Tennis – Press Herald http://www.pressherald.com Thu, 23 Nov 2017 22:17:34 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=4.8.3 Meet Maine’s spring 2017 high school sports players of the year http://www.pressherald.com/2017/07/02/meet-maines-spring-2017-high-school-sports-players-year/ http://www.pressherald.com/2017/07/02/meet-maines-spring-2017-high-school-sports-players-year/#respond Sun, 02 Jul 2017 08:00:38 +0000 http://www.pressherald.com/?p=1217620 http://www.pressherald.com/2017/07/02/meet-maines-spring-2017-high-school-sports-players-year/feed/ 0 http://multifiles.pressherald.com/uploads/sites/4/2017/07/1226254_241677_20170617_sbclassb_5.jpgMcKenna Smith capped a stellar junior season by pitching a three-hit shutout with 19 strikeouts in the Class B state championship game, leading Old Town to a 2-0 win over Fryeburg Academy.Sat, 15 Jul 2017 19:29:34 +0000 Boys’ tennis player of the year: Nick Mathieu, Mt. Ararat http://www.pressherald.com/2017/06/25/boys-tennis-player-of-the-year-nick-mathieu-mt-ararat/ http://www.pressherald.com/2017/06/25/boys-tennis-player-of-the-year-nick-mathieu-mt-ararat/#respond Sun, 25 Jun 2017 08:00:00 +0000 http://www.pressherald.com/?p=1216332 Nick Mathieu dabbled in baseball and soccer, but when he started playing tennis he was hooked. He loved the individual aspect of the sport, the lack of outside influence.

“It was a matter of how hard I wanted to work,” said Mathieu, who convinced his father to hit at Maine Pines in Brunswick in the predawn hours before school.

“Five days a week I would go in with my dad, from 4 to 7 a.m.,” he said. “We’d open up the club and he’d feed balls to me for three hours.”

Mathieu completed a remarkable high school career at Mt. Ararat in Topsham. He reached the final of the state singles tournament all four years, winning three-set matches as a junior and senior after twice being runner-up.

For the second straight year, he is the Maine Sunday Telegram’s Player of the Year in boys’ tennis.

“He’s a good athlete who could have done anything,” said Mt. Ararat Coach Don Foley. “He could have played lacrosse, baseball. His brother is very good at track. But (Nick) concentrated on tennis. That’s what he wanted.”

In four years, Mathieu went 85-2. He lost only to Brendan McCarthy of Falmouth in 2014 and Isaac Salas of Waynflete in 2015. He plans to continue playing at Colby-Sawyer College in New Hampshire and study business with a concentration in finance and a minor in biology.

“My goal going in (to high school) was to win all four, honestly,” he said. “I figured it was good to aim high. I’d still do well even if I didn’t reach it.”

There were sacrifices. Mathieu said he spent more time in the gym lifting weights, cross training and doing core and balance work than he spent with friends. He credits improved fitness for still feeling fresh at the end of his 2-hour, 20-minute 3-6, 6-4, 7-5 victory over Nick Forester of Falmouth in the singles final.

If he has any regrets, it’s the time he spent traveling to tournaments nearly every weekend from seventh to 10th grade.

“I’m happier now,” he said. “Looking back, I definitely wouldn’t have done as many tournaments as that. Now it’s more at home, training for the select big tournaments.”

He has several sprinkled throughout New England this summer. He’s also coaching and giving private instruction. But this weekend he’ll be on the Roach River north of Greenville, casting flies for brook trout and salmon. The trip is a birthday present from his parents.

“I have a balance,” he said. “Whenever I’m not playing tennis, I’m fishing.”

Foley, who coached another four-year singles finalist – three-time state champ Mike Hill – has known Mathieu since he was 12 and admires his passion.

“He gets very energized, let’s put it that way,” Foley said. “I told him the nearest comparison tennis has to another sport is boxing, and that tennis final was like a boxing match, one blow after another, back and forth, all day long.”

Telegram All-State Team

Brandon Ameglio, Waynflete senior: Ameglio knocked off the fourth and fifth seeds in singles tournament to become the second unseeded player in recent memory to reach the semifinals, where he lost to eventual champ Nick Mathieu. He’ll continue playing at Connecticut College.

Declan Archer, Kennebunk freshman: Archer was unseeded but reached the singles quarterfinals before being derailed by eventual finalist Nick Forester. Playing No. 1 singles, he went 10-2 in team matches for a team that finished 2-10.

Nick Forester, Falmouth sophomore: An ambidextrous player who returned from a knee injury to lead Falmouth to the Class A state title, he reached the final of the singles tournament and extended defending champ Nick Mathieu to three sets in a hard-fought championship match.

Matthew Jarmusz, Morse senior: Jarmusz advanced to the singles quarterfinals before falling to No. 3 Dariy Vykhodtsev. He helped lead Morse to a 12-2 record and into the Class B South semifinals. In four years of team play, he never lost a match.

Thomas Jarmusz, Morse senior: Jarmusz won a third-set tiebreaker to reach the quarterfinals before losing 6-3, 7-5 to Brandon Ameglio. He was unbeaten in team play. He’ll attend Ithaca College with his brother.

Nick Mathieu, Mt. Ararat senior: A two-time singles state champion and four-time finalist, he won the last three games in the singles final to beat Nick Forester, 3-6, 6-4, 7-5. He had an 85-2 career record. He plans to continue playing at Colby-Sawyer College.

Cole Ouellette, Lewiston senior: A two-time state champion in hockey who plans to continue in juniors, Ouellette’s athleticism helped him reach the singles quarterfinals before falling 6-1, 6-1 to Nick Mathieu. He led Lewiston to the Class A North title over No. 1 Brunswick.

Dariy Vykhodtsev, Thornton Academy sophomore: A singles finalist as a freshman, he returned to the semifinals this spring before falling 6-3, 6-4 to Nick Forester. He was unbeaten in team play as the Golden Trojans finished 15-1.

Coach of the Year

Noah Capetta, Camden Hills: Capetta led the Windjammers to a second consecutive Class B state championship with 5-0 shutout of Yarmouth. In Capetta’s four years at the helm, Camden Hills has reached the state final four times, compiling a record of 58-6. “I love sharing my passion for tennis and the life lessons that I’ve learned through practicing, playing and teaching tennis,” Capetta said. He was previously an assistant at Greely and at his alma mater, Hermon. He said tennis is always a challenge because graduation and the end of the school year always coincide with the last week of playoffs. “I’ve been lucky to have a group of players who are dedicated to the team and are able to keep many balls in the air.”

Glenn Jordan can be contacted at 791-6425 or:

Gjordan@pressherald.com

Twitter: GlennJordanPPH

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http://www.pressherald.com/2017/06/25/boys-tennis-player-of-the-year-nick-mathieu-mt-ararat/feed/ 0 http://multifiles.pressherald.com/uploads/sites/4/2017/06/1216332_257209_20170529_tennis0076-e1498341129771.jpgAll the fitness training helped when it was most needed, when Nick Mathieu of Mt. Ararat went three long sets to outlast Nick Forester of Falmouth in the state final.Sat, 24 Jun 2017 20:01:25 +0000
Girls’ tennis player of the year: Lana Mavor, Yarmouth http://www.pressherald.com/2017/06/25/girls-tennis-player-of-the-year-lana-mavor-yarmouth/ http://www.pressherald.com/2017/06/25/girls-tennis-player-of-the-year-lana-mavor-yarmouth/#respond Sun, 25 Jun 2017 08:00:00 +0000 http://www.pressherald.com/?p=1216341 After blasting one final forehand winner, Lana Mavor relaxed and began the walk to the net for the congratulatory handshake.

As Mavor reached the service line, she glanced at her fingernails as if wondering if they needed a trim. No celebration seemed necessary. The outcome certainly was never in doubt.

Mavor, a Yarmouth sophomore, had defeated Rosemary Campanella of Wells 6-1, 6-1 to become a state champion for the first time. In five matches of the singles tournament, the top-seeded Mavor lost only six games. She shut out her first two opponents and limited the final three to two games apiece.

“Showing emotion makes it easier for the opponent to play you,” Mavor said later. “So it’s good to keep it contained.”

Mavor, who also led Yarmouth to the regional final of the Class B team tournament, is the Maine Sunday Telegram Player of the Year in girls’ tennis. Her father, Brian, was the 1982 singles state champion for Cape Elizabeth.

“When she’s on the court, she’s taking care of business,” said Yarmouth Coach Ann Harradon. “You don’t see any expression. There’s no happy. There’s no sad. Occasionally she’ll slap her thigh, then I know she’s not happy with what she’s just done.”

There was some question whether Mavor – a nationally ranked player who does schoolwork online through Maine Virtual Academy rather than attend classes at Yarmouth High – would play for the Clippers this spring. As a freshman, a back injury forced Mavor to withdraw from the state singles tournament in the semifinals against Campanella.

“I didn’t get a chance to finish states,” she said. “I wanted to see how I did. And I like being part of a team.”

Mavor didn’t drop a set in her 10 matches for the team, including three in the playoffs. Her games record was 120-13. Yarmouth had two other sophomores who were Mavor’s classmates back at Harrison Middle School.

“So she gets along with the kids,” Harradon said. “She had a team dinner at her house and they all came.”

On the court, Mavor had no peers in Maine.

“They watch her and they’re amazed,” Harradon said. “She’s something we’ve never had before. She’s very athletic and puts a lot of time and effort into making herself better. She works out in the gym, and she runs and she hits with area pros. We’ve had good players, but nowhere near as competitive and highly ranked as she is.”

Mavor’s busy summer schedule began this weekend with a trip to a sectional tournament at Yale University. Next weekend, she has intersectionals in Louisiana. After that are tournaments in Pennsylvania and Virginia, followed by up to three in California.

In the fall, college coaches can begin the recruiting process.

“I just focus every match,” Mavor said, “and try to practice my skills that I’ve been working on in practice.”

Telegram All-Sate Team

Grace Campanella, Kennebunk freshman: Campanella reached the semifinals of the state singles tournament, losing a total of only two games in her first three matches before being stopped by eventual champ Lana Mavor.

Rosemary Campanella, Wells junior: The two-time singles finalist and older sister of Grace won four matches by a combined games score of 48-10 before falling 6-1, 6-1 to Lana Mavor in the final. She helped lead Kennebunk/Wells to first tourney berth.

Liv Clifford, Cape Elizabeth senior: The No. 7 seed, she reached the quarterfinals with a pair of straight-set victories before falling to eventual finalist Rosemary Campanella, 6-3, 6-2. She plans to continue playing tennis at Colorado College.

Lexi Epstein, Waynflete senior: The No. 9 seed, Epstein reached the quarterfinals by beating No. 8 Gabrielle Marquis of Caribou 6-1, 6-0 before falling 6-0, 6-2 to eventual champ Lana Mavor, then helped the Flyers win the Class C team title. She plans to continue playing at Dickinson College.

Izzy Evans, Greely junior: After a year abroad, Evans returned to lead the Rangers to their third Class B title in four years, 3-2 over Caribou. Seeded fourth in singles, she reached the quarterfinals before falling 6-0, 6-2 to Grace Campanella.

Bethany Hammond, St. Dominic senior: A four-time singles semifinalist and the 2015 runner-up, Hammond fell 6-1, 6-2 to Rosemary Campanella in the semifinals. She plans to continue playing tennis at Stonehill College.

Lana Mavor, Yarmouth sophomore: The top seed in the singles tournament, she rolled through the field by a combined games score of 60-6 to win the title, culminating in 6-1, 6-1 victory over Rosemary Campanella. In team play, she led the sixth-seeded Clippers to the Class B South final.

Kira Wolpow, Brunswick senior: The sixth seed in the singles tourney, she rallied for a 1-6, 6-3, 6-1 win over Falmouth’s Meredith Kelley to reach the quarterfinals before falling 6-3, 6-2 to Bethany Hammond. She led the Dragons to the Class A North title. After a gap year teaching English in Colombia, she’ll attend Northeastern.

Coach of the Year

Bill Goodspeed, Falmouth: In his second season after rising from assistant coach to head coach, Goodspeed continued Falmouth’s run of state titles to 10 and match winning streak to 157. Falmouth won the Class A state title with a 5-0 sweep of Brunswick to cap a 19-1 tournament run despite, for the second straight year, losing the state singles champion to graduation and having to rely even more heavily on the bottom of the lineup. Goodspeed even found time to self-publish a book this spring called “Alternative Facts: Fake News, Tweets & the 2016 Election.” “We never talk about it,” Goodspeed said of the winning streak. “I don’t know if it’s superstition or it’s one match at a time. It’s like looking ahead in the draw. We don’t look ahead in the draw.”

CORRECTION: This story was updated at 10:22 a.m. on June 26, 2017 to correct Lana Mavor’s record in the singles tournament.

Glenn Jordan can be contacted at 791-6425 or:

Gjordan@pressherald.com

Twitter: GlennJordanPPH

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http://www.pressherald.com/2017/06/25/girls-tennis-player-of-the-year-lana-mavor-yarmouth/feed/ 0 http://multifiles.pressherald.com/uploads/sites/4/2017/06/1216341_257209_20170529_tennis0247-e1498341047118.jpgLana Mavor of Yarmouth, the girls' tennis state champion, has a busy summer schedule planned, including tournaments in Pennsylvania, Virginia and California.Mon, 26 Jun 2017 10:23:55 +0000
Boys’ tennis: Telegram All-State team http://www.pressherald.com/2017/06/25/boys-tennis-telegram-all-state-team/ http://www.pressherald.com/2017/06/25/boys-tennis-telegram-all-state-team/#respond Sun, 25 Jun 2017 08:00:00 +0000 http://www.pressherald.com/?p=1216651 BOYS

Brandon Ameglio, Waynflete senior: Ameglio knocked off the fourth and fifth seeds in singles tournament to become the second unseeded player in recent memory to reach the semifinals, where he lost to eventual champ Nick Mathieu. He’ll continue playing at Connecticut College.

Declan Archer, Kennebunk freshman: Archer was unseeded but reached the singles quarterfinals before being derailed by eventual finalist Nick Forester. Playing No. 1 singles, he went 10-2 in team matches for a team that finished 2-10.

Nick Forester, Falmouth sophomore: An ambidextrous player who returned from a knee injury to lead Falmouth to the Class A state title, he reached the final of the singles tournament and extended defending champ Nick Mathieu to three sets in a hard-fought championship match.

Matthew Jarmusz, Morse senior: Jarmusz advanced to the singles quarterfinals before falling to No. 3 Dariy Vykhodtsev. He helped lead Morse to a 12-2 record and into the Class B South semifinals. In four years of team play, he never lost a match.

Thomas Jarmusz, Morse senior: Jarmusz won a third-set tiebreaker to reach the quarterfinals before losing 6-3, 7-5 to Brandon Ameglio. He was unbeaten in team play. He’ll attend Ithaca College with his brother.

Nick Mathieu, Mt. Ararat senior: A two-time singles state champion and four-time finalist, he won the last three games in the singles final to beat Nick Forester, 3-6, 6-4, 7-5. He had an 85-2 career record. He plans to continue playing at Colby-Sawyer College.

Cole Ouellette, Lewiston senior: A two-time state champion in hockey who plans to continue in juniors, Ouellette’s athleticism helped him reach the singles quarterfinals before falling 6-1, 6-1 to Nick Mathieu. He led Lewiston to the Class A North title over No. 1 Brunswick.

Dariy Vykhodtsev, Thornton Academy sophomore: A singles finalist as a freshman, he returned to the semifinals this spring before falling 6-3, 6-4 to Nick Forester. He was unbeaten in team play as the Golden Trojans finished 15-1.

Coach of the Year

Noah Capetta, Camden Hills: Capetta led the Windjammers to a second consecutive Class B state championship with 5-0 shutout of Yarmouth. In Capetta’s four years at the helm, Camden Hills has reached the state final four times, compiling a record of 58-6. “I love sharing my passion for tennis and the life lessons that I’ve learned through practicing, playing and teaching tennis,” Capetta said. He was previously an assistant at Greely and at his alma mater, Hermon. He said tennis is always a challenge because graduation and the end of the school year always coincide with the last week of playoffs. “I’ve been lucky to have a group of players who are dedicated to the team and are able to keep many balls in the air.”

– Glenn Jordan

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Girls’ tennis: Telegram All-State team http://www.pressherald.com/2017/06/24/girls-tennis-telegram-all-state-team/ http://www.pressherald.com/2017/06/24/girls-tennis-telegram-all-state-team/#respond Sat, 24 Jun 2017 22:20:35 +0000 http://www.pressherald.com/2017/06/24/girls-tennis-telegram-all-state-team/ Grace Campanella, Kennebunk freshman: Campanella reached the semifinals of the state singles tournament, losing a total of only two games in her first three matches before being stopped by eventual champ Lana Mavor.

Rosemary Campanella, Wells junior: The two-time singles finalist and older sister of Grace won four matches by a combined games score of 48-10 before falling 6-1, 6-1 to Lana Mavor in the final. She helped lead Kennebunk/Wells to first tourney berth.

Liv Clifford, Cape Elizabeth senior: The No. 7 seed, she reached the quarterfinals with a pair of straight-set victories before falling to eventual finalist Rosemary Campanella, 6-3, 6-2. She plans to continue playing tennis at Colorado College.

Lexi Epstein, Waynflete senior: The No. 9 seed, Epstein reached the quarterfinals by beating No. 8 Gabrielle Marquis of Caribou 6-1, 6-0 before falling 6-0, 6-2 to eventual champ Lana Mavor, then helped the Flyers win the Class C team title. She plans to continue playing at Dickinson College.

Izzy Evans, Greely junior: After a year abroad, Evans returned to lead the Rangers to their third Class B title in four years, 3-2 over Caribou. Seeded fourth in singles, she reached the quarterfinals before falling 6-0, 6-2 to Grace Campanella.

Bethany Hammond, St. Dominic senior: A four-time singles semifinalist and the 2015 runner-up, Hammond fell 6-1, 6-2 to Rosemary Campanella in the semifinals. She plans to continue playing tennis at Stonehill College.

Lana Mavor, Yarmouth sophomore: The top seed in the singles tournament, she rolled through the field by a combined games score of 60-6 to win the title, culminating in 6-1, 6-1 victory over Rosemary Campanella. In team play, she led the sixth-seeded Clippers to the Class B South final.

Kira Wolpow, Brunswick senior: The sixth seed in the singles tourney, she rallied for a 1-6, 6-3, 6-1 win over Falmouth’s Meredith Kelley to reach the quarterfinals before falling 6-3, 6-2 to Bethany Hammond. She led the Dragons to the Class A North title. After a gap year teaching English in Colombia, she’ll attend Northeastern.

Coach of the Year

Bill Goodspeed, Falmouth: In his second season after rising from assistant coach to head coach, Goodspeed continued Falmouth’s run of state titles to 10 and match winning streak to 157. Falmouth won the Class A state title with a 5-0 sweep of Brunswick to cap a 19-1 tournament run despite, for the second straight year, losing the state singles champion to graduation and having to rely even more heavily on the bottom of the lineup. Goodspeed even found time to self-publish a book this spring called “Alternative Facts: Fake News, Tweets & the 2016 Election.” “We never talk about it,” Goodspeed said of the winning streak. “I don’t know if it’s superstition or it’s one match at a time. It’s like looking ahead in the draw. We don’t look ahead in the draw.”

– Glenn Jordan

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Class B tennis: Greely girls reclaim crown; Camden Hills boys repeat http://www.pressherald.com/2017/06/10/class-b-tennis-greely-girls-reclaim-crown-camden-hills-boys-repeat/ http://www.pressherald.com/2017/06/10/class-b-tennis-greely-girls-reclaim-crown-camden-hills-boys-repeat/#respond Sat, 10 Jun 2017 22:16:50 +0000 http://www.pressherald.com/2017/06/10/class-b-tennis-greely-girls-reclaim-crown-camden-hills-boys-repeat/ WATERVILLE — When Greely’s Katie Steinberg and her partner, Jordan Bryant, fell behind by three games in the second set of their No. 1 doubles match on a blustery Saturday afternoon at Colby College, Steinberg took a look at the scorecards of nearby courts and saw a lot of red numbers.

Those numbers meant Caribou was giving Greely all it could handle.

“We saw how things were going,” Steinberg said. “We knew we had to get our point.”

“You could feel the intensity building,” Greely Coach Ben Caswell said.

Steinberg and Bryant stormed back to win 6-1, 7-6 (5), and when senior Kathryn Pare completed her singles victory moments later, the Rangers were Class B girls’ tennis state champions for the third time in four years.

“It was definitely a hard win,” Pare said. “We didn’t know much about their team.”

Greely wound up with a 3-2 victory. Both teams finished 15-1.

In the boys’ final, Camden Hills won for the second year in a row, sweeping past Yarmouth 5-0, winning all five matches in straight sets. The Windjammers (16-0) had faced Cape Elizabeth the previous three years, but Yarmouth, a surprise regional champion as a No. 4 seed, knocked off the Capers 3-2 in the South final on Thursday.

“We were hoping to play Cape Elizabeth,” Camden Hills senior Colby Arau said. “They beat us freshman and sophomore year and we wanted to repay the favor.”

Arau won 6-0, 6-2 at No. 2 singles. Classmates Matt Morse (6-4, 6-4) and Josiah Krul (6-2, 6-0) also won in singles.

“I didn’t care who we were playing,” said Krul, who was awake until 2 a.m. Saturday morning following graduation. “Now I really feel like I graduated.”

The Camden Hills doubles lineup consisted entirely of underclassmen. Cooper Russell and Henry Cooper won at No. 1 and David Poutasse and Noah Heidorn won at No. 2, both by the score of 6-1, 6-3.

Saturday marked the first state championship appearance for Yarmouth (10-6) in eight years. Because of construction on the high school courts, the Clippers were forced to practice at a local elementary school that had only two courts.

“We really didn’t expect this spot, being in finals for state of Maine,” said Serbian exchange student Igor Nikolic, who had not played competitive tennis until this spring and rose from No. 3 on the Yarmouth ladder to No. 1. “This is a great end of year.”

Six of Yarmouth’s seven players are seniors.

“We’re athletic,” Coach Mark Marstaller said. “But I can’t say we’re athletic tennis players. Camden Hills, they were great.”

In the girls’ final, junior Izzy Evans at No. 1 singles gave Greely a 1-0 lead with a 6-3, 6-1 victory over Gabrielle Marquis. Caribou tied it at No. 2 doubles and also won at No. 3 singles when senior Kelly Nicklaus outlasted Greely freshman Paige Evans, 6-2, 2-6, 7-6 (7).

“My freshman year, it was a lot easier,” said Izzy Evans, who spent her sophomore year in Spain. “Here, you looked around and all the matches were really tight.”

