WATERVILLE — For the Round of 48 singles tennis championships at Colby College, central Maine had one of its nicest days of the spring.
And of course, like some elaborate joke being played on all of us, it turned out to be a tease.
The weather was gorgeous for about six hours, and it looked like all of Friday’s 64 scheduled matches would be completed. But lightning, thunder and rain arrived in the afternoon and play was suspended before some of the second-round matchups began. Play will resume from the point of suspension at 9 a.m. Saturday at Colby.
Two local players — Waterville’s Zack Disch and St. Dominic freshman Bethany Hammond of Belgrade — never got to take the court. Waterville’s Colleen O’Donnell, the No. 5 seed in the girls bracket, played her usual strong game to dispatch Lexi Epstein of Waynflete, 6-0, 6-2. Epstein defeated Presque Isle’s Hilary Boucher in three sets in a morning match.
“I didn’t know much about her going into it, but she was pretty good,” O’Donnell said. “She kept the ball in play, and she put pace on it, and she had a nice serve.”
O’Donnell’s match with Epstein began in sunny, almost muggy conditions, and ended with the weather cloudy, windy, and noticeably cooler.
“I didn’t really notice,” O’Donnell said, “and it’s nice when the sun goes behind a cloud.”
O’Donnell plays Saturday against the winner of a second-round match between No. 12 seed Sage Winter of Marshwood and Scarborough’s Megan Nathanson.
Hall-Dale’s Josh Peterson endured a lengthy match against Foxcroft’s Sam Keene. Peterson eventually prevailed, 3-6, 7-5, 6-4.
“I focused on his backhand a lot, and I was aggressive at the net,” Peterson said. “(He’d) sometimes chip the ball, so I attacked those.”
Peterson fell to Mt. Ararat’s Nick Mathieu, the No. 4 seed, in the second round by a 6-0, 6-0 score.
Alyssa White of Mt. Blue also had a marathon in her first match, holding off Fort Kent’s Lauren Doak, 5-7, 6-3, 7-5.
“We were pretty evenly matched,” White said. “It was just more of outlasting her.”
White was paired up with eighth-seeded Lena Rich of North Yarmouth Academy in the second round, losing 6-0, 6-0.
“This is my first year playing singles,” White said, “so it’s really great to be able to even just make it here — and even better to make it past the first round.”
Also winning a match on Friday was Monmouth’s Kasey Smith, who defeated Bangor’s Kenny Colpritt, 6-0, 7-6(1). Smith plays Waterville’s Disch in a second-round match Saturday.
The boys bracket was shaken up when No. 1 seed Justin Brogan of Falmouth had to depart his second-round match with an ankle injury. NYA’s Bryce Tetreault also upset the field, beating Caribou’s Brendan Cyr and then Oceanside’s Cameron Butler, the No. 8 seed. Mt. Blue’s Sullivan Abbott earned a first-round bye, but had to forfeit to Cape Elizabeth’s Eli Breed due to an injury.
Skowhegan’s Devin Lachapelle lost a tough match to Hampden’s Oakley Kilgour, 7-5, 4-6, 6-1. Mt. Blue’s Ike Doiron also put up a great fight before losing, 6-1, 6-7(8), 6-3 to Boothbay’s Nick Gorey. Lewiston’s Cole Ouellette eliminated Winthrop’s Alex Chamberland, 6-1, 6-2.
On the girls side, Hall-Dale’s Nicole Pelletier lost 6-2, 6-0 to Liv Clifford of Cape Elizabeth. Eryn Doiron of Mt. Blue dropped a 6-4, 6-2 match to Scarborough’s Laura Henny. Messalonskee’s Kassadi McPherson took the first set against Deering’s Maddie Abbott, but rebounded to win, 3-6, 6-2, 6-0. Hall-Dale’s Clio Barr was defeated in her second-round match with Caty Galligan of Cheverus, 6-3, 6-1.
With the postponements, Presque Isle’s Liam Hughes and Sara Gilson both defaulted their matches. While there is a chance of rain Saturday, conditions are supposed to clear up by late morning. But there’s definitely some uncertainty for players like O’Donnell as far as when they’ll be able to play. How will she prepare for that?
“I don’t really know,” O’Donnell said. “I show up when they tell me and hope everything’s on time.”