Lewiston’s Abby Svor tosses a ball during a serve Saturday morning’ during her match against Camden Hills. (Russ Dillingham/Sun Journal)LLewiston’s #2 singles player Julia Svor hits a forehand during Saturday morning’s match against Camden Hills. (Russ Dillingham/Sun Journal)

LEWISTON — For the past few days, the texts and phone calls flowed in for Lewiston girls’ tennis coach Anita Murphy for good luck as the Blue Devils prepare to face Falmouth in the Class A State Championship this afternoon at 4 p.m.

They were from coaches around the state, former players and parents of former players. One message stood out from the rest, and she had to share it with the current team in their final practice before the state championship match.

It came from Claude Bergeron, the father of Audrey and Julia Bergeron, who graduated from Lewiston a decade ago. When the Bergerons were in school, the Blue Devils won the state championship three straight years from 2006-08. Claude saw similarities from Audrey’s and Julia’s teams to the current day Blue Devils squad.

Audrey and Julia are twins just like Abby and Julia Svor, the team’s No. 1 and 2 players. Claude had another reason to text Murphy — his sister, Nicole Bergeron is the Gorham girls’ tennis coach.

Gorham was the number two team in Class A South this season and their only loss in the regular season was to the Yachtsmen. Falmouth, riding a 172-match winning streak, had to sweat its match out against the Rams this season. On paper, Falmouth won convincingly, 4-1. But the doubles matches and No. 2 singles went to three sets. Falmouth swept the doubles, but Sarah McKnight of Gorham defeated Sarah Fallon in No. 2 singles.

Claude also reminded Murphy that Gorham’s No. 1 player, Jocelyn Bolt, who was seeded No. 12 in the states singles tournament, upset Falmouth’s No. 1 player Meredith Kelley who was seeded fifth, in the quarterfinals.

As Murphy read through the text, her players eyes widened with hope and belief that they have a chance against the 10- time defending state champion. The past four have come in Class A and the previous six before that came in Class B.

“I just think it proves that Falmouth can be beaten,” Lewiston sophomore Molly Chicoine said. “We do have a chance. A lot of people think we don’t. That’s completely untrue. We should be right in there.”

Lewiston has been unscathed so far this season, as the Devils are 15-0, the same record the Yachtsmen have. But the Blue Devils haven’t gone unchallenged, especially the past two matches to get to the state championship.

They defeated Camden Hills in the regional semifinals, but Murphy believed the Windjammers weren’t a normal four seed, as they had battled injuries throughout the season. In the regional final, they squeaked a 3-2 victory over Brunswick as No. 2 singles player Julia Svor secured the winning point.

These two perennial powers, though, are in uncharted territory heading into the state championship. Both teams are young compared to championship teams from the past. Two of the three Falmouth singles are underclassmen as Kelley and Fallon both sophomores, while Alston Armstrong is a senior. The two doubles teams of Grace Dimick and Maddy Joyce, the No. 1 team, and Emma Cohen and Sydney Pearl are all upperclassmen.

“We were a lot younger than we were last year,” Falmouth coach Bill Goodspeed said. “We are probably not as young as they are.”

He said both doubles teams have been strong this season and Armstrong has brought some veteran presence in singles.

Lewiston only has one upperclassman in the entire lineup in second doubles player Jill Pelletier, who’s a junior.

That’s all that both coaches know about the other team.

“All I know is they are strong and they are a powerhouse down there,” Murphy said. “Gorham gave them a very good match, I do know that. I can’t say they have weaknesses, but I don’t know much about them. I didn’t follow them, I wanted to go see them play when they were at Bates, but I was (working) and by the time I got out, they already clinched the match.”

Her son, Ron Chicoine, was able to take in Falmouth’s regional final match against Portland on Thursday, which was held at Bates College. He confirmed his mother’s suspicions —  Falmouth is pretty good.

For Goodspeed, he’s in a familiar position. He doesn’t know much about Lewiston other than the Svor sisters.

When Falmouth moved to Class A in 2014, they met Lewiston in the state championship and again in 2015. Those teams were led by Olivia Leavitt who won the state singles title in both of those years. Murphy said the 2015 match wasn’t pretty.

Molly Chicoine remembers watching Falmouth when she was younger.

“I vaguely remember back when my brothers were in high school, I would watch all the girls’ matches,” she said. “They played Falmouth and it was always a tough match. Sometimes they pulled it out, sometimes we didn’t.”

States are being held at Lewiston High School and Murphy said being at home and having friends and family cheering them on is an advantage for her team. Their rivals across the river, Edward Little, will also be there for support.

“There are a lot of people are wishing us good luck and stuff,” sophomore Maddy Foster said. “We are the underdog, so a lot of people are rooting for us.”

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Lewiston’s Roslynn Wailus hits a backhand during her match against Camden Hills. (Russ Dillingham/Sun Journal)L

The Lewiston girls’ tennis team shows off the Class A North regional championship plaque after defeating Brunswick 3-2 at Colby College in Waterville on Wednesday. (Submitted photo)


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