FALMOUTH – When Scarborough sophomore Kasia Jania, a finalist in the state singles tennis tournament last spring, decided against returning to her high school team this year, she followed a path forged by her older sister, Camille.

“Although I would love to play on the team, I want to put more focus individually,” Kasia said. “I know sophomore and junior years are the most important for (college) recruiting purposes.”

Camille Jania played for Scarborough as a freshman in 2005 and again as a senior in 2008. She won the state singles titles both years, then went on to Harvard, where she is following a pre-med course of study.

After playing tennis for the Crimson last spring, Jania remained in Cambridge through the summer to take a challenging class in organic chemistry and continued her academic progress through the fall before taking a break from school. She’s currently living at home in Scarborough, working at a health agency in Portland and training with her younger sister.

“I’m taking a year off,” Camille said. “I really wanted to help (Kasia) and give her that boost that I had. We’ve been playing tennis non-stop since I’ve been back. We’ve never been this close.”

Camille also has her eye on a few Futures tournaments and may enter some local events as well. She and Kasia are scheduled to play both singles and doubles — together, naturally — later this month in a pro tournament in Massachusetts.

“What’s the word? Symbiotic?” Camille said. “We have a symbiotic relationship. I’m motivating her and she’s motivating me. Hopefully, we’ll break through somewhere.”

 

SPEAKING OF SYMBIOTIC, another pair of siblings is making a splash on the local tennis scene. Regina Morton has enlisted the aid of her brother, Gregg, to coach the Deering boys. Both are middle school teachers, Gregg in Gorham and Regina in Portland. They coached together at Lincoln Middle School the previous five years before Regina accepted the position at Deering.

Regina has seven years on Gregg, who also coaches and plays basketball. “We have always been best friends and sports has always been a connecting force for us,” said Regina in an e-mail response. “It is a nice bonding experience.”

Deering went 1-1 last week, nipping South Portland 3-2 and losing 4-1 to Bonny Eagle. Regina Morton said she has a core group of dedicated sophomores and juniors, so the future looks bright.

 

ANDY STROUT, the longtime Cape Elizabeth coach, is used to dealing with the vagaries of spring weather, but last week proved particularly frustrating for his young team. After a spirited 3-2 loss against Waynflete in which Cape Elizabeth won a pair of tight doubles matches, rain cut short a Wednesday match with Lake Region. Then, on a sunny Friday afternoon, a home match against York was postponed because the Wildcats were held up on Interstate 95 after an accident slowed traffic to a crawl.

“I was excited because it was going to be a good match,” Strout said after hearing from York Coach Pete Webster that the bus had progressed less than a quarter mile in half an hour. “These guys want to get into it.”

For the first time in a long time, Strout has two freshmen — Matt Gilman and Satchel McCarthy — among his top four singles players. Gilman opened the season at No. 2, and McCarthy extended senior Calvin Alden to three sets in a challenge match for the No. 3 spot.

 

SOME PLAYERS worked hard in the offseason to improve. Others may have been busy with other sports and only picked up a racquet a week or two before the season started.

Count Scarborough senior Adam Saltz in the first category.

“I know it’s early,” Windham Coach Wayne Martin said last week after watching Saltz bang from the baseline with Eagles senior Nate Johnson, “but guaranteed, he’s one of the most improved players in our (SMAA) conference.”

 

YOU MIGHT SAY Portland, the defending Western Class A girls’ champion, is off to a good start, particularly on the wider courts.

Seniors Lauren MacDougall and Emma Wilson at first doubles and freshmen Molly Gallagher and Sophie Hulbert at second doubles won their matches without dropping a game last week as the Bulldogs swept Bonny Eagle and Massabesic.

 

Staff Writer Glenn Jordan can be contacted at 791-6425 or at:

[email protected]