H.S. tennis: Kelley’s comeback gives Falmouth 11th straight state championship

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Jill Pelletier, right, and Amy Sperandio of Lewiston High School react after winning their No. 2 doubles match against Falmouth High School on Saturday. (Daryn Slover/Sun Journal)

LEWISTON — The No. 2 court at Lewiston High School became “center court” just like at Roland-Garros, home of the French Open, or at the All England Club, home of Wimbledon.

The No. 2 court was the home of the No. 1 singles match between Falmouth’s Meredith Kelley and Lewiston’s Abby Svor. The crowd descended from the upper courts and surrounded the fences of the lower courts after the No. 2 doubles contest went final, as Lewiston’s Jill Bergeron and Amy Sperandio won in three sets to tie the match at 2-2.

With with the attention all on then, Kelley picked up her game after dropping the first set 6-1. The sophomore went into a different gear after taking a 2-1 in the second, winning the next four of five games to take the set 6-2. She kept the pedal to the medal in the third set, winning six of the seven games played to win her match and clinch the overall team match and the state championship for the Yachtsmen.

She enjoyed the pressure of pushing Falmouth’s 172-match win streak to 173.

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“I think having all my teammates cheering me on made it really easier,” Kelley said. “My biggest thing is motivation, having them cheering me on. The pressure really helped.”

It was Falmouth’s 11th straight state championship, the past five coming in Class A. The title streak isn’t something that the Falmouth coaches mention too much to the players.

“We don’t talk about it, we give them zero pressure,” Falmouth acting coach Lori Poulin said. “It’s just not even a factor for us.”

Lewiston coach Anita Murphy was proud of the way Svor and the entire team played as they pushed Falmouth to the edge.

“It was heart-wrenching, it was heartbreaking, but I am proud of them,” Murphy said. “Did you hear when they were introduced, they were all juniors and seniors? I said to the girls, ‘What did you expect?’ I am so proud of them.”

Falmouth (16-0) went up 1-0 in the match when Alston Armstrong defeated Roslynn Wailus 6-0, 6-2 in third singles.

Julia Svor responded with Lewiston’s (15-1) first point of the match, winning second singles in straight sets 6-4, 6-4 over Sarah Fallon.

The momentum quickly shifted back in Falmouth’s favor when Grace Dimick and Molly Joyce won No. 1 doubles over Molly Chicoine and Maddy Foster 7-5, 7-5. Chicoine and Foster had a lead in the first set, but lack of experience caught up to them.

“If they had won their first set, I think it would have been a different outcome,” Murphy said. “They made a few key mistakes, but those are young mistakes, they will learn from them. They felt bad, they said they were sorry. I am like, ‘No, you know what, you played great.'”

Bergeron and and Sperandio battled in the first set, coming back to win 7-5 over Emma Cohen and Sydney Pearl. Cohen and Pearl won the second set 6-3 before Bergeron and Sperandio seized control in the third set, winning 6-3.

nfournier@sunjournal.com

Lewiston High School tennis coach Anita Murphy talks with Abby Svor between sets of Svor’s No. 1 singles match against Meredith Kelley of Falmouth in Lewiston on Saturday. Svor lost the match. (Daryn Slover/Sun Journal)

Julia Svor of Lewiston High School returns a shot during her No. 2 singles match against Sara Fallon of Falmouth in Lewiston on Saturday. Svor won the match. (Daryn Slover/Sun Journal)

Grace Dimick, left, and Maddy Joyce of Falmouth High School celebrate after winning their No. 1 doubles match against Lewiston’s Molly Chicoine and Maddy Foster in Lewiston on Saturday. (Daryn Slover/Sun Journal)

Alston Armstrong, left, of Falmouth High School shakes hands with Roslynn Wailus of Lewiston after Armstrong won the No. 3 singles match in Lewiston on Saturday. (Daryn Slover/Sun Journal)

Maddy Foster returns a shot during her No. 1 doubles match against Falmouth on Saturday. (Daryn Slover/Sun Journal)

Amy Sperandio of Lewiston High School returns a shot during her No. 2 doubles match against Falmouth High School on Saturday. (Daryn Slover/Sun Journal)

Sara Fallon of Falmouth High School returns a shot during her No. 2 singles match against Julia Svor of Lewiston High School in Lewiston on Saturday. (Daryn Slover/Sun Journal)

Maddy Joyce, left, and Grace Dimick of Falmouth High School react after winning a set during their No. 1 doubles match against Lewiston’s Molly Chicoine and Maddy Foster in Lewiston on Saturday. (Daryn Slover/Sun Journal)

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