Lidia Gomez Carrera, a senior at Maine Central Institute in Pittsfield, is the top-seeded player in the girls high school tennis state singles tournament that begins Friday at Lewiston High School. Credit: Courtesy of John Buys

Top-ranked Lidia Gomez Carrera of Maine Central Institute in Pittsfield and No. 6 Fabienne Nowak of Piscataquis Community High School in Guilford will be competing for the state schoolgirl tennis singles championship on Monday.

Gomez and Nowak advanced to the semifinals by winning three matches apiece during early round play Friday and Saturday at the Wallach Tennis Center on the campus of Bates College in Lewiston.

The two international students will play in separate semifinals at the same location beginning at 9:30 a.m. Monday, with Gomez facing No. 5 Mya Vincent of Edward Little High School in Auburn and Nowak matched against No. 2 Coco Meserve of Brunswick.

The semifinal winners will meet at approximately 1 p.m. for the state championship.

Gomez, a native of Spain in her second year at MCI, and the German-born Nowak both received first-round byes.

Gomez kept her undefeated record intact by defeating Camdyn LaMarre of Messalonskee High School in Oakland 6-0, 6-1 in her second-round match Friday, then topped Clarice Bell of Orono 6-1, 6-2 in the Round of 16 and No. 8 Sadie Yentsch of Kennebunk 6-0, 6-1 in the quarterfinals, both on Saturday.

Nowak advanced with similar ease. She topped Emma Landry of Greely High School in Cumberland Center without losing a game in her second-round match, then defeated No. 11 Claudia Dunn of Augusta’s Cony High School 6-0, 6-2 in the Round of 16 and No. 3 Abby Emerson of Gorham 6-1, 6-1 in the quarterfinals.

Meserve dropped just two games in three matches to earn her semifinal berth.

Vincent outlasted Julia Barber of Erskine Academy in South China 10-5 in a super tiebreaker after splitting two sets in their second-round match, then defeated Laura Chapman of Boothbay 6-1, 7-5 in the Round of 16 and No. 4 Amber Woods of Scarborough 6,4, 6-4 in the quarters.

One other eastern Maine player, seventh-seeded Linda Bolten of Mount Desert Island in Bar Harbor, reached the Round of 16 before she was ousted by No. 10 Jenna Lederer of Portland 4-6, 6-4, 7-5.

The top four seeds in the boys bracket advanced to the semifinals, led by defending state champion and top-seeded George Cutone of Kennebunk.

Cutone lost just one game in three matches leading to his semifinal against No. 4 Sam Yoon of Falmouth, including a 6-0, 6-0 quarterfinal victory over No. 8 Unai Maldonado of Skowhegan.

Yoon got past Mount Desert Island’s Westy Granholm 6-2, 6-0 in the Round of 16 and then advanced from the quarterfinals when No. 5 Bernardo Tovar of Mt. Blue High School in Farmington retired late in the second set due to leg cramps.

Yoon had won the first set 6-2 and Tovar led the second set 5-4 when the match ended.

The other boys semifinal will match No. 2 Leif Boddie of Greely against No. 3 Gabriel Naftoly of Berwick Academy.

Boddie, who reached the semifinals as the No. 1 seed last year, won his first two matches this year without losing a game before ousting MDI’s Max Friedlander 6-1, 6-1 in the quarterfinals.

Naftoly won his second-round match without losing a match before fighting off an early challenge from Sam Poth of Bangor’s John Bapst Memorial High School to score a 6-4, 6-1 victory in the Round of 16. Naftoly then topped No. 11 Will Best of Yarmouth 6-0, 6-2 in the quarterfinals.

Other boys to reach the Round of 16 included No. 6 Marco Milano of MCI, Koa Barrett of Ellswoth and Isaac Swain of Medomak Valley in Waldoboro.

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...