Mariners hold court in tight victory over rival WindjammersOceanside, Camden Hills among top teams in Eastern Class B
Rockland — The two top high school boys tennis teams in the Midcoast — and, in fact, among the best in Eastern Class B — clashed on Thursday afternoon, May 15 as Oceanside hosted Camden Hills in a pivotal midseason showdown.
The match came down to both team's first singles players and, in the end, it was the unbeaten Mariners who held court and prevailed 3-2 at Oceanside East.
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The individual results, with Oceanside players listed first, were: In singles, Cam Butler beat Matt Morse, 5-7, 6-0, 6-0; Nate Philbrook beat Josiah Krul 6-2, 6-4; and Eli Thorbjornson beat Luke Burstein, 6-2, 6-2.
In doubles, Jack Crockett and Johanes Korhonen lost to Josiah Simko and Alex Forcillo, 4-6, 1-6; and Logan Finnegan and Kyle Waters lost to James Annis and Colby Arau, 3-6, 1-6.
“Obviously, I'm very excited to win against such a strong team,” said Oceanside coach Dan Wiley. “My guys knew coming in to that game that it was going to be tough and it was going to come down to one game.”
The consensus among both coaches seemed to be that Oceanside had the advantage in the singles matches, while Camden Hills was favored in the doubles matches. That proved to be the case Thursday.
“I had a lot of faith in my doubles teams and I knew that if we stood a chance we were going to have to pull off at least one win at singles, so that's where I focused my attention during practice this week,” said Camden Hills coach Noah Capetta. "Our doubles [teams] came through, but Oceanside's three singles players are very strong.”
Camden Hills went up 2-0 early as the two doubles matches were the first to conclude, while the second and third singles matches followed, in favor of Oceanside, which knotted the match score 2-2.
The focus then shifted to first singles, where Butler was getting all he could handle from Morse with the overall match on the line.
Butler lost his first set 5-7 and Capetta said, “Cam was a little stunned” after losing the first set to Morse.
Camden Hills was missing first singles player Austin Pohlman in Thursday's match, which pushed Morse up to first singles.
“He had just restrung his racket and put a new grip on it,” said Wiley of Butler. “I don't know if that was the smartest thing to do before a big game, but he did it and he wasn't hitting well with it in that first set. But he came back and won 6-0, 6-0 for the next two sets.”
Morse, who is a freshman, “served and returned well, hit passing shots with precision, and played an all-around very intelligent [first] set,” said Capetta.
Wiley said the win was a “good match to set the pace for the rest of the year.”
“We've got MCI [Maine Central Institute] on Monday, but then we've got Waterville and Morse [of Bath],” the Mariner coach said. “Both teams are very strong. And then we've got Medomak [Valley] and then the playoffs. So it's nice to have those matches at the end of the year. They'll get us ready for the playoffs.”
In the Maine Principals' Association Heal Point Standings for Eastern Class B, Oceanside (8-0, 59.1667 points) is second, while Camden Hills (5-2, 36.4583 points) is fourth. Mount Desert Island (7-1, 61.5972 points) is first in the 17-team region. The top 12 teams qualify for the playoffs.