The Brunswick senior gutted out a first-set win over Falmouth’s Olivia Leavitt and went ahead two games in the second, destined to atone for last year’s loss to Leavitt in the state singles final.

But Leavitt had the last laugh Monday, rallying to win six straight games to force a third set, where she battled to a 6-3 win and a second consecutive MPA girls’ singles crown.

“Fitness was a big key in both the second and third sets,” Leavitt said. “When I was down and I got that long point where I got three balls that were really far away, that was like a message, like, ‘I’m here, I’m fit, and I’m not going to give up.'”

“Olivia played unreal. You could tell that she really wanted it,” Silverman said. “It was such a battle.”

The loss is the third in four years in the final for Silverman, who also won the tournament in 2012, as a sophomore.

Leavitt has been to the semifinals in each of her three years at Falmouth, winning the past two. Leavitt is the first repeat girls winner since Christine Ordway in 2006-07.

“In the end, on match point, I was more calm,” Leavitt said. “Last year, I had five of six match points. This year, I’ve been here before now, and obviously she has, too.”

No regrets from Silverman, who will call the Bates College tennis complex home for the next four years as a student athlete for the Bobcats.

“Making it this far every year is a great accomplishment,” Silverman said. “So many people have been here to support me. It’s been incredible, a great experience.”

Falmouth sweep

Leavitt’s run to another championship and the dazzling three-set display it took for her to get there overshadowed a bit of history Monday. For the first time in 19 years, despite the team earning seven state titles in either Class C or Class B, a Falmouth player took home the boys’ title. Brendan McCarthy dispatched freshman Nick Mathieu of Mt. Ararat in the final Monday, 6-1, 6-2, to claim the crown.

“I’m definitely pretty excited,” McCarthy said.

In his first match Monday, McCarthy faced Western Maine Conference rival Isaac Salas of Waynflete, the No. 3 seed. Using a patient game, McCarthy advanced 6-3, 6-2.

“I tried to keep it away from his forehand, which is his big weapon,” McCarthy said. “I was able to stay alive and wait for a ball I could attack on.”

Mathieu, the No. 4 seed, topped Luke Gilman of Cape Elizabeth, 6-2, 6-1, in the other semifinal.

So close for Hammond

It was hard to find an angry tone in St. Dominic Academy freshman Bethany Hammond’s voice.

Hard, because it didn’t exist, even after a relatively quick and decisive loss to Silverman in the semifinals.

“I love Maisie, she’s a really good player,” Hammond said. “If there was anyone that was going to win, I’d want it to be Maisie. She’s a great player and she definitely deserves it.”

Silverman powered her way to a 6-0, 6-3 win over Hammond to reach her fourth consecutive state final.

Hammond, the No. 3 seed, breezed through her first two matches Saturday before gutting out a 6-3, 6-3 win over No. 6 Ashley Woodside of Hampden Academy to reach the final four.

“She doesn’t have that much tournament experience,” St. Dom’s coach Kevin Cullen said. “The last two crowds have been the biggest crowds she’s played in front of. That’s an adjustment in itself.

“And (Silverman) is so strong,” Cullen. “A freshman against a senior, with all of that experience Maisie has, she did well, and she showed she belonged here. I think in the years to come, she’s going to do very well here.”

Silverman dominated the first set, often frustrating Hammond with deep forehands and plenty of pace.

After the break between sets, though, Hammond found some footing.

“I needed to play my game more. I like coming up to net,” Hammond said. “I didn’t do that much in the first set, so I tried to do that more in the second set, get more points off my volleys.”

“We talked about changing up the pace a bit, coming to the net and being more aggressive,” Cullen said. “She had to try a few more cut shots, bring Maisie to the net a bit more and forcing the issue.”

Leavitt made quick work of No. 5 Colleen O’Donnell, 6-0, 6-0, to set up the rematch.


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