WILTON — The Spruce Mountain girls tennis team enjoys the confines of its home courts at Kineowatha Park on the shore of Wilson Lake.

It’s not so friendly to opponents, and the Phoenix try to use that to their advantage.

On Thursday, second-seeded Spruce Mountain defeated 10th-seeded North Yarmouth Academy 4-1 in a Class C South girls tennis quarterfinal match Thursday.

The Phoenix (9-2) advance to face third-seeded Maranacook (12-1) in the semifinals Saturday.

Kineowatha Park has only two courts, and opponents often aren’t used to waiting for their matches to start. It also forces teams to play 10-game pro sets rather than the normal best-of-three tiebreaker sets.

There are also other events in the park going on, creating background noise that visitors may not be accustomed to.


“This where we have played the last several years,” Spruce Mountain coach Mary Redmond-Luce. “We are used to all the chaos that happens around us during the match.”

The Panthers (4-10) also were shorthanded Thursday, with only six players instead of the seven needed to play three singles and two doubles matches.

NYA’s normal No. 2 singles player, Sasha Schutz, didn’t play. The Panthers forfeited No. 3 singles, giving the win to Spruce Mountain’s Aubrey Kachnovich.

“We didn’t have our full team today; we needed them today,” NYA coach Lorena Coffin said. “They had really good matches, the girls that played. I felt they all had pretty good matches.”

The Panthers’ lone win came in No. 1 singles, in which Emily Robbins defeated Leah Gilbert 10-8. Robbins was the only NYA player playing in her normal spot.

Emily Dubord and Ryleigh Castonguay of Spruce Mountain defeated Emma Gagnon and Gabi Muehle 10-0. The No. 2 doubles match was closer than the score, with multiple games going to deuce before the Phoenix won those crucial points.


Dubord and Castonguay also attacked the net with overhand smashes to earn some points.

“We do a lot of net play,” Dubord said. “It’s pretty important because not a lot of teams get the cheap ball over the net (for points).”

Kalia Godbey took No. 2 singles for the Phoenix, defeating Athena Gee 10-5 in a lengthy match that went back and forth for the first five games before Godboy took an 8-3 lead.

Gee fought back, winning two games in a row to cut the deficit to 8-5, but Godbey closed the match out by winning the following two games.

“It was definitely tiring; it was a good match,” Godbey said. “There was a lot of back and forth, but I think it came down to who could run down the other.”

Godbey’s win gave the Phoenix a 3-0 lead, clinching the team match and advancing them to the next round.


First doubles also was a back-and-forth contest. Spruce Mountain’s Ella Plourde and Mary Hamblin jumped out to an early lead, but NYA’s Lauryn Casey and Maddy Prokopius fought back to tie the match at 7-7.

Plourde and Hamblin, who attacked the baseline throughout the match, then won three straight games for a 10-7 win.

“(Casey and Prokopius) both played back a lot, so hitting the ball as far back as we could to the baseline was one of the big strategies that we needed to execute,” Plourde said. “Sometimes we did, sometimes we didn’t.”

Robbins jumped out to a 6-2 lead in first singles before Gilbert won five of the next six games to tie it at 7-7. Robbins went on another run, winning three of the following four games to earn the Panthers’ lone point.

Robbins used the corners to earn points.

“When I was set up for them, the deeper shots to the corners,” Robbins said. “I hit them out a lot, but when they were in (play), they were very good.”

Redmond-Luce said a competitive match was good a good test for Gilbert prior to Saturday’s semifinal match against the Black Bears.

“I think it was paramount Leah excelled and dug in and executed point by point like she needed to do,” Redmond-Luce said. “We are going to face Maranacook on Saturday, and my girls need to go in there knowing that their best game is a winning game.”

Related Headlines

Only subscribers are eligible to post comments. Please subscribe or login first for digital access. 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.