WATERVILLE — On their second consecutive trip to the Eastern Maine Championship the Mount Desert Island High School girls’ varsity tennis team would not be denied, defeating Caribou High School 3-2.
“It’s so great!” said senior tri-captain Ivy Wallace, who logged the first MDI victory at second singles. “We were here last year and it did not work out too well, and this is my fourth year on the team, so it’s just really great way to end my senior year.”
Wallace defeated Caribou’s Conner Spencer 6-3, 6-1.
After the first round of matches, it seemed the Trojans would be cruising to victory, winning all five pairings. Sarah Phelps won 6-3 at first singles, Maeve Geary 6-3, first doubles team Ellie Bridgers and India Janes won 6-2 and second doubles team Emily and Olivia McCarthy won 7-6 (9-7 tiebreak).
But Caribou would not go quietly as first singles player Gabrielle Marquis came back to defeat Phelps 6-0 in the second set, and first doubles Ashley Metlock and Ciara Richards came from behind to best Bridgers and Janes 7-5.
“It was definitely nerve-wracking,” said Coach Ben Rowell, “After the McCarthy’s pulled out the win in their [first] set it was like whew, okay, we got all the first sets, so we were at least giving ourselves a chance.”
Senior Maeve Geary would take the victory at third singles, defeating Caribou senior Makayla Bouchard 6-4 in her second set.
But Caribou quickly responded as Marquis defeated MDI’s Phelps 6-2 in the third set, putting MDI’s lead at 2 – 1 overall.
As the sun climbed higher, a nervous MDI crowd watched the doubles matches progress. Twenty long minutes later, the McCarthy duo would seal the victory for the Trojans, winning their second set 6-1.
Bridgers and Janes went on to be defeated 6-1, making the final team match score 3-2.
The victory is the first Eastern Maine Championship for MDI girls’ tennis since 1993. When asked about the long drought Rowell said, “This definitely feels great. Thinking about all those teams that we’ve brought here, and always had our opportunity. We’ve never felt like we were outmatched – we’ve always brought strong teams and just never had the opportunity to get past.”
MDI will face the winner of Lincoln Academy and Greely for the State Championship. The match is scheduled for this Saturday, June 13 at 9:15 a.m. in Lewiston.