The Brunswick girls tennis team poses with the Class A state title trophy after it defeated Falmouth 3-2 on Saturday. From left: Emily Davison, Anna Barnes, Coco Meserve, Logan Brown, Abby Sharpe, Lia Rand, Ella Perham, Hazel Goodwin and coach Mary Kunhardt. Photo provided by Jeff Ramich

BRUNSWICK — The Brunswick girls tennis team had one goal when the season began this spring: To win the Class A title.

The goal became reality on Saturday, when the Dragons edged Falmouth 3-2 for the Class A championship.

“It’s an amazing feeling; this is what we had been working toward all season,” said senior captain Lia Rand after the team returned to Brunswick High School following the match. “We are elated, this is all we could ever dream of. With everything we had to deal with this season, this is just a cherry on top for us.”

Coco Meserve, Anna Barnes and Ella Perham all secured singles victories to help the Dragons secure their fifth state title in program history and first since 2013.

The state title was the first for coach Mary Kunhardt, something that was not lost on the players.

“We had a goal to get coach Kunhardt’s name on the board this season,” said Meserve, who plays at No. 1 singles. “We did it.”

The “board” is a sign that lists all the championships — team and individuals — to win state titles at Brunswick.

“We wanted her on the right board,” Meserve added.

From left, Brunswick High players Abby Sharpe, Lia Rand, Ella Perham and Coach Mary Kunhardt stand during the awards ceremony following their 3-2 victory over Falmouth at the Class A state tennis championships Saturday at Lewiston High. Kevin Thomas/Portland Press Herald

Despite falling in a quick 2-0 deficit Saturday, the Dragons remained poised.

Meserve made quick work of Falmout’s Ella Holland, winning 6-0, 6-1. However, the focus was on the third singles match, which made the difference. Perham topped Falmouth freshman Gracyn Mick, 6-4, 6-4, in a crucial victory for the Dragons.

“We knew Coco was going to take care of business, all eyes were on Ella (Perham),” said Rand.

Added Kunhardt: “Ella played a great match; she was moving her opponent all over the court and conserved her energy for when she needed it most.”

Barnes, Brunswick’s No 2 singles player, got things going when she defeated Nina Woodbury 6-2, 6-2.

A sign that lists the coaches of all the Brunswick girls tennis state championship teams hangs by the schools’ tennis courts. Eli Canfield/The Times Record

Elsewhere, Falmouth swept the doubles portion of the match. In first doubles, Marissa LeFevre and Elise Gearan sank Abby Sharpe and Rand 6-0, 6-4. Liv McHugh and Avery Quinn topped Emily Davison and Sadie Levy 6-2, 6-1 in second doubles.

“Everyone played their game and tried to stay in their comfort zone,” said Rand. “We did just that, and it paid off with a championship.”

It was a year to remember for the Dragons. After starting out undefeated, a COVID-19 safety protocols forced them to lose four of their seven varsity players for two weeks in the middle of the season. The Dragons played just five matches in the regular season with a full lineup.

“That was a surprise when I heard that was the case,” said Kunhardt earlier this season. “That stretch of matches was crucial, and our depth was key.”

The Dragons received a police escort en route to the high school after the match. The team arrived shortly after noon, during a boys lacrosse playoff game. An announcement was made during the game, and Kunhardt walked through the crowd with the trophy held high as fans cheered.

“That was a perfect example of what this community is about,” said Kunhardt.

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