Falmouth girls' tennis does it again
Over six seasons and 93 matches, there has been the Falmouth girls' tennis team and then everyone else.
The Yachtsmen capped yet another title run Saturday in Hampden with a 3-2 win over Waterville in the Class B state final to make it six in a row, eight in nine seasons and 93 straight match victories.
First, Falmouth, the No. 1 seed in Western B, had to get past No. 2 Cape Elizabeth in the regional final last Wednesday and did so, 5-0, as Julia Brogan, Libby Voccola and Abby Payson all won singles matches in straight sets, while Katie Ryan and Katie Carew (at first doubles) and Caroline Ray and Riley Burfeind (at second doubles) did the same.
In the state match Saturday, Falmouth finally got a bit of a test. The Yachtsmen got straight set wins from Voccola at third singles and from both doubles teams, although Carew and Ray had to rally in the second set. Brogan was ousted in a match tiebreaker at second singles and state singles champion Olivia Leavitt, up, 3-2, in her first singles match, retired when she learned the team match had been sewn up, accounting for the final 3-2 margin.
"It's still exciting to win the state championship," said Falmouth coach Sandra Stone. "It's more sweet when the girls are truly challenged and when our players really have to work hard, dig deep and play with heart in order to earn the win in a 'team' effort. It was a real nailbiter. It was doubles who made it happen, in addition to Libby. So often, it's singles that catch all the attention. We knew it would be competitive. We'd seen their top two singles players at the singles championships."
Despite moving up to Class A next spring, another title is a distinct possibility.
"We lose Libby and Katie Carew, along with Abby Payson, but I've heard there are two strong eighth graders coming up who could push their way into the starting lineup next year," Stone said. "We also had four strong swing players this year, so prospects still look promising with Olivia and Julia playing singles."
Both North Yarmouth Academy teams made it to the Western C Final but both were ousted by defending and eventual champion Waynflete.
The boys, in their first regional final since winning it all in 2007, lost, 4-1. Ryan Walters and Max Maurer at first doubles earned the point with a three-set win over Stephen Epstein and Clancy Mitchell. The Panthers finished 10-5.
The girls also dropped a 4-1 decision. Lena Rich, at first singles, defeated Waynflete's Emily White, 6-1, 4-6, 6-2. NYA wound up 10-6.