Weather nixes Korea tennis finals, but volleyball still a go
By DAVE ORNAUER | STARS AND STRIPES Published: December 15, 2020
Cold weather has frozen the plans of DODEA-Korea’s tennis teams to finish out their season.
DODEA officials announced early Tuesday that the Korea district finals tournament, scheduled for Wednesday at Humphreys, was canceled due to a forecast of frigid weather for that day and the rest of the week.
“The decision came from the DSO (district superintendent’s office) to cancel the tournament, mainly weather being the critical factor,” Humphreys athletics director and tournament host Ben Pak said in an email.
The forecast high for Humphreys on Wednesday is 25 degrees Fahrenheit, with similar conditions expected through the week, ruling out the chance of making up the tournament before the two-week holiday break starting Saturday.
“My athletes and I were sad to not get to finish out the year, but the conditions and the cold weather (can lead) to frostbite and broken rackets,” Osan coach Krista Fagala said, adding that the decision was in the “best interest of our athletes.”
“They agreed and understood about the weather conditions,” she said.
The cancellation halted a six-match win streak cobbled together by David Lee, a sophomore and Osan’s top boys singles seed. He lost his season-opening match to Daul Bae of Humphreys, but remained unbeaten the rest of the regular season.
Lee’s record mirrors that of Daegu senior Michelle Yoo, who dropped her first match of the season to Ashley Kim of Humphreys but also won her last six consecutive matches.
In an interview on Monday, before the decision to cancel was announced, Yoo – who played the last two years at LaCrosse, Wis., before transferring to Daegu – said she and her teammates were looking forward to the chance at a district title.
“From where we started, we’ve come a long way,” Yoo said. “We’ve improved a lot. Our form, how we hit the ball, our movement on the court has really improved.”
Korea’s tennis season began in late October after U.S. Forces Korea implemented Health Protection Condition B. DODEA health guidelines permit limited high school competition under HPCON B.
Normally, Osan, Daegu and Humphreys compete in the Korean-American Interscholastic Activities Conference with international schools.
But with travel restrictions in place around the Korean peninsula, competition was limited to the three schools amongst themselves. DODEA-Pacific also canceled its annual Far East tournament slated for Oct. 28-31 on Okinawa.
While the DODEA-Korea tennis finals came off the board, the district volleyball finals are still a go for Friday, the boys tournament at Osan and the girls at Humphreys, Pak said by phone Tuesday afternoon.
The boys tournament features four teams, two from Humphreys and one each from Daegu and host Osan. Humphreys’ Gold team leads the league at 7-2, with Osan a game behind at 7-4 entering the tournament.
The girls tournament has five teams, two each from Osan and Humphreys and one from Daegu. Humphreys Gold (10-1) and Black (9-2) finished the regular season in first and second place.