Q&A: Pearl City’s 4-time OIA tennis champ, Sarah Domingo

Pearl City's Sarah Domingo is a four-time OIA tennis champion, but has a passion for fashion that runs much deeper. Photo by Jay Metzger/Special to the Star-Advertiser.

Jerry Domingo compares his only daughter, Sarah Domingo, to Michael Chang, the relentless tennis star of yesteryear.

“She’s smart like him,” said the father, who regularly trained Sarah and her brothers, Warren and Trent, on the sunny Tamura Tennis Courts in Waianae.

Domingo captured her fourth OIA girls tennis individual championship last weekend, becoming the first since Alyssa Tobita of Mililani to pull off the slam. The Pearl City senior excels in the classroom with a 4.055 grade-point average and is set on attending the University of Hawaii to major in fashion design. Tennis, it seems, will come to an end at the competitive level with the state tournament in a couple of weeks. Not that Domingo will dwell on it.


Her other passion is fashion design, and she is zoned in on Pearl City’s fashion show this Saturday. The pressure, the stamina, the focus — all the same aspects that Domingo has been familiar with for years.

“I’ve never asked her to make me something to wear,” Jerry Domingo said. “If I have torn jacket or something, she doesn’t really want to fix it. She wants to create, but she fixes it, though. She’s the best daughter I could ever have.”

Sarah Domingo, who was featured in Tuesday’s Honolulu Star-Advertiser, chatted with Hawaii Prep World on Sunday.

She chatted with Hawaii Prep World on Sunday.

Sarah Domingo is a four-time OIA tennis champion, but the Pearl City senior also has a talent for fashion design. She designed her own prom dress this spring. Photo courtesy of Sarah Domingo.

Name: Sarah Domingo
School sport: Tennis
Class: 2019

Q&A / Favorites

Athlete: n/a

Team: n/a

Food (at home): bacon
> My mom (Patricia) makes it maybe once a week. Maybe once every two weeks. I like the fat part. I can’t cook. I end up burning the food all the time. I can’t tell when it’s cooked.

Food (eating out): Zippy’s chili
> I like the no-bean chili. It just tastes different. Sometimes I ask for cheese on the chili. I don’t hate beans, but I don’t really like beans.

Hobby outside of sports: arts/crafts and sewing
> My grandma (Evelyn McKeon) used to sew so I used her old machine for awhile until I got my own. She had a Singer. She used to make clothes for people. When I was little, I think she made me a dress one time. I make my own clothes. I made my prom dress. I buy the material and I just make it from scratch without a pattern. I just kind of cut randomly and I try it on, and I make alterations from there. I mostly taught myself. My grandma thinks I should use a pattern, but I like to think of my own designs, too, and not just what the pattern is. I made myself two shorts, I think, and three dresses and two shirts probably. I work on it only a little bit at a time. That’s like the only free time I have, but I can do it pretty fast. It’s kind of like therapy. I altered one of my friend’s clothes. I guess I could make baby clothes. I kind of want to a fashion designer, so I’m going to study fashion in college. I’m going to UH-Manoa. I’ll probably focus on athletic wear. Tennis is easier because I know what tennis players need. A lot of it is pretty expensive, so I want to find a way to make it more affordable.

I couldn’t really decide what else I wanted to major in.

We’re having a fashion show at school, so I’m making an outfit for that. It’s on April 27. I’m almost finished. I just need to do the finishing touches. It’s a skirt and a top. I have to model it, too. I’d rather be behind the scenes.

Movie: Mulan
> It’s funny and there’s a strong female lead. She’ll do anything for her family.

TV show: Terrace House
> It’s on Netflix. It’s a Japanese reality show where six strangers live together. I like seeing different places they go in Japan. I like learning about Japan. I like the drama of it, too.

Video game: n/a

Music artist: n/a
> I don’t really listen to music that often.

Teacher (elementary through high school): Madame Smith, my French teacher
> She’s really funny. She makes us work hard in class and we learn so much more than French. Life lessons and stuff.


GPA: 4.055
> It would be higher if I had a lot of extra time. I’d probably take all of the AP classes and every early college class there was. I’m only in two (AP classes) right now. I kind of regret not taking more AP classes.

Class: French language.
> I’m in French 4. We had a France trip last year. That was really fun. It kind of reminded of the mainland. I liked the weather because it was cold. We went in March and I like their desserts. They were all good. I don’t think I could pick one.

Place to relax: couch

Motto/scripture: none

What your mom (Patricia) says that you can’t forget: (Patricia) that she will always support me no matter what 

What your dad (Jerry) says that you can’t forget: He tells me watch the lines better. I give away too many points by playing out balls.

He’s the one that coached me. I started around 10 years old. I think I was small for my age. I used to go and watch my brother’s practice. My younger brother (Trent) was 8, and he started playing, and I’d watch my older brother practice, too. I got into it after that. I think my dad always wanted me to play tennis.

It was work, but it was in-between, I guess. I guess we would do a lot of rallying, not too many drills. I didn’t really look forward to practice, but I never wanted to take a break. Part of the reason that I got better was I had my brothers to play with. Back then, it was more mellow, but now I don’t think there’s competition. He would argue that he could beat me in doubles, though. I don’t think we’ve ever fought before.

What your coaches say that you can’t forget: “We don’t clap, we chase!” — Coach Kyle Miyashiro.
> We don’t get winnered on. So instead of clapping because our opponent hit a nice shot, we chase the ball and get to it every single time. Fighting hard all the way until the end.

How does your sport affect your daily life during the season and offseason?
> Offseason is tennis, school, and friends and season is just tennis. I pretty much practice all year round and practice more during the season.

College
> UH — I don’t think I’ll play. The team is too good. I wanted to play tennis in college, but not really for UH. Maybe like a D-II school. I couldn’t find any colleges that had fashion design and tennis.

What middle and elementary schools did you attend? Highlands Middle and Kanoelani Elementary 
> Kanoelani has something to do with a rainbow, but I forget.

What youth teams did you play for? What club do you play for and what are the daily commitments like year-round?
> I’ve played JTT (Junior Team Tennis) for 10s kids and Monsters team and currently play for the Monsters. They used to be called Mililani Monsters, but now the name is Monsters Reign.

Where have you travelled for your sport(s)? Florida, South Carolina and Ontario, California.
> My favorite is South Carolina. I got to play in cold weather for the first time. It was really weird to wear long sleeve and long pants, and not be sweating. This was in December 2015.

What do you like to do — or what’s something else you’re good at — that would surprise most people?
> I like studying foreign languages and I’ve taught myself Japanese. I’m still trying to learn, but I can understand the most, and I can kind of speak it, but I can’t write it.

What is your ultimate dream/bucket list? Travel the world.
> Japan. I’ve been to New York, but I want to go back. The last place is, I’m not sure, but somewhere with a nice, clear ocean.

Where would you like to travel, what life would you like to have as an athlete? And away from sports? > I want to travel to Japan and play soft tennis. New York and France since they are big in fashion

Time machine: what year and place would you like to visit?
> 3,000 to see what the world would be like. Just so I can see what life is like in the future. I thought about going back in time, but I don’t really want to think about the past.


What is the history and background of your name? Nothing, but my middle names (Lucy Mitsuko McKeon) are my great grandmas names. I only met one of them, Lucy. That’s my mom’s grandma. She was always really positive. She lived in New York, so I only met her a couple of times when I was little.

Shout-out:
My older brother Warren for always supporting me in everything.
My mom for being the best ever.
All my coaches for making me the player and person I am today.

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