Just like the NFL does to start the new year, the boys’ tennis season opened up with a marquee matchup when Lewiston took on Brunswick on opening day. It was a rematch of last season’s Class A North regional final, where the Blue Devils handed the the Dragons their lone loss on the season.
On April 12, when the teams took to the court to open the 2018 season, the two teams didn’t disappoint. Once again, Lewiston came away with a 3-2 victory.
Both double teams came through for the Blue Devils. The No. 1 team of Jacob Smith and Hayden Bavis defeated Lucas Platt and Calvin Doherty 6-0, 6-3. The No. 2 team of Ethan Weiss and Jackson Boswell dispatched Spencer Taylor and Ben Donsbach 6-4, 6-4.
Caden Smith, the Blue Devils’ No. 1 single player, picked up the lone singles point for Lewiston as he defeated Wyatt Slocum 6-4 and 6-0.
“It’s the first match and we hadn’t played a lot of tennis up and until that point because of the weather,” Lewiston coach Tom LeBlond said. “We were working inside and stuff like that. You know what, I think more of less what we are looking for early in the season and that’s consistency. Staying in points for extended (amount) of time and not worry about making shots as opposed to let’s get the ball back, let’s keep the ball in play. As we progress through the season, some of the balls we were putting in play, we are going to put away.”
Brunswick took No. 2 and No. 3 singles. Connor Shaw defeated Ben St. Laurent 6-0, 6-7, 7-6, while Kian Murray defeated Sam Frechette 6-1, 6-4.
Teams meet again in Lewiston on May 16.
While taking the loss, Leblond was pleased with the way St. Laurent battled back to take his match with Shaw to a third set. St. Laurent battled back again Monday against Mt. Blue in the Devils’ second match of the season, a 5-0 win over the Cougars.
“In the third set (against Shaw), he had the ball in his hands and serving 5-4 and couldn’t seal the deal,” Leblond said after the match against Mt. Blue on Monday. “He was up 5-3 in the third set tie breaker and couldn’t seal the deal. It’s a good learning process, you got to be on point with those big points. It was a little more the same with him today. I think he dropped the first set (6-3) and he went on to blitz (Mt. Blue’s Chris Marshall) 6-2 and 6-2.”
They travel to Edward Little Wednesday at 4 p.m. The girls’ teams will play in Lewiston also at 4 p.m.
Hebron boys and girls off to another strong start
The Hebron Lumberjacks’ boys’ and girls’ tennis teams are off to a 4-0 start to the season.
The girls’ team has pushed their MAISAD conference winning streak to 32 matches that started during the 2013 season. They have dominated their competition, defeating Berwick Academy, Gould Academy and Kents Hill, each 4-1. They swept the Hyde School 5-0.
On the boys’ side, it has been a different story. The Lumberjacks have grinded out three of their four victories over Kents Hill twice and Hyde by a score of 3-2. They did handle Berwick Academy 5-0 on April 18.
The key to their strong start has been staying out of the cold during the first half of the month.
“”I think one of the big keys has been able to play inside in our indoor courts for a while,” Hebron boys and girls coach Colin Griggs said. “Just being there and being able to use that facility has been great. When we did get outside for a couple of matches, both the boys and girls handled the adversity of the wind pretty well.”
They both have strong No. 1 players. Freddy Hohmann has not lost a match all season while Griggs feels Tounarouze El Yazidi is one of the best girls’ players in the state of Maine.
Depth has been also playing a key factor on the boys’ side.
Both teams have been able to bond and support each other and with no matches until Friday against Fryeburg Academy they will have intersquad matches.
“This week neither team has a match on Wednesday, I will mix the boys and girls teams together and we will have a big match on Wednesday within the teams,” Griggs said. “We will have a green and white match. Each team has four girls and five boys and they just have fun supporting each other.”
Oxford Hills girls’ team will play this season
It will be a late start to the season for the Oxford Hills Vikings.
They started the preseason without a head coach, and athletic director Kevin Ryan was having trouble finding a coach until Elizabeth Cheevers-Young, an ed-tech teacher at Oxford Hills, stepped up.
Despite having a coach in place and the girls not practicing as a team all preseason, Ryan decided to postpone their season opener versus Edward Little on April 12. He also postponed the three matches this week: They were scheduled to play at Brunswick on Monday, home against Skowhegan on Wednesday and at Mt. Ararat on Friday.
Ryan said those matches will be made up.
They are scheduled to travel to Mt. Blue on April 30 for their first match of the season.