LEWISTON — Patience and consistency all added up to a second-round victory for third-ranked Morgan Warner.
The Waynflete School senior fended off Gardiner’s Lindsey Bell with a 6-0, 6-0 victory at the 2021 MPA singles tennis state championships on Friday.
“She was very athletic. She can move well and get to every ball,” the Providence College-bound Warner said of Bell.
Warner, who is the No. 3 seed, said her consistency played a role in her win.
“That’s what I have been working on a lot recently,” she said. “So I think that’s what I will need to look at going forward.”
Waynflete girls tennis coach Linda Cohen said Warner’s patience also made a difference in handling Bell.
“Sometimes, she gets a little beyond that when balls start flying,” Cohen said. “She really played within herself today. That girl was a very good athlete and really got some balls back that I don’t know if Morgan expected.”
Sixth-seeded Inga Zimba of Waterville faced Maine Central Institute’s Sarah Trost in the second round and came out on top 6-2, 6-3.
“The level of play is so much different here when you are at the singles tournament verses throughout the season,” Zimba said. “It was a tough match. So I really had to bring my A-game today, and points were long rallies and very competitive. It is really great to play at this level because it pushes me to be my best.”
Zimba’s coach, Devin Lachapelle, was impressed by her performance.
“(Zimba) was really, really patient and played her game well, really controlled her ground strokes well, not a lot of unforced errors and just played, really steady tennis,” Lachapelle said. “I am excited to have someone in the Round of 16 after having her play so well. I am looking forward to a good match tomorrow.”
The Round of 16 and quarterfinals will be played Saturday, and the semifinals and finals are slated for Monday at Lewiston High School.
Mt. Ararat’s 10th-ranked Zander Chown shook off Hezekiah Agbuya of Belfast 6-4, 6-2, in the second round.
“One of things I can always count on is my serve,” Chown, a senior who will be heading to Skidmore College in the fall, said. “I only found one break on him in the first set. That was enough for a win. I may be down, theoretically, 3-2, but I know that its on serve an I am doing just fine.
“In the second set, I broke him more 6-2. With that serve, I don’t have to worry too much. (Agbuya) had a great serve. He played well and (the match) was a struggle.”
Mt. Abram coach Jack Rioux agreed that Chown’s serve was the deciding factor in the match.
“He was a little tentative early, but once he got into his rhythm, he played well,” Rioux said. “(His) performance was outstanding. Zander puts in a lot of hard work at the tennis club. It is paying off now and a lot of it is his fitness as well. He is just looking forward to playing tomorrow.”
Cheverus’s Evangelo Kapothanasis, a senior who is heading to Bates College, dismissed Calais opponent John Turner in the first round.
He said it was a combination of patience and confidence that paid off for him.
“The opponent was a little bit weaker than me,” Kapothanasis said. “(It was) just staying in the match, not losing focus and getting the balls back. When the timing was right, (I hit) my shots.”
This story will be updated.