LEWISTON – After Waynflete senior Eric Ordway pulled out a third-set tiebreaker to give the No. 5 Flyers a 3-2 semifinal upset Monday over No. 1 Winthrop, Wednesday’s sweltering Western Class C tennis finals against an opponent wearing a heat-absorbing black uniform must have seemed easy.

“It wasn’t a piece of cake, it was still challenging,” Ordway said. “Besides, the first day of the singles tournament was the hottest day of the year. This wasn’t nearly as bad as that day.”

A senior playing No. 2 singles, Ordway defeated Hall-Dale sophomore Spencer Shagoury 6-3, 6-2 to clinch a 5-0 victory for the three-time defending champion Flyers (10-5).

A few minutes later, classmate Maddie High won her match at No. 3 singles to secure a 3-2 victory over No. 6 Winthrop to send No. 8 Waynflete to the girls’ state championships Saturday at Colby College in Waterville.

“It’s amazing,” said High. “We’ve never gotten past this point in my four years on the team.”

Balancing an ice pack on the inside of her taped right wrist, High looked back to the season’s start, when carpal tunnel syndrome brought on by tendinitis forced her off the court as well as away from the piano, which she has played since age 5.

She remembered warming up for a match against Freeport and feeling a tendon pop.

“I had to stop playing,” she said.

The same thing happened in two aborted attempts at practice. She wore a brace and figured her senior season might be done.

But after a period of rest and with a change in tactics to focus on consistency over power, High returned in mid-May.

“I can’t hit it as hard,” she said, “so I have to set things up, run around a little bit and then I can muster that one shot.”

High plans to take the tennis court one last time Saturday against Eastern champion George Stevens Academy.

“Early in the season, I was really, really hopeful,” she said. “Then we had a couple setbacks as a team and I didn’t know if I was ever going to be able to come back. But our team is such that we’re really close and really supportive of each other. We’ve grown and gotten better and stronger.”

Waynflete (11-4) swept the doubles, with senior Elena Britos and junior Hilary Niles winning 6-4, 6-0 at No. 1 and junior Emily Trafton and sophomore Phoebe Suva winning 6-3, 6-3 at No. 2.

After the match had been decided, Winthrop won at first singles (Nikki Scott over Kait-lyn Thompson in three sets) and second singles (Molly Lindsey over Emily White).

“It was a tough start to the season,” said Waynflete Coach Linda Cohen, “but the girls put it all together at the end.”

Waynflete’s boys began the season having lost five of their top eight players to graduation and 2010 state singles champion Brandon Thompson to track. On Wednesday they won five matches in straight sets.

Sophomores Patrick Ordway (6-0, 6-2) and Ben Shapiro (6-1, 6-3) won at first and third singles. Juniors Owen Deady and Addison St. Onge-May won 6-2, 6-4 at first doubles and sophomore Jon Tao and junior Sam Martin held on for a 7-5, 6-4 win at second doubles.

“I’m pleased the doubles won,” said Waynflete Coach Jeff Madore. “They played against some guys who are pretty athletic and it was nice to see them figure out what was going on and what they had to change to be effective.” 

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

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