PORTLAND – Both defending champions faced an early moment of truth Wednesday against a challenger from Falmouth.

Jordan Friedland, a senior at Lincoln Academy in Damariscotta, swept aside any doubt and cruised to a successful defense of his Maine Principals’ Association boys’ singles tennis tournament state title.

Maisie Silverman, a junior at Brunswick, found herself spiraling in the other direction. Following an objection by Falmouth sophomore Olivia Leavitt to Silverman’s audible self-exhortation in the third game, Leavitt won eight consecutive games on the way to a 6-1, 6-1 upset in the girls’ singles final.

Rain forced the morning semifinals and afternoon finals inside the Racket & Fitness Center from their original site at Bates College in Lewiston.

That was fine with Friedland, who turned back second-seeded Brandon McCarthy, a Falmouth junior, 6-3, 6-0.

“I’m not a big fan of the Bates courts,” said Friedland, who lost quarterfinal matches there as a freshman and sophomore. “I mean, it’s a beautiful venue and it’s nice for viewing and everything, but the courts themselves, there’s something about them. Maybe they’re too slow for me and there’s different bouncing.”

Friedland won last year’s singles title at Colby College in Waterville. He and McCarthy, a left-hander who beat the 2011 state champion, Patrick Ordway of Waynflete, 6-2, 6-4 in a morning semifinal, had never played each other.

In the final, each player broke serve, then McCarthy held for a 2-1 lead. Friedland then dropped the next two points on serve.

“At love-30 you’re down but you’re not out,” Friedland said. “If you play two solid points, it’s dead even.”

Friedland held serve, broke McCarthy and never again trailed. Although many of the points were long and McCarthy made Friedland work, the champion remained in control.

“He’s really good,” McCarthy said. “His slice backhand is different from most people but he’s just pretty solid all the way around.”

To reach the final, Friedland won a morning match with fourth-seeded Matt Gilman of Cape Elizabeth, 6-2, 6-2.

The girls’ semifinals featured three teammates from Falmouth and Silverman, who dropped only two games through her first three matches, as did Leavitt. In the morning semis, Silverman beat Falmouth freshman Julia Brogan, the fifth seed, 6-3, 6-1, and Leavitt took a little longer to dispatch senior Libby Voccola, the sixth seed, 6-3, 6-2.

In the final, each player broke serve, then came their discussion at net, which soon involved the coaches, Rob Manter of Brunswick and Sandra Stone of Falmouth. With Leavitt serving at 40-15, Silverman hit an apparent winner and exclaimed, “Let’s go!”

Trouble was, Leavitt chased it down and managed to throw up a feeble lob, which Silverman put away. Leavitt claimed a breach of both etiquette and rules, and said the point should be hers.

The players appealed to their coaches, who agreed on a warning for Silverman but no penalty. Leavitt then held serve, broke Silverman at 15, then reeled off three more games to close out the set.

“I think I kind of got a little upset because of that (dispute),” Silverman said. “But she was playing unbelievable. I knew from the beginning that it wasn’t going to be an easy match and that she was going to fight for it.”

After surviving a game point, Leavitt broke Silverman to open the second set. The sophomore who lost a three-set semifinal to Silverman a year ago hung tough in rallies of two dozen shots and more.

“I don’t think the score was indicative of the quality of tennis,” Stone said. “It was great tennis, fun to watch.”

Leavitt jumped to a 3-0 lead before losing her serve. She won the final three games to close out the match and join Lindsay Whipple (1983-85) as the only girls’ singles champions from Falmouth.

“It’s definitely not easy when you’re facing the defending champion,” Leavitt said. “But this morning I woke up and I had a feeling I was going to win it. It was the weirdest thing but I felt so good.”

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

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