LEWISTON — The top seeds are through to the semifinals of the MPA state singles tournament.

Edward Little’s Mya Vincent had to survive and advance through the Round of 16 and quarterfinals at Bates College on Saturday, while Dartmouth-bound Xander Barber of Falmouth cruised once again.

Vincent needed a second-set rally in the quarterfinals to defeat Anne Alfaro of Greely. Vincent won 6-3, 7-5 to reach the semifinals for the second straight year.

Vincent was down 4-1 in the second set.

“My focus was all over the place and I was able to reset — hit balls to the middle and get back into the big rallies,” Vincent said.

Vincent said Alfaro was hitting hard and pretty consistent.


In the round of 16, Vincent defeated Ava Vardaros of Nokomis, 7-6 (8), 6-2. Vardaros brought some energy to most of the points and games she won.

“It was frustrating, but I can’t blame her for it,” Vincent said. “She did what she could, and I admire it.”

Barber said he just wanted to get through his two matches Saturday, which included defeating Skowhegan’s Drake Turcotte in the Round of 16 and Henry Kerr of Waynflete in the quarterfinals. Both matches were 6-1, 6-0.

“I was hitting some wide serves, but it was mostly getting through,” Barber said.

Barber said Kerr had a solid service game.

“He had a good serve, and he was putting on the serve mostly,” Barber said. “He’s a pretty good player.”


Kerr beat Yarmouth’s Andre Violette 4-6, 6-3, 6-3 earlier in the day.


The smile never left the face of Turcotte, a sophomore, during his Round of 16 match with Barber.

He had one goal against Barber, the eighth-ranked player in the country — just win a game — and he did that in the first game of the match. Barber’s serve went long to give Turcotte the first game and Turcotte let out a roar while Barber let out a joyous chuckle.

“I have never celebrated that hard for a game before,” Turcotte said.

Barber was the last player to arrive for the Round of 16 matches that started at 8:15 a.m. and didn’t have as much of a warmup as the other players. Barber won the next six games to take the first set 6-1 and won the second set 6-0.


Barber understands players want to face him.

“Obviously, a lot of these guys are excited to play against me, which is fun,” Barber said.

Turcotte said his game plan was to experiment and try some things. He tried a few in-between-the-legs shots.

“That was a part of the having fun,” Turcotte said. “I don’t normally hit those shots, but I had nothing to lose today.”


Just like in Friday’s first day of the tournament, there were more upsets on both sides of the draw Saturday to reach the semifinals.


Haylie Peacock, the sixth seed from Gardiner, defeated Amber Woods, the third seed from Scarborough, 6-1, 6-2.

It was the first time they faced each other.

“I have never played her, but she’s a great player,” Peacock said. “I have been talking to coaches and I have been worrying about my game. Obviously, I have been told she’s a great player and her backhand is so solid. I just came in and worried about myself.”

Peacock used her slice to gain points against Woods.

“I really tried to get my slices deep and consistent,” Peacock said. “That’s something me and my coach have been discussing a lot this season, is really utilizing the slice.”

Fifth-seeded Sofia Kirtchev of Falmouth was the first girl to reach the semifinals from Saturday’s action. She defeated 12th-seeded Sara Moulton of Washington Academy, 6-2, 6-0, in the Round of 16 and then defeated fourth-seed Olivia Guinard of Sanford in the quarters.


Kirtchev said her inside-out forehand was her strength on Saturday.

“It worked really well. I just tried to hit to (Guinard’s) backhand and that’s won me the most points,” Kirtchev said.

Guinard defeated Karin Zimba of Waterville in the Round of 16, 6-3, 6-0.

On the boys side, sixth seed Alberto Cutone of Kennebunk took out Tianyi Ma of Thornton Academy, the third seed, in the quarters, 6-4, 7-5.

“It was pretty back-and-forth. I took a lead in the first set and I won 6-4,” Cutone said. “I was up 2-1, 3-2 and 5-2, then 5-4, 6-4. In the second set, he broke me and held. I went down and got back up.”

Cutone defeated Gabe Berman of Cape Elizabeth, 6-1, 6-2, in the Round of 16. Ma defeated Jeff Adey of Waynflete, 6-1, 6-2, in the morning.


Cutone, a freshman, hopes to do what his brother, George, did last year and win the state singles title.


Sam Yoon of Falmouth, the boys second seed, defeated 10th seed Quinn Federle of Yarmouth in the quarterfinals, 6-3, 7-5. He also beat Logan Tardif of Waterville, 6-1 in straight sets.

“My groundstrokes were strong and keeping (the ball) deep,” Yoon said. “I was struggling on my serves, so I needed to turn that down.”

The other semifinalist is fourth-seeded Khang Duy Vinh Nguyen of Foxcroft Academy, who suffered body cramps in the final game of his quarterfinal match with unseeded Charles Segal of Greely. However, he got the last two points to earn the win. He won the three-setter, 2-6, 6-4, 6-4.

Duy Vinh Nguyen defeated Xavier Deschaine of Van Buren, 6-0 in straight sets, in the Round of 16. Segel took out Daniel Landry of Deering, the 12th-seed, 7-6 (5), 6-2 in the Round of 16.


On the girls side, second-seeded Coco Meserve of Brunswick defeated Zoe Castrucci of Hamden Academy, 6-4, 6-2, in the Round of 16. In the quarters, Meserve beat seventh-seed Becca Naftoly of Berwick Academy, 6-1, 6-4.

“Honestly, I had a lot of fun — that’s one of my favorite matches all season,” Meserve said of the Naftoly match. “We both were having really long rallies and she knew how to target, she knew how to make me move. I just had a lot of fun playing against her.”


Bates College will once again host the tournament beginning at 9:30 a.m. The semifinals for the boys are No. 1 Xander Barber vs. No. 4 Khang Duy Vinh Nguyen and No. 2 Sam Yoon vs. No. 6 Alberto Cutone.

On the girls side, it’s No. 1 Mya Vincent vs. No. 5 Sofia Kirtchev and No. 2 Coco Meserve vs. No. 6 Haylie Peacock.

Comments are not available on this story.