Kennebunk High’s Olivia Cutone did not lose a set all season and won 144 of 146 games while leading the Rams to the Class A state title. Ben McCanna/Staff Photographer

Coco Meserve is a sophomore tennis player at Brunswick High who reached the finals of both the MPA singles and the Class A team state tournaments.

In the singles championship, Meserve lost a tight 6-4, 6-3 match to Maine Central Institute senior Lidia Gomez, an international boarding student from Spain.

In the team championship, Meserve played No. 1 singles and lost a not-so-tight 6-1, 6-0 match to Kennebunk freshman Olivia Cutone.

“They’re both incredible players, both hit the ball with a lot of power, and they’re very smart, too,” Meserve said.

So what was the difference between Gomez, the state singles champion, and Cutone, who skipped the singles tournament in favor of a national USTA tournament in Georgia?

“Olivia didn’t really break a sweat, that I could tell,” Meserve said. “There was no point at all in the match where I was in control of the point. I was responding to her shots. Against Lidia, there were some times where I was working my patterns. There was a difference in who had control.”


In Cutone’s first season of high school tennis, she won every set and amassed a games record of 144-2. In addition to the game Meserve won in the team state finals, Cutone gave up one game in early May against Sanford. Other than that, she ran the table, led the Rams to a 16-0 record and helped secure their first Class A state title since 2003.

She is our choice as Varsity Maine Player of the Year in girls’ tennis.

“It’s kind of funny,” said Kennebunk senior Sadie Yentsch, who was displaced at No. 1 singles for the Rams this spring and also faced Gomez in the singles quarterfinals. “Everybody knows (Cutone is) an amazing tennis player, but not a lot of people experience her as a teammate or as a friend. She has a great attitude. She’s been such a great spirit on the team.”

Kennebunk Coach Jacqui Holmes wasn’t certain Cutone would play for the team until shortly before the first practice. If there ever was any concern about a freshman taking over the top rung of the ladder from a senior, it vanished immediately.

“Both of them are total sweethearts,” Holmes said of Yentsch and Cutone. “Both are really competitive, but also both want what’s best for the team all the time. That made the whole transition really easy. The goal for both of them was always a team championship. So whatever we needed to do to make that happen worked.”

At times, that meant having Olivia overlap with the Kennebunk boys’ practice so she could be challenged by hitting with her brother, George. And vice versa. When they play matches, she more than holds her own.


“I feel like I used to beat him more often,” she said. “He’s stepping it up.”

George, of course, is the two-time singles state champion who remains unbeaten in Maine schoolboy competition. In USTA circles, Olivia is rated first in Maine, second in New England and 70th nationally among girls age 16 and younger. She is 15.

At a USTA Junior Sectional last weekend in Massachusetts, Cutone faced last year’s Maine schoolgirl singles champion, Sofia Mavor, and won 6-0, 6-0 in a semifinal match. At the same tournament a year earlier, Mavor had beaten Cutone 6-2, 6-2 in the quarterfinals.

Cutone and Mavor, who chose not to play for Yarmouth High this spring, are friends and training partners. Cutone wound up losing in the finals last weekend. Back in May, she reached the semifinals in the Georgia tournament after defeating Victoria McEnroe (daughter of Patrick, niece of John) in the quarters.

She knew the competition in Maine high school matches would not be much of a challenge, but Cutone said she made the right choice.

“I’ve played on teams before where you have that star player,” said senior Ainsley Morrison, “and it’s the star player and the rest of the team. But Olivia is such a great teammate. Yes, it’s nice to have a guaranteed point, but she’s such a big part of the team. And she works harder than all of us.”

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