March 17, 2018
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Lewiston, Falmouth, Waynflete win girls tennis crowns

By Ernie Clark, BDN Staff

WATERVILLE, Maine — For the Waterville High School girls tennis team, Saturday’s Class B state championship match against Falmouth — while not producing the desired result — was a valuable learning experience.

The Purple Panthers became the latest victim in the Yachtsmen’s 57-match winning streak, with Falmouth scoring a 5-0 victory at Colby College on Saturday afternoon.

“Just the experience of being in the state championship will help us,” said Waterville coach Jill Cristan, whose seven-player team featured four freshmen — including all three singles players. “There were some jitters in the first set, but next year we’ll be better because of this.”

Lewiston won its sixth consecutive Class A girls title with a 5-0 victory over Scarborough, while the Waynflete School of Portland won the Class C crown with a 4-1 victory over George Stevens Academy of Blue Hill.

Falmouth, which also defeated Waterville in the 2009 state final, came armed with three of the top six seeds in the recent state singles tournament in juniors Annie Criscione and Analise Kump and sophomore Libby Voccola, and the trio lived up to its collective billing in leading coach Sandy Stone’s club to its fourth straight title.

Criscione, the Yachtsmen’s top singles player, was tested by Waterville’s Colleen O’Donnell before earning a 6-3, 6-4 victory, but Kump did not yield a game to Olivia Lopes at second singles and Voccola allowed just one game to Jayme Saulter at third singles in helping Falmouth finish the season having lost just one set in any of its matches.

Falmouth (16-0) also got victories from Abby Payson and Steffi Rothweiler at first doubles and Katie Carew and Katie Ryan at second doubles.

“We came into the match and didn’t change much at all because what we had been doing had been working,” said Cristan, whose team ended its season with a 14-2 record. “We did try to come to net a little more, but they’re just a good, experienced team.”

In Class C, Waynflete (12-4) was led to its first state title since 2006 by sophomore Kaitlyn Thompson, the sister of 2010 boys state singles champion Brandon Thompson, who did not play tennis as a senior at the Portland school this spring but was on hand Saturday to support his sibling.

The younger Thompson, in her second season as the Flyers’ top-seeded singles player, gave Waynflete a quick 1-0 lead with a 6-1, 6-1 victory over GSA junior Sotherd Steer.

“I played pretty solid tennis,” she said. “At the beginning I had to get used to her serve because it’s probably the hardest I’ve come across, but once I got past that I played steady tennis.”

GSA’s second doubles team of senior Hannah Dietz and junior Grace Bugbee tied the match with a 7-5, 6-2 win over Emily Trafton and Sophie Raffel, but Waynflete closed out the competition with victories by Emily White and Maddie High at second and third singles along with  a win from the first doubles team of Elena Britos and Hilary Niles.

“We didn’t know much about their players before we got here,” said Thompson. “We watched them warm up and we knew they had some good players and we were a little nervous, but we played well.”

GSA ended its season with a 12-4 record.

In Class A, Lewiston capped off an undefeated spring with five straight-set victories over 12-4 Scarborough.

Only the Blue Devils’ first doubles team of Brittany Martin and Kirsty Beauschene was tested, being forced to a first-set tiebreaker by Cortney Hughes and Maria Philbrick before emerging with a 7-6 (5), 6-1 victory.

Lewiston’s second doubles team of Paige LeBlond and Courtney Aldrich lost just one game, while top seed Jessica Bowen was a 6-1, 6-1 winner over Jenna Posey. Abby Blaisdell defeated Fernanda Delboni 6-4, 6-3 at second singles and Becca Lessard topped Rachel Webber 6-2, 6-3 to help coach Anita Murphy’s Blue Devils finish off a 15-0 campaign.

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