June 20, 2018
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Eastern, Western Maine tennis finals’ schedule revised; three EM matches moved to Thursday

By Ernie Clark, BDN Staff

WATERVILLE, Maine — The continuing early June rain has prompted some changes in the schedule for the Eastern Maine high school team tennis championships, originally slated to be held Wednesday at Colby College.

Three of the matches remain set to be played Wednesday, though the location of two will depend on the weather conditions and the third will be moved indoors.

The Class B girls final between defending champion and top-ranked Waterville (14-0) and No. 2 Caribou (14-0) will start at 10 a.m. at the Alfond-Wales Tennis Facility on the Colby campus, with the backup plan of moving the match indoors to Bangor Tennis in Hampden for completion if necessary.

The same backup plan is in place for the Class B boys final between top-ranked Ellsworth (14-0) and No. 2 Mount Desert Island (9-5), which also is slated for a 10 a.m. start at Colby but could be shifted indoors to Bangor Tennis if the weather does not cooperate.

The Eastern C boys match between No. 1 George Stevens Academy of Blue Hill (13-1) and No. 2 Madawaska (11-3) will be held beginning at 2:30 p.m. Wednesday at Bangor Tennis.

Three other Eastern Maine finals, the Class A boys and girls and the Class C girls matches, have been moved to Thursday and are still scheduled to be held outdoors at Colby College.

The Class A girls final between top-seeded Brunswick (14-0) and six-time defending state champion and third-ranked Lewiston (12-2) will be held at 1 p.m., followed by the Class C girls match between top-ranked Van Buren (13-0) and No. 3 George Stevens Academy (13-2) at 2:30 p.m.

The Class A boys final between No. 1 Bangor (14-0) and No. 3 Hampden Academy (12-2) will be played at 4 p.m. Thursday.

The Eastern A boys final will crown a different champion for the first time in a decade, as Hampden knocked off nine-time defending regional winner Lewiston 4-1 in a semifinal played Monday to avenge a loss to the Blue Devils in last year’s EM final.

Bangor, which returned its team intact from the 2011 squad that lost to Hampden in the regional semifinals, has outscored its opposition 67-3 in individual matches this spring, including 5-0 wins over Erskine Academy of South China and Messalonskee of Oakland in its first two postseason matches.

Bangor defeated Hampden twice during the regular season, 4-1 at Hampden on April 30 and 3-2 at Bangor on May 18. The Rams also own two 5-0 victories over Lewiston this spring, the first during the regular season and the second in the Kennebec Valley Athletic Conference Class A championship match.

Bangor is the last school other than Lewiston to win the Eastern A boys title — that coming back during its run to the state crown in 2002. Hampden is seeking its first regional championship since winning as a Class B school in 1999. The Broncos won the Class B state title in 1998.

The Lewiston girls will try for a repeat of its effort of a year ago, when it lost to Brunswick twice during the regular season and then defeated the unbeaten Dragons in the regional state final en route to another state title.

The defending Eastern B champion Ellsworth boys will be playing for their third regional crown in the last four years against a rival MDI team they have defeated twice by 5-0 scores this spring. Coach Brian Higgins’ Eagles are 69-1 in individual matches, including 5-0 postseason victories over Presque Isle and John Bapst of Bangor.

The Class B girls final matches the last two regional champions in Waterville and 2010 EM winner Caribou. Waterville edged the Vikings 3-2 in a quarterfinal last year and returns its entire lineup while Caribou graduated its top two singles players from the 2011 edition.

The reigning champion George Stevens boys will be playing for their ninth Eastern C crown in the last 11 years and sixth in the last seven seasons. The Eagles’ lone loss this spring was a 4-1 decision at Ellsworth, and they are 63-2 in their other individual matches. Madawaska is the only other team to win an Eastern C crown in the last six years, defeating GSA in the 2009 regional final.

Van Buren had an undefeated regular season to lead the Eastern C girls ranks, then secured 4-1 playoff victories over Fort Kent and Dexter to continue its quest for a first regional title. Defending champion GSA will be after its fourth EM crown in the last six years after scoring 4-1 postseason victories over Calais and Mattanawcook Academy of Lincoln.

The Western Maine championship matches, originally scheduled to be held outdoors at the Wallach Tennis Center on the campus of Bates College in Lewiston, will still be played Wednesday but have been moved indoors to the Racket & Fitness Center in Portland.

The time schedule has only modest time changes, with the Class B boys and girls finals at 9:15 a.m., the Class C boys and the Class A boys at 12:45 p.m., and the Class C girls and Class A girls at 4:15 p.m.

The Western A finals have the No. 1 Deering of Portland boys (13-1) against No. 2 Gorham (13-1) and the No. 1 McAuley of Portland girls (14-0) against No. 3 Portland (12-2).

In Western B, the Falmouth boys and girls team both are seeded first with their 14-0 records. The Falmouth boys will face No. 3 Cape Elizabeth (12-2) while the Falmouth girls will play No. 2 Yarmouth (12-2).

The Western C finals have the No. 2 Dirigo of Dixfield boys (12-2) against No. 5 Waynflete of Portland (11-3) and the No. 1 Hall-Dale of Farmingdale girls (14-0) against No. 6 Waynflete (9-5).

The state finals in all classes are scheduled for Saturday at Colby College.

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