High school boys tennis

Multi-time 'B' champion Camden Hills brings 'A' game to new class

Unbeaten Camden Hills, Falmouth battle for Class A crown June 9 at 4:15 p.m. in Lewiston
By Mark Haskell | Jun 08, 2018
Photo by: Mark Haskell With the Colby College sign as a backdrop, Camden Hills' Charlie O’Brien makes a backhand return against Lewiston on June 6 in a high school boys tennis match in Waterville. The Windjammers beat the Blue Devils 5-0 in the Class A North championship match.

Waterville — The Camden Hills boys tennis team, for all intents and purposes, nearly have been invincible the past five years under coach Noah Capetta.

Since Capetta took over the program in 2014, all the Windjammers have done is rattle off four straight Class B regional championships and two Class B state titles.

And as Camden Hills made the jump to Class A this season, the top-ranked, undefeated Windjammers now can make room for another plaque in the school trophy case after their Class A North regional championship match on Wednesday, June 6 at Colby College against No. 2 Lewiston.

The Windjammers were challenged at times by the talented Blue Devils throughout the afternoon, but responded to and met each of those challenges with relative ease on their way to a 5-0 win to clinch their fifth straight regional championship — and first in Class A.

Watch video, and see more photos, below.

With the win, which is the Windjammers' 35th regular-season/playoff victory in a row, Camden Hills (15-0, overall) not only nets the regional crown, but advances to the state Class A title match on Saturday, June 9 at 4:15 p.m. at Lewiston High School.

The Windjammers, who won the past two state Class B crowns, will face No. 1 Falmouth (15-0), who beat No. 2 Portland (13-2) 5-0 in the South final, for the state title.

The individual results from Wednesday’s regional final match, with Camden Hills players listed first, were: In singles, Cooper Russell beat Caden Smith, 6-4, 6-2; Charlie O’Brien beat Ben St. Laurent, 4-6, 6-2, 1-0; and Noah Heidorn beat Sam Frechette, 6-3, 6-4.

In doubles, David Poutasse and Henry Cooper beat Jacob Smith and Hayden Bavis, 6-2, 7-6 (1); and Jack Lawrence and Trevor Iltis beat Jeremy Hepler and Ethan Weiss, 6-1, 6-1.

Camden Hills beat Lewiston twice earlier in the spring — 5-0 in the regular season and 4-1 in the Kennebec Valley Athletic Conference Class A title match.

“We beat Lewiston in the regular season and in KVACs, so we knew their game and we knew what they were capable of,” said Capetta. “Even though we had decisive score lines, all the matches were well-contested, so we didn’t go into these matches necessarily thinking we were going to win. And I think having that attitude is important as it enabled us to compete well. We take that approach with any team we play and I think that’s one of the reasons we’ve been so successful.”

Lawrence and Iltis set the tone quickly at second doubles and went up one set, while Poutasse and Cooper wrapped their first set with Smith and Bavis moments later, to put Camden Hills teams up one set in the early going.

Heidorn cruised at third singles up 5-0, but Frechette rallied to win the next three games before Heidorn clinched his first set.

The first singles match between Russell and Smith was a back-and-forth affair and Smith held an early 4-3 edge, but Russell rebounded nicely and stole the next three games, to make him the fourth Windjammer to take a one-set advantage.

Lawrence and Iltis continued to cruise and won their second set by the same 6-1 score to give Camden Hills a 1-0 edge in the match.

Smith and Bavis would not go down without a fight for Lewiston at first doubles, however, as they held leads of 1-0 and 3-2 in the second set, but Poutasse and Cooper rallied and, ultimately, put Camden Hills ahead 2-0 after outlasting Smith and Bavis in a tiebreaker.

Heidorn — the lone senior who has been on regional championship teams for tennis each of the last three seasons — dispatched of Frechette moments later to clinch the regional title for the Windjammers.

“I never felt comfortable until that third match was over because Lewiston’s players fight hard to the end,” said Capetta. “They never give up. So until Noah sealed that second set, I was not comfortable.”

