This past Saturday, boys’ and girls’ doubles teams across the Kennebec Valley Athletic Conference squared off at Lewiston High School to decide the best doubles teams in the conference.
The KVAC doubles tournament had been played in the past, but was shelved because of scheduling issues. However, there was a desire to bring it back.
“Well, in the past we tried to play it quite a few years,” Lewiston girls’ coach Anita Murphy said. “We have to fit it in between regular-season matches and the singles (tournament), we have girls in the singles tournament. If it’s a rain date, they use that Saturday. We really had a hard time finding a date, first of all, to play it. Last year at the (conference coaches) meeting, they voiced, the coaches did, that they would like it to see it come back.”
Murphy didn’t hesitate to offer hosting the tournament at Lewiston High School. Mt. Blue boys’ coach Zach Conlogue served as the boys’ tournament director.
The girls’ tournament had 13 teams and the boys’ tourney had 12 teams. Every team was guaranteed two matches, and there was a championship bracket and a consolation bracket. Teams from Lewiston, Edward Little, Mt. Blue, Brunswick and Messalonskee competed in the girls’ tournament, while Lewiston, Mt. Blue, Camden Hills, Mt. Ararat and Bangor competed on the boys’ side.
Murphy hopes the number of teams grows as schools realize the conference has revitalized the doubles tournament.
“We didn’t have as many teams as we would have liked,” Murphy said. “I think it’s just coming back just now, and someone was saying up north, I don’t know, it wasn’t the KVAC, but someone else was a having a doubles tournament, also. Now, I think that they know that we will do it again, we will probably have more teams.”
Lewiston dominated the girls’ tournament, as three Blue Devils’ teams reached the semifinals in Molly Chicoine and Maddy Foster, Lauren Foster and Emma Paquette, and Jillian Pelletier and Amelie Sperandio. Pelletier and Sperandio defeated Lauren Foster and Emma Paquette in the semifinals. Molly Chicoine and Maddy Foster defeated Pelletier and Sperandio in the final.
“I was telling them I got the biggest kick watching them Saturday because they were serious, there was no laughing, no talking, no joking around, it was all business,” Murphy said. “I was happy they took it serious.”
On the boys’ side, the tournament finished Tuesday afternoon because the championship couldn’t be squeeze in Saturday. Mt. Blue’s Zachary Gunther and Ryan Haszko and Bangor’s Samuel Lane and Jack Prior reached the final.
The championship was moved to Tuesday since the Cougars and Rams faced each in a regular-season match in Bangor. Gunther and Ryan Haszko defeated Lane and Prior 6-3, 6-3.
Another successful year for Hebron Academy
Hebron Academy’s boys’ and girls’ teams put in another successful season on the tennis courts.
For the second straight season, the boys’ made it to for the New England Preparatory School Athletic Council’s Class C tournament, which was held at Boston College in Chestnut Hill, Massachusetts, on Saturday.
Despite earning a bye into the semifinals as the No. 1 seed, their season came to an end for the second straight season at the hand of Beaver Country Day School of Chestnut Hill, this time with a 4-0 loss.
“I wouldn’t call it a nail-biter, but it was great competition,” Hebron tennis coach Colin Griggs said. “Both the Beaver Country Day coach and I were very happy being there and having that level of competition after both teams won their leagues.”
The NEPSAC tournament was played under college tournament rules, with six singles matches that count one point each, and three doubles matches that combine for one point. The first team to four points wins the match.
Last week, the boys’ team had success in the MAISAD singles and doubles tournament, which the school hosted on Wednesday and Friday. Masataka Mita and Vedant Divekar won Hebron’s first MAISAD doubles title since 2011 by defeating Jaxon Friedman and Nicholas Garneau of Kents Hill.
Freddy Hohmann reached the singles final, where he fell to Sachin Venkatesh of the Hyde School 6-3, 6-4.
“Three of five seniors were new this year, so we will see what enrollment brings us next year,” Griggs said. “Losing Freddy, who was a dominant force as a number one and who was a strong number two singles last year, will be tough to replace. Masataka Mita has been on the team for three years and he played number one singles as a sophomore and has been a strong doubles player the last two years.”
The girls’ team swept both the MAISAD singles and doubles titles as Tounarouze El Yazidi defended her singles crown by defeating Rina Akasaka of Kents Hill. El Yazidi has has won 23 straight matches after dropping her first career match for the Lumberjacks back in 2017. Her sister Tilila won the championship in 2016.
Saga Stenberg and Emma Xu won the doubles championship, beating Lilli Werner and Sam Wisdom of the Hyde School
This is the first time in three seasons that the Lumberjacks have won the doubles tournament after winning three straight titles from 2013-2015.
The future looks bright for the girls’ team as it returns six of its eight varsity players for 2019.
“The girls have now gone undefeated in the regular season play two of the last three seasons,” Griggs said. “I am hoping next year the (goal) is to get into New Englands and have a strong showing there.”
Hebron didn’t have enough players to play at New Englands because of the college format NESPAC uses compared to the three singles and two doubles matches that MAISAD uses for its league matches.
Lewiston girls among the undefeated
On Tuesday, the Lewiston girls team wrapped up a 12-0 regular season with a 5-0 win over Skowhegan High School. They are lone team in Class A North to finish undefeated. In the South, the Falmouth Yachtsmen also went 12-0.
Two teams in B South girls capped off a 12-0 season, Lincoln Academy and Greely, which defeated St. Dom’s 4-1 on Tuesday. In B North, Caribou is 11-0 and has one match remaining against Madawaska.
Carrabec went 10-0 and was the lone team to go undefeated in Class C South. In C North, Mattanawcook goes for a 12-0 season Wednesday when it hosts Orono.
On the boys’ side, Camden Hills is the lone team to go undefeated in Class A North. The Falmouth boys went 12-0 in A South.
Every team in B South has a blemish on their record. In B North, the Caribou boys need to defeat Madawaska for a 12-0 record. Waterville has already capped off a 12-0 season.
In Class C South, Waynflete breezed through the Western Maine Conference with a 12-0 season. Mattanawcook boys are also going for a 12-0 Wednesday also against Orono in Class C North.