Falmouth tennis teams do it again

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Falmouth remains the center of the Maine Class B high school tennis universe.

Saturday, at Colby College in Waterville, both Yachtsmen teams repeated as state champions.

The boys won their second successive title and fourth since 2006, extending their win streak to 32 matches.

Singles players Justin Brogan (6-0, 6-0), Brendan McCarthy (6-2, 6-2) and Aiden McGrory (6-2, 6-1) all won with relative ease.

First singles pairing Sam Holland and Tom Wilberg had to go three sets, but prevailed, 6-2, 5-7, 6-2. The second doubles team, Hutch Hurwitz and Eric Sanderson won by 6-0, 6-0 scores.

“It’s been a great year for the team,” said longtime Falmouth coach Bob McCully. “I’m pleased with the continued growth of Justin Brogan and Brendan McCarthy. Aiden McGrory has really stepped up as an excellent No. 3 player as a freshman. With the physical maturity that typically occurs between the freshman and sophomore year, he should have a great year in 2013. Sam Holland and Tom Wilberg had a great year as a No. 1 doubles team and are both juniors. I was very pleased with the development of my No. 2 team. Hutch and Eric really worked hard in the offseason and emerged as a steadily improving team that played well together. Unfortunately, they are both seniors and will be missed next year. In spite of the individual nature of the sport of tennis, this group functioned beautifully as a team. They all came through with essential contributions at different parts of the season and picked each other up when they needed to.”

With a lot of firepower returning, look for the Yachtsmen to make a run at another championship next spring.

“Our top five return, but Cape Elizabeth returns their entire team with some very strong additions,” McCully said. “This will result in a very high level of competition.”

The girls made it five in a row, seven in eight years and stretched their match win streak to 77 with a 5-0 victory over Waterville.

The Yachtsmen dropped only nine combined games Saturday, continuing their run of dominance in breathtaking fashion.

Annie Criscione was a 6-1, 6-1 winner at first singles, Analise Kump triumphed, 6-1, 6-0, at No. 2 singles and Olivia Leavitt didn’t drop a single game at No. 3.

The first doubles team of Abby Payson and Steffi Rothweiler rolled, 6-2, 6-1, and Katie Ryan and Marlena Lantos won by the same margin at No. 2 doubles.

“It is still a thrill and how terrific that the Falmouth boys were repeating once again as the state champs too,” said Yachstmen coach Sandra Stone. “It sure makes the bus ride home from the championships a lot more fun.

“The season stood out as we had the No. 2, 3 and 4 in the state singles tournament. It was our first time having all three entrants in the state singles tournament make it to the semifinals. The doubles teams were once again the best two doubles teams in the conference. This year’s varsity also won every match in straight sets, not dropping even one set, and racking up team scores of 5-0 for all 16 matches. The depth of the team was again amazing due to the strength of our singles and skill of our doubles. I still contend that the top of our JV ladder is the equivalent to most other team’s varsity squad, proven when we still won all five points for the three singles and two doubles matches against two opposing schools, Old Orchard Beach and Lake Region, using many of our talented junior varsity players.”

Falmouth graduates Criscione, Kump, Lantos and Rothweiler, but will be the favorite one more in 2013.

“We’re looking forward to next season,” said Stone. “Although we lose five seniors to graduation, we return three amazing varsity players. We’ll have incoming 10th grader Olivia Leavitt, a state singles semifinalist, a very capable singles player in Abby Payson, who will be a senior, and Katie Ryan, who will be a junior, with two years of varsity experience and championships under her belt. I also understand that we’ll have rising ninth grader Julia Brogan, as well as incoming senior, Libby Vocolla, last year’s No. 3 singles, who will be returning to Falmouth after a year away at boarding school. Another incoming senior, Katie Carew, was out all season recovering from her skiing ACL injury and surgery and tells me she is determined to climb back into the varsity mix, and there are two promising juniors that were top of the JV ladder in Riley Burfeind and Lexis Anderson. I feel that we’ll once again be a skilled powerhouse to contend with. And who knows, if incoming freshman Megan Kelly decides to play high school tennis for the team experience and camaraderie, it would truly be a team without equal.”

Yarmouth, the second seed in Western B, reached the regional final, but was ousted there by Falmouth, 5-0, to finish the season 12-3.

Sports Editor Michael Hoffer can be reached at mhoffer@theforecaster.net. Follow him on Twitter: @foresports.

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Sports Editor of The Forecaster since 2001. Find detailed game stories at theforecaster.net. I tweet prodigiously at @foresports.