LEWISTON — Edward Little took out three decades of frustration on its rival for the third time this season, beating Lewiston 4-1 on Tuesday in a Class A North boys tennis prelim at Coach Anita Murphy Courts.

The No. 7 Red Eddies (6-6) had already defeated the No. 10 Blue Devils (3-10) twice during the regular season, 3-2 and 5-0. Prior to this season, they had only beaten Lewiston three times in the past 30 years — once in 1996 and twice in 1998.

Tuesday’s matchup had the most on the line, with one team moving on in the postseason and the other’s season coming to an end.

Edward Little was already in the hole before the match started, forfeiting at No. 2 doubles because it didn’t have enough players available.

Lucas Pawlina evened the match with a 6-0, 6-2 victory at No. 3 singles over Lewiston’s Gavin Bavis, then Simon Hayes gave EL its second match win with a 6-4, 6-4 sweep of Owen Vincent at No. 2 singles.

“He had very good technique. A lot of spins, he changed up his strategy — short shots, long shots. It was a very challenging match. He was a very good opponent,” Hayes said. “I just had to lay back and see what he would do. He did a lot of spins on his shooting, so I just had to lay back and watch the way it was moving, and then I could adjust to it.”

Hayes said he tries to focus on one point at a time. That same mentality helped Edward Little’s No. 1 doubles team rally for a win.

Shane Kilby and Kayden Kirouac dropped their first set 5-7, but were able to regroup for a 5-7, 6-4, 6-4 victory over Ben Cloutier and Evan Greaton.

“I think it was amazing for them to come back,” Edward Little coach Greg Vincent said. “They played well the first set, they just came up short, it was close. But I told them, ‘This is it. Don’t leave anything to chance here. If we don’t win this one, we’re not playing again, so give it everything you got,’ and they did.

“I was impressed. They showed a lot of heart. Especially in the second set, down 3-love, they could have thrown in the towel, but they didn’t and fought back, won that set 6-4. So pretty amazing stuff, actually, for them to maintain that mental focus and hold on for that one.”

The team match had already been decided, but Lewiston’s No. 1 singles player, senior Garrett Mack, pushed Edward Little’s Jonah Chen before Chen pulled off the 6-4, 7-5 victory.

“I was pleased. We were sort of up against it. A lot of new players at the beginning of the year, but saw a lot of improvement,” Lewiston coach Tom Leblond said. “I think one of the areas we need to get better at is our compete level, and just getting used to competition. I think in our first singles match and our first doubles match, kids got tight. Started to get close in the match, and they got to learn — they were just sort of guiding the ball instead of just trusting it. So we can do better it that area, just as far as our compete level and being able to concentrate through a whole match. But overall pleased.”

Vincent said he thought the overall match could have gone either way.

“Coming in today, it’s tough to beat a good team three times, and they have a solid team. Even up until the last minute there it was touch-and-go a little bit,” he said. “It’s good to get the win. It’s been a while, I think, since EL had a playoff win for tennis. I’d love to see another one.”

The Red Eddies now advance to a quarterfinal matchup with No. 2 Brunswick, which earned a bye past the preliminary round.

Related Headlines


Only subscribers are eligible to post comments. Please subscribe or to participate in the conversation. Here’s why.

Use the form below to reset your password. When you've submitted your account email, we will send an email with a reset code.