Hosting a team dinner Wednesday on the eve of the regional finals, Falmouth High senior Kate Kelley had to think hard when asked about The Streak.

“We were like, ‘Oh, we hit a hundred when I was a freshman. Have we hit 150?’ We didn’t really know,” she said.

For the record, the Falmouth girls’ tennis team has won 156 matches in a row, a streak that began in 2008 and ranks fifth in the country, according to the National Federation of State High School Associations website.

Falmouth is 15-0 and plays Brunswick (13-2) for the Class A state title at 10 a.m. Saturday at Colby College in Waterville. A victory would give Falmouth its 10th straight state championship, breaking a four-way tie in high school tennis circles for consecutive state titles.

The other three programs with nine-year reigns are South Portland (Class A girls, 1972-80), Cape Elizabeth (Class B girls, 1990-98) and Waynflete (Class C boys 2008-present). Waynflete (14-1) faces George Stevens Academy (15-0) for the Class C title at 1 p.m.

Both the Falmouth girls and Waynflete boys would have a ways to go to surpass the national records for consecutive team state titles in high school tennis: 19 years for girls (Edina, Minnesota, 1997-2015) and 26 for boys (Honolulu Punahou, 1991-2016).

Mia Cooney, a Falmouth senior who plays first doubles, said The Streak is never far from her thoughts. When she and partner Mary Hyland dropped the first set of their regional final match Thursday against then-unbeaten Thornton Academy, there were tears.

“A little bit of tears,” said Hyland, also a senior. “We were a little stressed. It’s something that scares us. Are you going to be the team?”

“Yeah,” Cooney said. “You never want to be the one that breaks it. If we’re down, I always think of The Streak.”

Cooney and Hyland rallied to a 3-6, 6-3, 6-0 victory and Falmouth won the match 4-1 with the only blemish Kelley’s 6-3, 7-5 loss at first singles to Thornton senior Eva Sachs. Unlike recent years, when Falmouth enjoyed singles state champions Julia Brogan and Olivia Leavitt at the top of its lineup, this season’s edition has had to rely more on depth.

“It’s a totally different team,” said Bill Goodspeed, who took over the program last spring after 13 years under Sandra Stone. “We’ve had the state champs and two or three of the best eight (singles players) in the state for the last couple years, and now, nothing against Kate, but she’s not in that top two in the state. We’ve had close matches. Our doubles have been very good and clutch.”

The 2014 Falmouth squad didn’t lose a set all season. This spring, Falmouth had only two 5-0 matches in the regular season and two more in playoffs.

“It brings us all closer together, knowing that each match is going to be difficult,” said Amanda Watson, a senior who plays third singles after three years in the doubles lineup. “We strategize a lot more for matches this year.”

Watson also rallied in her regional final, winning 3-6, 7-5, 10-3 with the last set a 10-point tiebreaker agreed upon by both players because the overall match had been decided.

“Winning the state title freshman year felt like something that happened every year for the Falmouth team and we were just part of it,” Watson said. “Now we understand what the seniors really wanted. It’s huge. It’s definitely something we’re thinking about all season.”

This spring also marked Falmouth’s final season in the Western Maine Conference. Next spring, Falmouth will be part of the SMAA, made up entirely of Class A schools.

“I think that will be good for the league and good for them,” said Thornton Academy coach Dan Frost. “We knew they’d be a tough team. We didn’t make it easy for them.”

In Maine, only four high school programs in any sport have reigned supreme for at least a decade. Sanford won 10 straight in Class A wrestling from 1959-68. Mt. Blue won 11 straight in Class A girls’ skiing from 1992-2002. St. Dominic did likewise in boys’ hockey from 1947-57.

The longest run of success belongs to the Old Town boys’ swim team, which won 14 Class B titles from 1985-98.

History is within reach Saturday, both for Falmouth’s girls and for Waynflete’s boys.

“We try to keep it in the back of our minds, because we know that is a lot of pressure,” Kelley said. “If you’re thinking about keeping a streak alive, that’s really not why you’re supposed to be playing.”

Glenn Jordan can be contacted at 791-6425 or

[email protected]

Twitter: GlennJordanPPH

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