BANGOR, Maine — After having two matches rained out this week, it was a treat for the girls from Bangor High and Brewer High School just to get outside and play tennis matches, against another team, for real.
While both teams are heavily senior-laden, the Bangor girls looked like the more confident and accomplished squad Friday at Bangor High School as the Rams beat the Witches 5-0 in straight sets.
“The confidence shows in their strokes,” said Brewer coach John White. “Their strokes are harder, firmer, and although they don’t always go in, they make strokes to force weak returns.”
Bangor coach Jason Pangburn says that’s the result of a close-knit team that has logged a lot of time on the courts together.
“We’re very close as a team, a lot of us work together in the offseason, and most of us have been playing together since we were freshmen so we’re used to each other,” said No. 1 singles player and Bangor senior captain Annie McKay. “I think experience really helps us.”
McKay bested Brewer’s Kristen Ellis 6-4, 6-2 in the last match of the day.
“The first set, I felt like I was more inconsistent,” McKay said. “The second set I was more consistent and didn’t try to go for as many big shots.”
The win improved Bangor’s record to 5-0 and dropped Brewer to 1-4.
Six of the seven members of Bangor’s ‘starting’ lineup are seniors with the only non-senior being junior and No. 3 singles player Caroline Hetterman, who has stepped in to fill in for senior Emma Coffey, who is out with a severe shoulder injury.
“We weren’t quite sure what to do about filling in for Emma,” Pangburn said. “We inserted Caroline the day Emma couldn’t play and she really hadn’t been playing singles, but she jumped right in and played very well.”
Hetterman defeated Brewer’s Hannah Cameron 6-2, 6-4.
Of Bangor’s veteran players, only three (Hetterman, Malanie Jackson and Chloe Lucy) have less than four years’ experience on the varsity team, and all three of them have three.
Bangor’s top doubles team of seniors Adrianna Capuano and Michaela Whitney have not only played all four years on varsity, they’ve played together all four years.
Last season, the duo lost only two matches all season and both were exhibitions: the Kennebec Valley Athletic Conference doubles tournament final and the KVAC team championship finals.
“I think our chemistry overall is great,” said Capuano. “I’ve noticed that we talk during points and during games whereas other teams don’t even talk to each other in between points or games.”
Capuano and Whitney beat Brewer’s Tonya Carlson and Kim Thorne 6-1, 6-1.
“We just know each other’s strengths and weaknesses and one complements the other one,” said Whitney.
In other action, No. 2 singles player Emily Chick downed Brewer’s Danielle Richardson 6-0, 6-0 and No. 2 doubles duo Melanie Jackson and Chloe Lucy beat Liz Wyman and Abbie Yoder 6-0, 6-1.