Doubles teams have been consistent and have worked well together for the Lewiston boys and girls tennis squads. From left to right are, Molly Chicoine, Roslynn Wailus, Jillian Pelletier, and Lauren Foster. Back row, Jacob Smith, Hayden Bavis, Jeremy Hepler and Ethan Weis. Sun Journal photo by Russ Dillingham

LEWISTON — Relying on their doubles teams has been a winning combination for the Lewiston boys and girls tennis squads.

The Blue Devils can count on their doubles teams to get two points in each match, leaving their singles players only needing one point to win the overall matches.

Lewiston’s four doubles duos, two on the boys team and two on the girls, are 58-2 this season heading into the Class A regional finals Tuesday. The boys take on Camden Hills, while the girls face off against Brunswick. Both matches are Tuesday at 3:45 p.m. at Bates College.

“From a long, long time ago, I remember saying to my team that doubles teams are the foundation of a tennis team,” said Anita Murphy, who is in her 41st season as the Lewiston girls tennis coach. “If you can get them to play well, play their match and win points, it takes a lot of pressure off the singles players. I’ve said it for years and I still believe it.”

Murphy likes to be in a central spot when watching her team’s matches so she can keep an eye on both doubles and singles. Once doubles are about to take the first set and she feels confident in their success, she turns her more of her focus more to the single players.

The doubles players are not only a foundation for on the court. They also are key to a team’s camaraderie off the court.

“I think doubles, it’s a team game versus singles, where it’s just you and your opponent,” Lewiston boys coach Tom Leblond said. “It’s great to have that part of it. The second thing, besides it being a team, we usually get a lot of energy from our doubles, that’s where the energy comes from. Since I have been coaching, the characters on our team has always been our doubles (players) as far as riding to a venue, riding back from a venue, they seem to control that conversation and even during practice.”

As with any team sport, chemistry is crucial in doubles tennis, and three of the four teams have more than a year of experience playing together. Both boys teams, the No. 1 duo of Jacob Smith and Hayden Bavis and No. 2 Jeremy Hepler and Ethan Weiss, have been together the past two seasons.

On the girls side, after a year of singles play, junior Roslynn Wailus is back at doubles with Molly Choicoine, her partner as a freshman. They are Murphy’s No. 1 team this year. They have been best friends since kindergarten and know where each other are on the court at all times.

“I find when I am at net, she’s out back and I miss a volley or something, I don’t even need to tell her, we just know,” Chicione said.

Murphy said Wailus didn’t see it as a demotion going from No. 3 singles to doubles this year. Murphy said the two doubles players and this season’s No. 3 singles player Maddy Foster are all even and any of the three could have filled that final singles spot

“I think I like doubles a lot more,” Wailus said last Thursday after the win against Hampden Academy. “I still like singles, but doubles are a lot more fun because I get to work with Molly, who we worked together freshmen year. It’s really fun to get back together, have the same rhythm as we did before, and even better this time.”

For the girls No. 2 doubles team, Jill Pelletier has had two different partners this year, Lauren Foster and Emma Paquette. Murphy had to make a decision early in the season and put Foster with Pelletier.

Murphy said it was a difficult choice but felt Foster could provide more consistency. Pelletier believed there was chemistry right from the get go between her ad Lauren Foster.

“I knew right away. We came in, practiced together, we made sure to talk with each other so we knew exactly what to do,” Pelletier said. “If I give her a look, she knows what exactly to change, we got comfortable together.

The Lewiston High School doubles tennis teams have been consistant and have worked together well for their teams. From left to right are, Molly Chicoine, Roslynn Wailus, Jillian Pelletier and Lauren Foster. The back row is Jacob Smith, Hayden Bavis, Jeremy Hepler and Ethan Weis. Sun Journal photo by Russ Dillingham

FACING TOUGH COMPETITION

Tuesday, both matches will be stiff competition, so getting two points from the doubles teams will be even more important in order both the boys for the boys and girls teams to advance to the state championship match on Saturday.

Smith and Bavis have a little something to prove because they have suffered both of the losses among the four doubles teams.

Both those losses came against Camden Hills. In the regular season, Smith and Bavis lost to David Poutasse and Simon Fedarko 8-3 in eight-game pro set in a matched played indoors. At the KVAC championship last Wednesday, Smith and Bavis lost to Poutasse and Jack Lawrence 4-6, 7-5, 6-4.

“We are feeling really confident right now, we know we can take these guys,” Smith said. “Last time when we played these guys, we had two match points and we couldn’t put it away, then they got it to that third set. Our confidence is right here, we know if we can keep our serves in and keep the point in play, that’s very crucial.”

The Lewiston girls’ doubles have a similar challenge against Brunswick, as this is the fourth time in four years the teams have met for the right to go to the state championship. The Blue Devils have won two of the past three meetings. All three matches finished with a score of 3-2.

Pelletier she likes facing teams on the same level and embraces the challenge and pressure to win her match to relieve the pressure on the singles players.

“A little bit, you can’t rely on your singles to win every time, because singles players are the best of their team,” Pelletier said. “Our singles are really good, too, but doubles we’re somewhat used to winning, but we need to keep fighting for ours spots and keep playing on how we are playing.”


Comments are not available on this story.