WATERVILLE – Anita Murphy did not want to unload the hopes of an entire season on the shoulders of her second doubles team Wednesday.

Considering the gravity of the situation, though, there was no avoiding the importance for Audrey Bergeron and Emily Parent.

“I said to Audrey, ‘No pressure on you, but we need this point,'” said Murphy. “She says ‘We’ll get it.’ Just like that, she says, ‘We’ll get it.'”

Get it they did. The two juniors delivered with a critical win in the third set to lift the Blue Devils to a 3-2 win over Brunswick in the Eastern A girls’ tennis championship at Colby College.

“I really tried not to think about that,” said Bergeron. “I tried to concentrate on each game and point.”

It completed a regional sweep for Lewiston, which also won the boys’ match with a convincing 4-1 effort against Bangor. Lewiston now has a chance to claim a pair of state titles for the second straight year. Lewiston, which also won both boys’ and girls’ state titles in 1984 and 1987, defends the state crowns Saturday morning at 9:15 a.m. at Lewiston High School.

“I’ve stressed year after year that doubles is so important in a tennis match,” said Murphy. “I’ll hear some girl saying that, ‘I’m only playing second doubles,’ but you know what, I don’t think I’ve ever won a state championship without my doubles. That’s important. They’re the foundation of a good tennis team.”

The boys roared out to an early lead in their match with Bangor. Mike Sarrazin and Mike Butler won quick singles matches while the undefeated first doubles team of Devyn Cote and Matt Letourneau won in straight sets also.

“That was nice,” said Lewiston boys’ coach Ron Chicoine. “I prefer that. I’d rather play from the front than to play from behind. Most of the teams this deep have never been behind. So it’s unfamiliar territory, and you hope they don’t respond well.”

The Lewiston girls didn’t have things so easy. Chantalle Lavertu cruised in her first singles match 6-0, 6-0 while the first doubles team of Julia Bergeron and Emilie Cloutier won 6-3, 6-2. Though the Blue Devils were just one win from the championship, where that win would come was undetermined. The three remaining matches could go either way. Subsequently, Brunswick got a win in second singles when undefeated Lucy Morrell beat Katelyn Ouelette 6-4, 6-3. Though Lewiston’s Ashley McWhorter won her opening set, 6-2, in her third singles match, Kathleen Durkin rallied to take the final two 6-3, 6-1. That left it up to Bergeron and Parent.

“We were just trying to focus and not make any foolish mistakes and concentrate,” said Parent, a first-year varsity player. “We won the first set. So we knew we could beat them again.”

They had rallied from behind to beat Meghan Morrell and Jackie Rosner in the first set, 6-3.

“We actually came back in the first set, and we felt pretty confident at that point,” said Parent.

The Dragons stayed alive with a 7-5 win in the second. Despite a little self-doubt that crept in, the Blue Devils righted things quickly in the decisive third set. Lewiston jumped out to a 5-0 lead and held off the Dragons for a 6-2 win.

“That really helped the mental game a lot,” said Bergeron. “I don’t think we were getting down on ourselves as much.”

The boys took an early lead when Cote and Letourneau, who rallied Saturday to help the Blue Devils survive a scare against Mt. Ararat, won 6-1, 6-2. Sarrazin, who has lost just once during his varsity career, made it 2-0 with a 6-1, 6-2 win in second singles.

“When you glance around to your teammates and they’re all winning, it kind of gives you a nice boost, and you try to finish it out,” said Butler.

Lewiston’s No. 1 singles players wasn’t far behind, beating Adam Bernstein, 6-2, 6-3.

“He got up early 2-0, and I was just trying to feel him out, where was his weakest stroke,” said Butler. “His backhand was really consistent, but I thought it was his weaker one. So I tried hitting to that. It worked for awhile, and then I tried switching it up in the second set, hitting more to his forehand, which he’d try to pound and would end up hitting long.”

Lewiston also got a win in third singles from Ben McDonough. He also remained unbeaten this year with a 6-3, 7-5 win. Bangor’s only victory came in second doubles when Matt Cronan and Ian McDonnell beat Andrew Marden and Keagan Cote.

“This was huge,” said Chicoine. “We needed to play our best tennis to get by Mt. Ararat. If we don’t have a good day against Bangor, we could have been out. We have a couple of sophomores playing singles and some freshmen that played a lot for varsity this year. So it wasn’t a definite lock.”


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