Lewiston’s No. 3 singles player Sam Frechette returns the ball during a Class A North regional semifinal in Lewiston on Saturday. Sun Journal photo by Andree Kehn

LEWISTON — Before the Class A North regional semifinal match against Bangor even began, Lewiston’s Sam Frechette knew it was going to come down to how well he reacted in his match.

He was right.

Frechette won the No. 3 singles match against Jack Prior winning 6-4, 7-6 (4) to clinch the winning point in the team match as the top-seeded Blue Devils defeated the No. 6 Rams 3-2 to advance to the regional final.

“I wasn’t stressed; I knew I had to win,” Frechette said. “I was getting really frustrated during the (match). I started off well, but I had to resort to lobbing it the rest of the (match).”

Frechette didn’t compete in the regular season match against Bangor because he was recuperating from a wrist injury after he played in a hockey tournament in Minnesota in the middle of May. He returned last Wednesday for the KVAC championship against Camden Hills.

“It was good to have Sam back. That’s a big difference for us,” Lewiston coach Tom Leblond said. “It was a good win for him. Since he came back, he has played really well.”

Frechette had control of the first set before Prior battled back to make it 5-4 before Frechette got the important sixth game to win the set. Prior rode the momentum of a close first set into the second, putting Frechette on the ropes before Frechette roared back to force the tiebreaker and ultimately win the match.

“I know (the match) could go either way,” Bangor coach Cynthia Howard said. “The last time we played them, Lewiston beat us 3-2. I know (Sam Frechette) was a new player (Jack Prior) was playing because he didn’t play the first time. I knew it could have gone either way. It’s one of those things. I was banking on my singles and they did a nice job.”

The Rams’ (7-7) top two players provided both of their points. No. 1 singles player Connor Lee defeated Caden Smith 6-1, 6-3.

Lewiston’s Caden Smith returns the ball during the No. 1 singles match in the Class A North regional semifinal in Lewiston on Saturday. Sun Journal photo by Andree Kehn

“I think he does a great job moving around, but he wanted me to finish the points,” Lee said. “He wanted me to make or force the error.”

Dennis Stewart faced a challenge against Lewiston’s Ben St. Laurent, as Stewart took the first set 7-5 and cruised to the victory, winning the second set 6-1.

“I lost the first game (in the first set) and I thought I needed to cool down and need to breathe,” Stewart said. “After a couple of games, I got myself loose and finished it toward the end.”

Stewart battled through a groin injury he suffered in practice this week.

Ethan Weiss returns the ball during a doubles match in a Class A North regional semifinal in Lewiston on Saturday. Sun Journal photo by Andree Kehn

“He played injured when we played against Hampden (Academy in the regional quarterfinal),” Howard said. “For him to come out still hurting and playing as well as he did was remarkable.”

The loss is only the second of the season for St. Laurent.

Lewiston’s doubles teams picked up the important two points to secure the match. The No. 1 doubles team of Jacob Smith and Hayden Bavis defeated Carter Khoury and Nate Tardy 6-1, 6-0. Ethan Weiss and Jeremy Hepler dropped Alex Saros and Connor Lehan 6-1, 6-2.

“It was still critical, as much support as singles (players) get. I am sure it gives them a relaxation sort of to know we won those two (matches),” Hepler said. “We learned to keep the ball in play and get those routine shots in.”

Both doubles teams finished their matches in about 45 minutes. LeBlond thought that was key.

“Get them off the court, but also the next time we practice, they got to pick it back up because (today) was way below the pace, and the skill level when they played against Camden (in the KVAC championship on Wednesday),” he said. “Our No. 2 doubles won and our No. 1 doubles were right there.”

 


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