LEWISTON — It may seem like a foregone conclusion that every June the boys of Waynflete School in Portland will wind up playing for the Class C tennis state championship.

That’s certainly been the case since 2008, when the Flyers started a title streak that currently stands at 13. Among team sports in Maine high school history, only Old Town has been dominant for longer, having won 14 straight Class B boys’ swimming championships between 1985 and 1998.

All of which may help explain why Waynflete seniors Henry Hart and Ed Cox dropped two of the first three games of their No. 1 doubles match Tuesday afternoon at Wallach Tennis Center against a North Yarmouth Academy squad the Flyers had beaten twice in the regular season.

Eventually, however, Hart and Cox overcame the jitters and prevailed. Their match proved the clincher in a 3-2 victory for No. 4 Waynflete (11-4) in the Class C South regional finals. No. 7 NYA finishes 8-7.

“We just weren’t hitting it like we normally do,” Hart said after their 6-3, 6-0 decision against NYA sophomore Nate Oney and freshman Jack Hebert. “They played well. They made us make mistakes. But once we calmed down and figured out what they were doing, we were on track.”

In the Class B South girls regional final Tuesday afternoon, top-seeded Lincoln Academy (15-0) shut out defending regional champ Cape Elizabeth (13-2), the second seed, by a 5-0 score.

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Both Class A South regional finals are scheduled for Wednesday at Apex Tennis Center in Portland, along with the Class B boys final between Yarmouth and Greely and the Class C girls final between Maranacook and Waynflete.

The Waynflete boys and Lincoln Academy girls advance to Saturday’s state finals, which have been moved from Lewiston High to South Portland High because of problematic court conditions in Lewiston.

After losing twice to Waynflete in the regular season by identical scores of 4-1, the NYA boys put up a fight Tuesday despite missing three doubles players from their starting lineup. Senior Noah Silander avenged a pair of earlier defeats to Waynflete senior Matt Adey at No. 2 singles by winning 6-3, 6-4.

“It’s hard to beat a team three times,” Silander said. “We tried to come in with a mentality of they are in a position where they’re used to winning. They’ve won 13 (championships) in a row. The pressure’s on them. We tried to use that to our advantage, but they’re a really strong team, obviously. They always are.”

Indeed, Waynflete freshman Theo Demetriou won 6-0, 6-1 at No. 3 singles for the first point. Junior Charlie DiNapoli and freshman Jeff Adey followed with a 6-4, 6-2 victory at No. 2 doubles to set up the clincher from Hart and Cox.

“It’s definitely an unspoken thing that we’re supposed to win,” Cox said of the expectations on Waynflete.

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“It’s in our minds,” Hart said, “but just playing and having fun is what we try to do every time.”

NYA senior Bryce Poulin edged Waynflete junior Henry Kerr with a 10-6 tiebreaker at No. 1 singles after splitting sets 1-6, 6-3. The same format played out at No. 2 doubles in the Lincoln Academy match because the Eagles already had clinched.

Lincoln juniors Clare Colburn and Charlotte Hilton won their match 4-6, 6-4, 10-1. The Eagles swept every other set, including singles victories by junior Olivia Nixon (6-0, 6-2), sophomore Laura Mueller (6-4, 6-0) and senior Vittoria Pauro (6-2, 6-0).

Junior Isobel Petersen and freshman London Hunter won the clincher at No. 1 doubles 6-4, 6-3.

“We were coming in blind, which is always hard,” Petersen said of facing Cape Elizabeth for the first time. “But it’s also nice having a clean slate. So we weren’t overly cocky after having beaten them before and we also weren’t scared out of our minds after having lost to them before.”

On Saturday, Lincoln Academy will face defending Class B state champion Waterville while the Waynflete boys will take on Van Buren/Wisdom in search of that record-tying 14th consecutive state title.

“I think,” Hart said, “we have a good chance again.”


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