Jania's singles tennis title quest ends with three-set loss; Team tournament underway
Monday's state singles tennis championships at Bates College in Lewiston proved to be as memorable for the effort of the girl who didn't win as the one who did.
Scarborough freshman Kasia Jania hoped to follow in the footsteps of last year's champion, her older sister Camille (now at Harvard), but even though she gave Waynflete senior Christine Ordway a mighty scare, Jania fell just short, losing 4-6, 6-4, 4-6 in the final.
With singles play complete, it's time for local teams to take center stage. The preliminary round began Tuesday and state championships will be bestowed a week from Saturday. Expect familiar names to have a major say in who captures the hardware.
Jania has been a revelation during her freshman season, leading the Red Storm to an excellent campaign (more on her team in a moment).
After navigating her way through the preliminary round of the singles tournament, Jania, seeded second, downed Hampden Academy's Hannah Jenkins, 6-0, 6-0 in Friday's second, then defeated Morse's Adrienne Jaeger (6-0, 6-0) and No. 7 Emilie Cloutier of Lewiston (6-0, 6-0) to reach Monday's final four. There, Jania dispatched No. 5 Chantelle Lavertu of Lewiston, 6-3, 6-1, before giving Ordway everything she could handle. Jania rallied to win the second set and was tied 3-3 in the third before Ordway held on to capture her third championship.
Expect to hear plenty more from Jania in the future.
On the boys' side, Scarborough's Nick Tolman made it to the quarterfinals. Tolman was a 6-3, 6-0 winner over York's Aaron Waldman and a 6-4, 6-0 victor over Ellsworth's Spencer Small Friday, then upset third-ranked Michael Butler of Lewiston, 3-6, 6-4, 6-4 in the round of 16 Saturday. Tolman's run ended, however, with a 3-6, 5-7 loss to No. 6 Thomas Dillman of Greely.
Scaroborough's Adam Saltz was eliminated 2-6, 1-6 by Brunswick's Mats Haaland in the second round.
Six teams in the hunt
The highest ranked local team is the Scarborough boys, who are second in Western Class A. The Red Storm were 10-2 in the regular season and hosted No. 7 Thornton Academy (8-5) in the quarterfinals Thursday (played too late for print). On May 4, Scarborough won 5-0 at the Golden Trojans.
"For the first time in two-and-a-half weeks, we'll be at full strength," said Scarborough coach Craig McDonald. "If we can get past TA, we could end up playing the two opponents, Marshwood and Windham, that defeated us in the regular season. Our success usually depends on how we match up versus the opponent. This year, both singles and doubles have shown they're capable of winning against any opponent."
If victorious in the quarterfinal, the Red Storm will host No. 3 Marshwood (10-2) or No. 6 South Portland (7-5) in the semifinals Saturday.
The Red Riots enjoyed a solid first season under new coach Tom Hyland. On May 4, they lost 4-1 at home to the Hawks.
In Western B, perennial contender Cape Elizabeth is the No. 6 seed after a solid 9-3 campaign. The Capers only lost to defending Class C champion Waynflete, Falmouth and Yarmouth during the regular year. Cape Elizabeth went to No. 3 Falmouth (10-2) in Thursday's quarterfinal (played too late for print).
"We know on a good day we could win it all," said longtime Cape Elizabeth coach Andy Strout. "We just have to prove it in our match versus Falmouth."
On the girls' side, Scarborough (11-1) is the No. 3 seed. The Red Storm, who lost only to undefeated and top-ranked Portland this year, hosted No. 6 Westbrook (8-5) Thursday (too late for print). On May 22, Scarborough edged the visiting Blue Blazes, 3-2. A win would set up a semifinal date Saturday either at No. 2 Gorham (11-1) or at home with No. 7 Deering (9-4).
South Portland went 7-5 and earned the No. 8 seed. Tuesday, in the preliminary round, the Red Riots downed visiting No. 9 Thornton Academy, 3-2, thanks to wins at second and third singles and second doubles. South Portland earned a quarterfinal date at No. 1 Portland (12-0). On May 22, the Red Riots lost 5-0 at home to the Bulldogs.
In Western B, Cape Elizabeth went 8-4 and earned the No. 4 seed. The Capers drew a quarterfinal round home date with No. 5 Yarmouth (7-5), a team they beat 4-1 at home on May 8. The teams have a lengthy and dramatic playoff history and added another chapter Wednesday when Cape Elizabeth held on for a 3-2 victory. The Capers will next go to top-ranked and defending state champion Falmouth for the semifinals Saturday.
"It's a tough spot to be in," said Strout, who also coaches the girls' team. "We're facing a tough rival that should win it all."
The semifinals will be played Saturday on the court of the higher remaining seed. The regional final matches are Wednesday at Bates. Class B matches start at 12:45 p.m. Class A begin at 4:15 p.m. The state championships are Saturday, June 13 at Colby College in Waterville. Class B matches start at 12:45 p.m. Class A matches begin at 4:15 p.m.
Sports Editor Michael Hoffer can be reached at email@example.com.