Gardiner’s Haylie Peacock plays a first singles match against Maranacook last season in Readfield. Joe Phelan/Kennebec Journal

Double standards aren’t always fun. But that’s set to change, at least in Maine high school tennis.

For the first time since 1980, the Maine Principals’ Association is sponsoring a state doubles tournament, to be held concurrently with the singles’ event on May 18 and 20 at Bates College’s Wallach Tennis Center. Sixteen duos will qualify based on results of conference doubles tournaments, said Waterville girls co-coach Devin Lachapelle, the MPA’s coaches’ liaison for tennis.

“We’re making it so doubles players will get the opportunity to be in the spotlight a little bit,” Lachapelle said.

The state singles tournament also will have some tweaks. In addition to head-to-head and tournament performances, players will be seeded based on the UTR (Universal Tennis Rating) algorithm, a computer rating system that ranks players based on how they perform against a particular opponent. 

Coaches must enter players into the UTR in order for them to be considered for the state singles  tournament, Lachapelle said.

“The goal is to make the seedings for the singles tournament a little more accurate,” he said.


As far as teams go, Lachapelle’s Purple Panthers will be looking for a high seeding in this year’s tournament a year after they went 11-4 and reached the Class B North final. 

Although Waterville lost its top two singles players to graduation, Lachapelle’s roster has swelled to 26 players — including 13 freshmen — up from 10 last year. Jon Hart, Waterville’s other co-coach, is a seventh-grade teacher and began drumming up interest in the team two years ago, Lachapelle said. Waterville also launched a middle school club team last year.

Senior Arian Gilman, who was Waterville’s No. 3 singles player last year, moves up to No. 1, with junior Fatima Sheikh and sophomore Piper Hamilton rounding out the singles. Seniors Skylah Talon and Taylor Doane will be a No. 1 doubles.

In Class B South, Cony has beefed up its schedule a year after going 9-3 and winning the Kennebec Valley Athletic Conference team sportsmanship award. Coach Kirk Cooper is high on freshman Kira Gregor, who will battle sophomore Lilah Goldney for the No. 1 singles spot. 

“She is an unbelievable player,” Cooper said of Gregor. “I’ve been waiting for her to come on board for a while now.”

Senior Ayla Noftall returns at No. 3 singles for a fourth straight season. Senior Rekha Goonesekere, who was the Rams’ No 2 singles player for three years, will play at No. 1 doubles with Jessyca Nadeau, who returns after a year away from the program. Cony’s roster numbers 15 players, including about a half-dozen newcomers, Cooper said.


Gardiner returns five players from last year, including senior Haylie Peacock, the KVAC player of the year who reached the semifinals of the state singles tournament. Peacock “has worked tirelessly over the winter to improve on her finish last season,” second-year coach Guy Cousins said. Classmate Allison Foust is at No. 2 singles, while teammates Sage Sculli, Allison Brann and Keira Blodgett also return. 

“This is a great group of players,” Cousins said. “They have a good work ethic and are willing to put the time and work in to improving their game and have fun while they’re doing it.”

In Class C, Maranacook lost only one player from last year’s team that won the first state championship in program history. Junior Claire Dwyer — who finished last season ranked ninth individually in Maine — returns to a team that lost only one starter from 2023. 

After playing a KVAC schedule loaded with Class B teams last year, Maranacook switches to the Mountain Valley Conference this spring.

“We’re definitely really excited, and we have high expectations,” Dwyer said at the beginning of practice last month. “We have a lot of enthusiasm this year; we remember how great it felt to win that state championship last year. This year, we want to get better and make another run and, hopefully, win another state championship.”

Dwyer,  Cassidy McCormack and the doubles team of Hayden Freeman and Molly Woodford were all-KVAC second-team selections last year. They return, as does sophomore Grace Tweedie and junior Ace Candage, who earned wins in last year’s state final.


Messalonskee, which went 7-6 last year, has six seniors — Kirsten Frost, Heidi Quist, Brynn Lilly, Megan Kennard, Nar Peterson and Abigail Fortier — on its seven-player roster.

Skowhegan boys tennis No. 1 singles player Drake Turcotte hits a shot during practice last season at Memorial Park in Skowhegan. Rich Abrahamson/Morning Sentinel

On the boys’ side, Skowhegan is looking to complete some unfinished business a year after going 15-1 and claiming the Class A North title, the first regional crown in program history. Most of last year’s River Hawks return, including Drake Turcotte, who reached the Round of 16 in the state singles tourney and was a KVAC Class A second-team selection.

“We have a bunch of really great kids who are fun to coach and fun to be around,” second-year coach Dan Riley said at the start of spring practice. “You can already see the leadership on this team; we have five freshmen, and our seniors have already done a great job in these early practices of making them feel part of the team and helping them get better.”

Asa Stroman, who played No. 1 doubles last season with Cam Herrick, likely will have a new partner as Herrick is slated to move into No. 3 singles.

Thanks to a tough schedule that included eight matches against the top four teams in Class B North, Mt. Blue went 4-8 in 2023, but nearly upset second-seeded Brunswick in the regional quarterfinals before falling 3-2. 

Senior James Stinson, who reached the Round of 32 in the last year’s state singles tournament, will play at No. 1 for the Cougars, followed by classmate Tim Williamson at No. 2. Jose Gutierrez or Eli Hoeft will play at No. 3.


“We’re not star-powered, but we’re deep, if that makes sense,” 10th-year coach Zac Conlogue said. “Our 2 through 11 are (kind of) interchangeable. It should lead to us playing pretty well at doubles. We’ve just got figure out how to get some points at singles, which can be kinda tough sometimes.”

Hoeft and sophomore Lincoln Tierney were all-KVAC at No. 2 doubles last year. They’ll reunite at No. 1 should Gutierrez win the third singles spot. Seniors Jacob Caton, Jack Cramer and Aydrian Dakin all should see doubles action, Conlogue said.

In Class C, Maine Central Institute is going for its third straight winning season after fielding winners in consecutive years for the first time since 1996-97. The Huskies are moving to the South region after competing in the North last year.

MCI returns starters Hudson Holmstrom, Cole Allen, Landon Ross, Brady Rogers and Harry Holmstrom. Second-year coach Kyle Holmstrom anticipates three players from that group to claim singles spots. Spencer Maloney, Noah Ward, Tyson Thompson, Mark Ravellete, Lucas Phillips and Dillon Whitney are among the players who look to see doubles action.

Harry and Hudson Holmstrom were 2023 all-KVAC second-team doubles selections.

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