Brunswick junior Coco Meserve returns a shot during the girls’ tennis singles championship match against Edward Little senior Mya Vincent. Gregory Rec/Portland Press Herald

When Brunswick won the 2021 Class A girls’ tennis state championship, Coco Meserve was in her first year in high school and navigating a COVID-19 pandemic that meant much of her schooling was online.

It was fun, she said, but nothing like this spring, when Meserve served as co-captain of a squad that included her younger sister, Ellie. The Dragons prevailed in a pair of tightly contested 3-2 victories in both the regional final (over Camden Hills) and state final (over Falmouth).

“This was the most fun season I’ve ever had,” Meserve said. “We’re such a diverse group of girls and all of us came together. I’m so incredibly proud of them.”

In addition to rallying from behind against Falmouth freshman Sofia Kirtchev for a three-set victory that delivered the state team title to Brunswick, Meserve won the state singles tournament, culminating in yet another three-setter over Edward Little senior and top-seed Mya Vincent.

For doing so, Meserve is our choice as the 2023 Varsity Maine Player of the Year for girls’ tennis.

“Coco has this great ability to buckle down, focus and do what she needs to do,” said Brunswick Coach Mary Kunhardt. “She’s an amazing player.”


The oldest of three children to tennis-playing parents, Meserve spent hours in daycare at Maine Pines in Brunswick, where younger children are encouraged to whack balloons with rackets. Coco, Ellie and their younger brother, Augie, have all become competitive players.

“He’s what drives my sister and me to be so good,” Coco, 17, said of her brother, who has one more year of middle school. “We don’t want him to beat us.”

Meserve, 17, dabbled in soccer, track, lacrosse and field hockey, but in high school she has concentrated on tennis and a variety of other activities. She founded a Mock Trial club and serves as its president, the same office she holds for the Pep Committee. She’s secretary of her class and vice president of the National Honor Society. She plans to continue with tennis in college but already has designs on medical school.

This spring, she and classmate Sadie Levy served as tennis co-captains, each championing a different theme. Levy’s was community, Meserve’s energy.

“She really wanted to make sure there was good, positive, hyped-up energy each practice and each match,” Kunhardt said. “That was her mission, and I feel like she succeeded.”

The Dragons went 16-0, with 10 shutouts before surviving those final two nail-biters at season’s end. Brunswick trailed 2-1 against Falmouth before Ellie Meserve tied the match with a 7-6, 7-6 victory at No. 2 singles. Coco, in front of a large crowd, won the final point, 2-6, 6-2, 6-2.


“I really had to work, because Sofia is such an incredible player,” Meserve said. “I have a lot of anxiety on the tennis court. Talking to myself helps me to re-center and calm down.”

More than most players in Maine, Meserve is quick to question an opponent’s line calls. She did so repeatedly in the state singles final against Vincent (a 6-2, 3-6, 6-4 victory), but also at least once in the state final against Kirtchev, a friend and training partner.

“I’m not trying to attack them, it just kind of slips out,” Meserve said. “It is awkward and it feels uncomfortable. I only do it when I think it’s necessary.”

In early May, Vincent beat Meserve in a 12-10 tiebreaker after splitting sets. The rematch was a contentious affair lasting 2 hours, 36 minutes. Both coaches served as on-court monitors for the final 12 games, unusual for Maine high school tennis.

“She’s very sweet, but she is driven,” Kunhardt said of Meserve. “She wants to make sure that it’s fair. That’s part of being assertive. You can be kind and assertive. I think that’s OK.”

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