Coaches Bradley Bain (left) and Ricardo Demeritte (far right) with Junior Fed and Davis Cup team members Sydni Kerr, Sydney Clarke, Alana Mackey, Kofi Bowe, Denali Nottage and Donte Armbrister.
By BRENT STUBBS
Senior Sports Reporter
AFTER losing their opening matches yesterday at the 2017 North/Central America & Caribbean Pre-Qualifying Tournament in San Salvador, El Salvador, the Bahamas Junior Fed Cup team pulled off their first victory yesterday.
Team Bahamas, ranked number three, swept aside the US Virgin Islands 3-0 as Elana Mackey, aged 13, won 6-1, 6-1 over Natasha Messier in a match that lasted one hour, while Sydney Clarke, 15, blanked Lisa Messier 6-0, 6-0 in 1:10.
The team of Clarke and Sydni Kerr, also 15, then knocked off Lisa and Natasha Messier 5-7, 6-2, 10-7 in 1:35 in the pivotal doubles match.
The performances came after the Bahamas fell 3-0 to El Salvador in their opening match on Monday.
In those matches, Mackey suffered a 6-4, 6-4 decision to Ana Sofia Segura before Clarke went down 6-4, 1-6, 6-4 to Valentinas Cruz in a two-hour marathon.
Cruz and Segura won 7-5, 6-1 over Clarke and Kerr in 1:01 in the doubles competition.
The girls’ team, coached by Bradley Bain, is now 3-3 in Group C that features Aruba, El Salvador and the US Virgin Islands.
“The team looks good. Unfortunately we lost to El Salvador on the first day. They always play us tough,” Bain said.
“Normally our girls don’t have any matches under their belt, so to come here and play a top seeded team like El Salvador was tough, but we had our chances.
“We have to play Aruba today and so we have to win that match to get into the main draw. But I think the team is coming around after getting the win over the US Virgin Islands. I think we’re playing the way we are capable of playing right now.”
Also on Monday, the Jr Davis Cup team pulled off a 3-0 sweep over Nicaragua. Kofi Bowe, 13, won 6-2, 7-6 (2) over Andres Bendana and Donte Armbrister, 15, won 6-2, 6-1 over Ronny Hernandez.
Fellow Grand Bahamians Bowe and Nottage, 13, also teamed up to win the doubles 6-3, 6-2 over Hernandez and Donaldo Guerrero.
The boys’ team, coached by Ricardo Demeritte, had a rest yesterday but will be back on the court today when they take on Barbados to secure their spot in the main draw.
The team is 4-2 in sets.
“Everybody is in high spirits. The team looks good and they are giving themselves the best chance to compete,” Bain said. “The whole idea is to get to the main draw and that is what the teams are working on.”
The Bahamas is playing in the under-16 field against teams from Barbados, Nicaragua, Aruba, Dominican Republic, Panama, Puerto Rico, Bermuda, Jamaica, Guatemala, Grenada, Honduras, Trinidad & Tobago, El Salvador, Curacao, Costa Rica, Guyana, and US Virgin Islands.
The tournament will wrap up on Saturday.