The names and faces may be different, but so far, the results have been the same.

The Telstar softball team graduated seven starters from last year’s state championship team, but that hasn’t meant a reversal in fortune. The Rebels went 14-1 and earned the top seed in Western C in the final Heal Points released Friday.

“They’re getting their reward right now,” said Telstar coach Jim Lunney, whose club claimed the MVC championship game Tuesday. “They deserve this. They’ve earned it.”

The Rebels lone starters back from last year were Josie Reiss and Abby Hutchins. Telstar has managed its success with just two seniors, Megan Smith and Joseline Belanger.

“We thought we were going to be competitive,” said Lunney. “People thought we were going to rebuild, but we reloaded.”

The Rebels get a rematch in the quarterfinals with a team they eliminated in last year’s tournament. Ninth-ranked Dirigo and eighth-seeded Sacopee Valley play a prelim Tuesday. Both lost to the Rebels in the playoffs last June.

Also in Western C, fifth-ranked Monmouth (9-5) hosts NYA while sixth-seeded Jay (9-5) welcomes Old Orchard and seventh-place St. Dom’s (9-5) hosts Hall-Dale in prelim games. Mt. Abram (10-5) earned a bye of the prelims but hosts the winner of Monmouth and NYA.

“It’s a whole new season,” said Lunney. “It’s who plays the best that day is who advances.”

The final standings brought a welcome sight for the Mt. Blue Cougars. The program had totaled just nine wins in the previous four seasons, including an 0-16 year in 2004. Mt. Blue’s 10-6 record and seventh-place finish earned the Cougars their first playoff game since the open tournament years.

Mt. Blue hosts 10th-ranked Leavitt in Tuesday’s prelims. The Cougars last playoff win was in 2001. Also in Eastern A, Oxford Hills finished 13-3 and landed third for the second straight year.

In Western B, another MVC club has put itself in the playoff hunt. Lisbon (9-5) is ranked seventh and hosts Falmouth Tuesday. Oak Hill (8-8) finished ninth and plays at Wells.

In Western D, Richmond (14-1) edged out Buckfield (11-3) for the top seed. The Bucks await a semifinal match June 9 with third-ranked Rangeley (10-4).


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