Tennis' title time has arrived
Tennis has gotten a jump on the other spring sports in bestowing hardware.
The fun began last weekend when conference champions were crowned in doubles play.
The singles tournament is underway and the team tournament starts Tuesday of next week.
Falmouth once again monopolized the Western Maine Conference girls' doubles championships as Kate Carew and Caroline Ray and Abby Payson and Kate Ryan all made it to the finals, where Payson and Ryan prevailed, 6-1, 6-0.
The singles tournament began last week with the Region 5 first and qualifying rounds.
On the girls' side, Falmouth's talented triumvirate of Olivia Leavitt, Julia Brogan, Libby Voccola, the top three seeds, all advanced. Leavitt blanked Scarborough's Mikaela Gove, 6-0, 6-0. Brogan eliminated Freeport's Laura Bielfeldt (who had beaten York's Olivia Cavalierei in a walkover in the first round), 6-1, 6-1. Voccola vanquished South Portland's Bri Woodward, 6-0, 6-2. North Yarmouth Academy's Lena Rich, ranked fifth, also advanced, downing McAuley's Mary Furlong (8-1) and Cheverus' Jessica Soucy (6-0, 6-0). Greely's Alison Eaton, ranked 14th, moved on as well by virtue of wins over Massabesic's Brianna Missick (8-5) and McAuley's Siobhan Kenneally (6-1, 6-3).
Falling short in the qualifying round were Greely's Anna Collins (who beat Bonny Eagle's Hannah Ketch, 8-1, then lost, 1-6, 0-6, to No. 9 Annette Denekas of Portland) and Alex Tebbs (who downed Bonny Eagle's Hillary Kinney, 8-6, then lost, 2-6, 0-6, to 10th-seeded Allie Briggs of Cape Elizabeth). First round losers included Freeport's Katie McClelland (4-8 to Michelle Cote of Biddeford), Yarmouth's Morgan Hamre (2-8 to Sanford's Kathryn Doiron), NYA's Hannah Chapman (5-8 to No. 15 Kayla Cote of Sanford) and NYA's Marina Stam (6-8 to No. 16 Lan Zhou of Cheverus).
On the boys' side, top-ranked Brendan McCarthy of Falmouth defeated Thomas Brent of Gorham (8-0) and Biddeford's Dakota Nightingale (6-1, 6-3) to advance. NYA's Burke Paxton, the No. 7 seed, moved on by beating Sanford's Joseph Wallace (8-0) and Cheverus' John Devine (6-1, 6-0). Teammate Bryce Tetreault, the No. 15 seed, beat Cheverus' Reed Fernandez, 8-1, and Kennebunk's Alex Pearson, 4-6, 6-4, 6-4. Falmouth's Aidan McGrory, ranked ninth, also advanced.
Falling short were NYA's Brad Potter (who beat Yarmouth's Alex Caroi by default, then fell, 0-6, 0-6, to Waynflete's Patrick Ordway, the No. 2 seed), Yarmouth's Sam Beaulieu (an 8-6 winner over Deering's Will Weeks in the first round before being eliminated by No. 4 Peter Higgins of Cape Elizabeth, 0-6, 0-6), Falmouth's Sam Holland (an 8-0 winner over South Portland's Tanner Hyland before losing, 1-6, 2-6, to No. 6 Isaac Salas of Waynflete), Nathan Small of Freeport (who beat Westbrook's Andrew Lamson by default before losing to No. 10 Ben Shapiro of Waynflete, 0-6, 0-6), Freeport's Caleb Abbott (1-8 to 11th-ranked Andrew Lamonica of York), Greely's Liam Dougherty (2-8 to South Portland's Ben Burkey), and Greely's Philip Hodgkins, who lost to Deering's Isaac Finberg in the preliminary round (2-8).
The state singles tournament begins with the first and second rounds Saturday at Lewiston High School. The round of 16 and semifinals are Monday at Bates College in Lewiston and the semifinals and and finals are May 29, also at Bates.
For the state tournament, Falmouth's McCarthy is ranked second and NYA's Paxton is 11th.
Falmouth's Leavitt is second to defending champion Maisie Silverman of Brunswick on the girls' side. Brogan is fifth and Voccola sixth.
Falmouth's girls' team capped another perfect regular season (and I do mean perfect) with its 12th straight 5-0 win (this one over visiting Waynflete Monday) to extend its six-year match win streak to 89. The Yachtsmen will be the top seed for the upcoming playoffs. Greely (9-3 and third at press time) and Freeport (6-6 and 10th) will also take part in the Western B postseason. Yarmouth (1-9 and 13th) will likely miss out for the first time since 1987. NYA wound up 7-5 and was in possession fo the ninth and final Western C playoff spot, but the final standings weren't available at press time.
On the boys' side, two-time defending Class B champion Falmouth edged five-time defending Class C champion Waynflete in its final Monday, 3-2, to wind up 11-1. The Yachtsmen were second in the Heal Points standings at press time. Freeport finished 7-5, its best mark since 2006. The Falcons (fifth at press time) could even host a playoff match. Greely (2-10) and Yarmouth (1-11) will miss the postseason. NYA went 8-4 and will likely be sixth in Western C.
The playoffs begin Tuesday of next week with the preliminary round. The quarterfinals are May 30 and semifinals June 1. Each of those rounds will feature the higher seeded team as host. The regional finals are June 5, at Bates. The state championship matches are June 8, at the University of Maine in Orono.