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The Packet Sports Spotlight
by Anne Berleant
Crushing Fort Kent in the quarterfinals May 31 and Houlton June 2 in the semis 5-0 and 5-0, the top-ranked GSA boys team will go on to face number two Madawaska in the Eastern regional finals on Wednesday, June 6. As of press time, the outcome of the match is unknown, but continued coverage will be available in our next issue.
This isn’t anything new for the Eagles: both the boys and girls teams won Class C Eastern titles last year, and the boys have held it five of the previous six years.
“[I’m] pretty confident,” Jasper Adam, GSA’s number two singles player said before facing quarterfinal play on May 31 at the Bangor Tennis Club.
Adam thought for a brief second, before changing his assessment to: “[I’m] very confident.”
That could describe the whole team, too.
Adam and Alex Heilner, the team’s number three singles player, dropped only two games each in matches against Fort Kent in the quarters and Houlton in the semis. Number one singles player Johnny Xue won both his matches in two sets, following up his strong showing at the state singles championship May 25-26, where he made it to the round of 16.
In doubles play, the Eagles also out-played their opponents, not giving up a set in either round. Jason Gao’s forehand strength was on display against Fort Kent on May 31, with partner Roy Xu handling much of the play at net.
“Jason’s playing stronger today,” coach Larry Gray said, although he usually “tries to rotate” his double players at net. Nick Dillon and Ed Lameyer make up the second doubles team.
The girls are playing top-form tennis this year, too, losing only one match against Calais in the quarterfinals and Madawaska in the semis, to join the boys in final play on June 6, where they will face the top-ranked Dexter team.
All three singles players—Sotherd Steer, Charlotte Reiter and Maddie Theoharidis—swept their opponents in the quarters and semis, as did doubles team Grace Bugbee and Ramsay Williamson. Bugbee credited “good communication” with her partner for their quarterfinal win over Calais.
Calais was the best class C team the GSA girls have played so far, girls coach Tim Farrar said during the match.
“We’ve got a good mix of veterans,” said Farrar, in a “very competitive season.”
Farrar said the strength of the junior varsity program has helped varsity play this year.
“The basics have already been covered,” he said.