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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