READFIELD — The Maranacook girls tennis team entered this spring with a few question marks after the loss of seven seniors to graduation.

Those questions have all but disappeared now, with the No. 3 Black Bears off to the C South championship.

Playing in temperatures that reached the mid-90s Thursday afternoon, Maranacook rolled to a 5-0 victory over No. 7 North Yarmouth Academy in a Class C South semifinal.

“I’m so excited,” said Maranacook senior Mary Hatt, who beat NYA’s Athena Gee 6-2, 6-2 in second singles. “We weren’t sure we were going to make it this year, with a big rebuilding year. We lost seven seniors (from last year). It really hasn’t been much of a rebuilding year. We’ve been playing great. I’m very excited we’ve made it to this point.”

“I’m going to have to call this my ‘Dream Team’ now,” joked Maranacook head coach Louis Gingras. “I’m excited. I did think it was going to be a rebuilding year, but with Mary and Claire (Dwyer) as our anchors, we’re tough.”

It’s a return trip to the regional final for Maranacook (12-2), which fell 3-2 to Waynflete in the C South final last year.


The Panthers finished 6-8.

The Black Bears made quick work of NYA. Grace Tweedie and Ava Candage beat Sasha Schutz and Haley Hegarty 6-2, 6-2 in first doubles, while Hayden Freeman and Molly Woodford beat Lexi Sharp and Gabi Muehle 4-6, 6-0 (10-4) to win at second doubles.

Hatt helped secure the team win, battling the heat to beat Gee.

Maranacook’s Mary Hatt plays a second singles match against NYA during the Class C South girls tennis semifinals Thursday in Readfield. Joe Phelan/Kennebec Journal

“I honestly wanted to get (the match) done as quickly as possible,” Hatt said. “I am not the best in the heat. The longer I’m out there, the worse I get. I just try to just keep (it moving), because at a certain point, I crash. I was almost there this match, but I pulled it together.”

The afternoon rounded out with a 6-0, 6-1 Dwyer victory over Greta Tod in first singles, and a 6-3, 6-3 win for Cassidy McCormick over Emily Robbins in third singles.

“(The strategy) is just get the ball back, move your opponent, try not to move yourself,” Dwyer said. “You try to take some power off (shots) to (conserve) energy. Take a step back a little bit, but at the same time, play how I normally play.”

Dwyer said she’s proud of her team’s progress.

“We’re a machine, I’d say, we’re pretty in-sync with each other,” Dwyer said. “We know what (teammates) want to hear, we encourage them. We work really well together (as a team), that’s the best thing.”

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