The Maranacook girls tennis team celebrates after it won the Class C South title on Monday in Portland. Mike Mandell/Morning Sentinel

PORTLAND — It’s an opponent that had tripped up the Maranacook girls tennis team for two straight years. This time, the Black Bears believed they had a trio of singles players to prevent it from becoming a third.

Led by the ninth-ranked player in the state in Claire Dwyer, a Round of 32 qualifier in Mary Hatt and a consistent winner at No. 3 singles in Cassidy McCormack, Maranacook has rolled past top opposition all year long. The Black Bears needed all three to come through Monday morning — and their trio delivered.

Maranacook swept singles play to claim a 3-2 victory over Waynflete in the Class C South championship match at Apex Racket and Fitness Center. The win avenged losses to Waynflete in the 2021 Southern Maine semifinals and a defeat to the Flyers at this same hurdle last year.

“We lost to them two years in a row; last year at regionals, so we knew it was going to be tough,” McCormack said. “This year, we came back in the exact same position, so to get it done this time, it’s really a rewarding moment.”

On the boys side, No. 2 Waynflete (11-2) claimed its 15th consecutive regional championship as it defeated fourth-ranked Carrabec (9-4) 5-0. Senior Luke Carey had the top performance on the day for the Cobras, falling to Henry Kerr 6-3, 7-5 in No. 1 singles play.

Hatt and McCormack rolled to victories for third-ranked Maranacook (13-2) in their respective second and third singles matches. Hatt defeated Waynflete’s Luccia Moraes 6-1, 6-1, and McCormack topped the Flyers’ Maeve Mechtenberg 6-2, 6-2 to give the Black Bears a pair of convincing victories.


No. 5 Waynflete (9-6), though, got wins in both doubles matches. Anna Farmer and Jenny Morrill prevailed 6-0, 6-0 over Ava Candage and Grace Tweedie at first doubles. Then, Elefa Angle and Sara Levenson edged Hayden Freeman and Molly Woodford 6-2, 7-5 in second doubles to set the stage for Dwyer and Lucy Hart to decide the match in No. 1 singles.

“You could really feel the energy out there on the court,” Hatt said. “We could feel it when Cassidy and I were playing and the other matches were going on, and then when we finished and were watching. You knew it was going to be close in the end.”

Indeed, the battle between Dwyer and Hart was the most intense all day. A back-and-forth first set saw the two hold serve for the first seven points before Dwyer got the break to go up 5-3. She then easily claimed her sixth point of the game to put Maranacook within one set of victory.

Hart would make her work for it. The two players combined for a half-dozen break points in a back-and-forth second set to bring the score to 5-5 with Hart holding serve. Dwyer then claimed the final break point to make it 6-5 before holding off Hart to seal a hard-fought win.

“It was tough, but I just had to tell myself to keep my head in it and take it one point at a time,” Dwyer said. “I played her last year at regionals, and playing her again, I knew it was going to be a good match. She’s an amazing player, and she made some amazing shots.”

The girls match marked third straight year that a Maranacook-Waynflete postseason battle has been particularly intense. Two years ago, it took a 7-6, 6-7, 6-4 win in No. 3 singles for the Flyers to pull out a 3-2 regional semifinal win over the Black Bears. Waynflete then beat Maranacook 3-2 again for the regional title last year.


Just like those matchups, there were nervy moments for the Maranacook players who could do nothing but watch and wait as they cheered on their teammate. This time, things finally went the way of the Black Bears as the team claimed the second regional title in program history (2018).

“We’re a pretty tight-knit team, and we’re really involved in each other’s lives and are very supportive of each other,” McCormack said. “We really wanted that for Claire and for our team. It was a great way to finish it.”

In a season that many Maranacook players earlier felt might be a rebuilding one after the losses of some key players from 2022, the Black Bears will instead play for the state title Wednesday at Bates College. That word, Hatt said, doesn’t apply now.

“It isn’t really a rebuilding year for us now because we didn’t even get this far last year,” the Maranacook senior captain said. “We have a chance to win one more. … With the way we’ve been working so hard this year, that would mean so much.”

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