PORTLAND — Waterville’s Colleen O’Donnell is a regular standout at the Round of 48 boys and girls singles tennis tournament. For the third straight year, O’Donnell advanced to the final 16.

This year, she’s not the only Purple Panther still going strong.

O’Donnell, the No. 3 seed, and fourth-seeded Tiffany Suchanek each won their only matches Saturday at the Racket & Fitness Center to advance to the Round of 16. Olivia Lopes, who plays third singles for Waterville and was unseeded in the tournament, won both of her matches to also advance to the Round of 16.

“I haven’t had this before, since I’ve been in high school,” O’Donnell said of Waterville’s trifecta. It’s nice. People talk about us.”

Lopes’ second win was against No. 9 seed Pauline Liebig of Hampden. Lopes won fairly handily (6-2, 6-1) but O’Donnell wasn’t surprised.

“I knew she’d do fine,” O’Donnell said. “It was weird to me that she didn’t have a seed this year.”

“We have such strong singles players, so it always helps to play them,” Lopes said.

Messalonskee Jai Aslam was the only other central Maine player to advance to the Round of 16. Aslam, the No. 9 seed on the boys side, breezed to a 6-1, 6-0 win over North Yarmouth Academy’s Bryce Tetreault. When the tournament continues Monday at Bates College, Aslam will face No. 8 seed Isaac Salas of Waynflete in a 9 a.m. match.

O’Donnell posted a 6-1, 6-0 victory over Lewiston’s Kirsty Beauchesne. Earlier in the day, Beauchesne defeated Presque Isle’s Kayla Girardin, 6-1, 6-3, but O’Donnell was not there to watch that match.

“I had never heard of her before, so I just wanted to go in not knowing much,” O’Donnell said. “It makes me less nervous.”

O’Donnell has a 10:30 a.m. match Monday against Brunswick’s Ali Stankiewicz. On Saturday, Stankiewicz beat Lan Zhou of Cheverus, 6-4, 6-2.

Suchanek beat Winthrop’s Amber Pritchard, 6-0, 6-0. Suchanek, a freshman, said she talked to Lopes and O’Donnell about what to expect at the tournament.

“(They said) just to try your best and try to get as far as you can,” Suchanek said. “The girl was good — she was really good. I think I played pretty well, and I’m excited for my next match.”

Suchanek’s next match will be with Abby Blakeley of Camden Hills at 9 a.m., Monday. Blakeley defeated Caty Galligan of Cheverus, 6-1, 6-7 (7), 6-4 Saturday.

Pritchard had a tough morning match with Sarah Smith of Calais. Pritchard finally prevailed, 7-6 (5), 6-4.

“She’s a great player,” Pritchard said of Smith. “She had an amazing backhand, and I haven’t seen that strong a backhand within my region.”

Lopes earned her first win early in the morning by taking a 6-2, 6-0 decision over Lincoln’s Leslie Sandefur. Against Liebig, Lopes went up 5-0 in the first set and 4-0 in the second set. By the end of the match, Liebig was hitting several balls into the net, and Lopes finished off the win with an ace just inside the line.

“Just consistency was my big thing during the last part of that match, for sure,” Lopes said. “Usually, at the end of the match, people are getting tired, and it’s just harder to get the strokes right, and keep getting balls back in play. But that was just my strategy — to keep getting balls back in play.”

After winning an 8:30 a.m. match Saturday, Lopes plays No. 8 seed Shashanna Moll of Belfast at 9 a.m., Monday. Moll beat Deering’s Molly Abbott, 6-2, 6-0, on Saturday.

Cony’s Dallas Clark won a hard-fought first-round match against Erskine’s Zhong McClure 6-2, 4-6, 6-1.

“It was pretty close,” Clark said. “We had some really good points. He’s got a really good first serve, but I got to the net a lot and won a lot of points there.”

Clark then lost 6-0, 6-0 to No. 6 seed Peter Higgins of Cape Elizabeth.

“He was really good,” Clark said. “he had everything.”

Also earning a win on Saturday was Savannah Swain, who plays No. 3 singles for Mt. Blue. Swain took a 6-4, 6-2 decision over Brewer’s Ashley Gibula before losing 6-0, 6-0, to NYA’s Lena Rich.

“It was really fun,” Swain said of the match against Gibula. “The girl hit really well. I really enjoyed playing her. When she hit it hard, it was really good to the baseline. She had a good slice, and she returned almost everything. I just returned a lot of balls. That’s what I do.”

Mt. Blue’s Mackenzie Conlogue nearly made it two Cougars in the second round, but lost a 2-6, 6-3, 7-6 (4) heart-breaker to Ellsworth’s Ina Maloney.

Five other local players lost in the first round. Hall-Dale’s Spencer Shagoury fell 6-1, 6-2 to York’s Jack Lawlor, and Hall-Dale teammate Derek Vigue lost 6-0, 6-0 to Deering’s Tyler Butler.

Monmouth’s Kasey Smith lost 6-0, 6-1 to Falmouth’s Aiden McGrory, who then won again to advance to the round of 16. Maranacook’s Kelby Mace dropped a 7-5, 6-2 decision to Oceanside’s Cameron Butler, who also advanced to the round of 16.

Madison’s Dylan Price lost to York’s Andrew LaMonica, 6-1, 6-2.

Matt DiFilippo — 861-9243

[email protected]

 

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