The 2018 Maine high school girls tennis season was dominated by a player from Kennebunk High School and another from Wells High School — and they just happen to have the same last name and live in the same house.
Kennebunk sophomore Grace Campanella and Wells senior Rosemary Campanella competed together on a combined Kennebunk/Wells team and the duo would put together incredible 2018 seasons.
When the state championship match was set it featured the two sisters and it would be the younger Grace taking home the gold with a 6-2, 6-4 victory.

Kennebunk sophomore Grace Campanella returns a shot during a regular season match this past season. Ben McCanna/Press Herald

“I figured that it would come down to me and Rose in the end, which I wasn’t really looking forward to,” said Grace.
While Grace finished on top of the podium, Rosemary put the Kennebunk/Wells team on her shoulders for the first half of the season when Grace was dealing with an injury — and that’s part of the reason why the Journal Tribune 2018 Girls Tennis MVP award will go to both sisters.
Long before the state finals match in late May, Grace was forced to sit out a big chunk of the season with a back injury — and the sophomore wasn’t sure if she would even be eligible to compete for a singles title.
“In the beginning I was worried that it wouldn’t be healed in time for me to qualify for states,” said Grace. “I just worked really hard with my (physical therapist) and got it back … and when I was back on the court I was just so happy to be there.”
Rosemary was happy to see her sister back on the court midway through the season.
“It was a lot of fun,” said Rosemary on playing with Grace. “She was out for the first half of the season due to an injury but once she got back into it, it was really nice to have her energy on the team.”
Neither sister wanted to face the other with the state championship on the line.
“It was definitely a lot more stressful. We both really wanted it and we both felt equal parts, I guess, kind of guilty having to play each other because we could have been taking a win away from the other person,” Grace said.
“It was something that I really, really didn’t want to do, but I didn’t have a choice,” said Rosemary. “She deserved to win and I don’t know if I told her that directly after the match, but I made sure she knew that.”

Wells senior Rosemary Campanella follows through on a shot as she plays her sister in the state final.
Joel Page/Press Herald

Rosemary will leave Wells as one of the best players in program history after she made it to three straight state finals. While all the success was nice, the 2018 WHS graduate was more focused on having fun in her final season of high school tennis.
“It was a lot of fun. The big goal for me the whole senior season was to just have as much fun as I could and I feel like I accomplished that,” said Rosemary, who had a message for the underclassmen on the Kennebunk/Wells squad. “I think the most important thing that the Kennebunk/Wells team has to keep in mind is to work as a team … (if you want to) accomplish everything you are capable of, you get that through hard work.”
The elder Campanella will continue her academic and tennis career at Division II Merrimack College starting this fall.
“It was a combination of athletics and academics. Their team really stood out to me and I’m majoring in computer science and they have one of the best computer science programs around,” said Rosemary on why she chose Merrimack.
When Rosemary heads off to college she will take a lifetime worth of memories with her from her time at Wells and on the Kennebunk/Wells team.
“I think I’m going to remember all the people the most … all the people are what made my past four years,” Rosemary said.
Grace has two years left to torment the rest of the state’s tennis players — and she will definitely be gunning for another gold next spring.
“I’m definitely going to play next year. I want to try to win another one next year, but I’m not sure about my senior year yet,” said Grace, who could forgo her senior season to seek tougher competition before college. “I want to use this as my tool for a scholarship at a (Division I) college. I might travel a bit and play more national tournaments instead of playing states.”
— Sports Editor Pat McDonald can be reached at [email protected] or at 282-1535 ext. 322. Follow the Journal Tribune Sports Department on Twitter @JournalTsports.

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