Maranacook’s Claire Dwyer warms up with Waterville’s Karin Zimba before a girls tennis match on May 11 at the North Street courts in Waterville. Michael G. Seamans/Morning Sentinel

LEWISTON — Before they help their teams compete for hardware in next month’s playoffs, Maine’s best will compete for the title of the state’s top boys and girls individual players in the days to come.

The state singles tournament is set to begin Friday at Bates College’s Wallach Tennis Complex. Fifty-two boys and 52 girls will be in Lewiston to compete with new champions set to be crowned in both fields.

Edward Little’s Mya Vincent (No. 1) and 2022 runner-up Coco Meserve of Brunswick (No. 2) enter as the top two seeds in the girls field. Rounding out a strong top five are Amber Woods of Scarborough, Olivia Guinard of Sanford and Sofia Kirtchev of Falmouth, all contenders to make it all the way.

“Olivia missed the tournament last year, but I’ve seen her play, and she can hit with the best of them,” said Scarborough girls head coach Lincoln MacIsaac. “Amber played (Sofia) last Monday, and it went three sets. You’ve got some really good players at the top, and they’re all going to be tough to beat.”

The list of seeded girls players also includes three 2022 Round of 16 contestants; Haylie Peacock of Gardiner (No. 6), Laura Chapman of Boothbay and Charlotte Williamson of Falmouth (No. 11). Other seeded entrants are Greely’s Anna Alfaro (No. 8), Maranacook’s Claire Dwyer (No. 9), Berwick Academy’s Becca Naftoly (No. 10) and Washington Academy’s Sarah Moulton (Mo. 12).

Some unseeded players, though, could also pull some surprises. The first-round matchup between Thornton Academy’s Nora Hill and Kennebunk’s Andie Lamontagne, MacIsaac said, is one to watch. Falmouth’s Gracyn Mick and Mt. Blue’s Gracie Ross could also be in the mix.


“(Hill and Lamontagne) are two players who both play an athletic style of tennis, so that’s going to be a fun one early in the morning,” MacIsaac said. “I think you see a bunch of matchups like that. There are a bunch of players where you look and say, ‘Hey, they could really turn the brackets upside-down on people.’”

On the boys side, No. 1 seed Xander Barber of Falmouth enters as the clear favorite as the United States Tennis Association’s top-ranked junior player in New England and the 10th-ranked junior in the United States. The Navigators also boast the No. 2 seed in the tournament in sophomore Sam Yoon, who was a semifinalist last year. 

Skowhegan singles player Drake Turcotte prepares to hit a return shot during a Class A North quarterfinal match on June 2, 2022 against Mt. Ararat in Skowhegan. Joe Phelan/Kennebec Journal

“(Xander is) big, he’s strong, and he can hit with a lot of pace; he does just about everything,” Falmouth boys head coach Bob McCully said of Barber, who stands at 6-foot-6. “Sam was in the top four last year against George Cutone in the 1-4, and I think he would have been competitive in the 2-3 matchup.”

Thornton Academy’s Tianyi Ma, Foxcroft’s Khang Duy Vinh Nguyen and Deering’s Daniel Landry round out the top five. Other seeded players are Kennebunk’s Alberto Cutone (No. 6), brother of 2021 and 2022 winner George, and Mt. Desert Island’s Weston Granholm (No. 7) and Max Friedlander (No. 9), the latter of whom was a quarter finalist last year. 

Notable unseeded players include 2022 Round of 16 qualifier Koa Barrett of Ellsworth, Drake Turcotte of Skowhegan and Jacob Scrapchansky of Brunswick. Should Turcotte and Scrapchansky win their first-round matchups, it would set the stage for a rematch of a thrilling showdown between the two Wednesday that finished in the snow.

“That was a great match,” said Scrapchansky, who defeated Turcotte on a third-set tiebreaker. “He’s a great player, and we had some great back-and-forths. With singles, you really don’t know what to expect because the guys are from all over, and you haven’t met a lot of them.”

Round of 16 and quarterfinal matches Saturday will follow Friday’s first-round and Round of 32 matches. The semifinal and championship matches are scheduled for Monday, May 22.

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