Glenn Jordan can be contacted at 791-6425 or:

Gjordan@pressherald.com

Twitter: GlennJordanPPH

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http://www.pressherald.com/2017/06/10/class-b-tennis-greely-girls-reclaim-crown-camden-hills-boys-repeat/feed/ 0 http://multifiles.pressherald.com/uploads/sites/4/2017/06/1209425_522586-20170610_ClassB_Te6.jpgYes, there was drama, but for Greely's No. 1 doubles team of Katie Steinberg, right, and Kaitlyn Thompson, there were also plenty of reasons for a celebratory hug. They fell behind in the second set against Caribou, but rallied to secure the Class B state championship for the Rangers, their third title in four years.Sun, 11 Jun 2017 16:13:10 +0000
Class C tennis: Waynflete boys extend streak, girls capture title as well http://www.pressherald.com/2017/06/10/class-c-tennis-waynflete-boys-extend-streak-girls-capture-title-as-well/ http://www.pressherald.com/2017/06/10/class-c-tennis-waynflete-boys-extend-streak-girls-capture-title-as-well/#respond Sat, 10 Jun 2017 21:22:43 +0000 http://www.pressherald.com/2017/06/10/class-c-tennis-waynflete-boys-extend-streak-girls-capture-title-as-well/ WATERVILLE — Heat exhaustion and chills had set in, her team already had clinched a state title, but Waynflete senior Kiera MacWhinnie was determined to finish her tennis match.

After applying ice during a 5-minute medical break, she returned to the court and won the 10-point tiebreaker played in lieu of a third set to complete a 5-0 victory over George Stevens Academy on Saturday afternoon at Colby College.

As soon as the 6-1, 5-7 (10-3) match ended, MacWhinnie’s teammates stormed the court, enveloping her and Coach Linda Cohen in a group hug.

“It was a great moment for our team,” MacWhinnie said. “Everyone was excited for each other. You could feel the energy.”

The Class C title was the first in three years for Waynflete, which also celebrated – in more muted fashion – a 10th straight boys’ title with a brisk 5-0 victory, also over George Stevens.

“It’s more expected for them,” said MacWhinnie, who plans to continue a swimming career in college.

“For us, we have six seniors and we won as freshmen, so it was great to be able to bookend our high school careers with two state titles.”

Senior Lexi Epstein and junior Molly McNutt also won singles matches for Waynflete. Seniors Randall Seder and Almu Canales provided the clincher with a 6-4, 6-3 victory at No. 2 doubles.

At No. 1 doubles, senior Sidara Cash-Sortwell and sophomore Chloe Fisher overcame a slow start to win 0-6, 6-4, 7-5.

A lefty and a righty, Cash-Sortwell and Fisher switched their service rotation after the first set so that neither would have to make their tosses into the bright sun.

The decade of dominance for the Waynflete boys (15-1) matched a feat first achieved a few hours earlier by the Class A champion Falmouth girls.

Brandon Ameglio, Thorne Kieffer and Jacob Greene won all but five games in singles.

Shuhao Lin and Nick Wagg at No. 1 doubles and John Van Dyke and Cooper Sherman at No. 2 doubles also won in straight sets.

Waynflete (15-1) lost only to Class A champion Falmouth this season.

Glenn Jordan can be contacted at 791-6425 or:

Gjordan@pressherald.com

Twitter: GlennJordanPPH

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Class A tennis: Falmouth girls, boys capture state titles http://www.pressherald.com/2017/06/10/state-tennis-falmouth-sweeps-class-a-titles-caps-unbeaten-seasons/ http://www.pressherald.com/2017/06/10/state-tennis-falmouth-sweeps-class-a-titles-caps-unbeaten-seasons/#respond Sat, 10 Jun 2017 16:35:42 +0000 http://www.pressherald.com/2017/06/10/state-tennis-falmouth-sweeps-class-a-titles-caps-unbeaten-seasons/ WATERVILLE — For the second time in three days, the girls of Falmouth High found themselves in trouble on the tennis courts, their nine-year winning streak in jeopardy.

Once again, they persisted and ultimately prevailed.

Falmouth won an unprecedented 10th consecutive state championship Saturday morning at Colby College, beating Brunswick 5-0 in the Class A finals.

Falmouth’s boys also won a Class A title, their third in four years, 5-0 over Lewiston. They won every match in straight sets.

That wasn’t the case for the girls, who jumped to a quick 2-0 lead on lopsided victories by freshman Meredith Kelley and No. 2 singles and seniors Mia Cooney and Mary Hyland at No. 1 doubles.

The remaining three matches all appeared in doubt until junior Grace Dimick and sophomore Maddy Joyce delivered the clincher by winning the last three games of a 3-6, 6-0, 6-4 decision at No. 2 doubles.

“They have an incredible net game,” Dimick said of Brunswick senior Lea Scrapchansky and sophomore Rae Bamberger. “So we tried to either lob it or hit it through them so they didn’t get it at the net. That’s how we won the second set. The third set was a little harder.”

The victory extended Falmouth’s winning streak to 157 matches. It also broke a tie at nine straight state titles with the girls of South Portland (1972-80) and Cape Elizabeth (1990-98).

“Absolutely amazing,” said Joyce, an alternate at last year’s state finals. “All the girls are awesome. I’m so grateful for this experience.”

Seniors Amanda Watson at No. 3 and Kate Kelley at No. 1 singles completed the sweep. Watson survived two set points in a 7-6 (9-7), 6-4 victory over Cassie Ridge and Kelley outlasted Kira Wolpow 6-7 (7-4), 6-3, 7-6 (7-1).

“That was a good feeling,” Kelley said, “but it was all about getting the ten-peat.”

Falmouth also struggled in Thursday’s regional final before beating Thornton Academy 4-1.

Saturday “was the same feeling, very close,” said Falmouth Coach Bill Goodspeed. “It seemed like a 3-2 match decided by a third-set tiebreaker.”

In the boys’ match, seniors Trey Fallon and Jordan Bruce won quickly at No. 1 doubles and junior Alex Klemperer and senior Peter Stegemann did likewise at second and third singles to clinch.

“I’m happy to go out on a good note,” said Stegemann, who had lost in Thursday’s 3-2 regional victory over defending state champ Thornton. “(Thursday) was our toughest match. This was just a cherry on the cake.”

Sophomore Nick Forester beat Cole Ouellette 6-1, 6-4 at No. 1 singles and senior Greyson Cohen and junior Matt Adamowicz won 6-3, 6-2 at No. 2 doubles to complete the shutout.

“I hate to see the four seniors go from this group,” Falmouth Coach Bob McCully said. “They are very team-oriented.”

One of those four, Fallon, reports Sunday for offseason workouts with the Lafayette College football program. He said the boys don’t mind taking a back seat to Falmouth’s girls.

“They have a fantastic streak,” he said. “They definitely deserve the attention.”

Glenn Jordan can be contacted at 791-6425 or:

Gjordan@pressherald.com

Twitter: GlennJordanPPH

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http://www.pressherald.com/2017/06/10/state-tennis-falmouth-sweeps-class-a-titles-caps-unbeaten-seasons/feed/ 0 Sat, 10 Jun 2017 17:27:08 +0000
High school tennis: Falmouth girls aiming to serve perfection http://www.pressherald.com/2017/06/09/high-school-tennis-falmouth-girls-aiming-to-serve-perfection/ http://www.pressherald.com/2017/06/09/high-school-tennis-falmouth-girls-aiming-to-serve-perfection/#respond Sat, 10 Jun 2017 01:11:00 +0000 http://www.pressherald.com/2017/06/09/high-school-tennis-falmouth-girls-aiming-to-serve-perfection/ Hosting a team dinner Wednesday on the eve of the regional finals, Falmouth High senior Kate Kelley had to think hard when asked about The Streak.

“We were like, ‘Oh, we hit a hundred when I was a freshman. Have we hit 150?’ We didn’t really know,” she said.

For the record, the Falmouth girls’ tennis team has won 156 matches in a row, a streak that began in 2008 and ranks fifth in the country, according to the National Federation of State High School Associations website.

Falmouth is 15-0 and plays Brunswick (13-2) for the Class A state title at 10 a.m. Saturday at Colby College in Waterville. A victory would give Falmouth its 10th straight state championship, breaking a four-way tie in high school tennis circles for consecutive state titles.

The other three programs with nine-year reigns are South Portland (Class A girls, 1972-80), Cape Elizabeth (Class B girls, 1990-98) and Waynflete (Class C boys 2008-present). Waynflete (14-1) faces George Stevens Academy (15-0) for the Class C title at 1 p.m.

Both the Falmouth girls and Waynflete boys would have a ways to go to surpass the national records for consecutive team state titles in high school tennis: 19 years for girls (Edina, Minnesota, 1997-2015) and 26 for boys (Honolulu Punahou, 1991-2016).

Mia Cooney, a Falmouth senior who plays first doubles, said The Streak is never far from her thoughts. When she and partner Mary Hyland dropped the first set of their regional final match Thursday against then-unbeaten Thornton Academy, there were tears.

“A little bit of tears,” said Hyland, also a senior. “We were a little stressed. It’s something that scares us. Are you going to be the team?”

“Yeah,” Cooney said. “You never want to be the one that breaks it. If we’re down, I always think of The Streak.”

Cooney and Hyland rallied to a 3-6, 6-3, 6-0 victory and Falmouth won the match 4-1 with the only blemish Kelley’s 6-3, 7-5 loss at first singles to Thornton senior Eva Sachs. Unlike recent years, when Falmouth enjoyed singles state champions Julia Brogan and Olivia Leavitt at the top of its lineup, this season’s edition has had to rely more on depth.

“It’s a totally different team,” said Bill Goodspeed, who took over the program last spring after 13 years under Sandra Stone. “We’ve had the state champs and two or three of the best eight (singles players) in the state for the last couple years, and now, nothing against Kate, but she’s not in that top two in the state. We’ve had close matches. Our doubles have been very good and clutch.”

The 2014 Falmouth squad didn’t lose a set all season. This spring, Falmouth had only two 5-0 matches in the regular season and two more in playoffs.

“It brings us all closer together, knowing that each match is going to be difficult,” said Amanda Watson, a senior who plays third singles after three years in the doubles lineup. “We strategize a lot more for matches this year.”

Watson also rallied in her regional final, winning 3-6, 7-5, 10-3 with the last set a 10-point tiebreaker agreed upon by both players because the overall match had been decided.

“Winning the state title freshman year felt like something that happened every year for the Falmouth team and we were just part of it,” Watson said. “Now we understand what the seniors really wanted. It’s huge. It’s definitely something we’re thinking about all season.”

This spring also marked Falmouth’s final season in the Western Maine Conference. Next spring, Falmouth will be part of the SMAA, made up entirely of Class A schools.

“I think that will be good for the league and good for them,” said Thornton Academy coach Dan Frost. “We knew they’d be a tough team. We didn’t make it easy for them.”

In Maine, only four high school programs in any sport have reigned supreme for at least a decade. Sanford won 10 straight in Class A wrestling from 1959-68. Mt. Blue won 11 straight in Class A girls’ skiing from 1992-2002. St. Dominic did likewise in boys’ hockey from 1947-57.

The longest run of success belongs to the Old Town boys’ swim team, which won 14 Class B titles from 1985-98.

History is within reach Saturday, both for Falmouth’s girls and for Waynflete’s boys.

“We try to keep it in the back of our minds, because we know that is a lot of pressure,” Kelley said. “If you’re thinking about keeping a streak alive, that’s really not why you’re supposed to be playing.”

Glenn Jordan can be contacted at 791-6425 or

Gjordan@pressherald.com

Twitter: GlennJordanPPH

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http://www.pressherald.com/2017/06/09/high-school-tennis-falmouth-girls-aiming-to-serve-perfection/feed/ 0 http://multifiles.pressherald.com/uploads/sites/4/2017/06/107578-20170608_tennis01-1-e1497057258455.jpgLEWISTON, ME - JUNE 8: Kate Kelley of Falmouth returns a shot to opponent Eva Sachs of Falmouth during the Class A South tennis regional finals at Bates College. (Staff photo by Jill Brady/Staff Photographer)Fri, 09 Jun 2017 23:09:22 +0000
Tennis: Falmouth, Waynflete sweep regional titles http://www.pressherald.com/2017/06/08/tennis-falmouth-girls-boys-remain-unbeaten-advance-to-state-championships/ http://www.pressherald.com/2017/06/08/tennis-falmouth-girls-boys-remain-unbeaten-advance-to-state-championships/#respond Thu, 08 Jun 2017 17:41:57 +0000 http://www.pressherald.com/2017/06/08/tennis-falmouth-girls-boys-remain-unbeaten-advance-to-state-championships/ LEWISTON — Dropping the first set wouldn’t ordinarily concern Falmouth doubles partners Mary Hyland and Mia Cooney.

“We always start off super slow,” Hyland said, to which Cooney added without hesitation, “Oh, every time.”

That didn’t change for Falmouth’s No. 1 doubles team in the Class A South final Thursday at Bates College. But as they do so often, Hyland and Cooney recovered and helped second-seeded Falmouth defeat top-seeded Thornton Academy 4-1 to win its 10th consecutive regional title.

The Falmouth boys also advanced to Saturday’s state finals, knocking off defending state champion and top-seeded Thornton, 3-2. Both Falmouth teams and both Thornton teams went into their matches with 14-0 records.

In Class B, the Yarmouth boys edged Cape Elizabeth 3-2 and the Yarmouth girls lost 4-1 to top-seeded Greely, which is seeking its third state championship in four years.

The Waynflete boys matched the Falmouth girls with a 10th straight regional crown in Class C, beating top-seeded Boothbay Region, 5-0. The Waynflete girls, meanwhile, earned a 4-1 win over defending state champ St. Dom’s.

The victory for the Falmouth girls was their 156th straight, but the streak appeared in jeopardy when Hyland and Cooney dropped their first set, as did Falmouth’s No. 3 singles player, Amanda Watson.

“I knew we were going to have a tough No. 1 singles match,” Falmouth Coach Bill Goodspeed said. “I definitely didn’t want to go into that match 2-2.”

Maddy Joyce and Grace Dimick defeated Ky Nguyen and Yawen Liu 6-0, 6-2 at No. 2 doubles to give Falmouth a quick 1-0 lead. But the next two wins that would clinch the regional title didn’t come so easily.

Down 4-1 in the second set, Falmouth’s No. 2 singles player, Meredith Kelley, won five straight games to defeat Emma Nassif, 6-4, 6-4. Hyland and Cooney rallied to beat Cordelia Perry and Katie Shedd 3-6, 6-3, 6-0 for the clinching point.

Watson also came from behind to defeat Brianna Paul, 3-6, 7-5 (10-3). Thornton’s Eva Sachs beat Kate Kelley at No. 1 singles, 6-3, 7-5.

“After we clinched it, I just felt less tight,” Watson said. “Everyone knows we’re going to have individual losses so we just try to trust that we’re going to rally.”

But Watson said the real pressure isn’t in sustaining the winning streak, it’s in notching a 10th straight state championship. Falmouth will face Brunswick on Saturday at Colby College in Waterville.

“We’re just kind of over the individual wins thing – it’s just not sustainable,” Watson said. “Winning the state title is what matters.”

The Falmouth boys clinched their victory when No. 2 singles player Alex Klemperer defeated Balazs Balati, 7-5, 2-6, 6-3.

“I was tired but I just came out at the end and gave it my best,” Klemperer said. “The heat played a huge factor.”

With temperatures reaching the low 80s, the heat posed a challenge for players who dealt with a wet and cool spring. Falmouth Coach Bob McCully said more than half of Falmouth’s regular-season matches were held indoors because of rain.

“I don’t think we handled the heat particularly well today,” said McCully, whose team will play Lewiston in the state final. “I expected it to be tough but I didn’t expect it to be quite this close.”

Matt Adamowicz and Greyson Cohen of Falmouth defeated Caleb Richard and Jon Ma 6-2, 6-2 before Jack Xiao pulled Thornton Academy even with a 6-2, 6-2 win over Peter Stegemann. Falmouth’s other doubles tandem of Jordan Bruce and Trey Fallon earned a 6-2, 7-6 (4) victory over Asher Thompson and Adam Lovejoy.

In one of the most anticipated matchups of the day, Dariy Vykhodtsev of Thornton Academy defeated Nick Forester 6-3, 6-3, avenging a loss in the state singles semifinals.

“Those two are so evenly matched,” McCully said. “When the match is already decided, it’s hard to maintain your focus. You want to be with your teammates celebrating.”

Thornton was missing its No. 2 singles player, Jakub Jurasek.

“He was hurt for the better half of the season, so the lineup you saw today is the lineup we played with for seven or eight of our matches,” Thornton Coach Andrew Carlson said. “I think we could have used him today, but I don’t know if the result would have been different.”

In Class B, the fourth-seeded Yarmouth boys (10-5) avenged a 4-1 loss to No. 3 Cape Elizabeth (11-4) earlier this season. With the Clippers up 2-1, Igor Nikolic of Yarmouth defeated Ted Hall 6-3, 6-4 at No. 1 singles for the clincher.

“We played them earlier this year and lost, but we were playing at Cape with a heavy wind,” Yarmouth Coach Mark Marstaller said. “It was easier to play them without the wind – that made a big difference playing at a neutral site.”

Yarmouth’s other points came from Matt Clinton and the doubles team of Max Allen and Andrei Lougovtsov. Cape won No. 2 singles (Matt Galvin) and No. 1 doubles (Mac Brucker and Carter Brock).

Yarmouth will face Camden Hills in the state final.

The Greely girls (14-1) swept the doubles matches (Katie Steinberg/Jordan Bryant and Lea Schuepfer/Kaitlyn Thompson), and also won No. 2 and No. 3 singles (Kathryn Pare and Paige Evans) – all in straight sets. The Rangers will play Caribou on Saturday.

Yarmouth (9-6) got its point from Lana Mavor, the singles state champion.

In Class C, both Waynflete teams advanced to play George Stevens Academy on Saturday.

Singles players Brandon Ameglio, Thorne Kieffer and Jacob Greene, and the doubles teams of Nick Wagg and Shahao Liu, and Chris Register and Cooper Sherman all won for the Waynflete boys (14-1), who have won nine consecutive state titles – with eight of those wins coming against George Stevens.

The Waynflete girls (13-2) got points from Kiera MacWhinnie, Molly McNutt and both doubles teams – Sidara Cash-Sortwell and Chloe Fisher, and Randall Seder and Alma Canales. Bethany Hammond of St. Dom’s (10-5) won No. 1 singles.

Taylor Vortherms can be contacted at 791-6417 or:

tvortherms@pressherald.com

Twitter: TaylorVortherms

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http://www.pressherald.com/2017/06/08/tennis-falmouth-girls-boys-remain-unbeaten-advance-to-state-championships/feed/ 0 http://multifiles.pressherald.com/uploads/sites/4/2017/06/1208258_107578-20170608_tennis04.jpgMary Hyland and Mia Cooney of Falmouth High exit the court after defeating Cordelia Perry and Katie Shedd of Thornton Academy in the Class A South tennis regional finals at Bates College in Lewiston on Thursday. (Staff photo by Jill Brady/Staff Photographer)Thu, 08 Jun 2017 22:10:43 +0000
Tennis: Brunswick girls rally to win Class A North title http://www.pressherald.com/2017/06/06/tennis-brunswick-girls-rally-to-win-class-a-north-title/ http://www.pressherald.com/2017/06/06/tennis-brunswick-girls-rally-to-win-class-a-north-title/#respond Tue, 06 Jun 2017 15:49:39 +0000 http://www.pressherald.com/2017/06/06/tennis-brunswick-girls-rally-to-win-class-a-north-title/ BRUNSWICK — They trailed by three games in each of their sets, but Katharine Kunhardt and Sabina Smith of Brunswick remained confident.

That they were the only members of their team still on court, and that the outcome of the Class A North girls’ tennis championship rested on their rackets, did not seem to faze them.

“It was such a big match, which really stressed us out,” Kunhardt admitted. “Mostly we just dug deep and said, ‘We’ve got this,’ because we had beaten them twice before (in the regular season). So we were like, ‘We can do it.’ ”

Indeed, the two seniors swept the final five points of a tiebreaker Tuesday to beat Lewiston freshmen Molly Chicoine and Roslyn Wailus 6-4, 7-6 (7-2), and clinch the regional title 3-2 over the top-seeded Blue Devils.

In the Class A North boys’ final, No. 2 Lewiston avenged a pair of regular-season losses by beating No. 1 Brunswick 3-2 when Caden Smith pulled out a 6-7 (7-5), 6-3, 6-4 victory at third singles over Luke Estabrook of Brunswick.

In Class B North, the Caribou girls and Camden Hills boys – both seeded No. 2 – earned 4-1 victories over the No. 1 Camden Hills girls and No. 4 Waterville boys, respectively.

Originally scheduled for Colby College in Waterville, the Class A and B regional finals were moved inside to Maine Pines Racquet & Fitness because of rain instead of being pushed back a day to remain outside, as was the hope of Lewiston Coach Anita Murphy.

“It does seem a little unfair,” said Brunswick senior Kira Wolpow of the third-seeded Dragons (13-2) playing on courts where they regularly train. “As long as it’s a tennis court, I feel like it doesn’t really matter where it us. But a lot of people on the team love being here and I definitely feel a lot more comfortable here. We’re here so much.”

Lewiston (13-2) split with Brunswick in the regular season, losing 3-2 and winning 4-1 on consecutive days in May. Neither match included Wolpow, a quarterfinalist in the singles tournament who was playing flute at a three-day all-state music festival.

“Every year I’ve missed one tennis match for that weekend,” Wolpow said. “It’s a really important commitment.”

This rainy spring, because of postponements, Brunswick wound up playing four matches during her three-day absence. The Dragons went 2-2 without their best player.

On Tuesday, Wolpow won 6-2, 6-4 at first singles. Lewiston won at second singles (Lizzy Michaud over Anna Parker 6-1, 6-3) and second doubles (Zahara Shidad and Maddy Foster by 6-1, 6-1 over Aidan Sachs and Rae Bamberger) for a 2-1 advantage.

Cassie Ridge of Brunswick tied the match with a 6-0, 6-3 victory at third singles, and left Brunswick’s seniors and Lewiston’s freshmen to decide the outcome at first doubles.

Although Lewiston opened leads of 3-0 in the first and 4-1 in the second, Brunswick rallied to win both sets.

“The difference, really, was that we had two seniors on the court in the last match and they had two freshmen,” Brunswick Coach Rob Manter said.

“Their freshmen handled themselves very well, I thought, but that made just enough of a difference for us to get over the hump.”

In the Class A boys’ match, Lewiston won with seniors at first singles (Cole Ouellette) and first doubles (Asier Garcinuno and Ben Ferrence), both by scores of 6-3, 6-1.

Brunswick won with senior Lincoln Sullivan at second singles (6-3, 6-4), and junior Wyatt Slocum and senior Manuel Asens (4-6, 6-3, 6-2).

That left Smith and Estabrook in a third set at third singles to decide the title.

“It was actually a really good feeling” to be the center of attention, said Smith, who won the final three games of the match. “I saw a lot of friends who came here from Lewiston to cheer for us.”

Brunswick finished 13-1. Lewiston (13-2) advanced to Saturday’s state final against Falmouth or Thornton Academy.

In the Class C North final, held indoors in Bangor, George Stevens Academy swept past the Orono girls and Washington Academy boys.

All six South finals are scheduled for Thursday at Bates College in Lewiston, with Class A at 9:15 a.m., Class C at 12:45 p.m. and Class B at 4:15 p.m.

