New Years Doubles shine in Poipu

POIPU — Taylor Lau, teaming with Michaela Fitzgerald, was one of the draws Sunday during the final day of the Poipu Kai Charity Tennis New Years Doubles at the Poipu Kai tennis courts.

“This is one of our draws,” said Carolyn Lum, partnering with Heidi Read in the Women’s C division. “She’s ranked tops in her age group in Hawaii. She’s our tournament’s celebrity player.”

Lau, of St. Francis High School, was seeded No. 4 in the Carlsmith Ball/Hawaii High School Athletic Association state tennis championships in May. She went on to upset the top seeded Alyssa Tobita of Mililani High School for the tournament championship in Girls Singles.

Fitzgerald, a player with Island School, befriended the seeded player at the state tournament with the results being a Mixed partnership in the Women’s A division.

Fitzgerald and Lau advanced in the bracket against Michelle Fitzgerald, Michaela’s mother, and Jennifer Hreljac, to face the mother-daughter team of Joy and Sarah Kukino.

“This is the most people we’ve had for a tournament,” said Krystyna Noe, who was the tournament coordinator as well as a player in Women’s B with Nikki Matsumura. “We lost our courts at the Grand Hyatt Kauai Resort and Spa and have been playing everything here at Poipu Kai. This meant having to turn away players. There was a lot of people here Saturday.”

Lum pointed out other players of note on the courts Sunday.

“That’s Efren Ruiz,” Lum said, pointing out the partner of Brad Klontz who was battling the duo of Darron White and Herb Noe in the quarterfinals of the Men’s A division. “Efren is an instructor at the University of Hawaii-Hilo.”

Another duo, Harold Shimono, former Waimea High School tennis standout, teamed with his high school coach, Kimo Honda, to battle Bernie Duarte and Jef Aceret in the quarterfinals.

Krystyna said this is the final tournament and proceeds will benefit the Kauai United Way.

Full results will appear in a future issue of TGI.

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