Hampden—The George Stevens girls varsity tennis team came away with their fifth Class C North title in 11 years at the Armstrong Tennis Center in Hampden on June 6 after a tense, 4-1 win against undefeated Orono.
“We match up with them pretty evenly all the way through,” Coach Tim Farrar had said before the match. “It could go either way.”
But the ball edged into GSA’s court, mainly on a third set tiebreaker won 8-6 by third singles player Tatiana Heggestad, after the two doubles teams had split matches, leaving the score 1-1.
“I just played every single point,” Heggestad, a senior, said. “I thought, if [my opponent] can’t win a point she can’t win the game.” After jumping ahead to a 3-0 lead in that final set, Heggestad found herself tied at 6-6, before she took one point with an overhead lob and one on a long return. Heggestad had fought back after losing the first set 4-6 and taking the second 6-2.
“I like to play when I’m losing because it makes me play harder,” she said.
First singles player Lindsay Nevin, a junior, won easily in two sets and, in the longest match on court, third singles Juliana Allen won in three sets after losing the first 0-6. First doubles team Lily Maier and Courtney Bianco lost their match 2-6, 1-6 and second doubles team Yvonne Rogers and Chloe Politte won 6-2, 6-1.
“You always want to have a good ride home,” Farrar said with a smile.
Coming into the playoffs one spot shy of earning a preliminary round bye, the George Stevens girls tennis team carved a straight path to the regional final, winning a clutch 3-2 victory over #1 Mattanawcook (13-1), decided by a first singles match won by Lindsay Nevin 6-3, 6-4, against Natalie Tilton, the same player who had beat Nevin in a 2016 regional championship match tiebreaker.
“You want to have the two best players battling it out at the end,” Farrar said.
Second and third singles players Julianna Allen and Tatiana Heggestad won their matches for the victory, after the doubles teams both fell.
The Eagles will play for the state title against either Waynflete or St. Dominic on June 10, 1 p.m., at Colby College. They have yet to bring home a state title since the three classes were established in 1995.