Glenn Jordan can be contacted at 791-6425 or

Gjordan@pressherald.com

Twitter: GlennJordanPPH

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http://www.pressherald.com/2017/06/06/tennis-brunswick-girls-rally-to-win-class-a-north-title/feed/ 0 http://multifiles.pressherald.com/uploads/sites/4/2017/06/1207142_317174-20170606_tennis_3.jpgBrunswick teammates congratulate senior Sabina Smith, center, after she defeated Lewiston with doubles teammate Katharine Kunhardt.Tue, 06 Jun 2017 22:29:18 +0000
Wet weather forces North region tennis indoors http://www.pressherald.com/2017/06/05/wet-weather-forces-north-region-tennis-indoors/ http://www.pressherald.com/2017/06/05/wet-weather-forces-north-region-tennis-indoors/#respond Mon, 05 Jun 2017 14:47:11 +0000 http://www.pressherald.com/2017/06/05/wet-weather-forces-north-region-tennis-indoors/ Because of rainy forecasts, the Maine Principals’ Association has moved Tuesday’s North Regional team tennis championship matches indoors.

Originally scheduled for Colby College in Waterville, the Class A & B finals will be played at Maine Pines Racquet & Fitness in Brunswick and the Class C finals will move to the Armstrong Tennis Center in Hampden.

Here is the updated schedule at Maine Pines: Class A girls (No. 1 Lewiston vs. No. 3 Brunswick), 9 a.m.; Class A boys (No. 1 Brunswick vs. No. 2 Lewiston), 11:15 a.m.; Class B girls (No. 1 Camden Hills vs. No. 2 Caribou), 1:30 p.m.; Class B boys (No. 2 Camden Hills vs. No. 4 Waterville), 3:45 p.m.

At Armstrong: Class C girls (No. 3 Orono vs. No. 5 George Stevens Academy), 1 p.m.; Class C boys (No. 1 George Stevens vs. No. 6 Washington Academy), 3:45 p.m.

The South Regional finals remain scheduled outdoors Thursday as the Wallach Tennis Center at Bates College in Lewiston.

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http://www.pressherald.com/2017/06/05/wet-weather-forces-north-region-tennis-indoors/feed/ 0 Mon, 05 Jun 2017 18:32:38 +0000
Top seeds earn MPA singles tennis crowns http://www.pressherald.com/2017/05/29/top-seeds-advance-to-mpa-singles-tennis-finals/ http://www.pressherald.com/2017/05/29/top-seeds-advance-to-mpa-singles-tennis-finals/#respond Mon, 29 May 2017 16:07:25 +0000 http://www.pressherald.com/2017/05/29/top-seeds-advance-to-mpa-singles-tennis-finals/ Yarmouth sophomore Lana Mavor showed her dominance and Mt. Ararat senior Nick Mathieu showed his resilience Monday afternoon as the two top seeds in the Maine Principals’ Association singles tennis tournaments won titles in distinctly different fashions.

Mavor rolled over No. 2 Rosemary Campanella, a Wells junior, 6-1, 6-1 in a match that lasted 49 minutes. Mathieu, the defending champion, needed 2 hours and 20 minutes to finally get past Falmouth sophomore Nick Forester, the third seed, 3-6, 6-4, 7-5 in a match filled with drama, muscle cramps and roller bars.

“There was definitely some heat there and lots of emotion,” said Mathieu, who won the last three games and fell to his knees after blasting an inside-out forehand winner on his second match point. “You could feel the tension for sure.”

The matches, originally scheduled outdoors at Bates College in Lewiston but moved inside to the Racket & Fitness Center in Portland for the fourth time in five years because of a rainy forecast, capped three days of action that began Friday in Portland with 48 boys and 48 girls and continued Saturday at Colby College in Waterville.

In Monday morning’s semifinals, Mavor beat No. 5 Grace Campanella, a Kennebunk freshman and younger sister of Rosemary, 6-1, 6-1, and Rosemary Campanella defeated No. 3 Bethany Hammond of St. Dominic, 6-1, 6-2.

Last spring, Rosemary Campanella reached the final after Mavor withdrew from their semifinal because of a strained back that grew progressively worse through the tournament.

Mavor opened Monday’s final by breaking Campanella’s serve at love. Campanella got one break point against Mavor, in the final game.

“Lana’s just a very good player,” Campanella said. “Any opportunity you give her, she’s going to take it. To win one point, I had to work very, very hard.”

Mavor won five matches with a combined score in games of 60-6. Her only nervous moment Monday may have been when a stray Campanella lob soared over protective netting and struck Mavor’s seated grandmother on the arm.

“That was a weird point,” Mavor said with a smile. “I don’t usually get that concerned. I’m pretty confident.”

Mavor admitted she occasionally peeked over at the adjacent court to watch Forester and Mathieu slug it out in the boys’ final. Like Mavor, Forester reached last year’s semifinals, only to withdraw because of an injury, torn ligaments in his knee after stepping on a stray ball.

An ambidextrous player who hits forehands from either wing, the naturally left-handed Forester opened and closed the first set by breaking Mathieu’s serve.

“For his first final, he came out swinging,” Mathieu said. “I couldn’t really keep up with him. I was very surprised and it was very impressive to have no nerves.”

The second set stayed on serve until Mathieu broke Forester at love for a 4-3 lead and fended off three break points to make it 5-3. Trailing love-40 in the 10th game, Mathieu again rallied and held serve to win 6-4 and force a third set.

In three previous trips to the final, Mathieu lost to seniors Brendan McCarthy of Falmouth and Isaac Salas of Waynflete before beating Thornton Academy freshman Dariy Vykhodtsev in three sets.

In Monday’s third set, Mathieu jumped ahead 3-1. Forester held and broke at love to tie. A lengthy seventh game turned for Mathieu on his fourth break point, giving the senior a 4-3 lead. Forester limped into the changeover and used his five-minute medical break to ingest fluids and work a roller bar over his cramping thighs and calves.

“It was painful,” he said. “I don’t think I could have made it without the (vocal) support of my teammates. They kept me going.”

When play resumed, Mathieu had his own issues with a cramping right hand that he tried to shake open.

“Sometimes when I have a long match, my hand starts to claw up,” Mathieu said. “I lose power. But if I squeeze really hard, it usually goes away.”

Forester broke back and held serve for a 5-4 lead, but Mathieu did likewise to stay alive and broke Forester on the 10th point of the next game. Two service winners helped him to a 40-0 lead before he converted his second match point on a forehand to Forester’s left.

After dropping to his knees and elbows, Mathieu arose, took a few steps and spiked the white hat he wore backwards and then the spare ball from his pocket before shaking hands with Forester.

“It was a fun match,” said Forester, slumped in a courtside chair, still grimacing in pain.

The surprise of the boys’ tournament was unseeded Brandon Ameglio, a Waynflete senior who knocked off No. 4 Alex Klemperer of Falmouth and No. 5 Thomas Jarmusz of Morse in straight sets Saturday.

On Monday morning, Ameglio lost 6-0, 6-0 to the hard-hitting Mathieu, and Forester rallied from a 3-0 deficit to beat Vykhodtsev, seeded second, 6-3, 6-4.

Glenn Jordan can be contacted at 791-6425 or:

Gjordan@pressherald.com

Twitter: GlennJordanPPH

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http://www.pressherald.com/2017/05/29/top-seeds-advance-to-mpa-singles-tennis-finals/feed/ 0 http://multifiles.pressherald.com/uploads/sites/4/2017/05/1203460_257209-20170529_tennis0410.jpgNick Mathieu of Mt. Ararat celebrates after he defeated Falmouth's Nick Forester in three sets Monday to win his second straight singles state championships.Wed, 31 May 2017 21:23:39 +0000
Tennis state championships: Final 16 boys’ and girls’ players set http://www.pressherald.com/2017/05/26/tennis-state-championships-final-16-boys-and-girls-players-set/ http://www.pressherald.com/2017/05/26/tennis-state-championships-final-16-boys-and-girls-players-set/#respond Sat, 27 May 2017 01:04:02 +0000 http://www.pressherald.com/2017/05/26/tennis-state-championships-final-16-boys-and-girls-players-set/ It wasn’t a frenzy, exactly, but Fynn Frenzel generated plenty of interest Friday on the long opening day of the MPA singles tennis tournaments.

Frenzel, a sophomore at Bonny Eagle, was one of the 96 boys and girls who advanced from regional competition to the culminating weekend.

Who was this kid with the alliterative name seeded ninth in the boys’ tournament? Why hadn’t anyone heard of him?

Frenzel, as it turns out, is an exchange student from Hannover, Germany.

“I am here since January,” said Frenzel, who won all but two of his regular-season matches, losing only to Conor Doane of Deering (No. 10) and Dariy Vykhodtsev of Thornton Academy (No. 2).

Jacob Greene of Waynflete wasn’t intimidated. For the second straight year Greene knocked out a ninth seed. He beat Frenzel 6-2, 6-2 to advance to the Round of 16 at Colby College in Waterville.

“There’s definitely something to be said for being the underdog,” Greene said. “But I also think coming in fresh and only having to play one match is also an advantage, one I would love to have rather than being the underdog.”

On Friday, Greene won a tough 7-5, 6-3 match with Yontz Sutton of Washington Academy. A basketball player from Bermuda with a YouTube dunking video, Sutton provided another international challenge for Greene.

“He was super athletic,” Greene said. “When he got his serve in, it was one of the stronger serves I’ve seen. And he got to everything, so that was tough.”

Originally scheduled for Colby, rain forced the first two rounds indoors to the Racket & Fitness Center in Portland. Sixteen boys and 16 girls will resume play Saturday in Waterville through the quarterfinal round with semis and finals scheduled for Monday at Bates College in Lewiston.

Matches began Friday at 8:30 a.m. and continued for more than 11 hours, a total of 63 matches involving 23 seeds and 72 unseeded players.

Zach Flannery of Hampden Academy, was first to punch his ticket to Saturday. Upon winning his early-morning match 6-0, 6-1 against Travel Lebel of Van Buren, Flannery learned his next opponent, sixth-seeded Peter Mao of Mt. Ararat, had withdrawn because of tendinitis.

Flannery will face another unseeded player, Kennebunk freshman Declan Archer, in the Round of 16. Archer knocked off Matt Morse of Camden Hills 7-6 (7-4), 6-3 in the morning and No. 11 Alec Cyr of Caribou 6-0, 6-4 in the afternoon.

Eleven also proved an unlucky seed in the girls’ tournament. No. 11 Katrina Mason of Carrabec fell 6-1, 6-4 to Falmouth freshman Meredith Kelley, who had beaten Kelly Nicklaus of Caribou by an identical score.

Older sister Kate Kelley (No. 10) was the other seed to fall in the girls’ tournament, losing 7-5, 6-3 to Arielle Leeman of Morse. Three of the 12 boys’ seeds failed to advance.

Junior Izzy Evans of Greely, seeded fourth, beat Brunswick freshman Anna Parker in straight sets. Evans returned after spending her sophomore year in Spain.

“The roles were reversed and I was the upperclassman playing a freshman,” she said. “It was a lot of fun as a freshman because you have nothing to lose; you have three more years. Now I feel like I have to do well.”

Peter Gribizis, a Portland High senior, advanced to Saturday for the first time in four years. He rallied for a 6-4, 1-6, 6-1 victory over Darren Hanscom of John Bapst.

“I started to break down at the end of the second set,” said Gribizis. “I told myself to calm down and forget about all the bad shots I was hitting. I managed to have a pretty relaxed third set. But I’m not going to lie. I was worried.”

The reward for Gribizis is a morning match against No. 3 Nick Forester, the Falmouth sophomore who reached the semifinals last spring before a freak injury after stepping on a ball caused his withdrawal.

Taking note of a crowded lobby and upstairs observation area, Gribizis was reminded of his sport’s close-knit community.

“Everyone is really nice and supportive,” he said. “This can be a brutal sport, mentally. So even when you’re out there battling, you have tons of respect for the person across the net.”

Glenn Jordan can be contacted at 791-6425 or

Gjordan@pressherald.com

Twitter: GlennJordanPPH

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High school tennis: Top players are back on track http://www.pressherald.com/2017/05/24/high-school-tennis-top-players-are-back-on-track/ http://www.pressherald.com/2017/05/24/high-school-tennis-top-players-are-back-on-track/#respond Thu, 25 May 2017 00:49:58 +0000 http://www.pressherald.com/2017/05/24/high-school-tennis-top-players-are-back-on-track/ FALMOUTH — One year after Lana Mavor and Nick Forester had to withdraw from the high school tennis state singles semifinals because of injuries, both are healthy and eager for a title.

Neither Mavor, a Yarmouth High sophomore, nor Forester, a Falmouth sophomore, has lost a set this spring. She is seeded first among the 48 players who advanced from regional qualifying. He is seeded third among 48 boys, behind defending champion Nick Mathieu of Mt. Ararat and runner-up Dariy Vykhodtsev of Thornton Academy.

Because of a wet forecast, Friday’s matches were moved indoors to the Racket & Fitness Center in Portland. Organizers remain hopeful that the Round of 16 and quarterfinals can be played as scheduled Saturday at Colby College in Waterville.

Semifinals and finals are scheduled for Monday at Bates College in Lewiston, but last year marked the third time in four years that weather forced the finals indoors.

“I’m excited for it,” Mavor said. “I’ve been looking forward to it.”

She spoke Monday following an anticipated match with Bethany Hammond of St. Dominic, a three-time semifinalist and 2015 finalist seeded third this spring. Mavor won, 6-0, 6-0.

Only three girls have won a game against Mavor this spring: Rosemary Campanella of Wells (second seed) lost 6-3, 6-1; Grace Campanella of Kennebunk (No. 5) lost 6-1, 6-3; and Izzy Evans of Greely (No. 4) lost, 6-1, 6-1.

“I think she’s improved considerably over last year,” Yarmouth Coach Ann Harradon said of Mavor, the top-ranked USTA player in Maine for girls 16 and under who is also No. 2 in New England and No. 122 in the country. “She’s much stronger. She really hits the felt off the ball.”

Mavor, the top seed a year ago, strained her lower back in a regular-season win over Julia Brogan of Falmouth. Mavor won three matches in the singles tournament before withdrawing, down 4-0, in the semifinals against Rosemary Campanella because of back issues. Brogan, now playing No. 2 singles for Trinity College, beat Campanella 6-1, 6-0 in the finals.

“The goal was to win it,” Mavor said. “I wasn’t able to but it was OK, I guess. There’s always more.”

Mavor said physical therapy and “some kind of massage thing, muscle manipulation” on a six-week visit to her mother’s native Ukraine helped her back heal. She has since played in several national events, including one earlier this month on clay in Virginia, where she placed fifth in singles.

Not long after Mavor walked off the court last spring, Forester withdrew from his semifinal after stepping on a stray ball from an adjacent court and suffering two partial ligament tears in his left knee and a fractured growth plate. At the time, he led Vykhodtsev 4-3 in the first set.

“I didn’t need surgery,” Forester said. “I was going to (physical therapy) for about six to eight weeks. As soon as I was cleared to play, I was right back out there.”

Mathieu, a three-time finalist, wound up beating Vykhodtsev 6-4, 4-6, 6-2 to win his first singles title.

Forester said it took a few months before he felt on par with his level of play prior to the injury. He and Vykhodtsev met twice in USTA tournaments in the final, once in Massachusetts and once in Maine. Forester won both in straight sets.

“He’s playing much better,” Falmouth Coach Bob McCully said. “He played well last year, but he’s recovered very well from the injury and is playing at a very high level.”

In his first seven matches this spring for unbeaten Falmouth, Forester is a combined 84-13 in games. His style is a bit unusual in that he hits forehand ground strokes from either side.

An accident in a gym class that resulted in a strained lower back caused Forester to miss a few matches as a precaution, but he said he’s been fine for the past two weeks.

“I feel very good,” he said. “I feel ready. I’ve prepared.”

Forester’s match Friday is scheduled for 12:45 p.m. against Thorne Kieffer of Waynflete or Noah Toussaint of St. Dom’s. They play at 8:30 a.m.

Mavor is scheduled to begin at 5:15 p.m. against the winner of an 11:15 a.m. match between Emma Nassif of Thornton Academy and Lindsay Nevin of George Stevens Academy.

“It will be an interesting weekend,” Harradon said.

Glenn Jordan can be contacted at 791-6425 or

Gjordan@pressherald.com

Twitter: GlennJordanPPH

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Tennis for ticker http://www.pressherald.com/2017/04/21/tennis-for-ticker/ http://www.pressherald.com/2017/04/21/tennis-for-ticker/#respond Fri, 21 Apr 2017 11:55:55 +0000 http://www.pressherald.com/?p=1214729 http://www.pressherald.com/2017/04/21/tennis-for-ticker/feed/ 0 Wed, 21 Jun 2017 07:56:54 +0000 Tennis preview: Waynflete boys have their eyes on 10th straight state title http://www.pressherald.com/2017/04/20/tennis-preview-waynflete-boys-have-their-eyes-on-10th-straight-state-title/ http://www.pressherald.com/2017/04/20/tennis-preview-waynflete-boys-have-their-eyes-on-10th-straight-state-title/#respond Thu, 20 Apr 2017 08:00:00 +0000 http://www.pressherald.com/?p=1184316 Reggae music drifted from portable speakers. A gentle breeze wafted through tree branches just starting to bud.

The absence of leaves allowed views of the Fore River shimmering in the afternoon sunshine.

All eyes, however, were on the organized chaos unfolding on three upper tennis courts, where Waynflete boys’ coach Jeff Madore was overseeing a game of Live Ball, which starts on three courts with two players per side and six balls in play, and ends on the middle court with one ball and as many as six players on each side.

“He always has different drills for us,” said senior Brandon Ameglio, returning at No. 1 singles. “We do some of the same stuff, of course, but he mixes it up with different drills that we haven’t seen in years. And they’re all good, and help us get better at different parts of our game.”

Madore’s philosophy is a winning one. His Flyers have won nine straight Class C state championships, matching the streaks put together by the South Portland girls in Class A (1973-81), Cape Elizabeth girls in Class B (1990-98), and Falmouth girls in B and A (2008-present).

A native of Rockland, Madore grew up with football, basketball and baseball, and played baseball for one year at the University of Maine under Jack Butterfield. Tennis came later, as an adult. He began coaching in 2002 with the Waynflete girls’ team after retiring as a chemical engineer and switched to the boys in 2007.

“I don’t even know if we won half our (matches) that first year,” Madore said. “I was changing the whole system around and we had a lot of young kids. And then the next year we got (Brandon) Thompson.”

Thompson (2010) is one of the three Waynflete boys to win a singles state title under Madore. The others are Patrick Ordway (2011) and Isaac Salas (2015). Devin Van Dyke, who came in as a freshman in 2007 with Madore, said his old coach is even more effective with doubles players.

“A good coach can make a big difference in doubles,” said Van Dyke, who played at Haverford College in Pennsylvania and is in his first year of medical school. “He can turn kids who don’t have much formal teaching in tennis into pretty effective doubles players and … quickly.”

Van Dyke’s younger brother, John, a senior on this year’s team, played first doubles last spring.

“I was at pretty much every match of his, cheering him on,” John said. “It’s been great to kind of carry on Devin’s legacy and be part of the team. We definitely feel some pressure. This is the big 1-0, the big year. It would be a decade.”

Madore is a proponent of pressure and tries to incorporate aspects of competition into every practice. Take a drill he calls First Ball Cross Court.

“So if I feed you the ball, you’ve got to bring it back cross court,” Madore said. “There are several iterations of this. One would just be Play It Out. One would be a game we call Chess, which is really about when to change ball direction. We want them to change ball direction either on a short outside ball or an inside ball that they can handle and go the other way.”

Once the ball changes direction, the point doubles in value. Games are to five. A short ball (anything that lands inside the service line) loses a point for the striker and requires the receiver to come to net to finish the point. Unforced errors mean points for your opponent.

“You make a lot of games like this where you really put the pressure on them by the scoring system,” Madore said. “You want to keep them focused and concentrating. You want to keep it competitive and fun, but you also want to make it strategic.”

Madore rarely raises his voice and never loses his temper. His players call him Jeff but clearly maintain an appropriate level of respect.

“That’s helpful, to have him always calm,” said junior Jacob Greene. “If you’re kind of flustered in a match, he can calm you down and say, ‘Just start over, start fresh.’ ”

“I’ve seen him turn matches around with a few well-placed words,” Devin Van Dyke said. “He’d find where the holes are in the other guy’s game and you could turn it around from there.”

Madore also keeps practices fresh by bringing in alumni or competitive adults to hit with his players. Devin Van Dyke said he’s probably come back four different years to rally with those who came after him at the Fore River courts.

“It feels just as it did when I left,” Van Dyke said. “The kids know him and respect him, and he knows how to run these good, effective practices.”

Glenn Jordan can be contacted at 791-6425 or

Gjordan@pressherald.com

Twitter: GlennJordanPPH

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http://www.pressherald.com/2017/04/20/tennis-preview-waynflete-boys-have-their-eyes-on-10th-straight-state-title/feed/ 0 http://multifiles.pressherald.com/uploads/sites/4/2017/04/1184316_490147-20170414Tennis_2.jpgSenior Brandon Ameglio will be back as the No. 1 singles player for Waynflete, which continually benefits by the different drills that Coach Jeff Madore employs in practices.Wed, 19 Apr 2017 23:42:49 +0000
Tennis: Players to watch http://www.pressherald.com/2017/04/20/tennis-players-to-watch/ http://www.pressherald.com/2017/04/20/tennis-players-to-watch/#respond Thu, 20 Apr 2017 08:00:00 +0000 http://www.pressherald.com/?p=1184320 GIRLS

Grace Campanella, Kennebunk freshman: Ranked 23rd in New England (second in Maine) among 16-and-under girls. She is the younger sister of singles state finalist Rosemary Campanella.

Rosemary Campanella, Wells senior: Reached the final of the state singles tournament as the fourth seed, winning by shutout each match until the championship. Compiled a 10-1 record in team play for the Kennebunk/Wells co-op team.

Liv Clifford, Cape Elizabeth senior: Reached quarterfinals of state singles tournament as eighth seed. Only losses all season were to singles tourney’s top five seeds. Led Cape Elizabeth to first its Class B title in nine years.

Lexi Epstein, Waynflete senior: Returns at No. 1 singles for Class C regional finalist. Seeded 11th in singles state tournament and reached Round of 16 before falling to No. 6 Megan Nathanson.

Izzy Evans, Greely junior: Returns from a year in Spain to reclaim No. 1 singles spot for Rangers. In 2015, reached quarters as No. 5 seed in state singles tournament and went 13-2 to lead team to Class B state title.

Katie Gilman, Cape Elizabeth senior: Reached Round of 16 in singles state tournament before falling to No. 2 Bethany Hammond. Went 13-2 in team play (losing only to Falmouth) to help Capers win Class B state title.

Kate Kelley, Falmouth senior: Unbeaten at No. 3 singles for nine-time state champ Falmouth, which enters season riding 141-match winning streak. Assumes No. 1 singles role of state’s dominant program.

