WATERVILLE – When doubles partners get together after a tough point for whispered words, the topic of conversation can range from motivation to strategy to commentary on any aspect of the match.

Unless the partners in question are Falmouth seniors Emma Wilberg and Amanda Gallagher.

They’ve been playing together for three years. Their words rarely change.

“Same thing,” Wilberg says.

“Same thing,” Gallagher replies.

The same thing for Falmouth meant yet another 5-0 victory, the only kind the girls on the team have known this spring, to win their third straight Class B state title and fifth in six years Saturday at the Wales-Alfond Tennis Courts at Colby College.

It was a good day for incumbents, as Lewiston claimed its fifth straight title in Class A with a 5-0 victory over first-time participant Gorham, and North Yarmouth Academy won its fourth straight in Class C, 4-1 over another first-time finalist, Dexter.

“We really didn’t come to the plate like I thought we would,” said Gorham coach Sonja Frey, whose team didn’t win a set against Lewiston. “I thought it would be either 2-3 or 3-2, so it’s disappointing. But we had a great season (14-2) and this is the farthest I’ve been in 25 years.”

In Class C, NYA (14-1) clinched quickly when its top three singles players — senior Thu-Trang Ho, junior Anna Jaeger and sophomore Sarah Jordan — dropped none, one and two games, respectively, in winning their matches.

Senior Emily Mitchell and junior Charlotte Briggs also won at first doubles, 6-0, 6-4. Dexter averted the shutout by winning at second doubles.

“We never see the Eastern schools, so we have no idea how strong their teams will be,” NYA coach Lorena Coffin said. “We just try to come in and play our best and I think we did that (Saturday).”

In Class B, Falmouth faced a previously unbeaten Caribou team that did not go down quietly. Wilberg and Gallagher were first off the courts after winning 6-0, 6-4 at first doubles.

Teammates Abby Payson and Steffi Rothweiller followed shortly thereafter with a 6-3, 6-1 victory at second singles and Libby Voccola clinched the match with a 6-0, 6-1 decision at third singles.

“I think we didn’t want it to be over,” said Gallagher of the second-set troubles at first doubles. “I’ll use that as an excuse. We just didn’t want to let go.”

Gallagher and Wilberg are the only seniors in a Falmouth lineup otherwise made up of freshmen and sophomores. Their three-year career mark in doubles is 40-0.

“After we leave they’ll still have a great team,” Wilberg said. “One match we played all JV players and we still won 5-0.”

Falmouth lost its quest for ultimate perfection two hours into Saturday’s match, when Caribou junior Jenna Selander took the second set from Falmouth sophomore Analise Kump at first singles.

It was the first set all season that did not go Falmouth’s way, after a run of 154-0, but Kump rallied from a 3-5 deficit in the third to win a three-hour, 10-minute marathon, 6-3, 3-6, 7-6 (7-4).

“I was exhausted,” said Kump, who had ousted Selander from the quarterfinals of the state singles tournament, 6-4, 6-4, a few weeks ago. “My teammates kept me in it with their cheering. It feels good. I’m ready to go celebrate.”

Falmouth coach Sandra Stone had given Kump the option of retiring after two sets, the team title secure. Kump would have none of it.

“She’s been battling some major back-pain issues,” Stone said. “I told her, you don’t have to play this out. I just wanted her to be able to walk (today).”

What helped more than anything, Stone said, was a change in Kump’s demeanor after the second set. She started having fun again.

“Once she smiles, that’s when she can play into her game and relax,” Stone said. “She actually stands taller. She grows.”

Kump survived two match points trailing 5-4 in the third before forcing the tiebreaker, which was tied 4-all before Kump won the final three points to take the match.

“Her shots, she was hitting sideline to sideline with speed,” Selander said. “Especially in the third set, you start to feel a little Jello-y. I knew this was the last match no matter what, so I wanted to leave it all on the court.”

 

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

[email protected]