Falmouth High girls tennis team beats Brunswick for seventh straight state title

Falmouth's Olivia Leavitt gets ready to serve during her match against Brunswick's Maisie Silverman in the State Class A girls team championship match at Bates College in Lewiston on Monday.
Bob Conn | Brunswick Times Record
Falmouth's Olivia Leavitt gets ready to serve during her match against Brunswick's Maisie Silverman in the State Class A girls team championship match at Bates College in Lewiston on Monday.
Posted June 16, 2014, at 10:06 p.m.

LEWISTON, Maine — In a perfect scenario for Brunswick High School girls tennis coach Rob Manter, Monday’s State Class A championship was going to come down to top singles players Maisie Silverman of Brunswick and two-time Maine Principals’ Association schoolgirl champion Olivia Leavitt of Falmouth.

Leavitt defeated Silverman in their last two meetings, both in the schoolgirl championship matches, so karma might just be on Silverman’s side this time around.

However, Falmouth, which came in riding a 108-match winning streak, took control early and clinched the Class A title before Silverman and Leavitt even played one point.

In the end, not even Silverman was able to rescue a point for the Dragons, who saw their two-year run of Class A titles come to an end in a 5-0 loss to the mighty Yachtsmen.

“We all pushed each other to be better every day, and we came here to play with sportsmanship and class,” Silverman said. “We went out there with the mentality that it was going to be a tough match. We cheered each other on, and we showed how much of a family that we are.”

“This year was special for this team,” Samiera MacMullen said. “Falmouth was great, and we had never played a team like this before. They were just amazing.”

Falmouth, which moved from Class B to Class A this year, finished 16-0 and captured its seventh consecutive state title (six in B, one in A).

Caroline Ray picked up the first point of the match at No. 3 singles, downing Brunswick’s Leah Soloway, 6-1, 6-0, in a match that was much closer than the score appeared.

The same can be said for Brunswick No. 2 singles player Ali Stankiewicz, who traded baseline shots with Julia Brogan in a 6-1, 6-2 loss.

“We just ran up against a very talented team today, and it was a great finale,” Manter said. “Leah played some of the best tennis that I have seen her play, and Ali was right there. But, Falmouth was able to win the big points.”

Earlier, Falmouth’s No. 1 doubles team of Katherine Ryan and Kate Kelley rolled to a 6-1, 6-0 win over MacMullen and Kira Wolpow, and at No. 2 doubles, Brunswick’s Lyse Henshaw and Elizabeth Day led both sets but fell to Falmouth’s Amanda Watson and Mary Hyland, 6-4, 6-2.

“There is no head-hanging from this day at all, and they gave it their all. That is all that I can ask for,” Manter said. “We knew we had to have everything go our way to have a chance, but it didn’t.”

Silverman and Leavitt, who defeated Brunswick’s top player in a three-set, three-hour girls finale June 2, battled on despite the Yachtsmen already garnering the clinching points. The rivals played baseline tennis, with Leavitt able to break Silverman’s serve on several occasions and run down balls from near impossible angles.

“Not knowing what you’re playing against can be tough, but we played well off of each other, and we seem to be able to come prepared,” Leavitt said of her team’s move to Class A this year. “It is difficult to play after the team has won, but that is the most important thing. I had a big smile on my face because I knew that we had won, even if I had lost. The team comes first for me. It is always nice to win individually, but winning as a team and bringing that championship to Falmouth is the best feeling.”

“We definitely gave it our all, were there for each other and did everything we could do win a third championship this year,” Silverman said after seeing her team’s 49-match winning streak come to an end.

Manter loses seniors Silverman, Stankiewicz, Soloway, MacMullen and Henshaw to graduation.

Prior to the Class A championship matches, the Edward Little of Auburn girls tennis team was recognized with the Eastern Maine Class A Sportsmanship Award.

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