Meredith Kelley, Falmouth freshman: Third among 16-and-under girls in Maine USTA rankings. Will open the season at No. 2 singles behind her older sister.

Lana Mavor, Yarmouth sophomore: Top seed in singles state tournament who withdrew in semifinals because of back injury. Did not drop a set in regular season. First in Maine and second in New England in 16-and-under USTA rankings.

Kathryn Pare, Greely senior: Only remaining member on both of Greely’s back-to-back state championship teams. Drops from No. 1 singles to No. 2. Reached Round of 32 in singles tourney before losing to No. 2 Bethany Hammond.

BOYS

Brandon Ameglio, Waynflete senior: Returns at No. 1 singles for nine-time defending Class C state champs. Reached Round of 32 in singles state tourney a second straight year despite month-long illness last spring.

Conor Doane, Deering senior: Third year at No. 1 singles for Rams. Reached Round of 16 in the singles state tournament before falling to No. 4 Michael Mills. Led sixth-seeded Rams to Class A regional semifinals.

Nick Forester, Falmouth sophomore: Semifinalist and second seed in the singles tournament. Recovered from knee injury suffered in semifinal match after stepping on a ball, forcing withdrawal for season’s only loss.

Matthew Jarmusz, Morse senior: Returning quarterfinalist as 11th seed in singles state tournament, losing to No. 3 Dariy Vykhodtsev. Played No. 2 singles for Class B regional finalist.

Thomas Jarmusz, Morse senior: Returns at No. 1 singles for a Shipbuilders team that went 10-2 in the regular season. As fifth seed in state singles tournament, reached Round of 16.

Alex Klemperer, Falmouth junior: Returning quarterfinalist as eighth seed in singles tournament who moved up to No. 1 and led Falmouth to regional final. Only losses were to the two singles finalists, Nick Mathieu and Dariy Vyhkodtsev.

Peter Mao, Mt. Ararat junior: Returning quarterfinalist as the 10th seed in the state singles tournament who went 13-0 in team play to help the Eagles reach the Class A North quarterfinals.

Nick Mathieu, Mt. Ararat senior: Defending champion and three-time finalist of the state singles tournament. Ranked No. 3 in New England in men’s open division. Unbeaten in three years of team competition.

Matt Morse, Camden Hills senior: Returns at No. 1 singles for defending Class B state champion. Reached Round of 32 in singles state tournament before falling to eventual champion Mathieu.

Dariy Vykhodtsev, Thornton Academy sophomore: Reached final of state singles tournament and pushed Mathieu to three sets in championship match. Also led Thornton Academy to its first Class A state title, going 12-0 in team play.

– Glenn Jordan

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Tennis: Teams to watch http://www.pressherald.com/2017/04/20/tennis-teams-to-watch/ http://www.pressherald.com/2017/04/20/tennis-teams-to-watch/#respond Thu, 20 Apr 2017 08:00:00 +0000 http://www.pressherald.com/?p=1184321 GIRLS

1. Falmouth: Graduation claimed the top two singles players, but nine straight state titles and a 141-match winning streak result from plenty of depth. Senior Kate Kelley moves up to No. 1, freshman sister Meredith Kelley slots in at No. 2 and senior Amanda Watson at No. 3. A big test will come May 5 at defending Class C state champ St. Dominic, which boasts an all-senior lineup led by three-time singles semifinalist Bethany Hammond.

2. Cape Elizabeth: Coming off a Class B state title, the Capers must replace four starters lost to graduation but return senior Liv Clifford and junior Katie Gilman to the top two singles spots. Sophomore Emelie Jarquin or senior Ellie Garfield will slide into No. 3, leaving Coach Sarah Boeckel to fashion two doubles teams from a combined varsity and JV roster that numbers 45.

3. Greely: Senior Kathryn Pare, who helped the Rangers win Class B state titles in 2014 and 2015, drops down to No. 2 singles with the return from a year abroad of junior Izzy Evans, a singles quarterfinalist in 2015. Her sister, Paige Evans, a freshman, slots in at No. 3. Junior Kathryn Steinberg and sophomore Jordan Bryant team up at first doubles with four strong contenders to fill out the second doubles team.

4. Waynflete: Senior Lexi Epstein is back at No. 1 singles for a team that went 8-7 but reached the Class C South finals before falling to unbeaten St. Dominic. Six of the top seven are back, including senior Sidara Cash-Sortwell, who finished the season at No. 3 singles. Classmate Kiera MacWhinnie, likely at No. 2 singles after playing first doubles as a sophomore, has recovered from a knee injury that cost her last season.

5. Gorham: The Rams went 12-2 and reached the Class A South semifinals before falling 3-2 to No. 2 Scarborough. Much of that lineup is back, along with freshman Jocelyn Bolt, who is likely to join seniors Whitney King and Jenna Cowan in singles. Coach Nicole Bergeron is still sorting out doubles, but has plenty of depth and young talent from which to draw.

BOYS

1. Thornton Academy: The defending Class A state champion Golden Trojans once more have an international flair, with returning sophomore Dariy Vykhodtsev being joined in singles by senior Jakub Jarasek from the Czech Republic and junior Balazs Balati of Hungary. Juniors Asher Thompson and Adam Lovejoy move up to first doubles with junior Junxi Xiao (who played No. 3 singles) and sophomore Caleb Richard at second doubles.

2. Falmouth: Losing Nick Forester on the eve of the team tournament cost Falmouth a third straight Class A title, but a depleted lineup still managed to reach the regional final and lose only 3-2 to Thornton Academy. With the dual-handed Forester healthy again, junior Alex Klemperer and senior Peter Stegemann return to second and third singles. The formidable doubles quartet of seniors Jordan Bruce, Trey Fallon and Greyson Cohen, and sophomore Calvin Spencer returns intact.

3. Waynflete: Senior Brandon Ameglio returns at No. 1 singles for a squad seeking its 10th straight Class C state title. Four other starters (senior John Van Dyke, junior Shuhao Liu, and sophomores Thorne Kieffer and Cooper Sherman) return from the championship lineup. Junior Jacob Greene missed the final because of a school-sponsored trip to China but is back at either second or third singles.

4. Camden Hills: Graduation claimed four of the top seven from the reigning Class B state champion, but seniors Matt Morse and Josiah Krul return at singles, and classmate Colby Arau moves up from first doubles.

5. Portland: The Bulldogs return every starter from a club that went 11-3 and reached the Class A South semifinals, but it will be hard to get past Falmouth or Thornton Academy. Seniors Peter Gribizis and Peter Barry lead the singles lineup, which also includes junior Quinn Clarke. Seniors Henry Gates and Daniel Mencher form the first doubles team, and juniors Dana Hinchcliffe and Jack Kovarik the second.

– Glenn Jordan

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Girls’ tennis: Julia Brogan, Falmouth http://www.pressherald.com/2016/07/10/brogan-continues-falmouths-championship-legacy/ http://www.pressherald.com/2016/07/10/brogan-continues-falmouths-championship-legacy/#respond Sun, 10 Jul 2016 08:00:00 +0000 http://www.pressherald.com/?p=961757 After three years as the understudy, Falmouth High senior Julia Brogan emerged into the spotlight this spring.

Brogan picked up where former teammate Olivia Leavitt left off, keeping the Maine Principals’ Association state singles title in Falmouth for a fourth straight year.

A two-time semifinalist entering this spring, Brogan drew the third seed and ran the table, culminating in straight-sets victories over No. 2 Bethany Hammond of St. Dominic in the semifinals and No. 4 Rosemary Campanella of Wells in the finals.

“I was really determined this year to finally win states,” Brogan said. “I feel I came really close my freshman and sophomore and junior years, so I was determined to go out on a high note.”

Brogan, who also led Falmouth to a ninth consecutive team state title, is our choice as Maine Sunday Telegram Player of the Year in girls’ tennis.

Falmouth Coach Bill Goodspeed said Brogan’s willingness to work hard, improve her fitness and embrace different styles of play – depending on her opponent – allowed her to take a giant leap forward this spring.

“That made her more dangerous and less predictable on the court,” he said. “It’s impressive to see someone who was that good willing to try new things to get even better.”

After three unbeaten seasons in team competition, Brogan lost a regular-season match, 6-1, 6-3 to Yarmouth freshman Lana Mavor. A potential rematch in the finals of the singles tournament failed to materialize when a back injury forced Mavor, the No. 1 seed, to withdraw during her semifinal.

“I was actually looking forward to playing Lana a second time,” Brogan said. “I think I was able to get a pretty good read on her game.”

Instead, Brogan dispatched Hammond, 6-2, 7-6 (3) before sewing up the title with a 6-1, 6-0 victory over Campanella.

“I went from Bethany, who’s crafty, lefty and athletic, to Rosemary, who’s a power hitter who goes for everything,” Brogan said. “So I had to have two completely different strategies on the same day. Fortunately, that’s something I’ve been working on.”

Brogan plans to continue her tennis career at Trinity College and major in economics. She was a three-year member of the National Honor Society, and recently learned she is an Advanced Placement Scholar with Distinction.

“She is perhaps the most determined, hardest-working player I’ve ever seen,” Goodspeed said. “She’s also very dedicated to her academics. I will always remember her as being a very disciplined kid. I think it will serve her well in life.”

Telegram All-State team

Julia Brogan, Falmouth senior: Won her first state singles championship as the third seed, defeating No. 4 Rosemary Campanella 6-1, 6-0 in the final. Also led Falmouth to a third straight Class A state title and ninth overall. Went 13-1 in team play, losing only to Lana Mavor in mid-May. Plans to continue her career at Trinity College.

Rosemary Campanella, Wells sophomore: Runner-up in the state singles tournament as the fourth seed, falling 6-1, 6-0 to Julia Brogan in the final. Went 10-1 for the Kennebunk/Wells cooperative team, losing only to Brogan. Did not drop a game in the singles tournament until the championship match.

Liv Clifford, Cape Elizabeth junior: Quarterfinalist in the state singles tournament as the eighth seed who lost to top seed Lana Mavor, 6-1, 6-1. Went 8-5 in the regular season – losing only to the top five seeds of the singles tourney – and unbeaten in the playoffs to lead the Capers (13-3) to their first Class B state title in nine years.

Bethany Hammond, St. Dominic junior: Second seed in the state singles tournament who reached the semifinals for the third straight year before losing to eventual champ Julia Brogan, 6-2, 7-6 (3). Unbeaten in team play to lead St. Dom’s to the Class C title, the school’s first in 21 years. Singles finalist in 2015.

Lana Mavor, Yarmouth freshman: Top seed in state singles tournament who withdrew from her semifinal match after aggravating a lower back injury. Never lost a set in the regular season and was the only player in the state to defeat singles champ Julia Brogan, 6-1, 6-3 in a mid-May match in which Mavor first hurt her back.

Megan Nathanson, Scarborough senior: Sixth seed in the state singles tournament who reached the quarterfinals before falling 6-2, 6-1 to eventual champion Julia Brogan. Led Scarborough to best-ever 14-1 record and a regional final appearance. Did not lose a set other than to Brogan. Will continue her career at Nichols College.

Caroline Ray, Falmouth senior: Quarterfinalist for the second straight year in the state singles tournament, as the seventh seed. Lost a hard-fought match (6-4, 7-5) to No. 2 Bethany Hammond in the quarters. Went 14-0 in team play to help Falmouth extend its winning streak to 141 matches and nine state titles. Will continue her career at Stonehill College.

Lena Rich, North Yarmouth Academy senior: Quarterfinalist for the second straight year as the fifth seed in the state singles tournament, losing to runner-up Rosemary Campanella. Went 8-4 in team play to help NYA reach the Class C South semifinals before falling to eventual champ St. Dominic. Will continue her career at Oberlin College.

Coach of the Year
Sarah Boeckel, Cape Elizabeth: Coming off a surprising loss to Yarmouth in the regional quarterfinals a year ago, the Capers rolled through the Class B tournament this year with three straight 5-0 victories before knocking off Camden Hills 4-1 for the state title, the program’s first in nine years. Six of the top seven players returned, including four seniors. “They make me look good,” said Boeckel. “We knew we had experience on our side and (knew) what needed to be done.”

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http://www.pressherald.com/2016/07/10/brogan-continues-falmouths-championship-legacy/feed/ 0 http://multifiles.pressherald.com/uploads/sites/4/2016/07/961757_645719_tennis_0399.jpgJulia Brogan capped her stellar high school career with a pair of state championships, breaking through to win the singles title before leading Falmouth to another Class A title.Sat, 09 Jul 2016 16:58:41 +0000
Boys’ tennis: Nick Mathieu, Mt. Ararat http://www.pressherald.com/2016/07/10/focus-on-fitness-helped-mathieu-climb-to-top-rung/ http://www.pressherald.com/2016/07/10/focus-on-fitness-helped-mathieu-climb-to-top-rung/#respond Sun, 10 Jul 2016 08:00:00 +0000 http://www.pressherald.com/?p=961763 After finishing as runner-up of the Maine Principals’ Association state singles tournament as a freshman and a sophomore, Nick Mathieu began this spring with a different outlook.

“I’m running out of chances,” he said. “There was definitely a lot more on the line.”

A stronger, fitter Mathieu broke through, overcoming a semifinal scare to set up a three-set victory for the state title. The Mt. Ararat High junior capped his run by defeating Thornton Academy freshman Dariy Vykhodtsev 6-4, 4-6, 6-2 in the final.

Mathieu is our choice as Maine Sunday Telegram Player of the Year in boys’ tennis.

“I played my best tennis in the last set of the finals,” Mathieu said. “That’s because I’m in better shape this year.”

Mathieu lost to Brendan McCarthy of Falmouth in the 2014 final and Isaac Salas of Waynflete a year ago, Mathieu’s first as the top seed. Finding himself shaky and tight in the 2015 final was a wakeup call, he said.

“I felt like I was going to win the tournament because I was the (No. 1) seed,” he said. “But it doesn’t work that way. You have to earn it. This year, I put in the work.”

Since coming up short against Salas, Mathieu hit the weight room and the road. He put in 10-mile runs a few times a week and worked as much on his fitness as he did on his strokes.

“Every match, I went out like I was playing in the finals,” he said. “Last year, I was focusing more on who was on the other side of the court. This year, I knew if I play my game and I’m confident, I think I can win no matter who I’m playing. It really comes down to my game.”

Which is why he didn’t panic after falling behind 3-0 in his semifinal against Cape Elizabeth senior Michael Mills, the fourth seed. Mathieu fought back to win the set on the way to a 7-6 (5), 6-1 victory.

Aside from Mathieu and sophomore Peter Mao, the Eagles had almost no experience. Both went unbeaten in team play, and the rest of the team won at least one point in five of 12 regular-season matches to earn the fifth seed in Class A North.

Longtime Mt. Ararat Coach Don Foley said Mathieu deserves credit for helping nurture those new to the sport.

“He does a tremendous amount of work with the kids,” Foley said. “They look up to him, follow his instructions. He’s like another coach. Peter does, too. I can’t say enough about them.”

A high honors student, Mathieu has plenty of college options. He plans on majoring in business with a minor in biology. Medical school is under consideration.

“I have all my doors open,” he said.

Telegram All-State team

Thomas Brent, Gorham senior: The No. 12 seed in the state singles tournament, he knocked off No. 5 Thomas Jarmusz of Morse 6-2, 6-3 to reach the quarterfinals before falling to Michael Mills of Cape Elizabeth. He went 13-0 in team play this spring to cap a 50-5 career. Brent plans to continue his career at Endicott College.

Nick Forester, Falmouth freshman: The second seed in the state singles tournament, he was forced to withdraw in the first set of his semifinal match after stepping on a stray ball and injuring his knee. He was 16-0 to that point in team and tournament play. Comfortable hitting forehand groundstrokes with either hand.

Matthew Jarmusz, Morse junior: Quarterfinalist in the state singles tournament as the 11th seed, knocking off No. 6 Cole Ouellette of Lewiston 7-6 (3), 6-1 before falling to No. 3 Dariy Vykhodtsev of Thornton Academy. Unbeaten in team play at No. 2 singles, dropping only nine games and no sets while winning 14 matches.

Alex Klemperer, Falmouth sophomore: The eighth seed in the singles tournament who reached the quarterfinals before falling to top seed and eventual champion Nick Mathieu, 6-2, 6-1. Unbeaten in team play until falling to Dariy Vykhodstsev in the Class A South final.

Peter Mao, Mt. Ararat sophomore: Quarterfinalist as the 10th seed in the state singles tournament who knocked off No. 7 Ryan Chasse of Fort Kent 7-5, 6-1 before falling to No. 2 seed Nick Forester. Unbeaten in 13 team matches at No. 2 singles for the Eagles (5-7), who were edged 3-2 in the Class A North quarterfinals by No. 4 Mt. Blue.

Nick Mathieu, Mt. Ararat junior: State singles champion after twice finishing as runner-up. Beat No. 3
Dariy Vykhodtsev 6-4, 4-6, 6-2 in the final, dropping a set for the first time all spring. Went 12-0 in the regular season, losing only nine games total. Unbeaten in three years in team play.

Michael Mills, Cape Elizabeth senior: Semifinalist in the state singles tournament as the fourth seed, losing 7-6 (5), 6-1 to No. 1 seed Nick Mathieu. Went 7-2 in the regular season, losing only to Nick Forester before leading the Capers (13-3) to the Class B final with a 4-0 record in the playoffs. Will continue his career at Gettysburg College.

Dariy Vykhodtsev, Thornton Academy freshman: Runner-up in the singles tournament, where he extended Nick Mathieu to three sets. Also led the Golden Trojans to the first Class A state championship in school history. Went 12-0 in team competition, never dropping a set and losing only 18 games total.

Coach of the Year
Pete Webster, York: Coming off a combined record of 1-23 the previous two seasons, the Wildcats turned things around with a squad that included five sophomores and only one senior in the starting lineup. York went 6-6 to earn the No. 5 seed in Class B South, and upset No. 4 Gardiner and No. 1 Lincoln Academy before falling 3-2 to three-time defending state champ Cape Elizabeth. “We have risen from the ashes,” said Webster. “We definitely have something to build on with this young team. A bunch of them were soccer players, so they were good athletes with good hand-eye coordination and good foot skills.”

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http://www.pressherald.com/2016/07/10/focus-on-fitness-helped-mathieu-climb-to-top-rung/feed/ 0 http://multifiles.pressherald.com/uploads/sites/4/2016/07/961763_722847_20160530_tennis04.jpgNick Mathieu of Mt. Ararat received a strong challenege from Thornton Academy's Dariy Vykhodtsev in the state singles final but was up to the task, winning in three sets. Mathieu was also undefeated in team play.Sat, 09 Jul 2016 16:58:48 +0000
Tennis: Falmouth girls, Thornton boys win Class A http://www.pressherald.com/2016/06/11/tennis-falmouth-girls-thronton-boys-win-class-a/ http://www.pressherald.com/2016/06/11/tennis-falmouth-girls-thronton-boys-win-class-a/#comments Sat, 11 Jun 2016 23:10:55 +0000 http://www.pressherald.com/2016/06/11/tennis-falmouth-girls-thronton-boys-win-class-a/ LEWISTON — They waited on a hillside at Lewiston High, adjacent to the tennis courts, knees tucked under identical black T-shirts to ward off a light sprinkle on a cool Saturday evening.

When it was over, and their first doubles team finally prevailed in a third-set tiebreaker, the Falmouth High girls rushed the court to envelop Mary Hyland and Amanda Watson, and celebrate yet another state title, their ninth straight overall and third straight in Class A.

“It was so fun to be able to enjoy that moment with them one last time,” said senior Julia Brogan, who made quick work of her No. 1 singles match and had plenty of time to join her teammates on the hill. “It’s always a more enjoyable bus ride home when we all win.”

Falmouth beat Lewiston 5-0 to cap a ninth straight 16-0 season and extend its winning streak to 141 matches. The Blue Devils finished 15-1.

In the Class A boys’ final, Thornton Academy claimed its first state title with a 5-0 victory over Lewiston that was closer than the score indicated. Both doubles reached a first-set tiebreaker.

“We had a rocky start,” said Dylan Gooch, who teamed with Jared Waterhouse for a 7-6 (7-1), 6-2 victory at first doubles. “Then we won some crucial points and it kind of snowballed from there.”

Gooch and Waterhouse played their tiebreaker concurrently with Jackson Dohse and Adam Lovejoy on an adjacent court at second doubles. Dohse and Lovejoy won 7-6 (7-5), 6-3 for the clinching point of the match.

A year ago, Thornton lost 3-2 to Falmouth in the regional final. On Thursday, the Trojans (16-0) avenged that loss with a rain-delayed 3-2 victory.

“To be the first team in school history to get this far and to get the results we wanted,” Gooch said, “makes it that much better.”

Lewiston (12-4) rallied to beat Mt. Blue in the regional final after losing every opening set, but couldn’t force a third set against Thornton Academy. Freshman Dariy Vykhodtsev completed the sweep with a 6-1, 6-3 victory at No. 1 singles after Viktor Schwarz (6-4, 6-2) and Junxi Xiao (6-2, 6-3) won at No. 2 and 3 singles.

“We’re really fortunate,” said Thornton Coach Andy Carlson. “We’ve got kids from all different backgrounds, different grade levels and with different levels of experience.”

The Falmouth girls jumped to a 2-0 lead with singles victories from Caroline Ray (6-0, 6-1) and Kate Kelley (6-1, 6-1). The clincher came from Annie Gott and Mia Cooney at second doubles, 6-3, 6-1.

It was a poignant match for Gott, who came straight to Lewiston from her grandfather’s funeral service earlier Saturday afternoon in Brunswick.

“He was a huge tennis player,” Gott said of Harold “Bud” Edwards, who died last month at age 92. “So it meant a lot for me to be able to play in his memory.”

Thursday’s regional final went poorly for Gott, who twice needed an inhaler for her exercise-induced asthma in a loss to Scarborough completed indoors because of rain. On Saturday, she joined the group hug after Hyland and Watson capped the season with a 3-6, 6-3, 7-6 (7-4) victory that took 2 hours, 10 minutes.

“It was a bittersweet day,” Gott said, “but really, really nice.”

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http://www.pressherald.com/2016/06/11/tennis-falmouth-girls-thronton-boys-win-class-a/feed/ 1 http://multifiles.pressherald.com/uploads/sites/4/2016/06/922705_645719-tennis-0281.jpgFalmouth's Caroline Ray volleys back to Lewiston's Alanna Taylor during the Class A tennis state championships at Lewiston High School on Saturday. Falmouth won its 141st straight match and third straight state title.Sat, 11 Jun 2016 21:18:46 +0000
Softball: Currier sparks Greely past Yarmouth http://www.pressherald.com/2016/06/11/softball-currier-sparks-greely-past-yarmouth/ http://www.pressherald.com/2016/06/11/softball-currier-sparks-greely-past-yarmouth/#respond Sat, 11 Jun 2016 21:16:05 +0000 http://www.pressherald.com/2016/06/11/softball-currier-sparks-greely-past-yarmouth/ YARMOUTH — With one swing of the bat, Kelsey Currier gave Greely – and herself – all the momentum it would need Saturday afternoon.

