PORTLAND – Bethany Hammond fought to the end, but couldn’t overcome Rosemary Campanella of Kennebunk/Wells.

The St. Dominic Academy senior, who was the No. 3 seed, lost in straight sets Monday morning in a semifinal match in the MPA State Singles Tournament at The Fitness and Racquet Club 6-1, 6-2. Campanella the No. 2 seed moved to the final to face top-seeded Lana Mavor of Falmouth, who defeated Rosemary’s sister, Grace 6-1, 6-1 in the other semifinal.

It was the fourth straight semifinal appearance for Hammond, who reached the finals two seasons ago. Hammond beat Rosemary in the semifinal before losing the final to Olivia Leavitt of Falmouth.

It was Campanella’s service game that caused Hammond trouble early on.

“I was expecting that,” Hammond said. “I just couldn’t get into a rhythm today.”

The two also faced each other in the regular season, where Campanella won in straight sets 6-3, 6-4. Campanella said she used that match to take notes because she figured the two would meet up again later in the season.

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Campanella took the first five games of the first set before Hammond was able to win the fifth. Hammond knew with Campanella’s power she had to be patient if she was going to get her points.

She used that patience when she was able to get  longer rallies and move Campanella across the court. When Hammond had her opening, she was able to get a couple of drop shots over the net that Campanella wasn’t able to reach.

Campanella knew she didn’t want to get in too many rallies with Hammond because of Hammond’s mental game.

“I knew coming into this match my service game was going to be important because I could win a lot of points off of it,” Campanella said. “I didn’t want to get stuck in long rallies with her. She’s a very smart player and I knew there was a very good chance of her outsmarting me if I got into (long rallies).”

The second set started like the first set as Campanella got out to a 4-1 lead. With her back against the wall, Hammond was able to find a rhythm and picked up her second game as Campanella became a little tired, as she had a couple of unforced serving errors.

“As the match went along, I felt she got a lot stronger,” Campanella said. “I got a little more nervous as I got closer to winning.”

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St. Dom’s coach Andrew Girouard credits Hammond being able to be calm despite being down.

“Bethany does a good job not showing her emotions,” Girouard said. “It keeps her opponents off guard a little bit. She did a good job fighting back and taking advantage of Rosemary’s lack of ability to get going.”

Hammond didn’t go down easy in the final game, as there a few times the players went back and forth in deuce situations. The final point was a longer rally where Hammond was playing defense. She hit a high lob in which Campanella smashed it with authority to close the game.

Hammond’s concern was to win that one point.

“I was just playing point by point,” Hammond said. “I knew if I looked farther ahead, I knew I wouldn’t have any rhythm.”

Another semifinal loss doesn’t diminish her singles career.

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“I am proud of her,” Girouard said. “She has done a phenomenal job in her four years. Now we have team playoffs to look forward to and see what happens.”

The Saints enter the team tournament as the No. 6 seed in Class C South as the defending girls’ champions.

On the boys’ side, top-seeded Nick Mathieu of Mt. Ararat rallied to defeat No. 3 Nick Forester of Falmouth in the final, 3-6, 6-4, 7-5.

Mathieu advanced to the final by beating unseeded Brandon Ameglio of Waynflete, 6-0, 6-0, while Forester defeated the No. 2 Dariy Vyhodtsev 6-3, 6-4 in the other semifinal.

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