Thursday, facing a feisty and game Cony squad, the Blue Devils placed that trust in top singles player Brett Vallee.

He didn’t disappoint.

Vallee rallied in back-to-back sets from down 2-3 to earn a 6-3, 6-3 win over Cony’s Chase Whittier, clinching a 3-2 match victory for the host Blue Devils over the Rams in the teams’ Eastern Class A quarterfinal at the Franklin Athletic Complex.

“Having that layoff, waiting and watching everyone else play, you lose your warmup and how you’re playing,” Vallee said, “I just had to get back into it, start hitting my shots. After making it 3-3, he had a look on his face in both sets, he wasn’t really sure of himself, and I had to capitalize on it.”

Vallee, one of four seniors on the Lewiston varsity roster, will graduate with his teammates and classmates Friday. The week leading up to graduation has been chock full of rehearsals, family commitments and gatherings.

“Our seniors have a lot of distractions, graduating (Friday), so maybe they’re not right on their game,” Lewiston coach Tom LeBlond said. “

Despite the distractions, the team will push forward. Weather permitting, the Devils will next face Hampden Academy on Saturday in a home match with the same lineup, one that included a gutsy comeback at No. 1 doubles by Ben Chicoine and Alex Gregoire, and a clutch win at No. 3 singles from Alex Beaudoin.

“The real key match today was Alex Beaudoin’s match,” LeBlond said. “He’d lost two or three in a row, and especially after seeing his teammate Bryan Hall next to him lose in the first set, for him to get that win and gut that out, that was key.”

Chicoine and Gregoire took out Ean Hutchinson and Robbie Swain 7-6 (6), 6-4, while Beaudoin topped Max Hutchinson, 6-4, 6-4.

Cony’s wins came at No. 2 singles from Dallas Clark and the No. 2 doubles tandem, Thon Itthipalalakorn and Levi Pelletier.

We did what we had to do,” Vallee said. “It wasn’t pretty, but we got the job done.”

The Blue Devils fell to the Broncos in a regular-season matchup, and know that to advance this time, they’ll have to be on top of their game.

Lewiston girls breeze

Even in a so-called down year, the Lewiston girls’ tennis team is proving to be a force to be reckoned with.

“Other coaches have said, ‘I can’t believe you lost your top three singles players and we thought we might have a chance against you this year, and here you are back again,'” Lewiston girls’ coach Anita Murphy said. “The thing is, the girls work hard. That’s really why we were able to do it. A lot of people think it’s automatic, but it’s not. We need to work hard.”

Lewiston put an exclamation point on the start of the playoff season Thursday, cruising past Cony 5-0, with each member of the team recording a straight-sets win.

“They were an unknown,” Murphy said. “We knew their record, but we didn’t have any common opponents, either, so we knew we had to be prepared for anything.”

Paige LeBlond won quickly at No. 2 singles against Cony’s Alli Chase, and Courtney Aldrich and Kenzi Masselli topped Maggie Priest and Alison Guzzetti at No. 1 doubles, setting up the clincher for the No. 2 doubles tandem of Jessica Soucy and Becca Michaud.

“They’re brand new to varsity this year,” Murphy said. “I’m pretty proud of them to say the least.”

Kirsty Beauchesne at No. 3 singles and Morgan Bowen at No. 1 capped off the sweep.

As the No. 3 seed, the Blue Devils advance to Saturday’s Eastern A semifinal, and will travel to Hampden to face the Broncos, rain or shine.


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