LEWISTON – Both won by scores of 5-0, but the Falmouth girls and Cape Elizabeth boys took vastly different paths to their Western Class B tennis championships.

Falmouth (15-0) dropped just five games Wednesday on the way to its 44th consecutive victory, thoroughly dominating Oak Hill at Bates College.

By contrast, fifth-seeded Cape Elizabeth (12-3) pulled out three matches that lasted three sets on the way to a hard-fought victory over Western Maine Conference rival York (11-4), the sixth seed and a 3-2 quarterfinal winner over No. 3 Falmouth, the only team other than Waynflete to beat Cape Elizabeth.

“Cape’s a great team,” said York Coach Pete Webster, whose team lost a 3-2 decision in the regular season to the Capers. “They’ve always had great doubles and (Wednesday) they pulled out the key points.”

The match turned at second doubles after Cape Elizabeth’s Ben Morse and Calvin Alden had given their team a 1-0 lead with a 6-4, 6-2 victory at first doubles. Seniors John Tranfaglia and Bailey Dittrich rallied to a 2-6, 6-2, 6-4 victory to sweep doubles.

“We were going for points too fast,” Tranfaglia said. “We weren’t letting them develop.”

A pep talk after the first set from assistant coach Ben Putnam set them straight. Putnam plays the role of bad cop to head coach Andy Strout’s good cop.

“That’s exactly what it is,” Strout said. “Ben’s the mean guy. He gets in their faces. I pat them on the back.”

Whatever the motivation, Tranfaglia’s crisper ground strokes and Dittrich’s improved serving turned the tide. The Capers clinched when junior Ross Sherman won the last five games of a 6-3, 2-6, 6-4 victory at second singles over York senior Aaron Waldman.

A pair of freshmen completed the sweep. Satchel McCarthy rallied to a 5-7, 6-3, 6-2 victory at third singles and Matt Gilman won 6-0, 6-2 at first singles.

“Every one of them, other than Matt, had some adversity they were able to overcome,” Strout said. “They stepped it up and did a great job.”

In the girls’ regional final, Falmouth didn’t so much step up as continue its reign of excellence, which has yet to result in as much as a lost set.

“I don’t think I’ve seen anybody frown in a while,” said senior Amanda Gallagher, who along with classmate Emma Wilberg won 6-0, 6-1 to stretch their three-year doubles mark to 39-0. “In doubles, there’s never any pressure because we always know our singles girls can pull through.”

Sophomores Analise Kump and Annie Criscione won their matches without dropping a game, and freshman Libby Voccola won 6-1, 6-1 at third singles. Freshman Abby Payson and sophomore Steffi Rothweiller completed the sweep with a 6-1, 6-1 victory at second doubles.

 

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

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