AUBURN — Seniors Anna Cote and Hanni Johnson are good friends and play field hockey throughout the year together.

But on Thursday, they were opponents facing off on a sun-lit tennis court.

The pair battled back and fourth — and there were moments when the pace was blistering. St. Dom’s Cote came out on top, beating friend and foe Johnson 6-3, 6-4, in No. 1 singles, but Spruce Mountain won it all with a 4-1 victory.

Cote will be heading to Bates College after she graduates, while Johnson is on her way to the University of Southern Maine.

“I thought (Johnson) was really skilled,” Cote said. “She had really good serves and hits, so I knew I had to really work hard to pull out a win.”

Cote added that going after every ball made the difference in her game and added another win to her 3-1 record.

“(Cote) is very athletic. I was expecting it to be a close game,” Johnson said. “I had a lot of fun. Yeah, I held my own. So I had a lot of fun playing against her.” 

St. Dom’s coach Andrew Girouard impressed with the tenacity of both players.

“They were both very, very competitive and entertaining to watch,” he said. “It was almost like a mirror match. They were playing the same version of each other. They both did a great job. All the girls put up a great display to their respective teams.”

The marathon match went to Spruce Mountain’s Sarah Henderson and the Saints’ Maddie Tyus in the No. 2 singles showdown, which lasted a little more than two hours before a worn-out Henderson emerged with a 4-6, 6-1, 6-3 victory. 

“The second singles is working hard right now,” Spruce coach Mary Redmond-Luce said. “My first singles was amazing. Hanni is just amazing and an all-around, terrific athlete.”

Spruce’s No. 3 singles player Mary Hamblin won by default.

The Phoenix also owned both doubles matches, with Kaila Godby and Leah Gilbert dismissing the Saints’ Mady Boulet and Molly Brown 7-5, 6-0 in No. 1 doubles. Hannah Coates and Aubrey Kachnovich dropped St. Dom’s Bry Archer and Lauren Fletcher 6-0, 6-2.

“My first doubles (Gilbert and Godby) did not play their best game at first set,” Redmond-Luce said. “We coached them and talked about it and they came out strong and they did an exceptional job today.

“Our second doubles (Coates and Kachnovich) did a great job as well. They communicated well. They played well as a team. I was extremely pleased with both my doubles sets.” 

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