Maranacook’s Claire Dwyer warms up with Waterville’s Karin Zimba before a girls tennis match on May 11 at the North Street courts in Waterville. Michael G. Seamans/Morning Sentinel

Before they help their teams compete for state championships next month, Maine high school tennis players will compete for individual titles for both boys and girls over the next four days.

The state singles tournament begins Friday at Bates College’s Wallach Tennis Complex, with 52 boys and 52 girls who advanced through regional qualifying. First- and second-round matches will be played Friday, followed by the Round of 16 and the quarterfinals on Saturday. The semifinals and finals are scheduled for Monday.

Last year’s girls’ champion, Lidia Gomez of Maine Central Institute, has graduated. The boys’ winner the past two years, Kennebunk junior George Cutone, will not defend his title. He’s opting to play this weekend in a tournament in Georgia.

Edward Little’s Mya Vincent (No. 1) and 2022 runner-up Coco Meserve of Brunswick (No. 2) enter as the top two seeds in the girls’ field. Rounding out a strong top five are Amber Woods of Scarborough, Olivia Guinard of Sanford and Sofia Kirtchev of Falmouth, all contenders to make it to the end.

“Olivia missed the tournament last year, but I’ve seen her play, and she can hit with the best of them,” said Lincoln MacIsaac, coach of the Scarborough girls. “Amber played (Sofia) last Monday, and it went three sets. You’ve got some really good players at the top, and they’re all going to be tough to beat.”

The list of seeded girls’ players includes three other players who reached the Round of 16 last year: Haylie Peacock of Gardiner (No. 6), Laura Chapman of Boothbay and Charlotte Williamson of Falmouth (No. 11). Other seeded entrants are Greely’s Anna Alfaro (No. 8), Maranacook’s Claire Dwyer (No. 9), Berwick Academy’s Becca Naftoly (No. 10) and Washington Academy’s Sarah Moulton (Mo. 12).


Some unseeded players, though, could pull some surprises. The first-round matchup between Thornton Academy’s Nora Hill and Kennebunk’s Andie Lamontagne is one to watch, MacIsaac said. Falmouth’s Gracyn Mick and Mt. Blue’s Gracie Ross could also be in the mix.

“(Hill and Lamontagne) are two players who both play an athletic style of tennis, so that’s going to be a fun one early in the morning,” MacIsaac said. “I think you see a bunch of matchups like that. There are a bunch of players where you look and say, ‘Hey, they could really turn the brackets upside down on people.’”

On the boys’ side, No. 1 seed Xander Barber of Falmouth enters as the clear favorite. Barber is the United States Tennis Association’s top-ranked junior player in New England and the 10th-ranked junior in the United States. The Navigators also boast the No. 2 seed, sophomore Sam Yoon, who was a semifinalist last year.

“(Xander is) big, he’s strong, and he can hit with a lot of pace; he does just about everything,” Falmouth Coach Bob McCully said of Barber, who stands at 6-foot-6. “Sam was in the top four last year against George Cutone in the (1-vs.-4 semifinal), and I think he would have been competitive in the 2-3 matchup.”

Thornton Academy’s Tianyi Ma, Foxcroft’s Khang Duy Vinh Nguyen and Deering’s Daniel Landry round out the top five. Other seeded players include Kennebunk’s Alberto Cutone (No. 6), brother of 2021 and 2022 winner George, and Mt. Desert Island’s Weston Granholm (No. 7) and Max Friedlander (No. 9), the latter of whom was a quarterfinalist last year.

Notable unseeded players include Koa Barrett of Ellsworth, Drake Turcotte of Skowhegan and Jacob Scrapchansky of Brunswick. Barrett reached the Round of 16 last year. Should Turcotte and Scrapchansky win their first-round matchups, it would set the stage for a rematch of a thrilling showdown between the two during a team match Wednesday that finished in the snow.

“That was a great match,” said Scrapchansky, who defeated Turcotte in a third-set tiebreaker. “He’s a great player, and we had some great back-and-forths.

“With singles, you really don’t know what to expect, because the guys are from all over, and you haven’t met a lot of them.”

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