Winthrop’s Cam Wood, left, and Sam Figueroa await a serve from Hall-Dale during a first doubles match as part of Saturday’s Class C South semifinal in Winthrop. Kennebec Journal photo by Travis Barrett

WINTHROP — The Towers of Power. The Cam & Sam Connection. Double Thunder. Whatever nickname you choose for them, the duo of Cam Wood and Sam Figueroa have been a crucial component to the Winthrop tennis team’s run to the regional final this season.

Wood and Figueroa rolled through a nearly perfect third set against Hall-Dale’s Ian McNaughton and Colby Gardner, pulling out the clinching victory in the Ramblers’ 5-0 win over the Bulldogs in a Class C South semifinal Saturday morning. Wood and Figueroa are now 11-1 this season as Winthrop’s first doubles team, playing a significant role for the Ramblers — who will face Waynflete, a 5-0 winner over Dirigo, in the final Thursday at Bates College.

Winthrop (11-1) won all three matches against Hall-Dale this season, including 4-1 and 3-2 victories in the regular season.

“Both of our doubles teams are athletes who play other sports, and when it comes down to it, they’re usually able to capitalize on that and on their competitiveness,” Winthrop coach Kelsey Ouellette said. “In the beginning of the season I had considered splitting (Wood and Figueroa) up, but their communication and chemistry, there was no way I could do that.

“That third set, I wasn’t really super-worried. When it comes down to it, they get right down to business.”

After Noah Grube made quick work of Hall-Dale’s Eli Spahn (6-2, 6-0) at third singles to collect Winthrop’s first point, Josh Deandra-Whaley held off a rally from Hall-Dale’s Orion Bittues at second  singles to put the Ramblers up 2-0.


That’s when Winthrop’s doubles teams — considered crucial by Ouellette to the Ramblers’ overall chances Saturday — turned in their best work.

Cam Wood, left, serves to Hall-Dale as partner Sam Figueroa looks on during a first doubles match in the Class C South regional semifinal Saturday in Winthrop. Kennebec Journal photo by Travis Barrett

After dropping the first set in both doubles pairings, Hall-Dale’s teams rallied to even the matches and force decisive third sets. Wood and Figueroa didn’t drop a game in the third to claim victory, 6-4, 4-6, 6-0.

“When you get into that playoff vibe, you can definitely tell there’s a next-level intensity,” said the 6-foot-5 Figueroa, who won a state championship in basketball alongside Wood this winter. “We don’t like losing. … Playing in the Civic Center (during the basketball tournament) is another level, and just having that experience is quite a benefit.”

At 6-8, Wood was the tallest player on any court Saturday. He knows the size and competitiveness of he and his partner must be taken into account by opponents.

“It doesn’t matter what sport we’re playing, we’re going to be competitive and we’re going to have good teamwork,” Wood said. “Sam and I didn’t have to work on building chemistry. We already had it. That gave us a jumpstart on everything. When they see Sam and I charging the net, they’re going to get scared and either overshoot the ball or shoot it into the net.

“We definitely try to use it as a fear factor.”


Beau Brooks and Sammi Lattin, knowing that Wood and Figueroa had claimed overall victory on the court next to theirs, played without pressure in their final set for a 7-6 (0), 4-6, 6-1 win over Eli Page and Elijah Theberge.

Before Jared McLaughlin had even finished off the first set in his straight-sets win over Isaac Lawrence at first singles (6-3, 6-1), the match had long been decided.

“I missed the last two Hall-Dale matches, and second doubles lost both times. I knew today we had to get a win,” Brooks said. “In the third set, we just stopped worrying. We just decided to do our best, and we had confidence. When you realize you’ve won, you just decide ‘Ok, let’s just go play tennis.’”

“I know Winthrop expected to win this match, but we expected to win, too,” added Hall-Dale coach Derek Vigue, whose team finished 6-6. “It wasn’t our day. We had a plan, didn’t execute it the best, but did what we could.”

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