WATERVILLE — The net result was a clean sweep for Western Maine teams at the state team championships Saturday at Colby College’s Klein Tennis Pavilion.
Windham in Class A, Cape Elizabeth in Class B, and Waynflete of Portland in Class C came away with team titles. Windham’s came with much more difficulty as the Eagles snapped a 119-game match win streak and a seven-year state title streak for the Lewiston Blue Devils with a 3-2 victory to cap a 16-0 season with the school’s first-ever boys tennis state crown.
The matches were much less dramatic in Classes B and C.
Class C wasn’t much of a surprise as even those with just a passing interest in high school tennis expected Waynflete to run the table this year. The 15-0 Flyers made it look easy with a straight-set match win over 15-1 East champ George Stevens Academy of Blue Hill.
The Flyers, who had all three of their singles players advance to the semifinals of the State Singles Tournament before top gun Brandon Thompson beat No. 2 Patrick Ordway for the state crown, lost just 11 games in a 5-0 match victory over the Eagles.
“Not only did we expect it, we were on a lot of people’s radar screens and that put a lot of expectations and pressure on us, but the boys delivered,” said fifth-year head coach Jeff Madore, a retired chemical engineer and sales rep who grew up in Rockland before moving south.
“The top guys on my team are all year-round guys. In doubles, we have a mix of guys who are just really good athletes,” said Madore, whose grandfather was born in Van Buren. “We lose four seniors, but we have our top two singles back.”
In Class B, Cape Elizabeth’s 13-3 record may not adequately convey the Capers’ dominance this season, but their postseason run certainly did.
The Capers wound up a string of four straight 5-0 match victories with a straight-set team-match win in which no singles or doubles players lost more than two games against 13-3 Camden Hills of Rockport.
Of course, two of Cape’s losses came against Waynflete and the other was a 3-2 loss to Falmouth early in the season before the doubles team had a chance to gel.
“When you have freshmen who aren’t seasoned, we had a little rust to shake off, but these last three weeks, we really hit our stride,” said coach Andy Strout, whose Capers won their 13th state title.
It was the ninth meeting between the Capers and Windjammers in a state final with Cape making its first appearance since 2005, when Camden beat the Capers.
“Our team is really deep and we’re constructed from the ground up with strong doubles teams and a very competitive No. 3 singles player,” said Camden coach Chris Walker-Spencer. “If our No. 1 singles player wins, we’re winning 5-0 most times, but those guys played great and never let up.
“The thing we do as doubles teams is be really patient, but they were more patient than we were, and that made the difference.”
The two teams could be primed for a rematch next season as Cape loses just three seniors, all from doubles, and Camden, despite losing five seniors, has a lot of returning talent.
“We had 26 kids out for tennis this year, which is the most we’ve had, and we also have a summer program we’re starting up through the school, so we’ll see,” said Walker-Spencer.