PORTLAND — After falling in the semifinals of the Maine Principals’ Association tennis singles tournament a year ago, Falmouth’s Julia Brogan was trying to advance to the finals. She did, but it took a tough win over talented Bethany Hammond, a St. Dominic junior, in front of a large and loud crowd at the Portland Tennis and Fitness Center on Monday morning.

Brogan, the three seed, beat No. 2 Hammond, 6-2, 7-6 (7-3 in the tiebreaker) to move on to the finals. Brogan went on to defeat Rosemary Campanella of Wells, 6-1, 6-0, to win the title.

“I haven’t played Bethany in a really long time. We used to train together a lot. She’s a great player. We’re always going to have really close matches. I enjoyed playing her,” Brogan said after the match with Hammond.

For Hammond, a Belgrade native, this was the third straight trip to the semifinals. Hammond lost in the finals last year to Falmouth’s Olivia Leavitt.

“I think it’s up to heart and will at this point. Both of us really wanted to advance to the finals. Julia’s a great player. She deserves it,” Hammond said.

Brogan won the first set, 6-2, setting up a tight, back-and-forth battle in the second set. Brogan and Hammond traded the lead three times before Hammond had a 5-4 lead and a chance to win the set, before Brogan rallied to take the point. Hammond went ahead 6-5, and once again, Brogan fought back to tie, sending the set to the tiebreaker.

“I really tried to keep it to her backhand, and move in. She has a really good slice shot with her backhand, so I tried moving in and taking it early so I could just move her. I really tried to utilize angles throughout the match,” Brogan said.

Brogan also gained inspiration from what she saw happen a few courts over in the other semifinal. Top-seed Lana Mavor of Yarmouth tried to play through a back injury, but retired down 4-0 in the first set to Campanella. With that match ending quickly, Brogan didn’t want hers to become a drawn-out, three-set affair.

“After seeing that court one defaulted, I really didn’t want to go to a third set because I didn’t want to be tired. I was really trying to get it over with as quickly as possible,” Brogan said.

With the first set tied 2-2, Brogan went on a roll to take control and win the set, then won the first game of set two. That’s when Hammond found her fire. Throughout the second set, Hammond often shouted to herself after winning a key point.

“It’s usually when I get fired up, I play better. I just need to play one point at a time, and treat every match like it’s the last match,” Hammond said.

With the loss, Hammond’s tennis attention is now focused on the upcoming team tournament, where she’ll lead St. Dominic in the Class C South tournament. The Saints (12-0) are the top seed and will face No. 8 Madison (4-8) on Thursday.

“The team’s done really well. I couldn’t be part of a better team. Overall, it’s been a great season for me,” Hammond said.

Travis Lazarczyk — 861-9242

[email protected]

Twitter: @TLazarczykMTM


Only subscribers are eligible to post comments. Please subscribe or to participate in the conversation. 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.