Caribou's Ashley Matlock returns a shot during the Vikings tennis match with Houlton in April 2017. Credit: Joseph Cyr | Houlton Pioneer Times

Players from perennial powerhouse Falmouth and the cooperative team from Wells and Kennebunk loom among the favorites in this year’s state high school tennis singles tournament.

Two-time girls finalists Rosemary Campanella, a senior from Wells-Kennebunk, and 2017 boys finalist Nick Forester, a junior from defending Class A state champion Falmouth, loom among the top contenders to replace last year’s singles title winners Lana Mavor of Yarmouth and Nick Mathieu of Topsham’s Mount Ararat School.

Mathieu, a two-time state champion, graduated last spring and now is playing at Colby-Sawyer College in New London, New Hampshire. Mavor, a nationally-ranked junior player, opted not to play high school tennis this year.

That event begins with five regional qualifying events scheduled around the state Saturday, with top qualifiers advancing to the state Rounds of 48 and 32 to be held Friday, May 25, at Deering Oaks Park in Portland.

The Round of 16 and quarterfinals follow on Saturday, May 26, also at Deering Oaks in Portland, with the semifinals and state championship matches set for Monday, May 28, at Bates College in Lewiston.

Forester is the top-seeded boy in Region 5, which encompasses southern Maine, followed by Wells-Kennebunk sophomore Declan Archer, Falmouth senior Alex Klemperer and fourth-seeded Thorne Kieffer from Waynflete of Portland, the 10-time defending Class C boys team state champion.

Grace Campanella, a Wells-Kennebunk sophomore who reached last year’s state semifinals, is seeded second behind older sister Rosemary in a deep Region 5 girls field. Other threats are third-seeded senior Izzy Evans from defending Class B team state champion Greely of Cumberland Center and No. 4 Meredith Kelley, a sophomore from 10-time defending state champion Falmouth.

Among eastern Maine teams in the Bangor-based Region 2, Hampden Academy boasts the top two boys seeds in senior Zach Flannery and junior Elliot Small. The girls field is led by John Bapst of Bangor senior Crystal Bell, followed by classmates Natalie Tilton of Mattanawcook Academy in Lincoln and Haley Donovan of Calais, one of two seeded Blue Devils along with No. 6 Cecilia Foccardi, another senior.

Caribou High School dominated the northern Maine seedings, with the Vikings’ Gabrielle Marquis, Ashley Matlock and Hailey Holmquist earning the top three seeds in the girls field while No. 1 Parker Desprey, No. 3 Alex Cyr and No. 5 Gabe Rand represent coach John Habeeb’s club among the eight Region I boys seeds.

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Ernie Clark

Ernie Clark is a veteran sportswriter who has worked with the Bangor Daily News for more than a decade. A four-time Maine Sportswriter of the Year as selected by the National Sportscasters and Sportswriters...