WATERVILLE — A couple of rookies helped the Erskine girls tennis team to its most important regular-season win in years Wednesday at Colby College.

Sophomore Regina Harmon won her match at third singles while junior Kayla Hubbard played a key role in the first doubles victory to lead the Eagles to a 3-2 win over perennially powerful Waterville.

Erskine finishes its regular season at 9-3 in Kennebec Valley Athletic Conference Class B play while Waterville finishes at 10-2.

“For our confidence, this is huge,” Erskine coach Ryan Nored said. “And that was what this was all about, our confidence, especially going into the playoffs.”

The Eagles clinched the match before the first and second singles took the court. Harmon defeated Clio Bazakas 6-3, 6-0 for the first win, then both doubles teams won. Hubbard combined with sophomore Paige Leary to defeat Sophie Weston and Mackenzie St. Pierre 6-4, 7-6 (7-4) at first doubles, followed by a 4-6, 6-3, 6-4 win by Annemarie Allen and Kaili Shorey over Nora Greene and Lauren Smith.

Harmon, who played only exhibitions her freshman year, ran her season record to 8-2 and has qualified for Friday’s Round of 48 in singles competition. She trailed her opening match 3-0 before reeling off 12 straight games. She doesn’t have a backhand because she doesn’t need one. When the ball goes left she switches her racket to her left hand and vice versa.


“I’m ambidextrous,” she said. “I can just hit with both hands.”

Nored discovered this talent last year when Harmon was just learning the game and decided to have her stick with it.

“Last year when she was learning I was soft-tossing balls and I had three balls in my hand,” Nored said. “One of them slipped out and she focused on that one and she switched over and took the forehand with her left hand so we just let her build off it. She’s quick at switching hands and she uses it.”

Hubbard didn’t begin playing tennis until February. Her plans to take up the sport were derailed when she tore her ACL in both her freshman and sophomore years playing soccer. The big brace on her right knee didn’t appear to hamper her mobility as she got to a number of balls on both sides of the court.

“I tried out for the team for the first time this year,” Hubbard said. “I love it, it’s so much fun. It’s all a big team thing. We’re a big family.”

The Purple Panthers won at first and second singles. Junior Samantha Saulter, who played second singles last year, defeated sophomore Elle Hodgkin — who qualified for the Round of 32 as a freshman — 6-1, 6-0 with a combination of steady ground strokes and a consistent serve to run her season record to 9-1. Junior Maggie Brock downed Cassidy Penney 6-3, 5-2 at second singles.


“Maggie is our most improved player this year,” Waterville coach Jill Cristan said.

Neither team started a senior. Waterville returned four veterans while Erskine graduated five starters.

“This year we kind of expected to be young,” Nored said. “A couple of them worked really hard (in the offseason) and came ready to play. I needed the girls to believe they could beat a good team.”

Waterville will play at unbeaten Camden Hills on Thursday for the KVAC championship. The Windjammers defeated the Panthers 4-1 in the regular season.

“Today’s match was a great match,” Cristan said. “Erskine played extremely well. Our singles have been solid, the doubles are just getting acquainted with each other. Camden will be a great challenge.”

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