Whether it is boys or girls, the Camden Hills tennis programs have been, for decades, among the most respected — and successful — in Class B, both from team and individual standpoints.

That tradition continued Saturday when a handful of talented court standouts from both Windjammer squads began their respective runs for the opportunity to be heralded as the best individual players in the state at the regional singles qualifier.

Of the six Windjammers who competed in the qualifiers, four made the cut and will compete in the state singles tournament Memorial Day weekend, Friday and Saturday, May 27-28, and Monday, May 30, at Bates College in Lewiston.

On Saturday the Region 3 girls qualifier took place at Mount Ararat High School in Topsham, while the Region 3 boys qualifier was held at Buker School in Augusta.

On the girls side, junior Emma Blakeley and sophomore Carissa English both went 2-0 in their respective matches and qualified for the state singles tourney for the second straight year, while freshman Abby Blakeley went 1-1 and narrowly missed the cut. The Blakeleys are sisters.

Last year, both Emma Blakeley and English made it to the Round of 16.

On the boys side, both junior Evan Drinkwater and junior John Vannorsdall won their respective matches and will participate in the upcoming state singles tournament, while sophomore Isaac Hirschfeld went 1-1 and missed the cut for this year’s tourney.

Saturday marked the first time the Windjammer boys tennis team has had a state singles qualifier since Willie Levine in 2008, and the first time the program has had two competing since Joey Michalakes and Quinn Bardon in 2006.

Michalakes, Bardon and Peter Stein all qualified in 2005 on the Camden Hills boys.

The last Windjammer to win the state singles tournament was Laura Stein in 2004.

Seedings for the upcoming state singles tournament will be released Friday, May 27.


Emma Blakeley, seeded second in Saturday’s regional qualifier at Topsham, defeated Winslow’s Jessica McCaslin 8-0 in a pro-set match, while also beating Cony’s Nicole Kirschner 6-1, 6-0, to advance to the state singles tournament.

English, who also celebrated her 16th birthday Saturday and was seeded fifth, earned her cake, so to speak, by not losing a single game in her two matches to advance. First, English defeated Messalonskee’s Kelsey Woodhead 8-0 in a pro-set match, followed by a 6-0, 6-0 victory over Erskine Academy’s Emily Wood.

Abby Blakeley, who was not seeded in Saturday’s regional qualifier, had a much more difficult road to advance but played well, according to Windjammer coach Karen Brace. Blakeley defeated Mt. Ararat’s Anna Rohman 8-0 in a pro-set match and nearly knocked off No. 5 seed Meo Pourreyon of Morse before falling in three sets, 6-1, 5-7, 3-6.


Drinkwater, seeded fifth in Saturday’s regional qualifier at Augusta, defeated Georges Valley’s Charlie Baker 8-0 in a pro-set match and then beat Brunswick’s Johnathan Gross in straight sets, 6-3, 6-0, to advance to the state singles competition.

Vannorsdall, seeded seventh, defeated Erskine Academy’s Chong-Linang McClure 8-3 in a pro-set match before earning a 6-1, 6-0 victory over Boothbay Region’s Sam Scwhen to advance.

Isaac Hirschfeld, who was not seeded in Saturday’s regional qualifier, defeated Messalonskee’s Christopher Knight 8-4 in a pro-set match before falling to sixth-seeded Garrett Brann of Brunswick, 6-2, 6-2.

Village NetMedia Associate Sports Director Mark Haskell can be reached at 207-594-4401 or by email at mhaskell@villagesoup.com.