Currier’s second-inning grand slam gave the Rangers an early five-run lead and Currier made it stand, pitching second-ranked Greely to an 8-1 victory over Yarmouth in a Class B South softball semifinal.

“Obviously, give so much credit to Kelsey,” said Moira Train, Greely’s junior shortstop. “She has saved our butts every game this year.”

Currier allowed six hits – escaping a first-inning jam – and struck out seven to lift the Rangers to the regional championship game for the first time in three years. Greely (15-3) will play top-ranked York in the Class B South championship game at 3:30 p.m. Wednesday at St. Joseph’s College.

Yarmouth, the defending Class B champion, finished 14-4. The Clippers had eliminated Greely from the tournament each of the last two years.

“It feels really good, but we’re not done,” said Currier, a sophomore. “We want to make it to the end.”

Greely played as complete a game as it has all season. The Rangers had 10 hits, fielded flawlessly (no errors, led by Train) and received a strong performance from Currier.

“I don’t think they could have played a better game than they did before (a 7-1 Greely win over Yarmouth on May 2),” said Amy Ashley, the Yarmouth coach. “But they did.”

Yarmouth threatened first, putting runners on second and third with no outs in the bottom of the first. But Currier struck out the next two batters and got the third out on a soft liner to Train at shortstop.

Then the Rangers broke through in the top of the second against Mari Cooper, who took a line drive off her left knee cap in the third inning but stayed in the game after a slight delay.

With one out, Kayley Cimino walked. She broke for second and came all the way around to score as Miranda Eisenhart lashed a long drive to the right-center field gap.

After an out, Jennie Smith walked and Lexie Faietta reached on a bunt, loading the bases. Currier turned on a 1-1 pitch on the inside half of the plate and hit it far over the left-field fence, and it was suddenly 5-0.

“She did something like that in the previous Fryeburg game,” said Greely Coach Rob Hale. “She set the tone in that game; she set the tone in this game; she set the tone getting out of that jam.”

But the Rangers knew they couldn’t let up. “Going in, we were really confident in ourselves and each other and it really showed in the field and in the dugout,” said Currier.

Cimino doubled in a run in the third to make it 6-0 before Yarmouth got one back in the bottom of the inning when Colleen Sullivan tripled and scored on a groundout. But a two-run home run by Greely’s Evan Carrell made it 8-1 in the fifth.

“We worked well the entire game,” said Train. “We kept our energy up. There was no letdown.”

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http://www.pressherald.com/2016/06/11/softball-currier-sparks-greely-past-yarmouth/feed/ 0 http://multifiles.pressherald.com/uploads/sites/4/2016/06/922444_669219-20160611_Softball_3.jpgKelsey Currier of Greely delivers a pitch during the first inning of Saturday's 8-1 win over Yarmouth in a Class B South softball semifinal. Currier pitched a six-hitter and hit a grand slam to help the Rangers advance to the regional final against York.Sat, 11 Jun 2016 21:21:53 +0000
Tennis: Cape girls, Camden Hills boys win Class B http://www.pressherald.com/2016/06/11/tennis-cape-girls-camden-hills-boys-win-class-b/ http://www.pressherald.com/2016/06/11/tennis-cape-girls-camden-hills-boys-win-class-b/#respond Sat, 11 Jun 2016 19:39:09 +0000 http://www.pressherald.com/2016/06/11/tennis-cape-girls-camden-hills-boys-win-class-b/ LEWISTON — It wasn’t simply that nine years had passed since the Cape Elizabeth girls won a state title in tennis.

For a program that reigned supreme in Class B from 1990-98, it was that the Capers had not even reached a state final since 2007.

“Going into the land of the unknown was a little scary,” said sophomore Katie Gilman, “but we had confidence in each other.”

Gilman provided the clinching point at No. 2 singles to give Cape Elizabeth a 4-1 victory over Camden Hills in the Class B state final Saturday at Lewiston High.

“The journey is what counts,” Gilman said, “but it’s still exciting that we ended up winning.”

The Camden Hills boys ended an even longer championship drought, dating to 2005. They edged three-time defending champ Cape Elizabeth 3-2 after losing in the final the previous two springs.

“This was potentially the last competitive tennis match I’ll ever play,” said Camden Hills senior Luke Burnstein, whose 6-2, 6-4 victory at No. 2 singles set the stage. “So to win a championship against Cape in the same place where we’ve lost in the past was just amazing. I am so happy.”

After Burnstein won, Shawn Albertson and Josh Pitcairn made it 2-0 for Camden Hills with a 6-4, 6-3 victory at second doubles.

Knowing that Michael Mills was likely to win at No. 1 singles for Cape Elizabeth (which he did, 6-2, 6-1), the Windjammers (14-2) knew that they needed a clincher at either No. 3 singles or at first doubles.

In each match, they won the first set and struggled in the second. Wyatt Newhall and Declan McCormick of Cape Elizabeth forced a third set at first doubles and wound up winning, 3-6, 6-4, 6-4.

It was too late. Josiah Krul of Camden Hills survived two set points to force a tiebreaker and prevailed against Jimmy Salerno at No. 3 singles, 6-2, 7-6 (2).

“My only thought was to get the ball back and keep grinding,” Krul said. “It was more a matter of who would collapse first than who would win the point.”

“He just outrallied me,” Salerno said. “On those set points, I think I was trying to overhit in order to save energy for a third set.”

Camden Hills shut out Cape Elizabeth (13-3) in a preseason scrimmage, but the Capers had been without Mills, a semifinalist in the state singles tournament.

“So we knew those scores weren’t accurate,” Krul said. “They’re a great team, a great program, but so are we. To be on the winning side is unreal.”

None of the girls’ matches went three sets. Gilman won 6-3, 6-2, Liv Clifford won 6-2, 6-0 at No. 1 and Erin Whitcomb won 6-2, 6-2 at No. 3.

“It’s incredible,” Whitcomb said. “We haven’t been that good in the playoffs in the past. So to finally win it is pretty nice.”

Sarah O’Connor and Maddie Bowe were first off the courts with a 6-2, 6-1 victory at first doubles. Vivian Priestly and Charlotte Messer of Camden Hills avoided the shutout by winning 7-6 (3), 6-4 at second doubles.

Both teams finished 13-3.

“These girls deserve this,” said Cape Elizabeth Coach Sarah Boeckel. “They worked really, really hard all year and I think their play today showed that.”

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Girls’ tennis: Falmouth, Cape Elizabeth, and St. Dom’s win regionals http://www.pressherald.com/2016/06/09/girls-tennis-falmouth-cape-elizabeth-and-st-doms-win-regionals/ http://www.pressherald.com/2016/06/09/girls-tennis-falmouth-cape-elizabeth-and-st-doms-win-regionals/#respond Fri, 10 Jun 2016 01:42:00 +0000 http://www.pressherald.com/2016/06/09/girls-tennis-falmouth-cape-elizabeth-and-st-doms-win-regionals/ LEWISTON — The girls of Falmouth have long been the reigning state champions.

Now they’re the raining champs as well.

Falmouth ran its winning streak to 140 consecutive matches Thursday by beating Scarborough 4-1 in a Class A South girls’ tennis final that started on the Wallach Tennis Complex before a persistent sprinkle forced play indoors at Bates College.

Top-seeded Falmouth (15-0) will attempt to win a ninth straight state title Saturday at Lewiston High against North champion Lewiston (15-0). Scarborough, with an all-senior lineup, finished 14-1.

In other South regional finals played outside earlier Thursday, No. 2 Cape Elizabeth swept No. 8 York 5-0 to reach the Class B state final for the first time since 2007 and No. 1 St. Dominic beat No. 6 Waynflete, 4-1.

“I was pretty nervous about Scarborough,” said first-year Falmouth coach Bill Goodspeed, an assistant to Sandra Stone last season. “So I’m both relieved and very happy that we pulled it out.”

Caroline Ray and Kate Kelley won in straight sets outdoors at second and third singles before the rain delay. Amanda Watson and Mary Hyland clinched the match with a 6-3, 6-2 victory completed indoors on a rug-like surface.

“We do get nervous,” Watson said of Falmouth’s dominance. “But we also know it’s going to be a fun match.”

“We go through periods when either Amanda or I are struggling with something,” Hyland said. “So in matches, we try to focus on our own games and not to play to the same level as our opponents.”

Anna Driscoll and Brielle Hardy of Scarborough averted the shutout with a 7-5, 6-4 victory at No. 2 doubles. Julia Brogan of Falmouth, the singles state champ, finished things off with a straight-set victory over Megan Nathanson.

The other state finals Saturday feature Cape Elizabeth (13-2) against Camden Hills (13-2) in Class B and St. Dominic against Mattanawcook Academy (13-2) in Class C. Although the Class B North title match was played Tuesday, Maddie Bowe of Cape Elizabeth had no idea whether Camden Hills or Waterville won.

“We had a heartbreaking loss last year,” said Bowe, referring to a 3-2 quarterfinal upset by Yarmouth. “So we didn’t even look ahead because we didn’t want to think about who we would play next.”

Bowe and her doubles partner, Sarah O’Connor, were last on the court for that upset loss to Yarmouth, who beat the Capers again this season by the same score, with Bowe and O’Connor losing a three-set match that featured three tiebreakers.

That made Thursday’s 6-2, 6-2 victory at No. 1 doubles all the more satisfying.

“We especially wanted revenge,” O’Connor said. “We started out shaky but then we settled in.”

Taylor Hansen and Amelie Jarquin won at No. 2 doubles, and Liv Clifford, Katie Gilman and Erin Whitcomb won in straight sets in singles for Cape.

“We’re full of athletes and competitors,” said Cape Elizabeth Coach Sarah Boeckel.

In Class C, Waynflete (8-7) won at No. 2 doubles behind Almu Conales and Lily Fanburg, 6-3, 7-5. St. Dominic swept the rest, including singles victories from singles semifinalist Bethany Hammond, Rachel Kurtz and Clare Kramer.

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Boys’ tennis: Cape Elizabeth, Thornton and Waynflete advance http://www.pressherald.com/2016/06/09/boys-tennis-cape-elizabeth-thornton-and-waynflete-advance/ http://www.pressherald.com/2016/06/09/boys-tennis-cape-elizabeth-thornton-and-waynflete-advance/#respond Fri, 10 Jun 2016 01:40:14 +0000 http://www.pressherald.com/2016/06/09/boys-tennis-cape-elizabeth-thornton-and-waynflete-advance/ LEWISTON — The sight of two teammates losing their singles matches a few courts over pulled Carter Brock and Matt Galvin of Cape Elizabeth out of their early lethargy.

“That woke us up,” Brock said. “It meant we mattered.”

Inspired, Brock and Galvin rallied to a three-set victory at second doubles to set the stage for a Class B South boys’ tennis title Thursday on the blustery courts of Bates College.

Third-seeded Cape Elizabeth edged No. 5 York 3-2 after Michael Mills pitched a shutout at No. 1 singles on the heels of a 1-6, 6-4, 6-3 win by Brock and Galvin that tied the match at 2-2.

The Capers (13-2) will seek a fourth straight Class B state title Saturday against Camden Hills (14-1) at Lewiston High.

In other South finals Thursday, No. 1 Thornton Academy ended No. 2 Falmouth’s two-year Class A state title reign with a 3-2 win delayed by rain and completed indoors at Bates, and in Class C South, No. 4 Waynflete swept No. 3 Hall-Dale, 5-0.

The other state finals Saturday pit Thornton Academy (15-0) against Lewiston (12-3) in Class A and Waynflete (13-2) against George Stevens Academy (13-2) in Class C.

Cape Elizabeth beat York (8-7) twice in the regular season without dropping a match but this time faced a fully healthy lineup. Dinon Hughes (3-6, 6-0, 6-1) and James Peter (6-3, 6-4) of York won at second and third singles to take a 2-1 lead after Cape Elizabeth opened with a 6-4, 6-0 victory at No. 1 doubles behind Declan McCormack and Wyatt Newhall.

“I think we came out with a bad mindset,” said Galvin, one of the five newcomers to the Cape Elizabeth starting lineup. “We were like, ‘We’re second doubles. Everybody else can take care of it.’ Then we started putting Cape in our minds instead of just us.”

After losing 6 of 7 games in the first set, Brock and Galvin trailed 4-3 in the second to Thomas Donnelly and Ben Duffy of York before turning things around.

“In this venue, sometimes it gets a little overwhelming,” Capers Coach Andy Strout said. “It’s first time, big time. They played some matches last year but nothing that meant so much as this one.”

In Class A, Falmouth (14-1) was without its top player, freshman Nick Forester, who injured his knee in the semifinals of the state singles tournament. His opponent that day, Thornton freshman Dariy Vykhodtsev, decided Thursday’s regional final with a 6-1, 6-2 victory over Alex Klemperer of Falmouth.

The teams split doubles matches outdoors, before a 27-minute rain delay moved the remaining singles matches indoors. Viktor Schwarz of Thornton completed a 6-0, 6-3 victory at No. 2 singles but Falmouth stayed alive when Matt Adamowicz rallied to win 1-6, 6-3, 6-3 at No. 3 singles.

Waynflete, which also won the Class C South sportsmanship award, swept singles behind Brandon Ameglio, Peter Michalakes and Shuhao Liu, with Liu rallying to a 5-7, 6-4, 6-3 victory at No. 3.

“That’s the first time we’ve taken a set off Waynflete,” said Hall-Dale Coach Dan Bence, whose team was eliminated by the Flyers for the third straight year and fourth time in seven years.

Waynflete dropped only three games in each of the two doubles matches, with Thonne Kieffer and John Van Dyke winning at No. 1, and Rowan May and Cooper Sherman winning at No. 2.

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Falmouth, Thornton Academy win Class A South tennis titles http://www.pressherald.com/2016/06/09/waynflete-boys-st-dom-girls-win-regional-tennis-titles/ http://www.pressherald.com/2016/06/09/waynflete-boys-st-dom-girls-win-regional-tennis-titles/#respond Thu, 09 Jun 2016 15:11:00 +0000 http://www.pressherald.com/2016/06/09/waynflete-boys-st-dom-girls-win-regional-tennis-titles/ LEWISTON — The Falmouth girls ran their winning streak to 140 straight matches and the Thornton Academy boys ended Falmouth’s two-year state title run in the Class A South tennis finals Thursday night at Bates College.

Rain forced the matches into a Bates field house after the matches had begun Thursday afternoon at the Wallach Tennis Complex.

Seniors Julia Brogan and Caroline Ray and junior Kate Kelley swept the singles matches as top-seeded Falmouth turned aside No. 2 Scarborough 4-1 in the girls’ final. Falmouth juniors Amanda Watson and Mary Hyland clinched the match with a 6-3, 6-2 victory at No. 1 doubles.

Scarborough seniors Anna Driscoll and Brielle Hardy averted the shutout with a 7-5, 6-4 victory at No. 2 doubles. Both teams entered the match 14-0.

Ditto for the A South boys’ final, in which No. 1 Thornton Academy edged No. 2 Falmouth 3-2. Freshman Dariy Vykhodtsev, runner-up in the MPA state singles tournament, broke a tie by winning 6-1, 6-2 at No. 1 singles over Falmouth sophomore Alex Klemperer.

Klemperer normally plays No. 2 singles, but moved up after freshman Nick Forester injured his knee in the semifinals of the singles tournament, in a match against Vykhodtsev.

The teams split the other two singles matches as well as the doubles.

In Class B South, three-time defending state champion Cape Elizabeth needed its second doubles team to pull out a three-set victory Thursday afternoon.

Juniors Carter Brock and Matt Galvin rallied to win 1-6, 6-4, 6-3 at No. 2 doubles to even the overall match and allow senior Michael Mills to complete the 3-2 victory over fifth-seeded York by sweeping a 6-0, 6-0 match at No. 1 singles.

No. 3 Cape Elizabeth (13-2) advances to Saturday’s state championship match against North champion Camden Hills (14-1).

Junior Declan McCormack and senior Wyatt Newhall also won for Cape Elizabeth, 6-4, 6-0 at No. 1 doubles.

Sophomores Dinon Hughes (3-6, 6-0. 6-1) and James Peter (6-3, 6-4) won singles matches for York (8-7).

“At first we were like, ‘We’re second doubles. Everyone else can take care of it,’ ” Galvin said. “Then we started putting Cape in our minds instead of just us.”

The same two schools also met in the Class B South girls’ finals, with the No. 2 Capers (12-3) earning a 5-0 victory over No. 8 York (9-7) in straight sets. Cape Elizabeth advances to the state title match – also against Camden Hills (13-2) – for the first time since winning the 2007 championship.

Junior Liv Clifford, sophomore Katie Gilman and senior Erin Whitcomb won at singles for Cape Elizabeth, none dropping more than three games. Seniors Sarah O’Connor and Maddie Bowe won 6-2, 6-2 at No. 1 doubles and senior Taylor Hansen and freshman Emelie Jarquin won 6-1, 6-1 at No. 2 doubles.

“We had a heartbreaking loss last year,” Bowe said of a 3-2 quarterfinal upset at the hands of Yarmouth.

“So we especially wanted revenge this year,” said O’Connor.

Earlier Thursday, the eight-time defending state champion Waynflete boys swept past Hall-Dale on a brisk and breezy morning to win the Class C South championship at the Wallach Tennis Complex.

No. 4 Waynflete (13-2) beat No. 3 Hall-Dale (13-2) by a score of 5-0. Junior Brandon Ameglio, senior Peter Michalakes and sophomore Shuhao Liu won singles matches, with Liu rallying to a 5-7, 6-4, 6-3 victory at No. 3.

“That’s the first time we’ve taken a set off Waynflete,” said Hall-Dale Coach Dan Bence, whose team was eliminated by the Flyers for the third straight year and fourth time in seven years.

Waynflete dropped only three games in each of the two doubles matches, with freshman Thonne Kieffer and junior John Van Dyke winning at No. 1 and senior Rowan May and freshman Cooper Sherman winning at No. 2.

In the Class C South girls’ finals, No. 1 St. Dominic beat No. 6 Waynflete 4-1 behind a singles sweep from juniors Bethany Hammond, Rachel Kurtz and Clare Kramer. Waynflete’s lone victory came at No. 2 doubles, where junior Almu Conales and freshman Lily Fanburg won 6-3, 7-5.

Several Waynflete players – boys and girls – missed the match because of a school trip to China. Jeff Madore, coach of the Waynflete boys’ team, said juggling the lineup is nothing new.

Because of injuries and other travels, “We’ve never had the same lineup day to day for any match,” Madore said.

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Boys’ tennis: Five teams to watch http://www.pressherald.com/2016/04/21/boys-tennis-five-teams-to-watch/ http://www.pressherald.com/2016/04/21/boys-tennis-five-teams-to-watch/#respond Thu, 21 Apr 2016 08:00:00 +0000 http://www.pressherald.com/?p=845711 1 Falmouth: The two-time defending Class A state champion lost only one player – Aidan McGrory – to graduation and replaced him at the top of the singles lineup with ambidextrous freshman Nick Forester. Sophomore Alex Klemperer and junior Peter Stegemann return at No. 2 and 3 singles. The doubles – juniors Jordan Bruce, Trey Fallon and Grayson Cohen, and sophomore Matt Adamowicz – remain intact.

2 Camden Hills: The Windjammers managed a point off Cape Elizabeth in the Class B state final last spring and return four of their top seven, including juniors Josiah Krul and Matt Morse in singles. Classmate Colby Aran and senior Alex Forcillo return at doubles. Mistakenly grouped in Class A by the MPA, Camden Hills will play a Class A KVAC schedule but return to the Class B tourney.

3 Thornton Academy: The Golden Trojans lost two excellent singles players but picked up two others in freshman Dariy Vykhodtsev and sophomore Viktor Scwartz, a residential student from the Czech Republic. Sophomore Jack Xiao from China fills out the singles lineups. Six quality players will compete for four doubles slots, with seniors Simon Belliveau and Dylan Gooch returning at No. 1.

4 Cape Elizabeth: The three-time defending Class B state champ has some rebuilding, or at least reloading, to do. Seniors Michael Mills (at No. 1 singles) and Jimmy Salerno (moves up from second doubles) are the only holdovers from the top seven last spring. Ted Hall fills out the singles lineup. Doubles is likely to be dominated by juniors new to varsity competition.

5 Waynflete: The eight-time defending Class C state champion Flyers lost singles state champ Isaac Salas and three other players to graduation. Junior Brandon Ameglio is the only singles veteran. Sophomore Jacob Green (another dual-hander) and senior Peter Michalakes are likely to join Ameglio. Senior Rowan May and junior John Van Dyke lead the doubles parade.

– Glenn Jordan

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Girls’ tennis: Five teams to watch http://www.pressherald.com/2016/04/21/girls-tennis-five-teams-to-watch/ http://www.pressherald.com/2016/04/21/girls-tennis-five-teams-to-watch/#respond Thu, 21 Apr 2016 08:00:00 +0000 http://www.pressherald.com/?p=845714 1 Falmouth: A winning streak of 125 matches and eight consecutive state titles shows no sign of slowing with five returning starters and Bill Goodspeed taking over the helm from Sandy Stone. Seniors Julia Brogan and Caroline Ray move up to the top singles spots and will be joined by one of a trio of juniors: Kate Kelley, Amanda Watson or Mary Hyland. Finding a second doubles team from among the other 27 girls on the roster won’t be difficult.

2 Brunswick: The Dragons return six of their top seven, including all three singles players from a squad that went 13-2 and reached the Eastern Class A final. Juniors Kira Wolpow and Cassie Ridge, and senior Elizabeth Day are back at singles. Senior Gillian Doehring, and juniors Katherine Kunhardt and Sabina Smith return at doubles.

3 Cape Elizabeth: With six of the top seven players back from a team that went 9-4 and reached the regional quarterfinals, the Capers are likely to go further this spring. Junior Liv Clifford, sophomore Katie Gilman and senior Erin Whitcomb return at singles. Seniors Maddie Bowe, Sarah O’Connor, Taylor Hansen and Carter Harvey make an athletic doubles contingent.

4 Greely: The two-time defending Class B state champion returns only three from its starting lineup, with junior Kathryn Pare moving up to No. 1 because sophomore Izzy Evans is abroad. Senior Alex Tebbs also returns to the singles lineup. Classmate Madelyn Day is the lone returning doubles player.

5 Scarborough: Senior Megan Nathanson returns at No. 1 singles for a Red Storm squad that went 13-2, reached the regional final and even got a point off Falmouth. Classmate Bryce Nitchman is the only other starter back, but Scarborough has plenty of depth.

– Glenn Jordan

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Boys’ tennis: 10 players to watch http://www.pressherald.com/2016/04/21/boys-tennis-10-players-to-watch/ http://www.pressherald.com/2016/04/21/boys-tennis-10-players-to-watch/#respond Thu, 21 Apr 2016 08:00:00 +0000 http://www.pressherald.com/?p=845747 Thomas Brent, Gorham senior: Returns for third season at No. 1 singles. Went 12-2 in team competition last spring and reached Round of 32 in singles tournament. Played on 2013 Class A state championship team.

