Hampden—With a 4-1 regional final win over Washington Academy on June 6, the George Stevens Academy boys tennis team secured its eighth straight trip to the State Finals, scheduled for June 10 at Colby College.
The Eagles are no stranger to the big stage, having now earned 14 trips to the State Finals match since 2002. The players will be looking for a win after seven straight losses to Waynflete. George Stevens could get another go at Waynflete on Saturday, as the southern Maine team is scheduled to play Boothbay in its regional final June 8. George Stevens won their last state title, against Waynflete, in 2004.
Coach Mark Ensworth attributed his team’s success during this season’s playoff run to the hard work and talent of his players.
“We are loaded with talent this year which has been a testament to how hard these kids worked in the offseason. It makes my job a lot easier,” said Ensworth.
The Eagles showed dominance in the regional finals, as third singles player Bryant Hsiung blanked his opponent Noah Huang in straight sets without giving up a game, winning 6-0, 6-0. Boris Chen took the second singles match in straight sets as well, winning 6-3, 6-3 over Manuel Sanchez. First singles player Ben Politte had less pressure on him, as the team had already notched the victory by the time he took the court. Politte won his match in a third set battle, taking the 6-4, 3-6, 7-5 win over opponent Yontz Sutton.
In doubles action, Christian Jones and Rhett Cheng were no match for their competition, winning their match in second doubles 6-3, 6-1 over Finn Sunde and Ian Squire. First doubles players Kent Fang and Arlo Stabler were the only loss on the day for the Eagles, as the doubles team fell 2-6, 6-0, 5-7 to Joey Moore and Eric Smith.
Ensworth recognizes the challenge that will come with potentially playing Waynflete for an eighth consecutive time.
“Waynflete is always a big challenge, but a new year brings new opportunity. All we can do at this point is work hard to prepare and put ourselves in the best possible position to compete,” he said.
The State Finals match is scheduled for 1 p.m. at the tennis complex at Colby College in Waterville.