Capetta said Heidorn is by far the team’s most improved singles player, while Iltis is the most improved overall, jumping in this season with Lawrence at second doubles. Capetta said Iltis has played one season at the junior varsity level a few years back and that this season has been his first taste of varsity experience.

“We taught him how to play doubles, made some technical adjustments and he has made incredible improvements,” said the veteran coach.

After Russell dispatched of Smith, it left O’Brien and St. Laurent on the court at second singles.

St. Laurent took the first set for Lewiston and O’Brien the second for Camden Hills, before the two decided to play the final set out in a 10-point tiebreaker — with the overall outcome of the team match already decided — which O’Brien won for Camden Hills.

The Windjammers will prepare for the top-ranked Yachtsmen on Saturday.

The Yachtsmen are led by first and second doubles players Nick Forester and Alex Klemperer. Forester won the Maine Principals’ Association state singles tennis tournament on Monday, May 28, as he beat Klemperer in the championship round.

Capetta said, should they face the Yachtsmen, which beat the Windjammers in a preseason match, “it’ll be our toughest match of the season.”

“Having the singles winner and runner-up in their top two positions, they’ll obviously be Herculean tasks for Cooper and Charlie to win. But, I think we can make it competitive in doubles and Noah has been playing outstanding [third] singles all season. We’ve improved steadily over the course of the season and we expect to be competitive. We want the challenge. That’s why we play and that’s why we compete.”

Camden Hills versus Lewiston boys tennis
Camden Hills and Lewiston boys tennis on June 6 at Colby College in Waterville. (Video by: Mark Haskell and Holly Vanorse Spicer)
The Class A North boys tennis champions from Camden Hills Regional High School. (Courtesy of: Steve Alex)
Camden Hills' Jack Lawrence. (Photo by: Mark Haskell)
Camden Hills' Trevor Iltis. (Photo by: Mark Haskell)
Camden Hills' Trevor Iltis. (Photo by: Mark Haskell)
Camden Hills' Trevor Iltis. (Photo by: Mark Haskell)
Camden Hills' Jack Lawrence. (Photo by: Mark Haskell)
Camden Hills' David Poutasse. (Photo by: Mark Haskell)
Camden Hills' Henry Cooper. (Photo by: Mark Haskell)
Camden Hills' David Poutasse, right, and Henry Cooper. (Photo by: Mark Haskell)
Camden Hills' Cooper Russell. (Photo by: Mark Haskell)
Camden Hills' Cooper Russell. (Photo by: Mark Haskell)
Camden Hills' Cooper Russell. (Photo by: Mark Haskell)
Camden Hills' Cooper Russell. (Photo by: Mark Haskell)
Camden Hills' Charlie O’Brien. (Photo by: Mark Haskell)
Camden Hills' Charlie O’Brien. (Photo by: Mark Haskell)
Camden Hills' Charlie O’Brien. (Photo by: Mark Haskell)
Camden Hills' Noah Heidorn. (Photo by: Mark Haskell)
Camden Hills' Cooper Russell, left, and coach Noah Capetta. (Photo by: Mark Haskell)
Camden Hills' Noah Heidorn. (Photo by: Mark Haskell)
Camden Hills' Noah Heidorn. (Photo by: Mark Haskell)
Camden Hills' Noah Heidorn. (Photo by: Mark Haskell)
Camden Hills' Noah Heidorn. (Photo by: Mark Haskell)
Camden Hills' Noah Heidorn. (Photo by: Mark Haskell)
Camden Hills' Noah Heidorn. (Photo by: Mark Haskell)
Camden Hills' Jack Lawrence, left, and Trevor Iltis. (Photo by: Mark Haskell)
Camden Hills' Henry Cooper. (Photo by: Mark Haskell)
Camden Hills' David Poutasse. (Photo by: Mark Haskell)
Camden Hills' David Poutasse. (Photo by: Mark Haskell)
Camden Hills' Henry Cooper, left, and David Poutasse. (Photo by: Mark Haskell)
Comments (1)
Posted by: Lynne McAvoy | Jun 10, 2018 07:35

Outstanding!  What an accomplishment!

 



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