Saturday’s state tennis championships turned into a Forecaster Country coronation.
Once again, Falmouth swept the Class A crowns and the Yachtsmen had company as Greely repeated as Class B girls’ champion and North Yarmouth Academy’s girls captured their first title in five seasons.
Falmouth’s girls produced another dominant, perfect season and continue to raise the bar of excellence to a level that no other program will likely ever reach.
The Yachtsmen went 12-0 in the regular season, earned the No. 2 seed in Western A and dispatched No. 10 Deering and No. 3 Portland by 5-0 scores in the quarterfinal and semifinal rounds, respectively. Last Wednesday, Falmouth met No. 4 Scarborough in the regional final and advanced with a 4-1 win, as Olivia Leavitt, Julia Brogan and Caroline Ray all swept their singles matches and Kate Kelley and Amanda Watson were triumphant at first doubles. Only Mary Hyland and Meg Pierce at No. 2 doubles lost in a close match.
That sent Falmouth to Lewiston High School Saturday to meet Eastern A champion Lewiston in the state match and the Yachtsmen made it 125 straight match victories with a 5-0 win, capping a 16-0 season and making it two straight years as the best team in Class A, eight straight championship seasons overall and 10 titles in 11 years (only in 2007 did Falmouth lose in the playoffs in that span, to York in the Western B semifinals).
Leavitt downed Maddi Roy at first singles, 6-0, 6-0. At second singles, Brogan was a 6-1, 6-1 winner over Kyleigh Letourneau. Ray also won, 6-1, 6-1 at third singles over Alanna Taylor. Kelley and Watson prevailed by 6-1, 6-1 scores over Claudia Dionne and Maddie LeBlond at first doubles and Hyland and Pierce were 6-3, 6-3 winners over Lizzy Michaud and Chloe Morin at second doubles.
“Lewiston is always strong and this was their 20th appearance in a state final,” said Falmouth coach Sandra Stone. “They were strong at staying in the points and keeping the ball in play with their steadiness and smart defensive lobs, but my girls were able to be patient, focused, as consistent and more aggressive to win.”
Falmouth’s 13th overall title ties Cape Elizabeth and South Portland for first all-time.
The Yachtsmen will say goodbye to Stone, who is stepping down.
Anyone hoping the dynasty will come to an end next season, will likely be disappointed.
Falmouth’s boys were ranked third after an 11-1 season and downed No. 6 Scarborough and No. 7 Windham by 5-0 scores in the first two rounds. Last Wednesday in the regional final, the Yachtsmen got pushed by No. 1 Thornton Academy, but advanced with a 3-2 victory, as Peter Stegemann won at third singles, Jordan Bruce and Trey Fallon prevailed in straight sets at first doubles and Grayson Cohen and Matt Adomowicz won in three sets at second doubles. Aidan McGrory and Alex Klemperer lost their singles matches.
Saturday, against Mt. Ararat in the state match, Falmouth capped their 15-1 campaign with a 4-1 victory to repeat as Class A champions and make it four crowns in five years. Klemperer defeated Peter Mao at second singles (6-3, 6-0). Stegemann downed Trevor Mayo at third singles (6-3, 6-1). Bruce and Fallon were 6-2, 6-2 winners over Mike Crawford and Jon Roux at first doubles and Adamowicz and Cohen downed Joey Reed and Leonardo Medeiros (6-1, 6-1) to win second doubles. McGrory fell, 6-7 (1), 5-7, to Nick Mathieu at first singles.
“We probably exceeded expectations this year,” said longtime Falmouth coach Bob McCully. “I was very pleased with the effort of our players in both the Western Maine Finals and the state championship matches. I think tough regular season matches with (Class B champion) Cape Elizabeth and (Class C champion) Waynflete gave our young team valuable experience in playing demanding matches and it paid off for us in the tournament. I’m fortunate to receive players who love the game and work hard at learning it from talented teachers before they come to me. I’m very grateful for the exceptional leadership of my senior captain, Aidan McGrory. Aidan faced all of the very top players in the state and acquitted himself well in every matchup. He was a role model and mentor for the four sophomores and two freshman that comprised the rest of this year’s team.”
