Indoor fun: Camden Hills plays best when needed mostWindjammers down John Bapst to move onto semifinal round against No. 1 Ellsworth
Rockport — The Camden Hills boys tennis team moved indoors to the Midcoast Recreation Center courts Thursday, June 5 to escape the rain and turned in a strong all-around performance when the Windjammers needed it most to earn a berth to the Eastern Class B semifinals.
As the rain fell outside, the Windjammers were cozy — and successful — inside as No. 4 Camden Hills (11-2) downed No. 5 John Bapst (9-5), a prelim winner over No. 12 Hermon, 4-1 in a regional quarterfinal playoff match.
On Saturday, June 7, in the semifinals, Camden Hills will play at No. 1 Ellsworth at 1 p.m. The Eagles (13-0) defeated No. 8 Winslow (9-5) 5-0 in a quarterfinal match.
Camden Hills does not play John Bapst or Ellsworth during the regular season.
Thursday quarterfinal match score of 4-1 is deceiving as many of the individual matches were tough, tight affairs.
The individual match results, with Windjammer players listed first, were: Austin Pohlman lost to Ryan Ding, 2-6, 3-6; Matt Morse beat Paul Branch, 6-3, 7-6 (5); and Luke Burstein beat Mike Dunning, 6-3, 7-6 (3).
In doubles, Josiah Simko and Alex Forcillo beat Jae Jeong and Quest Teichman, 6-1, 6-4; and James Annis and Colby Arau beat David Carmack and Charlie Hanscom, 6-7 (4), 7-5, 6-1.
"We needed to play our best today to beat John Bapst and we did when it mattered most," said Windjammer coach Noah Capetta. "Our 4-1 could just as easily have been 1-4 if a few key points had gone the other way."
The coach said Forcillo and Simko "had a more difficult match than the score suggests, but they have been playing very good doubles all season and were able to play smart, percentage tennis under pressure."
After losing the first set in a tiebreaker, Annis and Arau rallied to win the second set and carried that momentum into the third to play some of their best tennis of the year and close the match with confidence, the coach said.
Burstein played a solid first set at third singles, Capetta said, making few errors to win 6-3, and "I believe they stayed on serve through the second set into the breaker. He played a great tiebreaker to clinch the match for us."
At second singles, Morse played talented freshman Branch, the coach said, and was able to win the first set 6-3 "by playing very steady offense and keeping the ball coming back over the net on defense. In a very tight second set, Matt miraculously fought back from 1-6 down in the tiebreaker to run off seven straight points for the win, 8-6."
At first singles, Pohlman played well, the coach said, "but couldn't break through Ryan's very dependable ground game and serve. They had some epic rallies that transitioned from defense to offense several times in the course of a point."
Capetta said Thursday's playoff win "certainly gives us a lot of confidence going into our semifinal match against Ellsworth on Saturday. We expect it to be a very difficult match, but look forward to the challenge and we know that we can compete with any team if we play our best."
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Ken Waltz has been member of the media 30 years and has received hundreds of Maine Press Association and New England Press Association awards for his writing, photography and page design. He studied journalism at the University of Maine in Orono. He lives in South Thomaston with his wife, Sarah. The couple has an adult son, Brandon.
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