Four Falmouth tennis players reach semis; Team tourney underway
The stakes keep getting higher on the tennis court and local players and teams are rising to the occasion.
The singles tournament was down to its final four at press time, with three Falmouth girls and a Falmouth boy still in the running.
The team tournament is about to commence as well and several local squads earned berths.
Here's a glimpse:
Falmouth's status as the state's finest girls' program isn't even remotely in doubt. It's gotten to the point where the Yachtsmen often are competing against themselves, something which happened in last week's Western Maine Conference doubles tournament and again was the case Wednesday at Bates College in Lewiston, where three of the four female singles finalists hailed from Falmouth High.
No. 2 Olivia Leavitt defeated Julia Richardson of Windham, 6-0, 6-0, Saturday, then ousted North Yarmouth Academy's Lena Rich, 6-1, 6-0, and No. 7 Ashley Woodside of Hampden Academy, 6-1, 6-3, Monday to reach the "final four."
No. 5 Julia Brogan eliminated Ellsworth's Ina Maloney, 6-0, 6-0, Saturday, then defeated Kaitlyn Thompson of St. Dom's, the No. 12 seed, 6-0, 6-2, and fourth-ranked Tiffany Suchanek of Waterville, 7-5, 1-6, 6-3, Monday.
Sixth-ranked Libby Voccola was a 6-1, 6-3 winner over Waynflete's Emily White Saturday and downed Portland's Margot Andreasen, 6-2, 6-0, and third-ranked Colleen O'Donnell of Waterville by a 7-6 (3), 6-3 margin Monday.
Wednesday morning, Leavitt and Voccola squared off in one semifinal while Brogan battled top-ranked, defending champion Maisie Silverman of Brunswick in the other. At last one Falmouth player was guaranteed a berth in the final, also held on Wednesday.
Rich had advanced by virtue of a 6-0, 6-0 triumph over Mt. Blue Savannah Swain.
Greely's Alison Eaton lost, 0-6, 3-6, to Portland's Annette Denekas in the first round.
Falmouth's Brendan McCarthy made the "final four" on the boys' side, beating Gorham's Milan Vidovic, 6-1, 6-1, Saturday and Andrew LaMonica of York (6-3, 6-3) and No. 7 Satchel McCarthy of Cape Elizabeth (6-0, 6-2) Monday. Wednesday, in the semifinals, McCarthy battled Waynflete's Patrick Ordway, the No. 3 seed. The other semifinal featured top-ranked Jordan Friedland of Lincoln Academy and No. 4 Matt Gilman of Cape Elizabeth.
McCarthy's teammate Aiden McGrory was a 6-0, 6-1 first round winner over Monmouth Academy's Kasey Smith, then beat Liam Hughes of Presque Isle, 6-0, 6-1. Monday, McGrory lost, 0-6, 2-6, to Friedland.
NYA's Burke Paxton, ranked 11th, also survived Saturday, beating Scarborough's Jeff Sirocki, 7-5, 6-4. Paxton then upset No. 6 Peter Higgins of Cape Elizabeth, 6-7 (6), 7-6 (3), 6-4, before losing to Ordway, 0-6, 3-6.
NYA's Bryce Tetreault beat Ellworth's Evan Toothaker, 6-2, 6-1, in the first round, but was eliminated by No. 9 Jai Aslam of Messalonskee, 2-6, 1-6.
Falmouth's girls' team capped another perfect regular season with a 5-0 win over Waynflete last Monday. With that victory, the Yachtsmen finished 12-0 and extended their match win streak to 89. Falmouth earned the top seed for the playoffs and will host No. 8 Maranacook (7-5) or No. 9 Morse (6-6) Thursday in the quarterfinals. The Yachtsmen didn't play either team this year.
Greely earned the No. 3 seed after a solid 9-3 campaign. The Rangers welcomed No. 6 York (8-4) Thursday in the quarterfinals. Greely closed the regular season with a 3-2 victory at the Wildcats last Monday.
Freeport wound up 6-6 and 10th and made the playoffs for the first time since 2009. The Falcons went to No. 7 Oak Hill (7-5) for the preliminary round Tuesday. The teams didn't play this year. If Freeport was victorious, it would go to No. 2 Cape Elizabeth (10-2) for the quarterfinals Thursday. The Capers won the regular season meeting, 4-1, April 29 in Freeport.
Yarmouth (3-9 and 11th in Western B, where the top 10 teams make the postseason) missed the playoffs for the first time since 1987.
In Western C, NYA, after missing the playoffs last year, was the last team in this time, as its 7-5 mark gave it the No. 9 seed. the Panthers played at No. 8 Lisbon (6-6) in Tuesday's preliminary round. The Panthers and Greyhounds didn't play this spring. If NYA advanced, it would go to No. 1 Hall-Dale (11-1), another team it didn't meet in the regular season, for the quarterfinals Thursday.
On the boys' side, two-time defending Class B champion Falmouth went 11-1 in the regular season, giving it the No. 3 seed in the region. The Yachtsmen open the playoffs Thursday against No. 6 Maranacook (4-8). Falmouth didn't play the Black Bears in the regular season. There's a good chance the Yachtsmen will have to battle undefeated Cape Elizabeth in the semifinals.
Freeport wound up 7-5 and fifth, its best finish since 2006. The Falcons went to No. 4 Gardiner (7-5) Thursday in the quarterfinals. The teams didn't play in the regular season.
Greely (2-10 and 12th) and Yarmouth (1-11 and 13th) both missed the playoffs.
In Western C, NYA earned the No. 6 seed after an 8-4 season. The Panthers start the playoffs at No. 3 Boothbay (10-2) Thursday. The teams don't play in the regular season.
Looking ahead, the semifinals are Saturday, hosted by the teams with higher seeds. The regional finals are Wednesday of next week at Bates College. The state matches are Saturday, June 8, at the University of Maine in Orono.