WATERVILLE — The Waterville and Caribou high school boys tennis teams entered Wednesday morning’s Class B North regional final undefeated. Early in the match, it was apparent Caribou was just a little better across the board.

The Vikings cruised to the title, taking both doubles matches quickly. Soon after, Gabe Rand’s victory over Charlie Haberstock at third singles clinched the match for the Vikings, who wen on to claim a 5-0 victory at Colby College.

Waterville senior Soren Nyhus returns a shot during the Class B regional final against Caribou on Wednesday at Colby College.

“I wasn’t sure who my (opponent) was going to be, and I couldn’t really find anything on him. So I just went in hoping to play my best game and hoping for a W. And I got it,” Rand said.

It’s the first regional title for Caribou (15-0) since it won the state championship in 2008. The Vikings will face the winner of Thursday’s Class B South final between Cape Elizabeth and Freeport in the state championship Saturday morning at Lewiston High School. Top-seed Waterville finished 14-1.

This was a rematch of a regional semifinal match last season, won by Waterville, 3-2. Although that match gave Waterville some basic knowledge on the Vikings, it did not make up for Caribou’s overall experience.

“We played those guys last year, so I kind of knew what they had,” Waterville coach Rob Disch said. “Their experience came out today. As far as court awareness, they had a little edge on us. They know how to work the points.”

Caribou’s first doubles team of Sawyer Deprey and Bailey Griffeth took a 7-5, 6-0 win over Adam Livshits and Conrad Ayers. In the second doubles match, Seth Beidelman and Emerson Duplissie-Cyr beat Waterville’s Ben Danner and John Evans, 6-2, 6-1. Expecting the doubles teams to take care of their matches, Rand was confident he or fellow singles players Parker Deprey and Alec Cyr, could take a match and clinch the crown.

“Our doubles teams are really good this year. They’re four seniors, so they’re very experienced. We usually get a win at singles,” Rand said.

Rand took the first set, 6-0. Haberstock played well in the second set, challenging Rand before the Viking won, 6-4.

“I felt really good my first set. My drop shot were working really well. I was placing the ball really well. Second set, I was pretty tired. He was giving me a good run for my money,” Rand said.

Waterville senior Soren Nyhus eyes a shot in a singles match against Caribou in the Class B final Wednesday at Colby College.

At second singles, Cyr defeated Mohammad Ali Atif-Sheik, 6-2, 6-2. The closest match of the day came at first singles. Parker Deprey took the first set, 6-3, before Waterville senior Soren Nyhus evened the match with a 6-2 win in the second set. With the overall match already decided, they played a tiebreaker set, which Deprey won.

This was a season of improvement for Waterville, which also finished as regional runner-up last season. A number of players new to the game improved throughout, Disch said, and that bodes well for 2019. For Disch, who recently accepted the head coaching job of both men’s and women’s tennis teams at Thomas College, Wednesday’s match was his last as the Panthers coach.

“(The experience) will be huge going into next year for the guys. Unfortunately, I won’t be there. Guys that are newcomers to the game have come a long way,” Disch said.

Travis Lazarczyk — 861-9242

[email protected]

Twitter: @TLazarczykMTM

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