LEWISTON — Anita Murphy has coached the Lewiston High School girls tennis program for the past 41 years. She admits that she has a pretty cool gig, and her Blue Devils keep rewarding her in spades.

Lewiston’s Molly Chicoine hits a forehand winner during her No. 1 doubles match. Sun Journal photo by Russ Dillingham

On Tuesday in the Class A North regional final at Bates College’s Wallach Tennis Courts, Lewiston defeated rival Brunswick 4-1, sending the Blue Devils to a second straight Class A state championship match and their fourth in five seasons.

Standing across from the Blue Devils once again were the Brunswick Dragons, the No. 2 seed. Lewiston and Brunswick are certainly not strangers, having now met in the past five regional finals.

“The girls have worked hard for it, but I cannot take anything away from Brunswick, a team that certainly worked hard as well,” said Murphy, whose 15-0 Blue Devils will take on either Scarborough or five-time defending Class A state champion Falmouth at Lewiston High School on Saturday at 4 p.m. “Brunswick fought on every single point. This match could have gone the other way, and we knew it wasn’t over after we won those first sets. I had faith in them, but you have to respect the other team.”

Matches at No. 2 and 3 singles, as well as No. 1 doubles were close, with several deuce games that went the way of the Blue Devils.

“I am so proud of them,” said Brunswick (13-2) coach Mary Kunhardt, who has taken the Dragons to two regional finals in her first two seasons at the helm. “They fought really hard and had a lot of good points. It is not me. These girls work super hard. They are so busy — band, chorus, honor society, then tennis on top of that. I am proud.”

Lewiston captured the first point of the match as the No. 2 doubles team of Lauren Foster and Jillian Pelletier rolled to a 6-1, 6-0 win over Brunswick’s Zoe Battle and Ella Perham.

There was a long period of time before the Blue Devils captured their second point. With Anna Parker (normally Brunswick’s No. 2 singles player) out of the lineup, Sara Scrapchansky moved up to the second spot, and Anna Barnes took over at No. 3 singles. Both lost close matches, Barnes falling to Maddy Foster, 6-3, 6-2, and Scrapchansky dropping a hard-fought 6-2, 6-3 match to Lewiston’s Abby Svor.

Svor rallied to tie the first set, then managed to go up 2-1 after a 20-point game on Scrapchansky’s service.

“We were both pretty tired after that long deuce game, and I was like, ‘I got this. I am in control,’” Svor said. “The last game was like that, too, with seven deuces. We had a lot of games like that.”

“I feel like I lost the zone in the first set, but I got it back in the second set. I was hopeful,” Scrapchansky said. “This was my first time playing Abby, and her spin was challenging. I am used to third singles, and that threw me off my game a little bit.”

Shortly before Svor completed her win, Lewiston’s No. 1 doubles tandem of Molly Chicoine and Roslynn Wilgus finished off Brunswick’s Erica Coughlin and Abby Parke, 6-3, 6-3, for the third and deciding point.

“My doubles teams are holding things up. They are the foundation of the tennis team, and you realize you will probably not win matches without strong doubles,” Murphy said.

At No. 1 singles, Brunswick senior Lea Scrapchansky defeated Julia Svor, 6-4, 7-5, to give the Dragons their lone point of the afternoon.

“I am extremely proud of us. Everyone played our best and we shouldn’t be disappointed walking away,” Sara Scrapchansky said.

Now comes Lewiston’s biggest test of the season: trying to find a way to claim that elusive state title.

“We have talked about this — this was the year that we are going to win states,” Abby Svor said. “Hopefully we are the one to end Falmouth’s (187) winning streak, not Scarborough.”

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