WATERVILLE — The Waterville boys tennis team was a match away from seeing its undefeated season come to an early end. But the Purple Panthers had plenty of life left.

Josiah Bloom already had a win at third singles in the bank, and Charlie Haberstock and Owen Evans had leads at first and second singles, respectively. It was all No. 1 Waterville needed, as Evans won his match, Haberstock won his and the Panthers finished off a 3-2 victory over No. 4 Medomak Valley in the Class B North semifinals.

When Evans completed his 6-2, 6-2 win, the rest of the players, coaches and fans gathered around the No. 1 singles court, where Haberstock held a 4-1 lead after winning the first set 6-1. The match came down to a volley that saw Coleman Swain hit an impressive return over his head back to Haberstock, only for the senior lefty to smash it back for match point.

“There’s definitely a lot of pressure. I’m not someone who particularly loves pressure, so my heart’s always beating fast,” Haberstock said. “It’s not my favorite situation to be in, but you’ve just got to think about the team and mostly stay positive out there.”

Waterville (14-0) got the first win of the day when Bloom won 6-2, 6-4 at third singles, but Medomak Valley gained the upper hand when first the second doubles team of Noah Ludwig and Jack Duncan won 7-6 (6), 6-3, and then when the first doubles group of Ian Doughty and Zan Nguyen won 5-7, 7-6 (6), 6-2.

Evans knew the situation, that his match and Haberstock’s were suddenly must-wins. Even with that pressure, he didn’t panic.

“I looked over and saw that Charlie was up 4-1 in the first set. That felt pretty good,” he said. “And then I saw he was up 4-1 in the second set too, and then I kind of put it in cruise control.”

Going after Isaac Swain’s backhand, Evans pulled away after taking a 3-2 lead in the second set. He won the next game, broke Swain’s serve, then wrapped it up on the last game.

Moments later, Haberstock made the win official.

“It feels awesome,” Bloom said. “It feels great to make a run in the playoffs. I hope we keep winning.”

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