LEWISTON – Lewiston’s Julia Bergeron is like a spider that draws opponents into her web.

Bergeron utilized her skills to upset No. 5 seed Amanda Slack of Cape Elizabeth in the first round of the state tennis singles championship with court temperatures hitting over 100 degrees. The tournament resumes this morning at the Wallach Tennis Center on the Bates College campus.

Lewiston’s quintet had a solid day by winning six of seven matches in the boys’ and girls’ brackets.

Mike Sarrazin played the best match of the day in a thrilling straight-set win.

Bergeron certainly didn’t overextend herself as she side-stepped Slack, 6-2, 6-2. The Blue Devil assumed command early in the initial set and never looked back.

“Winning my first match gave me a lot of confidence,” Bergeron said. “Against Slack, I just tried to keep my head in the match and not get down on myself. I stayed back and my lobs were working well, and then I’d mix in some hard (shots).”

Bergeron was deliberate and won several long rallies. Slack led in the final game, but Bergeron kept returning the ball and frustrated the Cape player.

“Julia has a strong mental game,” Lewiston coach Anita Murphy said. “She stayed composed, but Slack never gave up. Juila forced mistakes and has a good defensive game.”

Chantalle Lavertu, a sophomore, devoured Melinda Plourde of Fort Kent, 6-2, 6-0. The Lewiston standout lost in the semifinals last year to Christine Ordway, who went on to win the championship. Ordway, of Waynflete, also won easily.

“I went out there and did what I had to do to win,” Lavertu said. “My backhand and drop shots worked well, but my forehand was off.”

Lewiston’s Katelyn Ouellette won a preliminary match 6-3, 4-6, 6-4 against Chelsea Norton of Westbrook, but lost 6-2, 6-0 to No. 3 seed Hallsey Leighton of Cheverus.

Sarrazin was in a tight match and regrouped to win a 7-5 tiebreaker in the first set against Jeremy Cliff of Hermon.

“Winning the tiebreaker was a momentum builder,” Sarrazin said. “I played to his backhand. He’s a good player.”

Lewiston’s Mike Butler overcame a broken racket and beat Travis Blackmer of Brewer, 6-4, 6-1. Butler broke several serves and won the match after being behind love-30.

“It sure was hot,” Butler said. “There was a little shade and I’d kneel in it between points. I knew he had a weak backhand, so I played to it and moved him around the court.”


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