LEWISTON – Lewiston High School girls’ tennis coach Anita Murphy has been coaching long enough that little surprises her.
But at the seeding meeting to decide the fate of the Eastern region’s best tennis players, Murphy lobbied for – and received – another first for her program.
Chantal Lavertu, a 14-year-old freshman, became the school’s first player ever to be seeded No. 1 in any portion of the singles draw.
“It’s going to put a bit more pressure on her,” said Murphy.”
I think, but it hasn’t bothered her so far.
Lavertu already has two big wins under her belt, having defeated Deahna Giguere of Messalonskee (last year a state quarterfinalist) and Katie Marstaller of Mt. Ararat, another seasoned veteran.
“For her to have shown the poise she’s shown this year is unbelievable,” said Murphy. “And the girls she’s facing, most of them are a lot older. She’s already exceeded expectations.”
Lavertu’s teammates Katelyn Ouellette and Julia Bergeron will join her in the Eastern III regional, scheduled to start today at Mt. Ararat in Topsham, if the weather cooperates.
Augusta is hosting the Eastern III boys’ regional.
Edward Little and Mt. Blue will also send a contingent of three girls each to the tournament. In all, seven girls and seven boys will qualify from the East III region, with more coming from the East II (Bangor) and East I (Presque Isle) regions, as well as one large Western regional.
Lewiston’s boys also fared well in the draw, with top singles player James Morin grabbing the No. 3 seed in the East III draw and teammate Michael Sarrazin grabbing the No. 4 seed.
Freshman Michael Butler, the Blue Devils’ No. 3, will face Justin Enman of Skowhegan and another, to-be-determined opponent as he also tries to qualify in his first year.
EL’s Chris Mawhinney, Dan Gleason and Dinesh Costlow all drew tough opponents. Should Gleason advance past Round 1, he would match up with No. 1 seed Mike Hill of Mt. Ararat, while Mawhinney would draw Sarrazin in Round 2 and Costlow would find Quinn Bardon of Camden Hills.
A bevy of top talent from several area MVC and WMC schools will also try to make the state round of 40 in the larger, tougher Western draw. In all, 19 boys and 19 girls will qualify.
Included in that mix are players from Dirigo, Lisbon, Fryeburg, Jay, Maranacook, Monmouth, Mt. Abram, Oak Hill, Poland, St. Dom’s and Winthrop.
Also, Lewiston boys’ coach Ron Chicoine’s son, Calvin, a freshman at North Yarmouth Academy, will play in the boys’ draw.
Chicoine’s teammate, Parker Swenson of NYA, is the overall No. 1 boys’ seed in the West, while Christine Ordway of Waynflete drew the No. 1 spot on the girls’ side.
The East I and II sites in Presque Isle and Bangor were expecting to play their matches as scheduled today, but the East III regions at Augusta and Topsham were expected to make a decision today by 6 a.m.
The West regional was postponed to Monday at both Deering and South Portland.