie over Curacao when Strachan won 6-0, 6-1 over Zena Riguad and Pratt won 6-0, 6-1 over Daynisja Ricardo. The Junior Davis Cup team of Phillip Major, Rasheed Carey and Treajh Ferguson are in Group C which also includes Curacao, Jamaica and Panama. In opening round play against Curacao, the Bahamas won 3-0. Carey topped Malik Levens 6-0, 6-1, Phillip Major topped Niels Van Dam 6-0, 6-0 while Major and Treajh Ferguson defeated the pair, 6-1, 6-1. Against Jamaica, they again won 3-0 when Carey defeated James Cruze 6-1, 6-2, Major defeated Simon Levy 6-3, 6-1, while Major and Ferguson again won doubles over Levy and Cruze 6-3-6-0. Both teams continue play at the event which is scheduled to conclude on March 24. Following a slow start, the Bahamas' junior national tennis team finished competition strong in a younger age group at Central America and Caribbean Pre Qualifying Tournament. Both the girls' and boys' 14-and-under teams were able to win their final playoff matches in La Libertad, El Salvador. The girls' team finished second overall in the round robin segment of Group C at 5-4. However, they lost in the quarterfinals to finish fifth overall. They concluded the tournament with a 3-0 sweep over the host country El Salvador. Iesha Shepherd defeated Sofia Chung 6-0, 6-1, Gabrielle Donaldson defeated Carolina Merz 6-3, 6-0 while Shepherd and Shaytona Missick won over Merz and Chung 6-2, 2-6, 6-2. They began with a 2-1 win over Nicaragua. Donaldson defeated Allison Estrada 2-6, 6-4, 6-3 and Shepherd sealed the match by defeating Meraris Turuno 7-6, 6-1. The team of Missick and Shepherd fell to Susana Teran and Toruno 6-1, 6-2. The team couldn't maintain their momentum against Costa Rica when they lost 2-1. Donaldson took her first singles match 6-1, 6-2 over Marjorie Jara. Eugenia Camacho defeated Iesha Shepherd 7-5, 7-5 and in doubles play Camacho and Mora defeated Donaldson and Shepherd 7-5, 6-0. Their final match in Group D was a 2-1 win over Jamaica. Donaldson took her match 6-4, 7-5 over Shea-Ann Kameka while Shepherd won over Shaeda Nickle 6-3, 6-4. The Jamaican team prevented the sweep when they took the doubles match over Donaldson and Missick 6-2, 6-3. In the opening round of the playoffs, they suffered a 2-1 loss to Honduras with the lone win coming from the doubles team of Donaldson and Shepherd winning 4-6, 6-4, 6-4 over Daniela Obando and Adriana Rojas. In the boys' group, Justyn Thompson, Daniel Johnson, and Oneal Mortimer finished with a 5-10 record overall. The team was blanked in all three matches against the Dominican Republic but rebounded to win 2-1 over Bonaire. In the playoff round, they were blanked by Panama but ended strongly with a 3-0 win over Panama. Thompson won 6-1, 6-0 over Bryan Rodriguez, Mortimer won 6-3, 6-1 over Gerardo Buitrago, while Johnson and Thompson won over Rodriguez and Arturo Mora 6-2, 6-0.

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