Conor Doane, Deering sophomore: Returns at No. 1 singles for a Rams squad that went 10-3 and reached the Class A regional quarterfinals. In state singles tournament, reached Round of 48.

Nick Forester, Falmouth freshman: Ambidextrous player reached fourth round of Blakeman tourney. Extended former champion Tyler Adams to three sets.

Matthew Jarmusz, Morse junior: Unbeaten at No. 3 singles (16-0) and earned only point in Morse’s 4-1 loss to Cape Elizabeth in Class B regional final. Advanced to Round of 16 in singles tourney.

Thomas Jarmusz, Morse junior: Went 15-1 at No. 1 singles to help Shipbuilders (13-2) earn top seed in Western Class B. Reached Round of 16 in singles tourney before falling to No. 3 seed.

Alex Klemperer, Falmouth sophomore: Returns at No. 2 singles for two-time defending Class A champion. Reached Round of 32 in singles tourney before falling to No. 8 seed.

Peter Mao, Mt. Ararat sophomore: Returns at No. 2 singles for Class A runner-up Eagles (14-2). Advanced to Round of 16 in state singles tournament before falling to eventual champ Isaac Salas of Waynflete.

Nick Mathieu, Mt. Ararat junior: Two-time finalist in the state singles tournament who went unbeaten in team competition to help the Eagles reach the Class A final for a second year in succession.

Michael Mills, Cape Elizabeth senior: Returns at No. 1 singles for three-time defending Class B state champion. Sixth seed in state singles tournament who fell in three-set quarterfinal match to 11th seed.

Dariy Vykhodtsev, Thornton Academy freshman: Ranked 34th in New England among 16-and-under boys with victories over Mathieu and Forester. Originally from Ukraine, moved to Saco from North Conway, New Hampshire.

– Glenn Jordan

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Girls’ tennis: 10 players to watch http://www.pressherald.com/2016/04/21/girls-tennis-10-players-to-watch/ http://www.pressherald.com/2016/04/21/girls-tennis-10-players-to-watch/#respond Thu, 21 Apr 2016 08:00:00 +0000 http://www.pressherald.com/?p=845750 Julia Brogan, Falmouth senior: Singles semifinalist who helped Falmouth continue its 125-match unbeaten streak. Never lost in team competition. Reigning Blakeman Memorial champion who will continue career at Trinity.

Rosemary Campanella, Wells sophomore: Reached state singles semifinals last spring without benefit of a team. One of the four girls from Wells on a cooperative team at Kennebunk. Blakeman runner-up.

Liv Clifford, Cape Elizabeth junior: Seventh seed in state singles tournament who reached the Round of 16 before dropping tight match to Caroline Ray. Went 10-2 at No. 1 singles last spring for Capers squad that finished 9-4.

Lexi Epstein, Waynflete junior: Returns at No. 1 singles for a team that reached the regional final as a No. 7 seed. Reached Round of 32 in singles tournament before falling in three sets to Megan Nathanson.

Katie Gilman, Cape Elizabeth sophomore: Compiled an 8-2 mark at No. 2 singles last spring and reached the Round of 32 in state singles tournament before falling in three sets to the ninth seed.

Lana Mavor, Yarmouth freshman: Reached semifinals of Blakeman tournament as a 12-year-old in 2014 before losing to a Bowdoin College player. Ranked 33rd nationally among girls 14 and under, and No. 1 in New England.

Megan Nathanson, Scarborough senior: Enters third year at No. 1 singles for Class A regional finalist Red Storm. Went 16-3 last spring, including advancing to the Round of 16 of the state singles tournament before losing to No. 4 Julia Brogan.

Caroline Ray, Falmouth senior: Unbeaten at No. 3 singles in team competition. Reached quarterfinals of state singles tournament as a 10th seed, knocking off No. 7 Liv Clifford in the Round of 16.

Lena Rich, North Yarmouth Academy senior: Two-time quarterfinalist and eighth seed in state singles tournament who helped NYA to Class C state championship over previously unbeaten Van Buren.

Kara Wolpow, Brunswick junior: Went 11-3 at No. 1 singles for a Brunswick team that lost only once in the regular season. Did not play in the state singles tournament.

– Glenn Jordan

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High school tennis preview: Mavor, Forester lead strong freshman class http://www.pressherald.com/2016/04/20/high-school-tennis-mavor-forester-lead-strong-freshman-class/ http://www.pressherald.com/2016/04/20/high-school-tennis-mavor-forester-lead-strong-freshman-class/#respond Thu, 21 Apr 2016 00:00:00 +0000 http://www.pressherald.com/?p=845690 Nick Forester swings a tennis racket with either hand. Lana Mavor does well with just one.

Together they represent a new chapter in Maine high school tennis.

“We’ve never had anybody who’s been this good,” said 20-year Yarmouth coach Ann Harradon of Mavor, a freshman with a national ranking of 33 among 14-and-under girls. “I think having Lana on the team is boosting everyone’s morale. The singles players are thrilled because now they don’t have to play at No. 1.”

A few miles south of Yarmouth on a recent sunny afternoon, the ambidextrous Forester bounced on the balls of his feet at the baseline, winging forehands from both sides of his body.

Graduation claimed only one starting player off the two-time defending Class A state champion Falmouth boys, and Forester ably fills the gap left by Aidan McGrory at No. 1 singles.

“He really loves the game and he works hard at it,” said 45-year head coach Bob McCully, noting  Forester carries on a tradition of top-flight freshmen at Falmouth’s top singles spot that started with Brian Patterson, and included Chris Morrison and Justin Brogan.

Only once has the MPA state singles tournament been won by a pair of freshmen, in 1987, when Eric Blakeman of North Yarmouth Academy won the first of four straight titles and Lauren Rioux of Kennebunk won the first of two. She also won as a junior in ’89, lost in the semis as a sophomore and final as a senior.

Plenty of significant hurdles remain before such history could be made, of course. Falmouth senior Julia Brogan, St. Dominic junior Bethany Hammond and Wells sophomore Rosemary Campanella all reached the final four last spring. Two-time singles finalist Nick Mathieu of Mt. Ararat is rated higher than Forester on the United States Tennis Association New England U16 rankings.

At No. 33, however, Forester isn’t far behind Mathieu’s 26th and has one victory in four USTA matches against the junior from Topsham. Another freshman threat is 34th-ranked Dariy Vykhodtsev of Thornton Academy, who beat Forester earlier this month after losing to him twice earlier this year.

All three played in last year’s Betty Blakeman tournament, the biggest event on the state’s summer schedule, with Mathieu eliminating Vykhodtsev in the third round, and Forester falling to eventual finalist and second seed Tyler Adams of USM in three sets in the fourth round. Adams proceeded to dispatch No. 7 Mathieu in the quarterfinals.

Forester isn’t even the only ambidextrous threat on his team. Junior Peter Stegemann, at No. 3 singles, not only hits forehands from both sides but serves with either hand.

Forester and Stegemann train under Woodlands pro Harvey McCartney, who also taught the dual-handed approach to Waynflete sophomore Jacob Greene.

“You basically have two weapons, two strong sides,” said Forester, a natural left-hander who writes with his right hand and eats with his left. “For most people, their backhand is their weaker side.”

Until a little over a year ago, Forester also switched hands on his serve. Rather than have two average serves, he opted to concentrate on his left-handed approach.

“A lefty serve is tougher to return,” he said, “because it’s rare.”

Forester took up tennis at age 4 and started working with McCartney at 6. They went with an all-forehand approach when Forester was 9.

“He’s very steady,” McCully said of the 5-foot-91/2 freshman. “He’s not going to beat himself. You’ve got to have the shots to beat him.”

Mavor, the daughter of former collegiate players Brian Mavor (North Carolina State) and Lesya Stasiv (USM), also trains with McCartney as well as her grandfather, Roman Stasiv, like his daughter a native of Ukraine.

“I always loved tennis,” said Lana, who started playing tournaments at 12 and broke onto the national scene at 13. She missed practice time earlier this month while competing at the prestigious Easter Bowl junior tournament in Indian Wells, California, the one waiver she was allowed under the MPA bona fide team rule.

“She’ll be at practice every day,” Harradon said, “and she’ll be at all the matches.”

Although Mavor attended Harrison Middle School in Yarmouth along with taking some online classes to facilitate her tennis training, she’s doing all her academic work this year with Maine Virtual Academy, the state’s newest charter school.

Although many of her matches are likely to be lopsided, Mavor said she can always work on different aspects of her game.

“I mostly stay back but I’ll probably try to serve and volley a lot for the practice,” she said. “It’s the people who just get it back who are the hardest to play.”

Although she occasionally trains with Forester, Mavor said she’s happy hitting both forehands and backhands instead of sporting the dual-hand look.

“I don’t think I’ll ever do that,” she said with a laugh. “That’s like starting over at the beginning.”

For high school tennis in Maine, a new beginning arrives this spring.

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Boys’ tennis: Isaac Salas, Waynflete http://www.pressherald.com/2015/07/12/boys-tennis-isaac-salas-waynflete/ http://www.pressherald.com/2015/07/12/boys-tennis-isaac-salas-waynflete/#respond Sun, 12 Jul 2015 08:00:00 +0000 http://www.pressherald.com/?p=673598 As tennis coach at the Waynflete School, Jeff Madore has had the pleasure of coaching four players who won a state singles championship: Christine Ordway, Brandon Thompson, Patrick Ordway and Isaac Salas.

Of that talented quartet, Salas, a senior who won the boys’ title this spring, might be the hardest worker.

“He is a grinder,” Madore said. “You’ve got to be an athlete, you’ve got to have the skills and have the competitive spirit. But man, this kid, if you need to get one point, this kid won’t quit on you.”

Salas not only won the singles tournament as the second seed, he also led the Flyers to an eighth straight Class C state crown in the team tournament.

He is our choice as Maine Sunday Telegram Player of the Year for boys’ tennis.

A quarterfinalist his first two years, Salas reached the semis last spring before losing to eventual champion Brendan McCarthy of Falmouth. McCarthy now plays at Bentley College.

This spring, Salas won his semifinal match 6-3, 6-3 over third-seeded Serbian exchange student Luka Stevic of Lee Academy before edging top-seeded sophomore Nick Mathieu of Mt. Ararat, 7-6 (5), 6-3 inside the Racket & Fitness Center in Portland. Both matches were moved inside because of rain.

“My goal was to win it last year,” Salas said. “This year, that definitely was the number one thing. As a team we wanted to win as well, but we thought we were going to.”

In four years of team competition, Salas lost only three matches: two as a freshman and one as a sophomore. The lone loss in 2013 was a three-set match against Michael Mills of Cape Elizabeth. They met twice this spring and Salas did not drop a game.

“That tells you how hard he worked” to improve, Madore said.

Salas grew up in Camden playing hockey and tennis and, except for the school year, when his family rents an apartment in Portland so that he can attend Waynflete, he continues to live there. He has an older sister and brother, both of whom played high school tennis, but not nearly with the same intensity.

“I liked it a lot,” Salas said of his introduction to the sport at age 8. “I also got pretty good kind of fast, so I started playing tournaments.”

He arrived early at Lewiston High on the day of the championship team matches in order to see his buddies at Camden Hills give Cape Elizabeth a scare before the Capers won their third straight Class B crown.

“Every year I kind of thought about coming back to Camden (for school),” Salas said. “But looking back, I’m glad I was here (at Waynflete).”

Salas plans to continue his career at Franklin & Marshall College in Lancaster, Pennsylvania.

THE ALL-STATE TEAM

Teodor Antelj, Fryeburg Academy junior: Serbian exchange student who reached semifinals in state singles tournament before falling 7-6 (5), 6-4 to runner-up Nick Mathieu of Mt. Ararat. Went 11-1 in team play and plans to return for his senior year.

Luke Horton, Mt. Desert Island senior: Reached quarterfinals of state singles tournament as eighth seed before falling to Mt. Ararat’s Nick Mathieu, 6-3, 6-1. Undefeated in two years of team competition at No. 1 singles. Two-time Penobscot Valley Conference player of the year.

Nick Mathieu, Mt. Ararat sophomore: Two-time runner-up in state singles tournament who remains unbeaten in team competition for the Eagles, who have won back-to-back Eastern Class A titles.

Aidan McGrory, Falmouth senior: Fifth seed in state singles tournament who reached quarterfinals before falling 6-2, 6-4 to Fryeburg’s Teodor Antelj. Helped Falmouth to its second straight Class A team title.

Victor Menezes, Thornton Academy senior: Seventh seed in state singles tournament who reached quarterfinals before falling to eventual champion Isaac Salas of Waynflete 6-2, 6-0. Unbeaten in team competition.

Tristan Rother, Fryeburg Academy junior: German exchange student who upset No. 6 Michael Mills of Cape Elizabeth in state singles tournament before falling in the quarterfinals. Went 12-0 in team competition to help Raiders reach regional finals.

Isaac Salas, Waynflete senior: After reaching semifinals a year ago as third seed, won state singles tournament as second seed by defeating Mt. Ararat’s Nick Mathieu 7-6 (5), 6-3 in the finals. Also led Waynflete to its eighth straight Class C state title.

Luka Stevic, Lee Academy senior: Serbian exchange student who reached semifinals of state singles tournament before falling 6-3, 6-3 to eventual champion Isaac Salas of Waynflete. Lost only three games in 14 matches in team competition.

COACH OF THE YEAR

Brian Higgins, Ellsworth: Now in his fourth decade as head coach of both the girls’ and boys’ programs at Ellsworth, Higgins guided the boys through an undefeated regular season and appearance in the Eastern Class B final. The boys are 313-110 since Higgins started the program in 1981. The girls, who began play in 1983, are 343-87.

 

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http://www.pressherald.com/2015/07/12/boys-tennis-isaac-salas-waynflete/feed/ 0 http://multifiles.pressherald.com/uploads/sites/4/2015/07/673598_682444__20150601_tennis_6.jpgIsaac Salas of Waynflete came close in the past – twice reaching the quarterfinals and once the semifinals of the state singles’ tournament – but left no doubt this season as he won the title. He also helped the Flyers win their eighth straight Class C team title.Sun, 12 Jul 2015 07:16:37 +0000
Girls’ tennis: Olivia Leavitt, Falmouth http://www.pressherald.com/2015/07/12/girls-tennis-olivia-leavitt-falmouth/ http://www.pressherald.com/2015/07/12/girls-tennis-olivia-leavitt-falmouth/#respond Sun, 12 Jul 2015 08:00:00 +0000 http://www.pressherald.com/?p=673611 Last month, after graduation from Falmouth High School, Olivia Leavitt visited Acadia National Park, took a ferry to Little Cranberry Island and hiked Cadillac Mountain, the highest peak on Mount Desert Island. It was her first trip to Bar Harbor, less than a three-hour drive from her home.

“I realized,” she said, “that was my first real vacation – not visiting family or going to a tennis tournament – in a really long time, since I can remember.”

Forgive her. She’s been busy.

Leavitt wrapped up her four-year high school tennis career with a third straight singles title to go along with Falmouth’s eighth straight team state championship. She didn’t drop a game as Falmouth swept Lewiston for the Class A crown, not quite two weeks after she held off a spirited challenge from St. Dominic sophomore Bethany Hammond in the singles final.

“It was my last year, so I wanted to finish it out on top and win states, both individually and team,” she said. “It’s great to know my years of training and my hard work on and off the court, mentally and physically, were able to keep me at a high level.”

For the third year in a row, Leavitt is our choice as Maine Sunday Telegram Player of the Year for girls’ tennis.

She entered the singles final having dropped only four games in five matches, but the left-handed Hammond forced Leavitt to dig deep. It was 4-all in the first set, and Hammond led 6-5 in the second after surviving five match points before Leavitt finally prevailed 6-4, 7-6 (1).

“It was definitely tough at the end, especially not winning all the match points I had,” Leavitt said. “It was very mentally draining. If I was a sophomore doing that, I don’t think I would have had the same outcome. But I’d been in that situation before, so it was more familiar ground for me.”

Leavitt required three sets to win the 2014 singles final against Maisie Silverman of Brunswick. She also beat Silverman in straight sets in the 2013 final after losing a three-setter in the 2012 semis, also to Silverman, the eventual champion who now plays at Bates College.

Leavitt plans to continue her career at Brandeis University. In four years at Falmouth, she was a combined 69-2.

Her only other loss came in the 2013 Class B team state finals against Waterville because of injury default after Falmouth had clinched the match.

This spring, only one player other than Hammond was able to win more than two games in any set against Leavitt. Greely freshman Izzy Evans lost 6-2, 6-3 in mid-May.

Leavitt plans to play in the Betty Blakeman Memorial in Yarmouth in July before a trip to Norway to visit relatives.

She has yet to decide if she’ll bring her racket.

THE ALL-STATE TEAM

Margot Andreasen, Portland senior: Quarterfinalist in state singles tournament as 11th seed, knocking off No. 6 Sarah Gray of Morse before falling to No. 3 Rosemary Campanella of Wells. In team play, she never lost a set until the Western Class A semifinals against Falmouth.

Julia Brogan, Falmouth junior: Unbeaten in team competition for the two-time Class A state champs. Fourth seed in the singles tournament who reached the semifinals before her only loss of the season, to eventual champ (and teammate) Olivia Leavitt.

Rosemary Campanella, Wells freshman: Because her school doesn’t offer tennis, Campanella played only in the state singles tournament and reached the semifinals as the No. 3 seed before falling 6-1, 6-2 to runner-up Bethany Hammond.

Izzy Evans, Greely freshman: Fifth seed in singles tournament who reached the quarterfinals before falling 6-4, 6-3 to Falmouth’s Julia Brogan. In team play, she led Rangers to their second straight Class B state title, providing the clinching point in both the regional and state finals.

Bethany Hammond, St. Dominic sophomore: As second seed in the state singles tournament, she advanced to the finals before falling 6-4, 7-6 (1) to three-time champ Olivia Leavitt of Falmouth. A singles semifinalist a year ago, Hammond led the Saints to Western Class C semifinals.

Olivia Leavitt, Falmouth senior: Three-time singles state champion who overcame a challenge from Bethany Hammond in the finals 6-4, 7-6 (1). Led Falmouth to its eighth straight state title, second in Class A. Will play tennis at Brandeis.

Caroline Ray, Falmouth junior: Tenth seed in singles tournament who reached quarterfinals before falling to Bethany Hammond. Unbeaten in team competition, helping Falmouth extend its winning streak to 125 matches.

Lena Rich, North Yarmouth Academy junior: Eighth seed in state singles tournament who reached quarterfinals before falling 6-1, 6-1 to Olivia Leavitt. Led NYA to Class C state championship, ending Waynflete’s four-year reign in regional finals.

COACH OF THE YEAR

Ben Caswell, Greely: In his third year as head coach, Caswell led the Rangers to a second straight Class B state title – the first two in school history. The Rangers are 29-3 over the past two seasons and have all three singles players scheduled to return.

 

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http://www.pressherald.com/2015/07/12/girls-tennis-olivia-leavitt-falmouth/feed/ 0 http://multifiles.pressherald.com/uploads/sites/4/2015/07/673611_682444__20150601_tennis_9.jpgOlivia Leavitt of Falmouth celebrated after winning her third straight singles state championship in June. Then two weeks later, she helped Falmouth win its eighth straight team state championship.Sun, 12 Jul 2015 07:16:48 +0000
State high school tennis championships settled Saturday http://www.pressherald.com/2015/06/13/state-high-school-tennis-championships-settled-saturday/ http://www.pressherald.com/2015/06/13/state-high-school-tennis-championships-settled-saturday/#respond Sun, 14 Jun 2015 03:50:15 +0000 http://www.pressherald.com/?p=657863 http://www.pressherald.com/2015/06/13/state-high-school-tennis-championships-settled-saturday/feed/ 0 http://multifiles.pressherald.com/uploads/sites/4/2015/06/657746_161578-Tennis1.jpgThe faces change and the schools change – this year it’s North Yarmouth Academy – but one thing stays constant. No Eastern Class C team has won a girls’ tennis state championship.Sun, 14 Jun 2015 00:10:51 +0000 Class C tennis: Waynflete boys, North Yarmouth Academy girls prevail http://www.pressherald.com/2015/06/13/class-c-tennis-state-finals-waynflete-boys-north-yarmouth-academy-girls-prevail/ http://www.pressherald.com/2015/06/13/class-c-tennis-state-finals-waynflete-boys-north-yarmouth-academy-girls-prevail/#respond Sat, 13 Jun 2015 22:47:55 +0000 http://www.pressherald.com/?p=657746 LEWISTON — The message came late Friday, after Waynflete boys’ tennis coach Jeff Madore had finished his final practice of the season.

George Stevens Academy, the Eastern Maine champion from Blue Hill, would like to start earlier than scheduled because of a Saturday night banquet honoring seniors in advance of graduation ceremonies.

The Flyers were more than happy to comply, and made sure not to linger on court any longer than necessary.

“We knew that if we play well, we should win,” said Isaac Salas, the state singles champion who led a singles sweep Saturday in Waynflete’s 4-1 victory against George Stevens at Lewiston High.

The Class C state title was the eighth straight for Waynflete (15-1), which also defeated the Class A and B state champions (Falmouth and Cape Elizabeth) in the regular season.

Later in the day, the North Yarmouth Academy girls completed a second straight Western Maine sweep of the six tennis state titles by beating Van Buren 5-0, winning eight of the 10 sets by shutout.

“It’s hard to compete with this,” said Courtney Parent of Van Buren after losing 6-0, 6-2 at No. 1 singles to Lena Rich of NYA.

“I mean, they’re crazy good on this side. Our closest indoor court is half an hour away (in Madawaska), and all the girls on our team also play soccer and basketball.”

Mina Stam and Mary Morrison also won at singles for NYA, dropping only three games between them. Hannah Chapman and Corinne Poitras won by shutout at first doubles, and Livy Stam and Hannah Hungerford did the same at second doubles.

NYA last reached the state final in 2010, which marked the end of a four-year reign.

No Eastern Maine team ever has won the Class C girls’ title.

“It’s never good to assume too much,” Rich said, “but as a team we were pretty confident going in.”

In addition to Salas, who won the final 11 games of his match after being broken on his first serve, Clancy Mitchell won by shutout at No. 3 singles and Brandon Ameglio won 6-2, 6-3 at No. 2.

“We tried to get it done not as quickly as possible,” Mitchell said, “but as efficiently as possible.”

The teams split doubles, with Jake Soley and Jacob Greene of Waynflete winning 6-1, 6-1 at No. 2, and Peter Michalakes and Stephen Epstein falling to Tim Dentino and Matt Stephens of George Stevens 0-6, 7-5, 10-6 in a tiebreak used because the overall outcome had been decided.

“I’ve played with a different partner every year at the state championships,” Soley said, “and the two guys from George Stevens were new, so it definitely mixes things up and keeps it interesting. That was fun.”

George Stevens lost in the final to Waynflete for the sixth straight year.

“I’d choose somebody else if they gave me a choice but they don’t,” said George Stevens Coach Larry Gray. “No, I’m just kidding. It’s an honor. They’re a great program.”

