The Brunswick girls tennis team poses after it won the Class A North regional title, 3-2, over Hampden Academy on Tuesday in Lewiston. From left to right. Head coach Mary Kunhardt, Hazel Goodwin, Emily Davison, Sadie Levy, Lia Rand, Anna Barnes, Abby Sharpe, Coco Meserve, Ella Perham, and Logan Brown. Eli Canfield/The Times Record

LEWISTON — Coco Meserve pumped her fist as her Brunswick girls tennis team teammates clapped and let out emphatic shouts. All coach Mary Kunhardt could do was smile.

The Dragons were A North champs once again.

Top-seeded Brunswick edged No. 3 Hampden Academy 3-2 in the Class A championship match Tuesday morning. The Dragons swept all three singles matches to earn their first regional title since 2017. They will play either Falmouth or Kennebunk in the Class A state final Saturday at 8:30 a.m. at Lewiston High School. Those teams meet Wednesday in the Class A South final.

“It’s an awesome feeling, especially because over the course of the season we’ve become really close and have come together as a group,” Brunswick senior third singles player Ella Perham said after the A North title was secured.

Added Brunswick senior captain Lia Rand: “It wasn’t easy that’s for sure, I’m so proud of everyone who’s involved. Our hard work all season has paid off.”

Anna Barnes secured the first point of the day at second singles when she picked up a 6-0, 6-1 win over Annika Bragg. Perham won her match, 6-2, 6-2, over MacKenzie Patterson. Meserve secured the title with a 6-0, 6-0 win over Mikiko Frey.

Brunswick senior Coco Meserve on Brunswick bounces the ball before serving during the Class A North final against Hampden Academy on Tuesday in Lewiston. Meserve cruised to a 6-0, 6-0 victory over Mikiko Frey. Eli Canfield/The Times Record

“Anytime you win a regional title it’s definitely a great feeling,” said Kunhardt. “But we certainly had more challenges this season so this one is exciting.”

Hampden Academy swept the doubles matches. In first doubles, Ana Schmidt and Sam Quesnel downed Abby Sharpe and Rand, 6-4, 6-4. Chandler Smith and Ella Baldwin defeated Emily Davison and Sadie Levy, 6-1, 6-1.

Brunswick (13-1) jumped out to a 2-1 lead early on after wins from Barnes and Perham and the loss from Davison and Levy. After Rand and Sharpe dropped a hard-fought match, all eyes were on Meserve and Frey, with a spot in the Class A state title up for grabs.

“We all have confidence in one another, and this wasn’t an exception,” said Rand.

Meserve overpowered Frey and finished her off with a forehand down the line.

Barnes had little trouble dispatching Bragg, while Perham kept Patterson moving around throughout the match to tire her out.

Anna Barnes of Brunswick leaps off the ground to watch her forehand glide over the net during Tuesday’s Class A North final match against Hampden Academy in Lewiston. Barnes defeated Anikka Bragg 6-0, 6-1. Eli Canfield/The Times Record

“We all have different playing styles, which can make us effective,” said Perham. “I just wanted to keep my opponent moving and get everything back.”

It was an unusual spring sports season, with teams across the state having their schedules routinely altered because of COVID-19 safety measures. The Dragons were no exception, having played just five regular season matches with a full squad.

“Everyone had to deal with something this season and we know that,” said Perham. “We just fought through it like the rest of the teams.”

Both teams dealt with tough conditions Tuesday as temperatures reached 90 degrees by 9 a.m.

“In situations like this you have to keep in mind it’s hot for both teams, something I made sure to emphasize to the girls,” said Kunhardt, whose team reached the top .

The temperatures didn’t seem to matter for the Dragons.

“When it’s hot you don’t want to move your feet, we were definitely bogged down a little bit,” said Rand.

The Dragons will be going for their first team state championship since 2013, and their fifth since 1983. They also erased the sour taste of losing in the 2019 regional final (4-1 to Lewiston)

“Being here two years ago and falling short was tough, then we all know what happened last season,” said Rand. “I didn’t even know if we’d have a season, it just feels so good when you consider everything that has transpired.”

Added Perham: “We’re definitely all really excited for the opportunity and ready to give it our best. To make it this far is certainly a huge accomplishment on its own.”

 

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