MDI’s Avonlea Brown competes in a doubles match against Ellsworth on May 20 at Ellsworth High School. The MDI girls’ team, which is currently ranked second in Class B North at 11-1, has won 11 consecutive matches. ISLANDER PHOTO BY MIKE MANDELL

MDI, Ellsworth tennis teams battle; local players compete in singles tourney

Mount Desert Island’s Austria Morehouse competes in a high school girls’ tennis match against Ellsworth on May 20.

ELLSWORTH — With May turning to June, the Maine high school tennis season has reached the next stage.

The regular season concluded with a series of tight battles between strong Ellsworth and Mount Desert Island teams last Thursday in Ellsworth and Monday in Bar Harbor. Select players from both schools also competed in the state singles tournament held over the weekend in Lewiston.

Last Thursday, the MDI boys’ and girls’ teams claimed hard-fought road victories over Ellsworth. The 3-2 wins, which came after the scheduled match between the two at Ellsworth High School was postponed from Tuesday as a result of inclement weather, gave both MDI squads boosts in the Class B North standings.

On the girls’ side, MDI got a No. 1 singles win from Lelia Weir (8-1) and No. 2 and No. 3 doubles wins from the duos of Jane Pope and Julia Perconti (8-0) and Avonlea Brown and Olivia Chandler (8-4), respectively. Ellsworth got wins in No. 2 singles from Sierra Andrews (8-4) and No. 3 singles from Megan Jordan (8-3).

In boys’ play, MDI got wins in No. 1 singles from Weston Granholm (8-3), No. 2 singles from Finn Seyffer (8-0) and No. 2 doubles from Jameson Weir and Moses Lincoln. Tate Carter claimed an 8-4 win in No. 3 singles for Ellsworth, which got a No. 1 doubles win from Kai and Koa Barrett (8-4).

“Before the year, we had three or four kids that could have really helped us that didn’t join the team,” said MDI head coach Dan Granholm. “For us to do super well despite that, I’m very happy.”

MDI’s Jack Hodgdon competes in a boys’ singles match against Ellsworth on May 20 at Ellsworth High School.

The Ellsworth boys avenged their defeat Monday with a 3-2 victory over MDI in Bar Harbor. Liam Stephenson (No. 2 singles, 8-2), Kai and Koa Barrett (No. 1 doubles, 8-6) and Dallas Flood and Owen Frank (No. 2 doubles, 9-7) claimed wins for the Eagles, and Granholm (No. 1 singles, 8-3) and Jack Hodgdon (No. 3 singles, 8-6) earned victories for the Trojans. Both teams concluded the regular season at 9-3.

MDI’s girls’ team completed a season sweep over Ellsworth on Monday with another 3-2 win. The Trojans (11-1) got wins from Weir (No. 1 singles, 8-1), Pope and Perconti (No. 1 doubles, 8-0) and Brown and Chandler (No. 2 doubles, 8-4), and the Eagles got 8-3 victories from Andrews (No. 2 singles) and Jordan (No. 3 singles).

Prior to the matches against MDI, the Ellsworth girls’ team had yet to be beaten all season. But the Trojans, who had momentum of their own as they entered last Thursday’s contest with a nine-game winning streak, were able to use their strength in doubles play to crack the Eagles’ winning formula.

“My doubles teams have kind of been our secret ace in the hole this year,” Granholm said. “Our duo of Jane and Julia, they’re seniors who just started playing this year, but they have this special bond that’s hard to break. They haven’t lost all year.”

Ellsworth and MDI also sent multiple players to Lewiston High School over the weekend for the state singles tournament. Hancock County players combined for three wins with the Eagles’ Kai Barrett and the Trojans’ Lelia Weir and Weston Granholm advancing to the Round of 32.

Ellsworth’s Barrett claimed a 6-3, 6-4 win over Mount Blue’s Kaden Allen in the opening round before falling 6-2, 6-0 to No. 12 overall seed John Flynn of John Bapst. Weir (6-1, 6-0 over Maranacook’s Paige Rice) and Granholm (6-0, 6-0 over Mount Blue’s Mike Ferrari) won decisively before falling to Round of 32 defeats.

MDI’s Marshall Reiff returns serve during a high school boys’ tennis match against Ellsworth on May 20 at Ellsworth High School.

“I was super excited that we were able to bring three kids for that tournament, and it was great for me as a first-year varsity coach to be able to see that whole scene,” Granholm said. “They performed so highly, and they learned so much.”

As of Tuesday night, the Ellsworth and MDI boys’ teams were slated to host opening-round playoff matches as the No. 5 and No. 6 seeds, respectively. MDI’s girls’ team had leapfrogged Waterville for the No. 1 spot, two places ahead of Ellsworth.

Postseason matchups will be announced once the standings have been finalized. The first playoff contests are tentatively scheduled for Tuesday, June 1.

Mike Mandell

Mike Mandell

Mike Mandell is the sports editor at The Ellsworth American and Mount Desert Islander. He began working for The American in August 2016. You can reach him via email at [email protected]

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