LEWISTON — For the second time ever, Mt. Blue will have a boys player move on to the Round of 16 of the MPA boys state singles tennis tournament.

Bernardo Tovar, the fifth seed, won his only match of the day, defeating Gabe Berman of Cape Elizabeth, 6-3, 6-0, in the second round of the tournament.

Tovar said he had trouble with his serves.

“I haven’t trained that much and I am not on my top level,” Tovar said. “I (will get better) as I continue playing.”

As a seeded player, Tovar had a first-round bye.

The only other Mt. Blue boys player to reach the second day of the tournament was Evan Backus in 2016.


“Bernardo has been playing awesome; it’s good to see him pull it out,” Mt. Blue coach Zac Conlogue said.

The other local seeded player, Mya Vincent of Edward Little, battled through to defeat Julia Barber of Erskine Academy, 6-3, 2-6, 1-0 (5), in the girls bracket.

“It was quite exhausting. I was nervous at the beginning and throughout the whole match,” Vincent said.

Barber, who beat Lexi Doten of Calais 6-0 in straight sets in the opening round, was a steady opponent for Vincent.

“(Julia) is an excellent athlete, she runs everything down,” Edward Little girls coach Kevin Vincent said. “She’s a very controlled, very calm and very good player.”



Mt. Blue’s Carson Zundel won his first-round match, against Abe Bouchard of Caribou, 6-4, 4-6, 1-0 (4). He then took on No. 9 seed Daniel Landry of Deering and lost 6-0 in straight sets.

“(Carson) was serving really well in the first round,” Conlogue said. “He figured his opponent out. Abe had a lot of spin on the ball — it took Carson a little bit to figure out. Once he got it, he was placing his shots well.”

James Stinson, also of Mt. Blue, lost to Jordan Clavette of Wisdom in the opening round, 6-3, 6-2.

“In James’ match, his opponent had been here before,” Conlogue said. “(Clavette) won a match last year, and James is a sophomore and new to it. It’s a good learning experience for (Stinson), and I am excited for his future.”

Jonah Chen of Edward Little won his first-round match against Arda Partilti of Lee Academy, 6-1, 6-1.

Chen’s second round match against Will Smith of Kennebunk was one of the last to go off and it was the last match to finish, just before 10 p.m. The two dueled it out but Smith prevailed, winning 6-1, 4-6, 1-0 (6).


“(Chen) was down in the first set and wasn’t playing his best and he found something in the second set, found his serve, found his rhythm and pushed it as far as he could,” Edward Little boys coach Greg Vincent said. “He came up a little short in the tiebreaker. He fought his heart out, they both did. It was a great match for both players,”

In the tiebreaker, the players played through a mist and Chen fell going for a ball. His body was starting to feel the effects of playing two matches.

“I thought he slipped but he was actually cramping up,” Greg Vincent said. “He actually had been cramping up for the part of the second set and it hit him in the (tiebreaker). I thought he injured himself, but it was more of a cramp.”

Edward Little’s Lucas Pawlina won his first-round match against Devon Polley of Erskine Academy, 6-2, 6-4. Pawlina fell in the second round to Quinn Federle of Yarmouth, 6-0, 6-1.

“It’s been a long time since we had two EL players in the round of 32,” Greg Vincent said. “They are both juniors so they’re both coming back next year. I think it’s a great learning experience and now they know what to expect. For each of them to win a first-round match and tough second round (opponents), but they battled. Next year, they will have that experience and I think it will pay off.”

Lewiston’s Gavin Bavis lost to Portland’s Dominic Wells, 6-1, 6-0, in the opening round.


On the girls side, Lewiston’s top player, Libby Forgues, lost to Falmouth’s Charlotte Williamson, 6-2, 6-3. Another Blue Devil, Emma Omiecinski, lost to Alyssa Conley of Windham, 6-0 in straight sets.

Mt. Blue’s Grace Bell lost in the opening round to Emma Lindsay of Greely, 6-0 in straight sets. Winthrop’s Sophie Blanco lost to Laura Mueller of Lincoln Academy, 6-2, 6-0.


Both top seeds advanced with ease in the second round after earning first-round byes. On the girls side, Lidia Gomez of Maine Central Insitute defeated unseeded Camdyn LaMarre of Messalonskee, 6-0, 6-1.

Gomez, a foreign exchange student from Spain, used a powerful serve and returns to dispatch LaMarre.

“The serve is coming right along; it’s right where it needs to be,” MCI coach Jocelyn Buys said. “The groundstroke is what I think I am most impressed with, her movements around those. She takes defensive points and turns them into offensive points.”

George Cutone, the boys’ No. 1 seed from Kennebunk, defeated Charles Segal of Greely, 6-0 in straight sets.


“He looked pretty solid, his serve was on. He was pressured by his opponent, who actually got several balls in play, and yet he still responded with some great shots,” Kennebunk coach Paul Gaylord said of Cutone. “When (Segal) attacked him, (Cutone) lobbed effectively.”


Lauren Chapman of Boothbay, an unseeded player, is moving on to day two. The freshman defeated Kayla Lockhart of Brewer, 7-5, 6-3, in the first round. In the second round, she defeated No. 12 seeded Ashlyn Bouchard of Caribou, 6-2, 6-2.

Bouchard is the lone seeded player not to move on to the Round of 16.

“I feel pretty tired, but I am grateful for the opportunity even to get to this point,” Chapman said. “It was definitely scary, but when I got warmed up, it was a ton of fun.”

There was one upset on the boys side as Issac Swain of Medomak Valley defeated No. 10 seeded Terry Ma of Thornton Academy. Swain also defeated Robbie Bennett of George Stevens Academy in the first round.

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