 

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http://www.pressherald.com/2015/06/13/class-c-tennis-state-finals-waynflete-boys-north-yarmouth-academy-girls-prevail/feed/ 0 http://multifiles.pressherald.com/uploads/sites/4/2015/06/657746_161578-Tennis2.jpgIsaac Salas celebrates with his Waynflete teammates after the Flyers beat George Stevens Academy 4-1 Saturday at Lewiston High School to win their eighth consecutive Class C boys’ tennis state championship.Sat, 13 Jun 2015 23:50:43 +0000
Class B tennis: Cape Elizabeth boys and Greely girls repeat http://www.pressherald.com/2015/06/13/tennis-state-finals-the-cape-elizabeth-boys-and-greely-girls-triumph-in-class-b/ http://www.pressherald.com/2015/06/13/tennis-state-finals-the-cape-elizabeth-boys-and-greely-girls-triumph-in-class-b/#respond Sat, 13 Jun 2015 22:47:39 +0000 http://www.pressherald.com/?p=657741 LEWISTON — At the beginning of the season, Cape Elizabeth boys’ tennis coach Andy Strout pointed out to his team that three schools each had won 15 state titles: South Portland, Lewiston and Cape Elizabeth.

He didn’t mention it again.

“It was definitely in the back of my mind but not something we talked about,” said Cape Elizabeth senior Luke Gilman. “It felt great to get him this one.”

Gilman led a singles sweep Saturday at Lewiston High as Cape Elizabeth turned aside a challenge from Camden Hills 4-1 for a third straight Class B state championship.

In the girls’ Class B final, Greely also repeated as champion with a 5-0 shutout of Mt. Desert Island.

Cape Elizabeth (13-3) and Camden Hills (14-2) met a year ago with the Capers easily sweeping singles and barely winning doubles.

Although many of the characters were different Saturday, the plot remained similar.

Gilman won quickly at No. 2 singles, dropping only one game. Ethan Murphy had more trouble at No. 3 before prevailing 6-3, 6-4 over Matt Morse of Camden Hills.

That allowed Michael Mills to clinch at No. 1 by reeling off 12 straight games after falling behind 2-0 to Austin Pohlman, a left-hander.

“I attribute it,” Pohlman said to Mills after shaking hands, “to you warming up and starting to crush the balls back.”

Mills played doubles on Cape Elizabeth’s 2013 championship team but opted for USTA tennis last spring to focus on his New England ranking. Did he miss the team atmosphere?

“A lot,” he said after high-fiving teammates after his match.

“It’s a great feeling to have the support from all my friends.”

When Mills trailed 2-0 at the start, both doubles matches were headed to a third set and Murphy had his hands full with Morse, a case of “an athlete against a younger kid,” Strout said.

“I knew my match was going to be crucial,” Murphy said. “His first serve, when it went in, he almost always won the point. So it was key that I took advantage of his second serve.”

Morse fought off one match point but Murphy converted the second to give Cape Elizabeth a 2-0 lead and set the stage for Mills.

The doubles matches were highly competitive, with Conner Sullivan and Jimmy Salerno of Cape Elizabeth shrugging off an inglorious tiebreak to win 6-7 (0), 6-4, 6-4 at No. 2.

On an adjacent court, Jared Garske and Colby Arau of Camden Hills rallied to a 3-6, 6-2, 6-4 victory at No. 1.

“We just dug deep,” Salerno said. “This was Conner’s senior year and it meant so much to him. Although it wasn’t a critical point to the overall outcome, it was a critical point to us.”

In the girls’ match, Greely won easily at first doubles with Mia Lambert and Jessie Hoffman (6-2, 6-0,) but struggled to win 6-2, 3-6, 6-0 with Sam Kennedy and Madelyn Day at second doubles.

“We knew we had a title to defend,” Hoffman said. “We had that in our minds rather than cockiness.”

In singles, freshman Izzy Evans clinched the match with a 6-0, 6-0 victory at No. 1, Kathryn Pare won 6-1, 6-4 at No. 2 and Alex Tebbs outlasted Maeve Geary of MDI 3-6, 6-4, 7-5 at No. 3.

“I was letting her run me, letting her call the shots,” Tebbs said. “I decided to be more aggressive and take more risks, especially with my dropshots, and it paid off.”

The title is the second straight for Greely (14-2).

 

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Class A tennis: Falmouth boys and girls sweep state titles http://www.pressherald.com/2015/06/13/class-a-tennis-falmouth-boys-and-girls-sweep-state-titles/ http://www.pressherald.com/2015/06/13/class-a-tennis-falmouth-boys-and-girls-sweep-state-titles/#respond Sat, 13 Jun 2015 21:26:20 +0000 http://www.pressherald.com/?p=657680 LEWISTON — Olivia Leavitt finished off the point with yet another unreturnable forehand.

“Oh my gosh,” said Lewiston girls’ tennis coach Anita Murphy, watching from behind a courtside fence. “No stopping that.”

Indeed, Leavitt and her Falmouth High teammates again proved unstoppable Saturday at Lewiston High, shutting out Lewiston for an eighth consecutive state title and 13th in school history, matching Cape Elizabeth for the most in Maine and bumping Lewiston to third on the all-time list with 12.

“It’s bittersweet,” Leavitt said after being surrounded by the rest of the Falmouth girls to celebrate their 5-0 victory. “It’s a great feeling to finish the season like we did but it’s also sad that I’m not going to come back and play anymore.”

The Falmouth boys also won a Class A title in dominant fashion, beating Mt. Ararat 4-1 with straight-set victories in everything but No. 1 singles, where Eagles sophomore Nick Mathieu – a two-time runner-up in the state singles tournament – held off a spirited challenge from Falmouth senior Aidan McGrory 7-6 (1), 7-5 in the best individual match of the day.

The Mathieu-McGrory affair was still in its first set when everyone else in Class A had finished playing. Falmouth freshman Alex Klemperer and sophomore Peter Stegemann dropped only three and four games, respectively, in winning second and third singles against, respectively, Mt. Ararat freshman Peter Mao and senior Trevor Mayo.

In doubles, Falmouth sophomores Jordan Bruce and Trey Fallon dropped only four games at No. 1 against Mt. Ararat seniors Mike Crawford and Jon Roux. At No. 2, Falmouth sophomore Grayson Cohen and freshman Matt Adamowicz won 6-1, 6-1 over junior Joey Reed and Brazilian exchange student Leonardo Paz Medeiros of Mt. Ararat.

The same two teams met in the boys’ state final last year with Falmouth winning, 3-2. Only McGrory and Fallon returned from that starting seven.

The Falmouth girls, meanwhile, returned six of their top seven and finished with another 16-0 season, extending their winning streak to 125 matches.

Leavitt, the three-time singles state champion, won her match against Lewiston junior Maddi Roy without dropping a game. Juniors Julia Brogan and Carolina Ray won at second and third singles by identical scores of 6-1, 6-1.

Sophomores Kate Kelley and Amanda Watson did likewise at first doubles. Senior Meg Pierce and sophomore Mary Hyland won 6-3, 6-3 at second doubles.

“They had a different game style than we’re accustomed to in Western Maine, which is more of a flat topspin,” Brogan said. “These girls do a lot of lobbing. We had to get used to that.”

The victory marked the end of a 13-year coaching career for Sandra Stone, who departs with 10 state titles and an overall mark of 187-14.

“We especially wanted to get the match for her,” said Brogan, who led an effort to have all the girls wear blue-and-white tie-dyed socks along with a long royal blue wristband.

“We all want her to remember this.”

Leavitt, who plans to continue her career at Brandeis, and Pierce are the only seniors. Assistant coach Bill Goodspeed will take over the program from Stone.

“I prepared the girls mentally for this match,” said Murphy, who led Lewiston to all 12 of its state titles. “We knew what we were up against. Their goal was to stay on the court as long as they could.”

“This was a team that was coming in undefeated,” Falmouth’s Ray said of Lewiston (15-1). “We all knew we would have to play our best tennis. We definitely had some nerves. I don’t think it was easy.”

It only seemed that way.

 

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High school tennis finals may offer some suspense http://www.pressherald.com/2015/06/13/tennis-finals-may-offer-some-suspense/ http://www.pressherald.com/2015/06/13/tennis-finals-may-offer-some-suspense/#respond Sat, 13 Jun 2015 08:00:00 +0000 http://www.pressherald.com/?p=657223 LEWISTON — When you coach tennis at Falmouth High, there are plenty of years when you understand – considering the pool of proven talent – that a state title is practically a given.

Sandra Stone, who has said she will step down after this season, will send six of the seven girls who won the 2014 Class A title in dominant fashion onto the Lewiston High courts Saturday against Lewiston.

The only surprise from Thursday’s Western Maine title victory was Scarborough prevented a shutout by winning at second doubles, the first time any team earned a point this year against Falmouth’s full lineup.

The Falmouth boys are a different story. They, too, are defending Class A champions but their lineup underwent a dramatic transformation after graduation claimed six seniors from the 2014 team that went 16-0.

“I’m thrilled,” Coach Bob McCully said. “To graduate six of your top seven and come back with a competitive team has been great.”

Senior Aidan McGrory, who rose from third to first singles, leads a lineup that includes four sophomores and two freshmen.

“Best captain I’ve ever had,” said McCully, nearing the end of his 44th season as coach. “He really looks out for younger kids.”

For the second straight year, Falmouth will meet Mt. Ararat, which has five of its top seven from a team that lost 3-2 to Falmouth last June. The Eagles won this year’s Eastern Maine title 3-2 over top-seeded Brunswick to avenge their only loss.

McGrory will face sophomore Nick Mathieu, a two-time finalist in the state singles tournament, at No. 1 singles. Freshman Peter Mao, who plays one rung below Mathieu on the Mt. Ararat ladder, reached the Round of 16 in the singles tourney before meeting the eventual champ, Isaac Salas of Waynflete. Mao will face fellow freshman Alex Klemperer, who lost in the Round of 32.

“That will make it tough at the top,” McCully said. “I’m just hoping depth can come through.”

Falmouth beat two-time defending Class B state champion Cape Elizabeth twice by 4-1 scores this season and lost only to seven-time defending Class C champ Waynflete, 3-2.

“I didn’t know what to expect at the start of the season,” McCully said. “But they got better and better. They really bought into the team concept. They’ve been supportive of each other and supportive of me.”

The Class A matches will begin at 12:45 p.m. Class B starts at 9:15 a.m. with Cape Elizabeth looking for its third straight state title in a rematch with the Camden Hills boys, whose lineup is virtually unchanged from a year ago. The Capers, meanwhile, return only three starters.

Also in Class B, the girls of Greely (13-2) will attempt to defend their state title against Mt. Desert Island (14-1). Not since 2003 (Camden Hills) has an Eastern Maine team won the Class B girls’ state title.

In Class C, no Eastern Maine girls’ team has won a state title and only two boys’ teams (George Stevens Academy in 2004 and Madawaska in 1999) have done so. Salas leads Waynflete against George Stevens in a quest for an eighth straight title while North Yarmouth Academy (12-3) takes on Van Buren (11-0). Both matches are at 4:15 p.m.

 

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Western boys’ tennis finals: Falmouth, Cape Elizabeth and Waynflete repeat http://www.pressherald.com/2015/06/11/western-boys-tennis-finals-falmouth-cape-elizabeth-and-waynflete-repeat/ http://www.pressherald.com/2015/06/11/western-boys-tennis-finals-falmouth-cape-elizabeth-and-waynflete-repeat/#respond Fri, 12 Jun 2015 01:02:17 +0000 http://www.pressherald.com/?p=656400 LEWISTON — Tennis is one of those intriguing sports where a championship can be decided not by the top players on each team, but by the sixth and seventh guys on the ladder, a second doubles team that usually toils in obscurity.

So it was Thursday at the Western Maine finals, where Falmouth freshman Matt Adamowicz and sophomore Grayson Cohen rallied to a third-set victory that proved decisive in a 3-2 match over top-seeded Thornton Academy.

On a sultry afternoon at Bates College, Adamowicz and Cohen won 6-4, 4-6, 6-1 to give third-seeded Falmouth (14-1) a second straight Class A regional crown and set up a state final date with Mt. Ararat on Saturday at Lewiston High.

“We just didn’t want to let any of our friends down,” said Cohen, who played lacrosse at North Yarmouth Academy last spring. “In the third set we got up early, and we were able to play relaxed and hit hard. At the very end we turned the jets back on.”

Falmouth also won at third singles (Peter Stegemann 6-2, 6-3) and first doubles (Jordan Bruce and Trey Fallon 6-3, 6-3). Stegemann’s unusual style includes forehands and serves with either hand.

“I can’t hit higher balls, and hit with more control and more power,” said Stegemann, a natural right-hander. “Basically, everything you wish your backhand has, I have.”

Stegemann’s opponent, Jackson Dohse, is a natural left-hander who serves that way but plays points right-handed, with a two-handed forehand and a one-handed (right) backhand.

“I didn’t understand that,” Stegemann said. “I was kind of confused.”

Thornton freshman Carlos Jimenez, an exchange student from Spain, won 1-6, 6-3, 6-2 at No. 2 singles after Falmouth jumped to a 2-0 lead. In a match of talented seniors at No. 1 singles, Victor Menezes finally converted his eighth match point to defeat Aidan McGrory of Falmouth 7-6 (0), 6-3 long after the overall outcome had been decided.

“I’m playing there as a captain,” Menezes said. “You’re representing your school. You’re representing yourself. I knew it would be my last match in high school and I had to give my best.”

In Class B, two-time defending state champion Cape Elizabeth beat Morse 4-1 to set up a state-final rematch with Camden Hills on Saturday at Lewiston High.

The second-seeded Capers (12-3) won in straight sets at first and second singles behind Michael Mills and Luke Gilman, and swept doubles behind Parker Dinsmore and Matt Chipman at No. 1, and Conner Sullivan and Jimmy Salerno at No. 2.

It was Sullivan and Salerno who won 6-0, 6-4 to clinch the team victory.

“My only concern was that we had never played them,” Sullivan said, “so we had no idea how good they were.”

Indeed, top-ranked Morse (13-2) was making its first appearance in the regional final and Coach Steve Boyce understood the seedings meant nothing.

“We told them at the beginning of the match to have fun and do what you can do,” Boyce said.

“Try to have little victories. Win the first game. Take a set. Just get involved in a point and represent your skill. And for the most part they did.”

Matthew Jarmusz, a left-hander playing at No. 3 singles, picked up Morse’s lone point by outlasting Ethan Murphy 6-5, 7-5 in a match lasting just over two hours.

“He was very consistent,” Jarmusz said of Murphy, known more for his buzzer-beating lay-in to give Cape Elizabeth the Class B basketball state championship in February.

“His strokes maybe weren’t so smooth but he knew how to work them.”

In Class C, seven-time defending state champion Waynflete blanked top-ranked Hall-Dale 5-0 without dropping more than two games in any set – and that only happened once, in Brandon Ameglio’s 6-1, 6-2 victory at No. 2 singles.

The singles state champion, Isaac Salas, won 6-1, 6-0 at No. 1 and Clancy Mitchell 6-1, 6-1 at No. 3.

In doubles, Peter Michalakes and Stephen Epstein at No. 1, and Jake Soley and Jacob Greene at No. 2 each won handily.

The third-seeded Flyers (14-1) split with Cape Elizabeth in the regular season and also defeated Falmouth.

Hall-Dale, from Hallowell and Farmingdale, finished with a 14-1 record.

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http://www.pressherald.com/2015/06/11/western-boys-tennis-finals-falmouth-cape-elizabeth-and-waynflete-repeat/feed/ 0 http://multifiles.pressherald.com/uploads/sites/4/2015/06/656400_317887-20150611_GirlsTenn8.jpgAlex Klemperer, the No. 2 singles player for Falmouth as a freshman, returns a volley to Carlos Jimenez of Thornton Academy during Jimenez’s three-set victory Thursday. Klemperer is part of a team that will meet Mt. Ararat on Saturday in an attempt to win a second straight Class A state championship.Fri, 12 Jun 2015 14:59:10 +0000
Western Maine girls’ tennis: Falmouth, Greely and NYA win regional titles http://www.pressherald.com/2015/06/11/western-maine-girls-tennis-falmouth-greely-and-nya-win-regional-titles/ http://www.pressherald.com/2015/06/11/western-maine-girls-tennis-falmouth-greely-and-nya-win-regional-titles/#respond Fri, 12 Jun 2015 01:02:04 +0000 http://www.pressherald.com/?p=656396 LEWISTON — When Scarborough High senior Laura Henny delivered her valedictory address at graduation Sunday, she concentrated on a theme that plays as well in athletics as academia.

“It was about perseverance and never giving up,” she said Thursday, “which is very applicable for today.”

That’s because the Scarborough girls’ tennis team took on the juggernaut known as Falmouth High in the Western Class A final at Bates College. You didn’t need Henny’s SAT scores to understand Scarborough had little chance of an upset.

“But for us, that was good,” she said. “We knew we’d be OK with whatever happened and we did better than expected. We won a point, which we’re all very proud of.”

Falmouth’s 4-1 victory extended its remarkable winning streak to 124 and set up a state final match Saturday against Lewiston at Lewiston High.

Falmouth swept singles behind Olivia Leavitt, Julie Brogan (over Henny) and Caroline Ray, dropping only six games.

Kate Kelley and Amanda Watson provided the clincher with a 6-3, 6-0 victory at first doubles but Scarborough twins Ashley and Kristen Levesque averted the shutout with a 6-4, 4-6, 10-5 victory at second doubles. With the overall outcome decided, they played a tiebreaker in lieu of a third set.

After six straight Class B state titles, Falmouth won its first Class A crown last year and goes for a second Saturday.

“It doesn’t feel old hat,” said Kelley. “This is only the second time for us coming here so it’s still really exciting.”

“Especially because we’re playing in Class A,” said Brogan, referring to Falmouth (15-0) playing mostly Class B teams in the regular season. “It’s a little nerve-wracking going in because of all this new competition.”

In Class B, defending state champion Greely toppled previously unbeaten Lincoln Academy 4-1 to advance to Saturday’s state finals against Mt. Desert Island.

The second-seeded Rangers (13-2), whose only losses have come against powerful Falmouth, jumped to a quick 2-0 lead by sweeping doubles.

Mia Lambert and Jessie Hoffman dropped only one game at No. 1 doubles, and Sam Kennedy and Madeline Day won all but two games.

“We worked a lot with doubles this past week,” said Greely Coach Ben Caswell. “That’s the best I’ve seen my second doubles play this year.”

The clincher didn’t come until Greely freshman Izzy Evans, who had to wait until a match ended for one of the four available courts to open up, won 6-4, 6-1 at No. 1 singles.

“In the second set I was going for more of my shots but not too much,” Evans said. “Not trying to paint the lines. I knew I had to get my point for the team.”

The teams split the remaining singles matches, with Greely freshman Katherine Pare outlasting Spanish exchange student Cris Garcia 6-3, 6-7 (6), 6-3 at No. 2, and Nettie Hoagland of Lincoln Academy winning 6-3, 7-5 at No. 3.

“They were kind of this mysterious team we didn’t know,” Pare said of the Newcastle school. “So it was kind of exciting.”

In Class C, fourth-ranked North Yarmouth Academy ended the four-year title reign of Waynflete with a 4-1 victory. The Panthers (12-3) twice shut out seventh-seeded Waynflete (7-8) in the regular season.

“I was still concerned,” NYA senior Mina Stam said. “There was not a feeling at all that it was going to be a slam dunk.”

Stam won 6-1, 7-5 at No. 2 singles to provide the clinching point after a doubles split and Mary Morrison’s 6-0, 6-0 victory at No. 3 singles.

Lena Rich completed the singles sweep with a 6-0, 6-3 victory at No. 1.

NYA’s only losses this season have come at the hands of Greely, Cape Elizabeth and Falmouth.

Hannah Chapman and Corinne Poitras won handily at first doubles for NYA. Waynflete freshman Molly McNutt and sophomore Sidara Cash-Sortwell edged NYA seniors Livy Stam and Hannah Hungerford 7-6 (6) in the first set of their second doubles match and won by default when the heat proved too much for Hungerford, who opted to retire with the overall match decided.

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http://www.pressherald.com/2015/06/11/western-maine-girls-tennis-falmouth-greely-and-nya-win-regional-titles/feed/ 0 http://multifiles.pressherald.com/uploads/sites/4/2015/06/656396_317887-20150611_GirlsTenn2.jpgOlivia Leavitt of Falmouth won at No. 1 singles to help the Yachtsmen defeat Scarborough 4-1 and return to the Class A state final for the second straight year after six straight state titles in Class B.Thu, 11 Jun 2015 22:16:34 +0000
Boys’ tennis: Isaac Salas captures his first boys’ singles title http://www.pressherald.com/2015/06/01/boys-tennis-isaac-salas-captures-his-first-boys-singles-title/ http://www.pressherald.com/2015/06/01/boys-tennis-isaac-salas-captures-his-first-boys-singles-title/#respond Tue, 02 Jun 2015 02:37:27 +0000 http://www.pressherald.com/?p=649903 All that blather about staying in the moment and playing one shot at a time tends to evaporate when you find yourself trailing in a tiebreaker of the high school state singles final after wasting two set points.

Just ask Isaac Salas, a senior at Waynflete who faced that predicament Monday afternoon against top seed Nick Mathieu, a sophomore from Mt. Ararat in Topsham.

The solution for Salas? Nothing like a rat-a-tat-tat battering of tennis strings against forehead to sharpen one’s focus.

“It was tough,” Salas said. “I was thinking about those (set) points and I was kind of down on myself. But then, I had to keep playing, had to keep fighting.”

The second seed prevailed, winning four of the final five points in the tiebreaker and overcoming an early deficit in the second set Monday at The Racket & Fitness Center in Portland to win the Maine Principals’ Association boys’ tennis title, 7-6 (5), 6-3.

Because of rain, tournament officials moved the semifinals and finals indoors from their scheduled site at Bates College. Both Salas and Mathieu won one match Friday and two more Saturday at Colby College in Waterville before dispatching a Serbian exchange student in the semifinals Monday.

Salas beat No. 3 Luka Stevic of Lee Academy 6-3, 6-3, while Mathieu prevailed against No. 4 Teodor Antelj of Fryeburg Academy, 7-6 (5), 6-4.

In the final, both players came out swinging hard, blasting forehands from the baseline whenever given the opportunity.

“I really wanted to hit the ball big, to have big serves and big forehands and really be aggressive,” said Mathieu, the 2014 runner-up to Brendan McCarthy of Falmouth.

Each player held serve twice before Salas broke Mathieu with help from a wide forehand. Mathieu responded by converting his fourth break point to make it 3-all, but then netted a forehand to end the next game and fell behind 5-3.

With two opportunities to serve out the set, Salas failed to convert at both 5-4 and 6-5.

“If I would have lost the first set, it would have been so different,” Salas said. “He would have had more energy throughout the second and I would have had less.”

Mathieu took leads of 2-0, 3-2 and 4-3 in the tiebreaker. Salas pulled even at 4, then Mathieu tied it at 5, but Salas claimed the set when a second serve from Mathieu sailed long.

