AUGUSTA — Indoors or outdoors, hot or cold, it doesn’t matter. The Maranacook girls tennis team is going to find a way to win.

The top-seeded Black Bears rolled to a 5-0 sweep of No. 5 Hall-Dale in a Class C South semifinal Wednesday at the A-Copi Tennis and Sports Center. With possible rain in the forecast, Maranacook coach Louis Gingras moved the match to the indoor facility rather than take any chances.

The rain turned out to be a no-show, but Maranacook (12-1) certainly showed up, dispatching Hall-Dale in barely two hours even though A-Copi had only four courts available for the five matches. 

The move indoors was fine with the defending Class C champion Black Bears, including No. 1 singles player Claire Dwyer, who swept the Bulldogs’ Jenna Lee, 6-0, 6-0.

“It’s so much easier,” said Dwyer, who said she grew up playing indoors and is more used to it. “Indoors is my specialty; I like it better.”

Teammate Grace Tweedie, who defeated Grace Leach 6-4, 3-6, 6-2 at No. 3 singles in the day’s only three-set match, also gave indoor play a thumbs-up, which is probably not a surprise: Gingras said both Leach and Tweedie play indoors throughout the winter.


“It’s so much different, because there’s no weather elements you have to worry about,” said Tweedie, who along with Dwyer said that playing indoors can get hot and humid. “I prefer playing inside, but it’s definitely different.”

The atmosphere was certainly different from the usual outdoor match. Spectators — who included Dwyer and Lee early on as they waited for an available court — cheered and clapped while looking through windows and TV monitors at a closed-in viewing area adjacent to the courts.

Dwyer, a junior who reached the round of 16 at the MPA singles tournament in May, said she’s used to blocking out outside noise; the lack of it Wednesday made her task all the easier. 

“I try not to focus on anything outside; I just focus on what’s happening between the four lines on the court,” Dwyer said.

Maranacook will greet No. 2 Waynflete in the semifinals Monday in the latest chapter of their postseason rivalry. The Black Bears and Flyers have faced off in the playoffs every year since 2019, not counting the 2020 season that was cancelled because of the COVID-19 pandemic. Last year, Maranacook prevailed 3-2 in the C South final, avenging losses to Waynflete in 2022 and ’21 following a victory in the ’19 quarterfinal.

Hall-Dale’s Lily Drouin-Scease plays first doubles against Maranacook during a Class C South girls tennis semifinal match Thursday at A-Copi Tennis Center in Augusta. Joe Phelan/Kennebec Journal

“It’s a good rivalry,” Gingras said. “I’m looking forward to it and playing one match at a time.”

Maranacook’s doubles teams started the afternoon with a pair of hard-fought sweeps. The No. 1 duo of Hayden Freeman and Molly Freeman topped Lily Drouin-Scease and Shae O’Connor 6-3, 7-5, while the No. 2 team of Ava Candage and Olivia Whitcomb defeated Marinn Perry and Parila Clark 8-6, 6-3.

In No. 2 singles, the Black Bears’ Cassidy McCormick topped Sierra Gibbons, 6-1, 6-4 

Maranacook defeated Hall-Dale (8-4) for third time this season following 4-1 and 3-2 victories in May.

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