April 23, 2013

Tennis Teams to Watch

GIRLS

1. Falmouth: Although Falmouth lost two top singles players, a sixth straight Class B state title seems firmly within reach. Sophomore Olivia Leavitt will be joined in singles by freshman Julia Brogan and, back from a year away, senior Libby Voccola. Seniors Abby Payson and Katie Carew and junior Katie Ryan anchor a talented doubles group.

2. Brunswick: Maisie Silverman and Ali Stankiewicz will be joined in singles by fellow junior Leah Soloway as the Dragons open defense of their Class A title. Classmate Samiera MacMullen and senior Hannah Bobker will play first doubles, with Ari Kasabian joining either Hannah Duffek or Elena Mersereau on an all-senior second doubles team.

3. Portland: Senior Sophie Hulbert and sophomore Margot Andreasen return at the top two singles spots for a team that finished 12-3 and lost 3-2 in the Western Class A finals to McAuley. Junior Annette Denekas joins the singles lineup, while senior Lily Bruenjes, junior Kayla Berg and sophomore Georgia Drew all have doubles experience.

4. Scarborough: Graduation claimed only one player from a top seven that last spring finished 10-4 and lost 3-2 to Western Class A champion McAuley in the regional semifinals. Seniors Mikaela Gove and Ella Mahoney return at singles. Megan Nathanson -- one of an astonishing 18 freshmen -- could join that mix, leaving a veteran doubles quartet. 

5. Waynflete: The two-time defending Class C state champion Flyers return four of their top seven from last spring, including junior Emily White at No. 1 singles. Joining her will be senior Phoebe Suva and junior Allie Armstrong. Senior Abby Cough and junior Sophie Raffel move up to first doubles. Junior Nina Flight and sophomore Annika Morrill move into second doubles.

BOYS

1. Cape Elizabeth: Not only does the entire lineup return intact from a team that reached the Western Class B finals, but Coach Andy Strout has six potential singles players in seniors Matt Gilman, Satchel McCarthy and Sam Sherman, junior Peter Higgins, sophomore Luke Gilman and freshman Michael Mills.

2. Falmouth: Hopes of a third consecutive Class B state title took a blow when two-time state singles runner-up Justin Brogan opted not to play, but Falmouth still has depth, a 32-match winning streak and a solid top four of junior Brendan McCarthy, sophomore Aiden McGrory and seniors Sam Holland and Tom Wilberg.

3. Waynflete: The Flyers seem well-positioned for a sixth consecutive Class C state title with an intact singles lineup featuring seniors Patrick Ordway -- the 2011 singles state champion -- and Ben Shapiro and sophomore Isaac Salas. Senior Kuan Tao returns at doubles.

4. Gorham: The defending Class A state champion Rams will be without No. 1 singles player Kyle Curley, who injured his back during basketball season, but he could return for the playoffs and join fellow seniors Milan Vidovic, Ryan Gilbert, Mike Lubelczyk and sophomore Tom Susi. 

5. Kennebunk: With Deering and Scarborough in rebuilding modes, Kennebunk may pose the biggest threat to Gorham in Western Class A. Senior Josh Behrens and junior Alex Pearson lead a team that went 10-3 and lost a regional quarterfinal to No. 4 Windham.

-- Glenn Jordan

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