Ella Perham of Brunswick follows through on a serve during Monday’s match against NYA at Brunswick High School. Eli Canfield/The Times Record

BRUNSWICK — It’s not often a high school tennis team sends four players to the state singles tournament, but that’s the case with the Brunswick girls this spring.

“I was so proud of how they played, it’s really exciting for them and for our program as a whole,” Brunswick head coach Mary Kunhardt said. “To know that we are the only school with four players moving on just gives me another sense of achievement.”

The Dragons anticipated seeded players Coco Meserve and Anna Barnes would come out of the Region 3 qualifier last weekend and advance to the Round of 52. Then, the Dragons got a nice bonus when unseeded players Ella Perham and Lia Rand also advanced.

The four will compete in the Round of 52 on May 21 at Lewiston High School.

“It was definitely a little nerve racking to begin with,” said Perham, who cruised to a 6-1, 6-1 victory in a 5-0 win over North Yarmouth Academy on Monday. “The nerves cooled off when I hit my first serve, then I just played my game from there.”

On Monday, Perham filled in the first singles slot for Meserve, who was one of a handful of Dragons sidelined due to a COVID-19 safety protocols. The Dragons hope to be at full strength leading into the Round of 52.


“It gives us more motivation knowing that our teammates are doing so well,” said Perham, who defeated Ella Ashmore of Medomak Valley on Saturday to earn her spot in the Round of 52. “It was a new experience that I can take with me onto the next round.”

Perham, in her first year playing singles, usually holds the third singles slot for the Dragons.

Brunswick tennis players, from left, Anna Barnes, Coco Meserve, Lia Rand and Ella Perham, will all be playing in the Round of 52 singles tournament. Photo provided by Mary Kunhardt

Emily Davison was one match away from becoming the fifth Brunswick girls tennis player to earn a spot in the Round of 52. Davison won her first match 8-2 in the pro set, before falling to top seed Caitlin Cass of Lincoln Academy in the final of her bracket.

“It was awesome that we had five girls who wanted to go out and give it a go,” said Kunhardt. “It’s a daunting task, especially for someone who doesn’t play singles. It takes courage to step up and try something new, which is something my girls wanted to do.”

The Dragons are well represented for the present and the future in the tournament. Perham and Rand are seniors, while Barnes is a junior and Meserve a freshman.

Ella Perham of Brunswick sets up for a forehand during Brunswick’s win over NYA on Monday at Brunswick High School. Eli Canfield/The Times Record

“We’re lucky to have such strong talent in all four grades, we owe a lot of that to them using the resources at their disposal,” Kunhardt said. “They all want to get better and love playing, they use their free time in the offseason to work on their game.”

While the Dragons (6-0) were shorthanded on Monday, they had no trouble with the Panthers (0-5).

Davison earned the win at second singles slot, while Logan Brown earned her first varsity win of the season, sliding into the third singles position. Sadie Levy and Hazel Goodwin won at first doubles. Helan Maher and Shannon Flanagan rounded out the sweep with a victory at second doubles.

“We just want to keep up our momentum individually and as a team,” said Kunhardt. “We’ve done a lot of good things this season, now it’s just about remaining consistent.”

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