LEWISTON — The Streak may be a thing of the past, but the Falmouth girls’ tennis program remains formidable.

Top-seeded Falmouth swept the doubles and won at third singles to turn back No. 3 Kennebunk 3-2 in the Class A South final Wednesday morning at Lewiston High. The victory sends Falmouth (15-0) into Saturday’s state championship match against North champ Brunswick (14-1).

Cape Elizabeth (Class B) and Hall-Dale (Class C) claimed the other South titles. The top-seeded Capers (13-1) beat No. 2 Yarmouth (11-4) following No. 1 Hall-Dale’s victory over No. 3 Waynflete (8-7).

All three regional championships were decided by scores of 3-2.

As for the Class A morning match, “we were really unsure coming into it,” said Falmouth junior Marissa LeFevre, who teamed with sophomore Elise Gearan to win 6-2, 6-2 at first doubles.

Gearan said Coach Larry Nichols told the team they had flown under the radar this spring, and that the girls should consider themselves underdogs. Such a description would have been unthinkable in recent years, when Falmouth was in the process of claiming 11 state titles as part of a winning streak that reached 187 matches.

“Our record didn’t show that,” Gearan said, “but a lot of us hadn’t played varsity tennis before.”

Indeed, all three Falmouth points Wednesday came from girls who weren’t on the roster two years ago, when Scarborough ended the streak in the regional final. Juniors Liv McHugh and Avery Quinn teamed up to win 6-1, 6-1 at second doubles and freshman Gracyn Mick gave Falmouth a clinching 3-0 lead with a 6-1, 6-0 victory at No. 3 singles.

Nichols said that considering all the COVID-19 limitations and initial uncertainty of whether a season could even take place, advancing to the state final is simply icing on the cake.

“The fact that we got to play, that was the number one thing,” he said. “We were just going to try to have a good season, have fun and enjoy competition again.”

Kennebunk (10-4) won at first and second singles behind junior Sadie Yentsch (6-3, 6-1) and sophomore Andie Lamontagne, who prevailed in a tiebreaker over Falmouth senior Nina Woodbury instead of playing a third set because the overall match had been decided, 7-5, 1-6 (10-7).

Woodbury played doubles in that fateful match against Scarborough two years earlier, and spoke of how freeing this spring has been without worrying about maintaining a streak that had begun in 2008.

“It was so much pressure,” she said. “I think a lot of people who heard about The Streak figured that since we lost, we aren’t as good anymore. I feel like we’re proving them wrong this year.”

Kennebunk Coach Jacqui Holmes said the Rams exceeded all her expectations by reaching the regional final.

“They’re all brand new, and several of them are brand new to tennis,” Holmes said. “But they’ve learned a lot and they had fun. During set changes, they were all sad because they didn’t want the season to end.”

The Class B match featured two teams that had split regular-season matches. Cape Elizabeth (13-1) won the rubber match when Sarah Hagan prevailed 6-4, 1-6, 6-4 at third singles against fellow junior Lauren Dawes, who had beaten Hagan late in the regular season.

“It’s really evenly matched,” Hagan said. “When we play, it can go either way.”

Caroline Gentile won at second singles and Alison Gerety and Emma Kubin at second doubles to give the Capers the necessary three points. Yarmouth took the first singles (Sofia Mavor) and first doubles (Margaret McNeil and Eliza O’Neill).

Hall-Dale (14-0) opened a quick 2-0 lead in the Class C match before Waynflete senior Morgan Warner won 6-0, 6-0 at first singles. Flyers senior Selina He and freshman Vivian Rallus pulled out a lengthy 6-3, 4-6, 7-6 (3) victory at first doubles to tie the match, which ended when Hall-Dale senior Savannah Millay outlasted Waynflete freshman Lucy Hart 6-7 (2), 6-2, 6-2 at second singles.

Momentum swung Millay’s way in the third set when, serving at 4-2, she and Hart had a brief discussion at net before Millay’s view prevailed, and she took a 5-2 lead.

“It was an important point,” said Hart, who thought they were still at deuce. “But I didn’t really remember anything because it was so hot out.”


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