WATERVILLE — After the Lewiston girls finished off a perfect 16-0 season with a straight-set sweep of Gorham for a 5-0 match victory and their fifth straight state Class A tennis title Saturday morning, the rest of the day was a western whirlwind.
It wasn’t as easy as the final score made it look, but the Falmouth girls won their third straight Class B state championship with a 5-0 match victory over previously unbeaten Caribou, and North Yarmouth Academy defeated Dexter 4-1 for a fourth straight Class C state crown at Colby College’s Klein Tennis Pavilion.
In Class B, the Falmouth girls got off to such a strong start, especially in doubles, that the only question was not whether or not they’d win a third straight state title, but by what score.
That score turned out to be 5-0, but it wasn’t a total wipeout as the No. 1 singles match between Caribou’s Jenna Selander and Falmouth’s Analise Kump turned into a marathon lasting 2½ hours.
Kump finally edged Selander 6-3, 3-6 and 7-6 after winning a tiebreaker 7-4 in the final set, but with just two seniors — both on the top doubles team — gone in the offseason, the Vikings could very well be primed to make a return run.
“I was kind of hoping their doubles teams weren’t going to be as tough, but these guys are just a notch above everybody else,” said Caribou coach John Habeeb, whose Vikings were playing in their ninth state final — third in Class B. “Just because this is Class B doesn’t make it easier than A. In fact, I’d love to see these guys play Lewiston because I think their singles players are just as tough.”
Falmouth coach Sandy Stone probably wouldn’t disagree.
“This is probably the best team I’ve ever coached,” said Stone. “We were still winning 5-0 toward the end of the season when I was stripping off the varsity and playing more JV players, so we have a lot of depth.”
Other than the first singles match, the 16-0 Yachtsmen were dominant, losing just 11 games in four straight-set match wins.
“I figured where my singles had done so well in the singles championships, our chances of getting those three points were pretty good,” Stone said. “My doubles are really solid. They came in came in first and second in the Western Maine Conference. The best competition they’re getting is against each other.”
Kump and No 2 singles player Annie Criscione both advanced into the round of eight in the singles tournament and Kump finished as state runnerup.
“When you have a couple of girls make the round of eight and one make the round of four, you know they’re very solid. We’ve never had a girl make the round of four before.”
In Class C, Dexter had reason for optimism early after No. 2 doubles duo Alexis Mitchell and Emily Sevey beat the Panthers’ doubles team 6-1, 6-2, but that would be the only victory on the day for the Tigers.
North Yarmouth’s singles players (Thu-Tran Ho, Anna Jaeger, and Sarah Jordan) were simply unstoppable as they each won in straight sets and lost a total of just three games in the process.
“We knew it would be a tough road for us, so it wasn’t really a shocker,” said Tigers coach Peter Murray. “Our doubles teams have been pretty strong all year, but they just had too much talent in the singles.”
Things didn’t go much better in the top doubles match as Charlotte Briggs and Emily Mitchell won 6-0, 6-4.
The Tigers wound up their first regional tennis championship season with a 14-2 record.