Deering and Waynflete boys, Waynflete and Portland girls back to tennis regional finals
The song remains the same on the tennis courts this spring.
At press time, Waynflete's boys found themselves two match victories from a seventh consecutive Class C state championship, while the Flyers girls were closing in on a fourth straight title.
Waynflete will have company in the regional final Thursday at Bates College, as the Deering boys and reigning Eastern A champion Portland girls have an opportunity to go up against the Falmouth juggernaut.
Waynflete's boys, after a 9-3 regular season, earned the No. 5 seed and had no trouble winning at fourth-ranked Boothbay and No. 1 Hall-Dale by 5-0 margins in the quarterfinals and semifinals, respectively. The Flyers meet No. 7 NYA (8-6) in the Western Class C final Thursday at 1:45 p.m.. Waynflete beat the Panthers twice by 5-0 margins during the regular season and hold a 4-1 all-time playoff edge, including a 5-0 win in last year's regional final. If the Flyers advance to Saturday's state meet, 1 p.m., at Bates, they will face either Madawaska or George Stevens Academy.
The Waynflete girls were 10-2 and wound up third in Western C. After a 4-1 home win over No. 6 NYA in the quarterfinals, the Flyers rolled, 5-0, at second-ranked Hall-Dale in the semis. Waynflete meets No. 4 Winthrop (11-2) in the regional final Thursday at 1:45. The teams don't play in the regular season, but the Flyers hold a 6-3 all-time edge in the playoffs. The most recent encounter was a 5-0 Waynflete win in the 2012 quarterfinals. If the Flyers get back to states, they will play either George Stevens Academy, Sumner or Van Buren at 1 p.m. Saturday at Bates.
As Deering's boys and Portland's girls have rolled through their regular seasons unblemished and handled their first two playoff foes, the specter of Falmouth loomed. The Yachtsmen, longtime Class B powers, moved up this spring for the playoffs due to increased enrollment and now the two city powers will get to measure themselves against the very best Thursday at 9:15 a.m., at Bates.
The Rams went 12-0, earned the No. 1 seed, then blanked eighth-ranked Cheverus, 5-0, in the quarterfinals and defeated No. 4 Thornton Academy, 4-1, in the semifinals. Deering has no history with Falmouth. If it can spring an upset (by perception, if not by seeds) if will meet Bangor, Hampden Academy or Mt. Ararat in the Class A Final, Saturday at 9:15 a.m., at Bates.
Cheverus finished 7-7 after its loss to Deering. The Stags had beaten No. 9 Massabesic, 3-2, in the preliminary round.
Portland, after winning its final eight matches of the regular season, earned the No. 6 seed in Western A, but lost a prelim to No. 11 Kennebunk, 3-2, to finish 8-5.
Portland's girls rolled through a 12-0 regular season to earn the top seed, then quickly dispatched No. 8 Gorham and No. 4 Thornton Academy by 5-0 scores in the quarterfinals and semifinals, respectively.
"It felt really good," said Bulldogs number one singles standout Annette Denekas, who won her Thornton Academy match in straight sets, 6-1, 6-1. "It was my last home match and we pulled through. I know I can always count on Margot (Andreasen, at second singles) and Kayla (Berg, at third singles) and our doubles always pulls through too. After last season, I'm not surprised we're doing so well. It's been a really good season."
"We only lost two individual matches all season," said Portland coach Bonnie Moran. "It's been a great season."
The Bulldogs have no history with Falmouth, which has won a record 107 consecutive matches and the past seven Class B titles.
"We're looking forward to seeing how we stack up against them," Denekas said. "It will be interesting.
"As long as the girls play the best they can play, what can you do?" Moran said. "I just want them to have fun."
If Portland shocks the world, it will either earn a state match rematch against Brunswick or play Mt. Ararat Saturday at 9:15 a.m., at Bates.
Cheverus, the No. 5 seed in Western A after a 10-2 season, dispatched No. 12 Biddeford in a prelim, 5-0, then lost to No. 4 Thornton Academy in the quarterfinals, 3-2.
Deering was ranked ninth, but lost, 4-1, to No. 8 Gorham in the preliminary round to wind up 5-8.