Warming up for their match at first doubles in the Class C tennis state finals, Stephen Epstein and Peter Michalakes of Waynflete took note of their George Stevens Academy opponents Saturday.

Excellent groundstrokes. Moved well. Tough to lob over the tall guy.

“We had to be aggressive, hit it really low,” Epstein said. “I was focusing on that a lot.”

Not until the first set break did something else occur to Epstein about one of his opponents who seemed to have an unusually strong backhand.

He was left-handed.

“We had no idea,” Michalakes said. “It would have been helpful to know, but we figured it out.”


Armed with that fresh knowledge, Epstein and Michalakes overcame their early struggles and cruised to a 6-2, 6-2 victory that clinched a seventh straight title for the Flyers, who shut out George Stevens 5-0 at the Racket and Fitness Center.

“I’m a left-hander, too,” Epstein said. “I usually notice that, but I guess I didn’t.”

Originally scheduled as and outside match at Bates College in Lewiston, the final was moved inside because of the threat of rain.

Waynflete’s girls extended their state championship winning streak to four years with a 4-1 victory over Van Buren in a rematch of last spring’s final.

Emily White earned the clincher at first singles, 7-5, 6-3 over Parise Rossignol, a University of Maine basketball recruit who finished her high school career seven points shy of Cindy Blodgett’s state scoring record and also scored a school-record 116 goals in soccer.

“It was definitely a tricky match,” said White, who opened a 4-0 lead in the first set before Rossignol stormed back. “She’s so athletic. I tried to run her around as much as I could but she just didn’t get tired.”


Lexi Epstein and Allie Armstrong already had won at second and third singles for Waynflete (14-2), which beat Van Buren (11-1) by an identical score last spring.

Annika Morrill and Liv Troiano won 6-2, 6-2 at second doubles for Waynflete, whose only loss came at first doubles, where Felisha Bouchard and Jacinta Deschaine of Van Buren beat Sophie Raffel and Nina Flight by the same score.

“I felt like my team was slightly stronger this year,” said Waynflete Coach Linda Cohen, noting the addition of Epstein – whose only loss in team play was to Julia Brogan of Falmouth – and the doubles team of Morrill and Troiano, whose only losses came against Falmouth and Greely, the Western Class A and B champions.

The Waynflete boys, meanwhile, beat George Stevens (13-3) for the fifth consecutive year.

Isaac Salas, Brandon Ameglio and Clancy Mitchell dropped only two games between them in singles competition.

Jake Soley and Misha Linnehan completed the sweep with a 1-6, 6-2, 7-5 victory at second doubles.


“It seemed appropriate because we’ve had a lot of those three-set matches this year,” Linnehan said. “It feels good to get a 5-0 win.”

“The biggest difference is that we play in the Western Maine Conference against really good teams,” said Coach Jeff Madore, whose Flyers (13-3) lost only to Falmouth and Cape Elizabeth.

“When these guys get in trouble, they’ve been there before. They know how to come back.”

Madore lost three seniors from last year’s championship squad, including a former state singles champion, Patrick Ordway, as well as Ben Shapiro and Jon Tao.

“We were pretty worried this year,” Stephen Epstein said. “We lost some pretty heavy hitters in our lineup. At the beginning of the year I actually was expecting not to win, but we kept going and going.”

Salas won 6-1, 6-0 at first singles to cap an undefeated season in team competition. His only loss came in the semifinals of the state singles tournament to the eventual champion, Brendan McCarthy of Falmouth.

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