LEWISTON — Brady Kilby usually plays doubles, but the Edward Little sophomore ended up moonlighting as a singles player on a windy and cold Friday afternoon at Lewiston High School.

The Red Eddies (2-1) didn’t have enough athletes to man both doubles teams, so Kilby not only stepped up, but won his No. 3 singles match to help Edward Little notch a 3-2 victory over rival Lewiston (0-1).

Kilby fought a two-hour battle with Lewiston’s stubborn Everett Mailhot before the exhausted sophomore slipped away with a 1-6, 7-6 (6-3), 6-3 victory.

Kilby said he enjoys playing doubles more than singles because there is less running.

“At first, I felt like I was going to lose,” Kilby said. “I am playing a normal singles player, but right after the first match, they all went to deuces so I knew I could get back in.

“Right after that first set, Coach (Greg Vincent) told me, ‘Just play it soft. (You) don’t need to do too much. Just hit it short. Make him hit a bad shot.’ It was a really good match.”

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Vincent pointed out that the Red Eddies’ strength is their singles players.

“Our doubles are coming along, but I told the guys it would be tough and an uphill battle,” Vincent said. “They still went out and worked hard. We lucked out. We got little lucky today, for sure.”

Vincent said with a few players being declared ineligible for the match, Kilby got the call and came through for the Red Eddies.

“He stepped up and won a huge match for us — incredible, really,” Vincent said. “He came back from losing the first set 6-1 and won the next two, which in high school tennis is pretty rare. He stayed with it, he kept his head in it and he kept working hard and never gave up.

“Both players played great, and it came down to a couple of points here and there.”

Lewiston coach Tom LeBlond said he thought Mailhot would prevail in his showdown with Kilby.

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“We thought we had the third singles,” LeBlond said. “(Mailhot) was going well in the first set, but our player got into a pattern where he just kept on hitting the ball back to his forehand all the time. He wasn’t moving (Kirby) around like he could. 

“He had a lot of opportunities. The player he was playing against just sort of pushes the ball back, which is good. He is keeping the ball in play, but our player was maybe just little bit too predictable. You’ve got to be able to move him around the court (with) different shots and try to draw him in …”

It took all three Edward Little singles players to pull off victory, considering the Red Eddies were already behind the eight ball.

No. 1 singles player Jonah Chen was the first to depart the court with a victory, beating Gavin Bavis 6-3, 6-3. Chen, a soft-spoken junior who lets his racquet do most of the talking, was all business.

“We had a couple of guys who were ineligible, unfortunately, today, but I just played the best I could with the support I had,” Chen said. “It was a great match, overall.”

The No. 2 singles match also became a long engagement between Edward Little’s Luke Pawlina and Lewiston’s Ben Cloutier, with Pawlina collecting 7-6 (6-2), 6-2.

“It was  a very long match,” Pawlina said. “I just got a little looser in the second set, and other than that, consistency (worked), I guess. (Cloutier) was pretty tough.”

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