Lewiston High School’s Abby Svor sets to return a forehand during her match Friday against Eleanor Bridgers of MDI in Portland. (Justin Pelletier/Sun Journal)
PORTLAND — It was good to be a seeded player Friday in the first round of the Maine Principals’ Association singles tournament.
Aside from the obvious — the extra rest and the ability to sleep in — the seeded players also avoided the sun for the first half of a sweltering spring day at Deering Oaks Park.
“It was good to be rested, but not to wait a little,” ninth-seeded Abby Svor of Lewiston said. “I like to play right away, and once I got into a rhythm, I was all set.”
Svor made quick work of Eleanor Bridgers of MDI, 6-1, 6-2, to advance to the round of 16 on Saturday. To do so, she had to fight through not only her opponent’s shots, but a biting breeze that swayed the treetops all afternoon and caused some serve tosses to go awry.
“You just have to use it to your advantage,” Svor said. “It wasn’t as tough on the serves because we’re used to playing in some wind at Lewiston.”
She shrugged off the wind, and also those first-time jitters — she and twin sister Julia, who also played Friday, are only freshmen.
“It’s hard because I don’t know many of the girls, especially from the South,” she said. “But it’s great to see them play, and to be able to watch some of them before I played.”
The Svors were among a healthy Lewiston contingent on hand Friday — all three singles players for both the Devils’ girls’ and boys’ teams made this year’s round of 48. Julia won her opening-round match against Daphne Stratton-Gignac of York before bowing out to third-seeded Izzy Evans of Greely. Teammate Roslynn Wailus also won her first match against Sarah Pelletier of Fort Kent before falling to Cape Elizabeth’s Kate Gilman in the round of 32.
“It’s just great for them all to get out here and experience this tournament,” Lewiston girls’ coach Anita Murphy said. “For them this year, especially the freshmen, it’s about making sure they have fun and get a feel for the tournament.”
One top seed in the girls’ bracket did fall.
Waterville Purple Panthers’ ace Sammi Saulter dispatched Lindsey Nevin of George Stevens Academy in the first round before recording the upset of the day in the girls’ bracket with a 6-2, 6-2 victory over No. 8 Crystal Bell of John Bapst.
Katrina Mason of Carrabec was one of those not seeded, but drawn into a bye. Her match was the closest of the round of 32. She prevailed, 7-5, 7-5, over Cara Foggarty of York.
Top seed Rosemary Campanella breezed into the round of 16, 6-0, 6-1 over Fiona Laing of Lincoln Academy. Her sister, second-seeded Grace Campanella, dispatched Miriam Nelson of Ellsworth.
On the boys’ side, Lewiston’s Caden Smith had to wait what felt like forever to play his first match. The day started for the players at 8 a.m., but Smith’s first match wasn’t until after 6 p.m.
That wait contributed to a tough match for Smith, who bowed out to Falmouth’s Matthew Ray in the round of 32. Ray won 7-5, 6-3.
Teammate Sam Frechette opened with an early win over Kazu Kawashima of Foxcroft Academy before falling to eighth-seeded Zach Flannery of Hampden Academy. Ben St. Laurent, drawn into a bye, fell to Yarmouth’s William Nicholas in the round of 32 in the lone three-set match of the round.
In the main boys’ draw, the top seeds who finished playing all advanced into the round of 16, including No. 1 Nick Forester of Falmouth. No. 2 Declan Archer of Kennebunk/Wells was breezing to a straight-sets win when play was suspended due to darkness. It was one of two matches that failed to finish Friday. Play in those matches will resume Saturday morning.
Other area players who competed Friday included Nora Conrad of Winthrop, who lost in the first round to Bridgers; Maeve Hickey of Mt. Blue, who lost to Miriam Nelson of Ellsworth; Chris Marshall of Mt. Blue, who fell in the round of 48 to Charlie O’Brien of Camden Hills; and Joe Crandall of Mt. Blue, who lost to Abe LeMole of Oceanside in the opening round.
Play is set to resume with the round of 16 Saturday. Tourney officials announced late Friday that Saturday’s matches will be pushed inside to Racquet and Fitness in Portland due to expected rain.
Maeve Hickey of Mt. Blue returns the ball to Miriam Nelson of Ellsworth during their match Friday in Portland. (Justin Pelletier/Sun Journal)
Lewiston High School’s Sam Frechette tracks the ball and sets for a backhand during his match against Zach Flannery of Hampden Academy on Friday in Portland. (Justin Pelletier/Sun Journal)
Lewiston High School’s Roslynn Wailus serves during her match against Katie Gilman of Cape Elizabeth in Portland on Friday. (Justin Pelletier/Sun Journal)