Over the past five seasons, five schools have won the Western Class A girls’ tennis championship.

Anyone for a sixth?

On Friday, the girls of Cheverus stormed the court to celebrate Stephanie Maxsimic’s victory at No. 3 singles that clinched a 3-2 upset of Gorham. Coupled with Scarborough’s 3-2 loss to McAuley on Monday, it left Cheverus as the only unbeaten team among the 16 in Western Class A.

“Cheverus is the real deal,” said Gorham Coach Sonja Frey, whose team returned five of its seven starters from a state finalist season. “They are deep and much more consistent. I still think that McAuley is the force to be reckoned with, but Cheverus is good, too.”

In the season opener, Cheverus slipped past a McAuley team missing its top player, Addie Devine. The Stags — Can we please come up with a better nickname for the female athletic teams at the formerly all-male institution? How does cross country coach Valerie Guillet’s suggestion of Mountain Goats grab you? — swept doubles and won with the unbeaten Maxsimic at third singles.

In addition to Maxsimic, Maria Cianchette and Abby Harrison play singles. Emily Gibson and freshman Caty Galligan — both excellent all-around athletes — are unbeaten at first doubles.

Second-year Cheverus coach Erin Ovalle is excited about a young team that includes one senior.

“They’re all about teamwork,” Ovalle said. “Watching them desire to be a team and cheer each other on, it gets me excited. They not only want to be good tennis players, they want to be good kids and good friends.”

You may know Ovalle from her television duties. She anchors the morning news on Channel 8 with Shannon Moss. Ovalle played tennis in high school and college (Division III Gordon in Wenham, Mass.) and taught in summer camps, but had no previous coaching experience.

How close is this team? All of the girls plan to attend Ovalle’s wedding on Memorial Day weekend.

Although junior varsity coach April Tracy will handle the team in its first-round playoff match, Ovalle plans to be back from her honeymoon in time for the regional semifinals, should Cheverus advance.

“It’s really neat because we’re a pretty young program,” Ovalle said. “I think I’m the first coach that has coached two years in a row. So there’s been a lot of turnover and not a lot of excitement.”

Wondering about the previous five regional champs, all of whom lost to Lewiston in the Class A finals? In descending order they are Gorham, Portland, Kennebunk, McAuley and Deering.

THE KENNEBUNK boys stunned defending Class A state champion Windham on Friday, 4-1. Not only did the Rams avenge a regional semifinal loss last spring, they ended a 39-match regular-season winning streak for Windham, which had not lost outside of the state tournament since dropping a 2007 match to Scarborough.

“They took us to the cleaners,” said Windham Coach Wayne Martin, who was particularly impressed with the play of Kennebunk’s first doubles team of Christian Elkington and Sam Hickson, which won 6-2, 6-3 to pin the first loss on Windham’s top doubles team.

Kennebunk, which edged Bonny Eagle 3-2 on Monday to remain unbeaten through five matches, also swept the singles matches against Windham.

The highlight was a three-set victory at No. 1 singles by Charlie Merry over Ryan Johnson, who reached the Round of 16 in last year’s singles state tournament.

“They are very good, make no mistake,” Martin said of the Rams, who returned six of their top seven players from last spring. “A very nice group of kids, too.”

The only other undefeated boys’ team of the 15 schools in Western Class A is Scarborough. The Red Storm will end the regular season May 23 at Kennebunk in a match that may decide the tournament’s top seed.

Even though Windham lost six of its top seven players to graduation, don’t count out the Eagles.

“I believe that when we get more experience,” Martin said, “we will be right there at the end of the season.”

QUALIFYING FOR the singles tournament begins Saturday in five regions of the state.

The seeding meetings will take place tonight.

The goal is to get down to 48 players, who will advance to Bates College for the remainder of the tournament, which is scheduled to be whittled to 16 on May 27 and a final four on May 28.

The semifinals and finals are scheduled for May 30, also at Bates.

Each school is allowed to enter up to three players. In Region 5, which will send 17 players to Bates, action will be based in South Portland for boys and at Deering High for girls, although satellite courts are available.

“Lately it’s been 80 to 90 girls and boys,” said the local coordinator, Cooper Higgins, the former Falmouth High athletic director.

“It’s a full day. We start relatively early and we’re usually done, depending on weather, by mid- to late afternoon.”

SINGLES FINALIST Analise Kump of Falmouth returned last week after working to overcome shoulder problems.

She eased back into action at No. 3 singles and moved up to No. 2 this week.

Annie Criscione, who had elbow issues of her own and is a two-time singles semifinalist, has been holding down the top spot.

Falmouth remains the most dominant team in both Class B and the Western Maine Conference, out to a 7-0 record that includes only one three-set match and no individual losses.

Today’s Falmouth-Waynflete boys’ match could feature a preview of the boys’ singles final, with freshman Justin Brogan playing Patrick Ordway of Waynflete in Falmouth. Then again, Matt Gilman of Cape Elizabeth might object.

In the season opener in late April, Gilman beat Ordway, the 2010 runner-up, before losing last week to Brogan indoors in Falmouth.

Staff Writer Glenn Jordan can be contacted at 791-6425 or at: [email protected]