June 19, 2018
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Bapst’s Flynn a contender for state tennis singles title

By Ernie Clark, BDN Staff

While high school team tennis in the state largely has been dominated by Western Maine programs in recent years save for Lewiston’s success in Class A, the schoolboy singles championship largely has been the domain of the East.

Eastern Maine players have won nine of the last 11 boys singles title, and John Bapst of Bangor senior Bob Tom Flynn will be among those trying to add to that run beginning Monday when the boys and girls Rounds of 48 and 32 are held at Bates College in Lewiston.

Those rounds originally were scheduled for Friday, but were pushed back by the Maine Principals’ Association earlier this week in order to extend the team tennis regular season to Saturday to accommodate matches postponed due to inclement weather that gripped the state for more than a week.

The revised singles schedule has two rounds set for Monday, the Round of 16 and quarterfinals on Tuesday and the semifinals and championship matches on June 4.

Flynn, John Bapst’s top singles player since arriving at the school as a freshman, is seeded second overall in the boys field behind only Patrick Ordway of Portland’s Waynflete School.

Seeded fifth in last year’s tournament, the Hancock resident advanced to the semifinals before being eliminated by eventual state champion Brandon Thompson of Waynflete 6-2, 6-0. Thompson, now a senior at Waynflete, is competing on the Flyers’ track and field team this spring, though he will play collegiate tennis next year at Trinity University of San Antonio.

Thompson was the first Western Maine player to win the boys state singles title since Pat Conway of Deering of Portland in 2002. Eastern Maine players to win the title since then are Ian Robinson of Brewer (2001, 2003), Bryan Brown of Bangor (2004), Eliot Potvin of Hampden Academy (2005, 2006) and Mike Hill of Mount Ararat of Topsham (2007, 2008, 2009).

Flynn, who plans to attend University of St. Andrews in St. Andrews, Scotland, in the fall, is undefeated this spring. He raced through Monday’s regional singles playdown by winning two matches without losing a game.

He will play his Round of 32 match at 6:30 p.m. Monday against the winner of the Round of 48 match between Burke Paxton of North Yarmouth Academy and John Vannorsdall of Camden Hills of Rockport.

Other boys seeds announced Wednesday are No. 3 Justin Brogan of Falmouth, No. 4 Matt Gilman of Cape Elizabeth, No. 5 Tyler Adams of Bonny Eagle of Standish, No. 6  Jordan Friedland of Lincoln Academy of Newcastle, No. 7 Eric Hall of Lewiston, No. 8 Tyler Small of Ellsworth, No. 9 Adam Levesque of Mount Ararat, No. 10 Alex Henny of Scarborough, No. 11 Scott Gagne of Lewiston and No. 12 Brendan McCarthy of Falmouth.

Small, who has led the Ellsworth boys team to an unbeaten record so far this spring, reached the Round of 16 a year ago.

Maria Varano, a junior from Kennebunk who is playing high school tennis for the first time this spring after focusing on junior tennis in previous years, is the top-seeded girls player.

Varano is followed by No. 2 Annie Criscione of Falmouth, No. 3 Maisie Silverman of Brunswick, No. 4 Analise Kump of Falmouth, No. 5 Jenna Selander of Caribou, No. 6 Libby Voccola of Falmouth, No. 7 Addie Devine of Catherine McAuley of Portland, No. 8 Natalie Egbert of Gorham, No. 9 Mea Clark of Mount Desert Island, No. 10 Colleen O’Donnell of Waterville, No. 11 Carissa English of Camden Hills and No. 12 Frankie Lally of Edward Little of Auburn.

Selander, a senior at Caribou, reached the quarterfinals a year ago before dropping a 6-4, 6-4 decision to Kump, last year’s No. 1 seed. Selander and Kump are seeded to meet in the quarterfinals again this year.

MDI’s Clark, a freshman, has led the Trojans to an undefeated record in the team ranks so far this spring, as has English, a sophomore at Camden Hills. English reached the state singles Round of 16 last year.

Elena Mandzhukova, an exchange student from Bulgaria who won the 2010 schoolgirl title while attending Brunswick, is attending Kents Hill School this year.

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