Lili Kobayashi shed the runner-up label in style on Thursday, beating Seoul American’s Grace Cho 7-5, 6-4 to win the Far East singles title, then teamed with Nana Yoshimura to win doubles 6-2, 6-1 over Seisen International’s Ana Clara Borga and Matilde Piras.
Depth, always a valued commodity for teams in any sport, proved to be the X factor that pushed American School In Japan and St. Maur International School cross country over the Far East meet finish line as the event’s new overall school champions, coaches said.
Among the runners entered in the meet Monday at Camp Fuji and Tuesday at Ikego Heights Naval Housing Area are two sets of rivals: American School In Japan senior Evan Yukevich and Kadena junior Hunter Ficenec on the boys side and Kadena’s Wren Renquist and Seisen International freshman Brittani Shappell on the girls.
The Seisen International sophomore used a variety of groundstrokes to keep the American School In Japan junior on the run and rally from a one-set deficit for a 2-6, 6-1, 6-3 triumph in Tuesday’s Kanto Plain Association of Secondary Schools tennis girls singles final.
With senior setter Charla Johnson away taking an ACT exam, backside hitter Rhyssa Hizon stepped into the role and produced 20 assists, boosting Nile C. Kinnick to its eighth straight DODDS Japan girls volleyball tournament title.