LEWISTON — Coco Meserve of Brunswick said her mindset was different in this year’s girls state singles championship.

Last year, she lost in the final to Maine Central Institute’s Lidia Gomez. Meserve, a junior, returned to the final Monday and defeated Edward Little senior Mya Vincent in a two-and-half hour, three-set match 6-2, 3-6, 6-4 at Bates College.

“It’s all about mentality. Last year, I kind of walked in there knowing I was going to lose,” Meserve said. “I was like, Lidia is going to destroy me, might as well just have fun.

“This year, I was like, let’s have a different mentality. I was talking to myself, I think the whole game. The positive self-talk was important this year.”

Gomez defeated Meserve 6-4, 6-3 last year.

Meserve is the third Brunswicks girls player to win a state singles title, joining Maisie Silverman in 2012 and Elena Mandzhukova in 2010. Vincent was looking to become Edward Little’s second state champion, joining Laura Glitz,who won the girls singles tournament in 1982.


Meserve and Vincent have competed against each other since they played youth tennis. Vincent won their regular season match 5-7, 7-6, 12-10 on May 4.

“We have been playing each other for years, we really want to beat each other,” Vincent said.

The championship match was contentious at times. During the first half of the match, both players asked each other if the ball was in or out a handful of times, and Vincent said the crowd challenged her on some of her calls.

“They weren’t happy with my line calls,” Vincent said of the crowd. “That never feels good.”

Down 5-2 in the second set, Meserve asked the coaches to come in and watch the baselines.

Meserve wanted to make sure calls weren’t missed. She said it was the first time she has asked the coaches to help with line calls.


“I felt like, mentally, I needed the coaches there,” Meserve said. “It may not have been necessary. It may have been necessary. But it’s the state championship, and I don’t want to regret not asking for someone and thinking back on that and letting that get in my head.”

Vincent wasn’t pleased when the coaches stepped in to help officiate.

“Oh, I was angry,” Vincent said. “I tried to play through it. The second set, I did; I was able to come back and do really well. That was exciting, and the third set was really close. You couldn’t ask for a better final, I am not happy with the outcome, but it was a great match.”

Vincent lost the first game after the coaches started watching the baselines but won the second game to take the set 6-3.

Meserve won a long first game in the third set, during which Vincent had a few chances to win.

Vincent lost a few games when she had Meserve on the ropes.


“It’s all about focus,” Vincent said. “If I can keep my focus up when I am on top, I should be able to win more points.”

Vincent battled back, winning the next two. Meserve won the next three games for a 4-2 lead.

“That girl has grit,” Brunswick coach Mary Kunhardt said of Meserve. “She does, she proves it time and again. She talks herself through things.”

Meserve also found her serve again in the third set after she lost control of it during the second set.

“I was bummed about that because that was my powerhouse for this tournament,” Meserve said. “I was kind was like, where is it going? I was relying on that to really help me.”

Vincent then won two straight games to even the third set 4-4.


Merserve took the final seven points to win the final two games.

“It was a physical, mentally, exhausting (match),” Meserve said. “It was a very good match.”

Falmouth’s Xander Barber defeated teammate Sam Yoon 6-1, 6-0 in the boys final.


In the semifinals earlier in the day, Vincent defeated fifth-seeded Sofia Kirtchev of Falmouth 6-3 in straight sets. Meserve beat Gardiner’s sixth-seeded Haylie Peacock 6-4 in straight sets in the other girls semifinal.

Vincent said confidence played a factor in her win against Kirtchev.


“Just confidence; the way I was playing was really strong,” Vincent said after the semifinals. “Coming into this match, I wasn’t really sure how it would go. I am really happy with the outcome.”

Vincent kept Kirtchev off her game.

“I think Mya did a good job of hitting spinny balls, hitting high, and pushing me back,” Kirtchev said. “I wasn’t able to attack, and I think she played really well.”

Falmouth coach Larry Nichols said a run to the semifinals was good for Kirtchev.

“Mya did a great job of understanding where the (match) was at and what to do and when to do it,” Nichols said. “That’s parts of Sofia’s game she’s just going to add to. This is such a great experience for her. We are jazzed. She’s a good player — she’s just scratching the surface of what she can be.”

The match started with a back-and-forth in the first set that was won by Vincent. Then they split games as Vincent took a 2-1 lead, but Kirtchev responded by winning the next two games for a 3-2 advantage.


Kirtchev got points in her match by trying to hit the ball down the lines and keeping Vincent guessing.

“I was trying to do a more confusing play,” Kirtchev said. “It seemed to work for some points, but it didn’t work for some points. She really handled it well.”

That was the last time Kirtchev led. Vincent took the next four games to win the first set.

Vincent slowed the match down as much as possible.

“I wanted to make sure I had time to think, process and breath,” Vincent said.

The second set started like the first, with Vincent taking the first game and the pair splitting the next four as Vincent grabbed a 5-2 lead.

Kirchev fought off elimination by taking the eighth game of the set. Vincent held on to win the ninth game to win the match as Kirtchev’s drop-shot attempt came up short, giving Vincent the winning point.

Vincent said she didn’t want to change her game plan to get the match point.

“I knew I had to keep the ball in play,” Vincent said. “I knew I couldn’t be patty-caking it back. I had to hit it strong.”

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