LEWISTON — Edward Little’s Mya Vincent took her semifinal loss to top-seeded Lidia Gomez in stride Monday at the state singles tennis tournament at Bates College.

Gomez, of Maine Central Institute, used her power and consistency to defeat Vincent 6-1, 6-0 to move to Monday afternoon’s final against No. 2 seed Coco Meserve of Brunswick. Gomez, a senior, then defeated Meserve in the final 6-4, 6-3, to claim the state championship.

“She’s just really solid,” Vincent, the No. 5 seed, said of Gomez. “It’s hard getting killed, but I shouldn’t feel bad — she’s really good.”

MCI coach John Buys said, although the score was lopsided, Vincent challenged Gomez throughout the match.

“I think it’s a testament to the quality of her opponent,” Buys said. “(Vincent) was a really good fighter and wasn’t afraid to put a lot of pace on the ball and try a different variety. (Gomez) was looking forward to this match, taking her punches in some of those early errors. She found the level she needed to play at.”

Kevin Vincent, Mya’s dad and the Edward Little girls tennis coach, said Mya hadn’t faced an opponent on Gomez’ level in high school competition in Maine. Mya did play against similar talent at a Dennis Van Der Meer tennis camp in Hilton Head, South Carolina, during April vacation.


“She did a pretty high-level camp down there and saw some great tennis, came back playing great. She’s still playing great,” Kevin Vincent said. “Again, you play that caliber player. This player that (Mya) just played, Lidia, would be even a standout down in South Carolina.”

The morning started well for Vincent. She won the first game of the opening set, going up 40-0 after Gomez hit a couple of balls out of play. Gomez earned a point to make it 40-15, but Vincent closed the game out on the next point.

“I was trying to stay solid and start as fast and as quick as I can,” Vincent said.

Buys said the key for Gomez for the rest of the first set was avoiding a speed race.

“She loves to go for it,” Buys said. “You watch her play — it’s fast tennis and hard tennis. Once in a while, I am like, ‘You can take some time and think about it.’ I think she can still play a hard, fast game and think. There are moments that I watch her, especially if she goes down a point or two, she takes her time a little bit and feels it. I encourage her to think like that.”

Vincent and Gomez had some long rallies throughout the match, and more often than not, Gomez came out on top to earn the points.


“I was trying to stay in there; I was trying to hit some good shots,” Mya Vincent said. “She also hits some awesome shots — it was tough.”

Kevin Vincent described the rallies as two boxers trading blows.

“When you are trading punches, there’s always one player who hits harder,” Kevin Vincent said. “I know for me, if I am in a fight or I am in a battle, I want to be the player hitting with the bigger punch. Today, (Mya) was battling and trading punches, but Lidia had the bigger punch.”

Gomez started to assert her dominance as the first set rolled on. Vincent earned points in games two through four in the first set, but Gomez won the fifth game, recording four straight points to take a 4-1 advantage.

Gomez then won games six and seven to take the first set.

“She got more consistent throughout the match; that was hard,” Mya Vincent said.


Gomez continued to roll in the second set.

Vincent had a few unforced errors, in part because she had little time to react to Gomez’s shot.

“I was trying to stay solid. The ball is coming at you quick, so it’s hard to decide what you are going to do with the ball,” Mya Vincent said.

Mya, a junior, hopes that the experience she gained from a long singles tournament run will benefit her next year.

“I am really proud of myself; I am happy I made it this far and I will continue to improve,” Mya Vincent said. “Next year, I hope I make it even farther.”

Kevin believes Mya can be the player to beat next season.

“We can take a lot (from this tournament),” Kevin Vincent said. “Mya last year made it to the quarterfinals, this year she made it to the semifinals, next year she’s going to win it. She’s going to keep getting better. We will go back to the drawing (board) and continue to work on strokes. (Lidia) had some big strokes, and next year, that’s what Mya is going to have — a bigger stroke, a bigger game. She’s going to come out here more (prepared).”

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