“It definitely is draining to know that you worked that hard and then lost by two points in the first set,” Mathieu said. “But I tried to have the best attitude that I could.”

Mathieu broke serve to start the second set, but a moment in the second game seemed to capsulize his frustration. After Salas managed a weak stab that barely kept the ball in play, Mathieu hurried to within five feet of the left post for what appeared to be an easy kill. Instead, his angled overhead smash found only net.

“That was painful,” Mathieu said. “Not painful literally, but mentally.”

Salas jumped to a 3-1 lead, made it 5-2 with a service winner and held at love in his next service game to clinch the title, unleashing a guttural yell when Mathieu’s final forehand sailed beyond the baseline.

“It’s huge,” Salas said. “It was my goal last season, and I lost to Brendan (in the semis), so it was awesome to win it this year, in my last year.”

Salas plans to continue his career at Franklin & Marshall College in Lancaster, Pennsylvania.

 

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http://www.pressherald.com/2015/06/01/boys-tennis-isaac-salas-captures-his-first-boys-singles-title/feed/ 0 http://multifiles.pressherald.com/uploads/sites/4/2015/06/649903_682444-20150601_tennis_6.jpgIsaac Salas had a chance to close out the first set twice and nearly lost it in a tiebreaker. He rebounded to beat Nick Mathieu in straight sets to win the singles title.Wed, 03 Jun 2015 00:08:59 +0000
Girls’ tennis: Olivia Leavitt wins her third straight singles title http://www.pressherald.com/2015/06/01/girls-tennis-olivia-leavitt-wins-her-third-straight-singles-title/ http://www.pressherald.com/2015/06/01/girls-tennis-olivia-leavitt-wins-her-third-straight-singles-title/#respond Tue, 02 Jun 2015 01:43:35 +0000 http://www.pressherald.com/?p=649848 Top-seeded Olivia Leavitt walked into her third straight singles state championship match armed with a carefully crafted approach that, after two games, she completely abandoned.

“It wasn’t working at all,” Leavitt said. “I had to switch it up and become more aggressive and come to net a lot, and I think that’s where I found my mojo.”

It wasn’t easy, but the Falmouth senior turned aside a spirited challenge Monday from St. Dominic Academy sophomore Bethany Hammond to win the Maine Principals’ Association girls’ tennis title 6-4, 7-6 (1) indoors at The Racket & Fitness Center in Portland.

The title is the third in a row for Leavitt, who beat Maisie Silverman of Brunswick in a three-set final last spring and in straight sets in the 2013 championship match, which was also moved indoors because of rain.

“It feels really good,” said Leavitt, a semifinalist as a freshman.

Monday’s match lasted just shy of two hours. It could have ended earlier had Leavitt converted one of her five match points before the second-set tiebreaker. Trailing 3-5, Hammond rallied to hold serve by winning four consecutive points, the first two with Leavitt on the brink of victory.

Leavitt then jumped ahead 40-love while serving at 5-4, but once again Hammond refused to wilt and capped a string of five straight points with a backhand passing shot.

“I knew I had to stay focused and that I could come back,” said Hammond, a 2014 semifinalist ousted by Silverman, who recently completed her first year at Bates College.

“All my match points I didn’t get, she just hit great shots,” Leavitt said. “There’s nothing you can do about it. You have to just keep playing.”

Still, it was hard to ignore what could have been. Hammond held serve to take a 6-5 lead, and the players switched ends under the looming possibility of a third set.

The feisty Leavitt gave herself a quick pep talk, held serve to force the tiebreaker, then reeled off seven straight points to close out the match after Hammond had taken a 1-0 lead in the tiebreaker. The sixth championship point was not wasted; Leavitt delivered a forehand pass to join Christine Ordway of Waynflete, Karolina Pierko of Biddeford, Anna Chai of Cony and Lindsay Whipple of Falmouth as the only girls to win more than two state singles titles. Pierko and Chai each won four.

“That’s the way you want a final to be,” said Falmouth Coach Sandra Stone. “Everybody walks away from that saying, ‘Wow, that was impressive tennis.’ ”

Hammond is a languid left-hander with a soft voice. Leavitt is a ball of energy who bounces around and yells, ‘Let’s go!’ when a critical point goes her way. They trained together at Maine Pines in Brunswick for three years, until Leavitt’s sophomore year, but had never played a match.

Hammond held serve to start the match and broke Leavitt to take a 2-0 lead. That’s when Leavitt junked her initial strategy of hitting loopy, heavy balls from the baseline and started attacking the net. She won four games in a row before Hammond tied it at 4. After a service break, Leavitt clinched the set with a forehand volley.

“She’s very competitive,” Hammond said. “I’ve known that about her since years ago. It’s really fun to get someone who puts their whole heart into it and competes really well.”

In morning semifinal matches, Leavitt defeated teammate Julia Brogan 6-1, 6-1, and Hammond beat Wells freshman Rosemary Campanella 6-1, 6-2.

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http://www.pressherald.com/2015/06/01/girls-tennis-olivia-leavitt-wins-her-third-straight-singles-title/feed/ 0 http://multifiles.pressherald.com/uploads/sites/4/2015/06/649848_682444-20150601_tennis_9.jpgOlivia Leavitt celebrates and with good reason. The Falmouth senior won her third straight singles state championship Monday when she defeated St. Dominic’s Bethany Hammond 6-4, 7-6 (1) at The Racket & Fitness Center.Tue, 02 Jun 2015 08:32:18 +0000
Waynflete’s Salas, Falmouth’s Leavitt win state tennis titles http://www.pressherald.com/2015/06/01/top-seeds-advance-to-championship-of-mpa-singles-tournament/ http://www.pressherald.com/2015/06/01/top-seeds-advance-to-championship-of-mpa-singles-tournament/#respond Mon, 01 Jun 2015 15:49:22 +0000 http://www.pressherald.com/?p=649468 Falmouth High senior Olivia Leavitt won her third straight state singles tennis title and Waynflete senior Isaac Salas his first Monday afternoon inside The Racket & Fitness Center in Portland.

The top-seeded Leavitt finally converted her sixth match point to defeat No. 2 Bethany Hammond, a sophomore from Belgrade who attends Saint Dominic Academy in Auburn, by a score of 6-4, 7-6 (7-1) in the final of the Maine Principals’ Association girls tournament.

Leavitt had two match points at 5-3 in the second set and served at 40-love, 5-4 before Hammond won five points in a row and then held serve to take a 6-5 lead.

Hammond won the first point of the tiebreaker before Leavitt took control with seven straight, ending the nearly two-hour match on a forehand passing shot.

Salas, the second seed who hails from Camden but attends school in Portland, knocked off No. 1 Nick Mathieu, a sophomore from Mt. Ararat in Topsham, 7-6 (7-5), 6-3.

Salas also had two set points in the first that would have avoided a tiebreaker, but Mathieu hung on and even took a 4-3 lead in the breaker. He also broke serve to open the second set before Salas won three straight games to take control.

In morning semifinal matches, Leavitt defeated teammate Julia Brogan, a Falmouth junior, 6-1, 6-1 while Hammond dispatched Wells freshman Rosemary Campanella 6-1, 6-2.

Mathieu and Salas turned back semifinal challenges from a pair of Serbian exchange students. Salas beat No. 3 Luka Stevic of Lee Academy 6-3, 6-3 and Mathieu outlasted No. 4 Teodor Antelj of Fryeburg Academy 7-6 (7-5), 6-4.

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United Nations of tennis at Deering High http://www.pressherald.com/2015/05/30/united-nations-of-tennis-at-deering-high/ http://www.pressherald.com/2015/05/30/united-nations-of-tennis-at-deering-high/#respond Sat, 30 May 2015 08:00:00 +0000 http://www.pressherald.com/?p=648499 The tennis courts at Deering High are enveloped in purple wind screens, in large part because of the multicultural makeup of the girls who play there.

The U.S. Tennis Association, responding to a grant proposal from Deering assistant coach Marcy Weeks, donated $2,700 to the program over the winter because of the team’s diversity. A matching grant by the school’s booster club made the wind screens a reality in time for this season.

“It’s a diverse community,” Weeks said. “You’re dealing with girls who have never been introduced to sports in their lives, because they were not allowed to.”

Deering’s roster includes 17 girls from 10 countries. Among them, the teammates speak eight languages.

“A lot of them are refugees,” Weeks said. “Their families are seeking asylum. They’re here just to be safe, away from the dangers of their other countries.”

“It’s nice to see how fortunate we are to have all this culture on our team,” said sophomore Cassi Bigelman, who was born in the Cayman Islands and has a Scottish mother. “At a team dinner, we were sharing stories about our lives and our parents’ lives. They come from so many different places.”

At a recent practice, Bigelman played doubles with freshman Domingas Nzuzi (born in Angola), junior Deborah Mugaju (South Africa) and sophomore Gemima Masangu (Democratic Republic of Congo).

“When you play tennis,” Nzuzi said during a break, “it makes you feel good.”

On a nearby court, freshman Rabia Mohammad Naib of Afghanistan (by way of India) rallied near classmate My-Claire Nkama of Congo. They hope to work their way up from the junior varsity.

That’s the path taken by junior Priscilla Maccario, who was born in France to a French father and Taiwanese mother.

“She’s come up from never hitting a ball, from not doing anything sports-related,” Weeks said, “to now being our No. 2 singles player.”

As Weeks and head coach Stephanie Doane led a stretching circle before a practice, Naib and Nzuzi strolled over a few minutes late.

“When you see that we’re stretching, that means practice has started,” Doane called out. “I should see a sense of urgency. Run!”

Doane pumped her arms to clarify her meaning, and the girls responded. An 18-year educator, Doane teaches humanities and advanced placement U.S. history at Casco Bay High School. She has training in teaching non-native speakers, but geared toward a classroom setting.

“Tennis is a very technical sport and instruction is so important,” she said. “If you don’t have that language, that ability to communicate clearly, it can be very hard.”

Doane grew up in Virginia and worked summers at a tennis academy directed by Phil Rogers, Martina Navratilova’s first U.S. coach and for 23 years a coach at the University of Virginia. He was a proponent of what came to be known as “The Inner Game of Tennis.”

“That was his religion,” Doane said. “We watched him give an entire half-hour lesson to demonstrate his methods and he never said one word. So that’s how I learned how to instruct.”

Deering (4-8) is seeded 10th in the Western Class A tournament and travels to crosstown rival Cheverus (8-4) for a preliminary-round match Tuesday afternoon.

 

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Maine’s top girls’ tennis players look to the future http://www.pressherald.com/2015/05/29/maines-top-girls-tennis-players-look-to-the-future/ http://www.pressherald.com/2015/05/29/maines-top-girls-tennis-players-look-to-the-future/#comments Fri, 29 May 2015 08:00:00 +0000 http://www.pressherald.com/?p=647691 FALMOUTH — The state’s top 48 high school tennis players will compete in the Maine Principals’ Association singles tournament Friday and Saturday at Colby College, with the semifinals and finals scheduled for Monday at Bates College.

Defending girls’ champion Olivia Leavitt, a Falmouth senior, will be there as the top seed. Rosemary Campanella, a Wells freshman whose high school doesn’t offer tennis, is seeded third.

No matter who emerges as finalists, however, they can’t truly claim to be Maine’s two best female high school tennis players.

That distinction belongs to Meghan Kelley of Falmouth and Mercedes “Sadie” Hammond of Belgrade, both of whom have accepted full athletic scholarships to compete at Division I universities. Hammond plans to enroll at Tennessee this fall and Kelley at Virginia in the fall of 2016.

Both Kelley and Hammond have sisters who play high school tennis. Kate Kelley is a Falmouth sophomore who recently teamed with classmate Amanda Watson to win the Western Maine Conference doubles title. Bethany Hammond is a sophomore at St. Dominic in Auburn and the second seed in the state singles tournament.

While Kate and Bethany followed a traditional school path, their older sisters have traveled the world for tournaments, trained out of state (Massachusetts for Meghan and Florida for Sadie), and taken online classes to prioritize tennis.

“You have to teach yourself quite a bit,” said Meghan Kelley, who remained in the Falmouth school system until eighth grade. She was home-schooled until enrolling in the Maine Connections Academy, the state’s first virtual charter school, which opened in September. “You have to be independent and diligent about getting your (academic) work done.”

Kelley and Hammond varied widely in their tennis journeys, but each bypassed in-state high school competition in favor of more rigorous training elsewhere.

“I haven’t seen her in a long time, probably more than a year and a half,” said Kelley of Hammond. “We used to play New England tournaments when we were really little. I was probably around 10 when we first met.”

Kelley, 17, has an October birthday and will continue to compete through December on the International Tennis Federation junior circuit. Her current world ranking – which incorporates both singles and doubles – is 156 after peaking at 148 in March.

Since last summer, Kelley has played tournaments in Uruguay, Mexico, Costa Rica, Colombia, Ecuador, Peru and Brazil, as well as Florida, California and Oklahoma. Next month she heads to Europe for the first time, with tournaments planned in Germany and England. Her goal is to make it into a Junior Grand Slam; currently she is an alternate for Wimbledon’s junior qualifying draw.

“That would be very cool,” she said of playing on grass (something she’s done only a handful of times) at the All England Club.

At last year’s Wimbledon qualifying tournament, the lowest-rated entrant was ranked 156, which matches Kelley’s current standing. So she likely won’t know until the eve of the event whether or not she’s in. Eight qualifiers from an initial field of 32 will advance to the junior ladies main draw.

Kelley visited several colleges before settling on Virginia. The Cavaliers are ranked among the NCAA’s top 10 programs and have reached the NCAA Round of 16 for five straight years.

“I was looking for a school where the academics are really strong and they’ve been having great success on the tennis side,” Kelley said. “When I met the coach and met the team, everything just clicked.”

While Kelley worked her way up through the junior circuit, Hammond opted for the professional circuit. The thinking was if Hammond could rise to 300 on the International Tennis Federation ranking list, she would turn pro and embark upon a career. If not, she would opt for college.

“For the past year and a half I’ve been playing as an amateur,” said Hammond, whose singles ranking peaked at 1,212 (currently) and doubles at 1,132 (in late December).

The NCAA’s eligibility rules allow tennis players to accept up to $10,000 per year in prize money before enrolling in college.

Hammond has returned to Maine with her coach after operating from Gainesville, Florida, for much of a past year that included tournaments in Mexico, Colombia, Italy and Canada in addition to the U.S. She plans to squeeze college orientation at Tennessee between tournaments in South Carolina and Canada.

A month ago Hammond won a wild-card tournament in Florida that gained her entrance to the main draw of a $50,000 event in Indian Harbour Beach, where she lost in the first round to Storm Sanders, a 20-year-old Australian with a World Tennis Association title under her belt. There have been a lot of losses on the pro circuit.

“But I’ve gained so much experience,” Hammond said. “Playing against the best players in the world, that’s helped me tremendously. It was frustrating for sure … but my coach (Reggie Hodges) helped me through it. We focused on my development and not so much the results.”

Hammond completed her high school coursework through a distance-learning school based in California called Laurel Springs. Because Tennessee competes in the Southeastern Conference, she and Kelley aren’t likely to cross paths in college, but through their sisters each knows what they’ve missed by choosing the solo route to Division I tennis.

“I do not have any regrets,” Hammond said. “For my game to grow and develop as it has, I needed to skip high school tennis.”

“I didn’t really contemplate the possibility of turning pro and not attending college,” Kelley said. “My ultimate goal was to get into a great school and hopefully, if I have a good college career, maybe pursue a professional career afterwards.”

 

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http://www.pressherald.com/2015/05/29/maines-top-girls-tennis-players-look-to-the-future/feed/ 2 http://multifiles.pressherald.com/uploads/sites/4/2015/05/647691_297470-20150521_Tennis_03.jpgMeghan Kelley of Falmouth, who will play for Virginia in 2016, is enrolled in the state’s first virtual charter school while competing in tournaments in North and South America. She hopes to be in the Wimbledon junior tourney and is currently an alternate for its qualifying competition.Fri, 29 May 2015 14:49:44 +0000
Deering tennis aces are two of a kind http://www.pressherald.com/2015/05/23/deering-tennis-aces-are-two-of-a-kind/ http://www.pressherald.com/2015/05/23/deering-tennis-aces-are-two-of-a-kind/#respond Sat, 23 May 2015 08:00:00 +0000 http://www.pressherald.com/?p=644373 Their parents were friends before Kelvin Huynh and Jason Thach were born, so it’s not a complete surprise that they buddied up on the tennis court.

Now Deering High seniors, Huynh and Thach are unbeaten in SMAA play this spring and seeded first in the conference doubles tournament scheduled Saturday at the Cheverus High courts off Washington Avenue.

“We’re going to win,” said the ever-confident Huynh. “You can quote me on that.”

Lean and athletic with “a little attitude, some spice,” Huynh first picked up a racquet in sixth grade and two years later introduced Thach to the sport.

“I taught him how to play,” Huynh said with a grin, “and then he got better than me.”

Thach serves harder and is better at net. Huynh is more consistent with his serve and superior at the baseline. Twice this spring they’ve dropped the opening set of a match only to roar back and win.

“Everyone thinks we’re going to lose,” Thach said, “and then we kill them the second and third sets.”

“We’re kind of jerks,” Huynh added. “We give them a little hope, and then …”

He shrugged.

After playing together much of sophomore year, all of last season and most of this spring, Huynh and Thach found themselves in an unusual position Wednesday against Cheverus. Rams Coach Regina Morton, with an eye toward making the team stronger in the Class A tournament, split up her potent top pair in hopes of winning at both first and second doubles.

“I was really mad (Wednesday),” said Huynh, who played with a different partner at second doubles and lost in Deering’s 4-1 victory. “But we’re going to make the best of it as a team. There’s no point of losing in this, our senior year.”

“Yeah,” Thach added. “We want to go all the way.”

The Rams are 9-2, with losses to Gorham and Thornton Academy, both by scores of 3-2. Defending state champion Falmouth is another big obstacle.

If Deering somehow makes it all the way, Morton left open the prospect of a Thach-Huynh reunion. “She said that’s a big possibility,” Huynh said.

But for Saturday, they’re going to make the best of their final day as partners. Each SMAA school is allowed three doubles entries and tournament director Wayne St. Peter of Cheverus said he expects 30 teams.

Last year’s tournament was rained out. Two years ago, Thach and Hunyh were eliminated in the second round by Gorham’s top team.

When they’ve been on the same side of the net this spring, Huynh said, “we haven’t lost.”

“And,” he added, “we won’t.”

The SMAA girls’ doubles tournament will take place Saturday at Deering Oaks with 29 teams entered. Thornton Academy seniors Katie Senechal and Emily Harris form the top seed with Portland High senior Hallie Repeta and junior Maggie Denekas second.

 

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http://www.pressherald.com/2015/05/23/deering-tennis-aces-are-two-of-a-kind/feed/ 0 http://multifiles.pressherald.com/uploads/sites/4/2015/05/644373_705139-Deering-tennis.jpgDeering seniors Jason Thach, left, and Kelvin Huynh are the top-seeded pair in Saturday’s SMAA doubles tennis tournament. It might also be the last time they play together.Fri, 22 May 2015 20:25:10 +0000
10 girls’ tennis players to watch http://www.pressherald.com/2015/04/23/10-girls-tennis-players-to-watch/ http://www.pressherald.com/2015/04/23/10-girls-tennis-players-to-watch/#respond Thu, 23 Apr 2015 08:00:00 +0000 http://www.pressherald.com/?p=627169 Margot Andreasen, Portland, senior: SMAA All-Star reached the round of 16 in singles and should lead the Bulldogs on another deep title run.

Julia Brogan, Falmouth, junior: Quarterfinalist and fourth seed in state singles tournament who helped Falmouth to Class A state title. Unbeaten in team competition.

Liv Clifford, Cape Elizabeth, sophomore: Top returnee for the Capers and will look to improve on her round-of-16 appearance in singles.

Olivia Leavitt, Falmouth, senior: Two-time defending singles state champion who also led Falmouth to seventh straight team title.

Katherine Pare, Greely, sophomore: Returning No. 1 singles player will anchor the reigning Class B champs.

Christine Levesque, Mt. Ararat, senior: Had a 12-1 record and made it to the round of 32 in state singles last year.

Marina Stam, North Yarmouth Academy, senior: Second-team WMC All-Star will help the Panthers’ depth in singles so they can hang with the top teams in the league.

Lena Rich, North Yarmouth Academy, junior: Quarter-finalist and eighth seed in state singles tournament who helped NYA to a 10-2 record and regional quarterfinal match.

Megan Nathanson, Scarborough, junior: SMAA All-Star will captain a team looking to improve on last year’s semifinal appearance.

Chase Warner, Waynflete, sophomore: Accomplished on the amateur circuit, she will move from lacrosse to anchor a team looking to stay atop Class C.

– Staff reports

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Boys’ tennis players to watch http://www.pressherald.com/2015/04/23/10-boys-tennis-players-to-watch/ http://www.pressherald.com/2015/04/23/10-boys-tennis-players-to-watch/#respond Thu, 23 Apr 2015 08:00:00 +0000 http://www.pressherald.com/?p=627171 Brandon Ameglio, Waynflete, sophomore: Second-team WMC All-Star will help the Flyers go for their ninth straight Class C title.

Luke Gilman, Cape Elizabeth, senior: Semifinalist in state singles tournament despite being unseeded. Helped lead Capers to consecutive Class B state titles.

Austin Pohlmar, Camden Hills, senior: Pivotal to Windjammers Eastern Class B championship, he’ll anchor a team hoping to go one step farther this year.

Nick Mathieu, Mt. Ararat, sophomore: Runner-up in state singles tournament who went unbeaten in team competition to help Eagles reach finals of Class A.

Aidan McGrory, Falmouth, senior: Quarterfinalist in state singles tournament who never lost in team competition to help Falmouth earn Class A championship.

Michael Mills, Cape Elizabeth, junior: Accomplished amateur tournament player will return after taking last year off. Should be among the best in the state.

Isaac Salas, Waynflete, senior: Semifinalist and third seed in state singles tournament who led Flyers to Class C team championship.

Peter Stegemann, Falmouth, sophomore: Second-ranked 16-year-old in the Maine Tennis Association in 2014 will help the Yachtmen’s repeat campaign.

Will Weeks, Deering, junior: Accomplished doubles player is looking to make a statement in singles.

– Staff reports

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Boys’ tennis teams to watch http://www.pressherald.com/2015/04/23/boys-tennis-teams-to-watch/ http://www.pressherald.com/2015/04/23/boys-tennis-teams-to-watch/#respond Thu, 23 Apr 2015 08:00:00 +0000 http://www.pressherald.com/?p=627173 1. Mt. Ararat: The Eagles return five of seven starters from a team that lost 3-2 in the Class A state final.

2. Cape Elizabeth: Defending Class B champions have reloaded well after the loss of four seniors.

3. Falmouth: The reigning Class A champions are rebuilding, with only two returning starters, but the program is strong year after year.

4. Deering: The Rams were undefeated in the regular season a year ago and have five of their seven starters back.

5. Waynflete: The Flyers have won seven straight Class C championships and lost only one doubles player from last year’s lineup.

– Staff reports

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