1. Falmouth: After six straight state titles and eight in nine years, Falmouth moves from Class B to Class A despite retaining a Western Maine Conference schedule. Singles state champ Olivia Leavitt and semifinalist Julia Brogan return. Caroline Ray moves up to third singles. Freshmen Kate Kelley, Amanda Watson and Mary Hyland join senior Katie Ryan in doubles.
2. Brunswick: The two-time Class A state champion Dragons return their entire singles lineup of Maisie Silverman, Ali Stankiewicz and Leah Soloway. Samiera MacMullen returns at first doubles with new partner Elizabeth Day. Another perfect regular season is within reach.
3. Portland: The Bulldogs came within a doubles tiebreaker of winning the Class A state title last spring, losing 3-2 to Brunswick. Five of the starting seven return. Annette Denekas and Margot Andreasen will compete for the top spot. Kayla Berg, Georgia Drew and Alyssa Vaccaro are among those battling for third singles. The doubles are always competitive.
4. Windham: A Western Class A semifinalist last spring, the Eagles look to improve on an 11-3 record and challenge Portland for SMAA supremacy. Julie Richardson and Kate Kneeland return in the top two singles spots. Sarah Rich may move up from doubles. Marissa Ulmer leads a young doubles group.
5. Waynflete: Two singles and two doubles players return for the Flyers, seeking a fourth straight Class C state title. Joining Emily White and Allie Armstrong in singles is freshman Lexi Epstein. Sophie Raffel and Nina Flight are doubles veterans, along with Annika Morrill. North Yarmouth Academy could challenge Waynflete for the regional title.
1. Falmouth: After taking a year off from high school tennis, two-time singles finalist Justin Brogan returns for his senior season, adding potency to a squad led by Brendan McCarthy, last spring’s individual runner-up. Aidan McGrory completes the state’s best singles trio. Seven seniors are among those competing for the four doubles berths.
2. Cape Elizabeth: Only two players return from the unbeaten lineup that won Class B last spring. Eli Breed and Luke Gilman, former doubles partners, will be joined in singles by Gabriel Torres. Doubles pairs should be decided in a preseason trip to Hilton Head, S.C.
3. Waynflete: Isaac Salas takes over at No. 1 singles from former state champ Patrick Ordway, now at Bates. Two other graduates must be replaced for the Flyers to win a seventh straight Class C title. Clancy Mitchell and Stephen Epstein, and freshman Brandon Ameglio will compete for the remaining singles spots. Peter Michalakes returns at doubles.
4. Kennebunk: Five of the top seven players return from a Rams squad that went 12-3 and reached the Western Class A final. Alex Pearson moves up to No. 1 singles. David Behrens played No. 3 singles last spring. Ben Skillin, Joe Beaudoin and Carter Stone are experienced in doubles.
5. Gorham: The defending Class A state champions have plenty of holes to fill. Tom Brent is the only returning singles player and Tom Susi the only doubles veteran. Deering, Portland and Brunswick will also contend for the chance to get steam-rolled by Falmouth in the regional or state final.
– Glenn Jordan
This story was corrected at 8:30 a.m. on Thursday, April 24, 2014 to correct the name of Waynflete player Emily White, who had previously been misidentified as Emma White.