Waterville nets semifinal win over depleted Camden HillsWindjammers without seven seniors due to June 6 graduation
Waterville — The Waterville girls tennis team has been an Achilles' heel for Camden Hills in recent seasons.
Whether it be in the Kennebec Valley Athletic Conference Class B title match, or the regional playoffs, more often than not it has been the Purple Panthers who have sent the Windjammers off the court with a postseason loss.
That played out again on Saturday, June 7 as the No. 3 Windjammers traveled to face the No. 2 Purple Panthers with a berth in the Eastern Class B championship match on the line.
Factor in that Waterville (14-0) handed Camden Hills (12-2) its only loss of the regular season, coupled with the fact that the Windjammers were missing most of their seniors due to graduation the day before, it was a winning formula for the Purple Panthers as they netted a 5-0 win over the less-experienced Midcoast squad.
Waterville, by virtue of holding more Heal Points, also won the KVAC Class B championship this season. The Purple Panthers would have faced Camden Hills in the championship match, but it was canceled.
Waterville bested Camden Hills in last year's semifinals and defeated the Windjammers in the 2013 KVAC title game as well.
The individual results from Saturday's semifinal playoff match, with Camden Hills players listed first, were: In singles, Carrie Helmholz lost to Colleen O'Donnell, 0-6, 0-6; Katie Vannorsdall lost to Emily Dufour, 1-6, 1-6; and Sophia Landry lost to Olivia Benissan, 1-6, 1-6.
In doubles, Serene Landry and Frances Pendleton lost to Emma Cristan and Jayme Saulter, 1-6, 1-6; and Camden Hills forfeited to Waterville at second doubles.
In Camden Hills' 3-2 win over No. 11 Caribou in the quarterfinals Thursday, June 5, it was the Windjammers who collected a forfeit win in second doubles, while Saturday they were forced to withdraw that match due to lack of players.
Seniors on this year's Camden Hills squad included Abby Blakeley, Eliza Carter, Ellie Pendleton, Fiona Fischer, Hannah Olsen and Lila Ohland. Serene Landry is a senior but is homeschooled.
Blakeley is the team's first singles player and had lost only one regular-season match — to O'Donnell of Waterville — this spring. Both participated in the state singles tennis tournament, with O'Donnell advancing to the semifinal round.
Olsen also was a Windjammer starter who missed Saturday's semifinal playoff match.
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Mark has been covering local sports throughout Knox, Waldo and part of Lincoln county since 2007. He has a bachelor's degree in Mass Communication from the University of Maine and is also a 2000 graduate of Rockland District High School.
Mark is an avid fan of the Boston Red Sox, fantasy sports, the AMC drama "Breaking Bad" and iced coffee.
He resides in Thomaston with his wife Jenn and sons Beckett and Austin.
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