The Yachtsmen return a lot in 2016 and should make a run at more hardware.
Greely’s girls’ tennis team had never won a championship prior to last spring and the Rangers enjoyed it so much, they went out and did it again. Greely was ranked second after a 10-2 regular season and advanced with a 5-0 quarterfinal round win over No. 10 Lake Region and a 3-2 victory over No. 6 Yarmouth in the semifinals. In last Wednesday’s Western B Final against top-ranked Lincoln Academy, the Rangers won, 4-1, as Izzy Evans and Kathryn Pare won singles matches and Mia Lambert and Jessie Hoffman and Sam Kennedy and Madeline Day both won doubles matches.
Saturday, in the state match versus Mt. Desert Island, Greely won, 5-0, to finish 14-2. Evans won at first singles, 6-0, 6-0, over Sarah Phelps. Pare took her second singles match, 6-1, 6-4, over Ivy Wallace. Alex Tebbs was taken to three sets at third singles, but she prevailed, 3-6, 6-4, 7-5, over Maeve Geary. Lamberg and Hoffman won in straight sets at first singles, 6-3, 6-0, over Ellie Bridgers and India Janes. Kennedy and Day got taken to three sets at second doubles, but downed Emily McCarthy and Olivia McCarthy, 6-2, 3-6, 6-0.
“This year’s state match was a little different,” said Rangers coach Ben Caswell. “The experience we had from last year’s match definitely helped calm our nerves and we were able to focus on tennis. Just like they played all year, my top doubles team of Mia and Jessie led the way, earning us the first point of the match, followed shortly after by Kathryn and her steady play. Our third point ended up coming from the talented Izzy Evans in straight sets, but I was most inspired by my second doubles team of Sam and Madelyn and my number three singles player, Alex Tebbs. Those girls could have just given up and started enjoying the team win, but instead played for pride and you could tell they felt good getting their points for the team so that we could win decisively. I was very proud of all my players and hope they realize what an accomplishment back-to-back championships is.”
Greely has holes to fill going into next season, but could make a run at a three-peat.
“As for 2016, things are going to look a little different,” Caswell said. “We will be returning two members of both championships, but will need others to step up and possibly take on new roles.”
NYA won four straight titles between 2007-10, but hadn’t been back to the state match since. After a 9-3 regular season, the fourth-ranked Panthers ousted No. 5 Carrabec (5-0) and top-ranked Hall-Dale (5-0) in their first two rounds, then dethroned four-time champion Waynflete in last Wednesday’s regional final, 4-1 behind a singles sweep from Lena Rich, Mina Stam and Mary Morrison and a win at first doubles from Hannah Chapman and Corinne Poitras. Livy Stam and Hannah Hungerford lost at second doubles.
Saturday, NYA met up with Van Buren and rolled to a 5-0 victory, dropping just five points along the way, to return to the Class C pinnacle after a 13-3 campaign. Rich was a 6-0, 6-2 winner over Courtney Parent at first singles. Mina Stam took care of Felisha Bouchard, 6-3, 6-0, at second singles and Morrison (over Isabel Parent at third singles), Chapman and Poitras (over Alexis Ouellette and Danika Deschaine at first doubles) and Livy Stam and Hungerford (over Lindsay Gendreau and Kaila Roy at second doubles) all won by 6-0, 6-0 scores.
“The team and I were so happy to first make it to the regional finals, then to the state finals, so to win overall was icing on the cake,” said Panthers coach Lorena Coffin. “We had lots of returning players, so there was good experience and Mary Morrison, a strong athlete, was a surprise addition who gave our lineup some additional strength to its middle section.”
Falmouth’s boys’ and girls’ tennis teams repeated as Class A champions Saturday and were are smiles afterwards.
NYA’s girls’ tennis team shows off its Class C championship trophy, the Panthers’ first since 2010.
Greely’s girls’ tennis team shows off its trophy after repeating as Class B champion Saturday.