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Cougar girls' netters upset by Flyers
DIXFIELD -- When Dirigo senior Ryanne Dailey stepped on the court in the heat of the afternoon, little did she realize how many peaks and valleys was on the horizon.
Dailey didn't alter her game plan one bit and her slow and deliberate style nearly paid off as she rallied to forced a third set. However, she came up just short in a Class C tennis quarterfinal playoff tilt
The strength of Waynflete proved to be solid in between Dailey and Phoebe Suva's three-plus hour match at No. 2 singles as the No. 7 Flyers upset No. 2 Dirigo with a 5-0 triumph Thursday evening at Richard Pierce courts.
It was the third time in four years that Waynflete has beaten Dirigo in the playoffs. Last year, the Portland-based school upset the Cougars in the semifinals.
Although Dirigo (9-4) was seeded higher, everyone knew the odds were stacked in Waynflete's (8-5) favor, mainly because of the highly-competitive style that the Flyers play against in the Western Maine Conference. The play always outweighs what the Cougars face in the Mountain Valley Conference.
“We thought that we might get a couple matches,’’ said Dirigo coach Art Chamberlin, who praised the Cougar players efforts. "But we knew we was up against it. We just don't see any thing like Waynflete in the MVC. They are so superior in all aspects of the game."
Waynflete actually clinched the meet in the quickest match of the day, at No. 3 singles as Allie Armstrong beat Grace Hebert in straight sets, 6-1, 6-0.
Still, the marathon match continued as Dailey' style served to frustrate Suva. The Flyer had taken a 4-1 lead in the initial set, but Dailey fought back to lead 5-4 before losing a 13-11 tiebreaker. Dailey refocused and fought back to win the second set, 6-2.
"I think Ryanne got into Suva's head," Chamberlin said, referring to Dailey, who is the senior class valedictorian. "Ryanne has an unconvenial style that works for her. She just lobs the ball and eventually is able to take advantage of unforced errors.''
In the third and deciding set, Dailey broke serve to tie the match at five-all. The Cougar battled back from triple-break point before losing and the final game also went to duce, before Suva won on a cross-court backhand.
The Dirigo No. 1 doubles team of Michelle Morrison and Lindsy Crutchfield was exposed by Abby Couch and Sophie who won by 6-1, 6-0. The Cougar tandem, who had partnered together for the first time ever, had entered the match 12-0.
''I had high expectations, today,'' said Crutchfield. “I knew they are a good school, but they really played some good tennis. They knew what they wanted to do.''
''They returned the ball hard,'' said Morrison. "They were well positioned and communicated well."
Addy Fuller of Dirigo lost the first set 6-4 at No. 1 singles and then Waynflete's Emily White also won the second set 6-love.