After an action-packed and rain-plagued opening week of the high school tennis playoffs, three local teams will make the trip to Lewiston for the regional finals.
The two-time defending Class C state champion Waynflete boys, as expected, have steamrolled through their field into the Western C Final.
Cheverus, the No. 3 seed in Western A, wasn’t as fortunate. The Stags were ousted in the semifinals by second-ranked Scarborough.
On the girls’ side, defending Western A champion Portland, the top seed, continues to excel and eliminated No. 4 Scarborough Monday afternoon in the semifinals to set up a regional final date with second-ranked Gorham Wednesday.
No. 6 Deering was sent packing by No. 3 McAuley in the quarterfinals, but the Lions turned around were eliminated by Gorham in the semis. Cheverus, ranked fifth, was ousted in the quarterfinals, by Scarborough.
In Western C, Waynflete, the fourth seed, will renew acquaintances with frequent June rival North Yarmouth Academy, the No. 3 seed and three-time defending state champion, Wednesday in the regional final.
Forty-three in a row
Waynflete’s boys team is considered in some quarters to be the finest team in the class, regardless of class. After a 12-0 regular season in which they dropped just four points, the Flyers earned the top seed for the Western C playoffs and earned a bye into the semifinals. There, Waynflete had no trouble with No. 4 Madison, winning 5-0, its 43rd successive match victory, to advance to the regional final in Lewiston.
“We don’t know these teams, but so far, so good,” said Flyers coach Jeff Madore.
Waynflete will meet the 12-2 third seeded Hall-Dale Bulldogs Wednesday. The teams don’t play in the regular season and have no playoff history.
“If we stay healthy and play the way we can play, we’ll be in good shape,” Madore said.
Cheverus had a solid 11-1 regular season, losing only to defending regional champion Windham (4-1). The Stags wound up third in the Western A Heals and dispatched No. 6 Bonny Eagle in the quarterfinals by a 4-1 score. Friday, however, in the semifinals, Cheverus was ousted by Scarborough by a 5-0 score as the Stags ended 12-2.
Cheverus’ girls’ squad went 8-4 in the regular season and wound up fifth in Western A. The Stags went to No. 4 Scarborough for the quarterfinals Thursday and lost 4-1.
McAuley, ranked third with a 10-2 mark, ended Deering’s year at 8-5 with a 4-1 win in the quarterfinals Thursday. The Lions hoped to earn another crack at Portland, which ended their 2009 campaign, but they couldn’t get past No. 2 Gorham and ended up 11-3 after a 3-2 loss.
That left Portland, the undefeated top seed. The Bulldogs had no trouble with No. 8 South Portland in the quarterfinals, winning 5-0. Saturday’s semifinal round contest with No. 4 Scarborough was moved to Monday by rain. There, the Bulldogs ended the Red Storm’s season with a 4-1 victory, winning every point but second singles.
“I’m so happy,” said Portland coach Bonnie Moran. “We’re playing so well. We’re down a doubles player (to injury), but I’m really relieved.”
Portland will face No. 2 Gorham (11-1) in Wednesday’s regional final. The Bulldogs were a 3-2 home victor over the Rams on May 10. Last year, in the regional final, Portland beat Gorham, 4-1.
“We never take anything for granted,” Moran said. “The girls are confident. I think I’m the most nervous. Gorham’s really strong. It depends on who’s playing well. My three singles players are seasoned. I want another shot at (four-time champion) Lewiston. These senior have worked so hard and I’d love to see them get another shot at (the title).”
In Western C, Waynflete had a 10-2 regular season and wound up fourth. Last Wednesday, the Flyers eked out a 3-2 home win over No. 5 Hall-Dale in the quarterfinals. Waynflete was scheduled to play at top-ranked St. Dom’s in the semifinals Saturday, but that match was postponed by rain to Monday. There, the Flyers enjoyed a 4-1 victory to advance to the regional final for the first time in three seasons.
Wednesday, Waynflete will meet an NYA squad it lost to, 4-1, May 5, in Yarmouth. The rivals have squared off nine times in the past 11 postseasons with the Panthers winning on six occasions, including a 3-2 decision in the 2008 semifinals.
The state championship meets are Saturday at Colby College in Waterville. The Class A boys’ and girls’ title matches start at 10 a.m. Class C begins at 1 p.m.
Sports Editor Michael Hoffer can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org