The match between the No. 8 Belfast girls tennis team and No. 9 Brewer in the Class B North prelims, as is typically the case with closely-ranked squads, went down to the wire on Tuesday, May 29 as the Lions and Witches swung their rackets with intensity in the hope of advancing to the next round.

The match was tied 2-2 and came down to the first singles showdown between Belfast’s Julia Cerone and Brewer’s Lana Sabbagh. And, in the end, it was Cerone who swung to a 6-3, 6-1 win to help the Lions edge the Witches 3-2 and earn another round in the postseason.

Watch video, and see more photos, below.

With the win, Belfast (7-6) advanced to the quarterfinals, where it will face top-ranked Caribou (12-0) on Thursday, May 31 at 2 p.m. The Lions and Vikings did not play each other during the regular season.

Brewer’s season concluded at 5-8.

The individual results, with Belfast players listed first, were: In singles, Cerone beat Sabbagh, 6-3, 6-1; Sammy Hills beat McKenna Porter, 6-2, 6-2; and Alexia Sweet lost to Riley Curtis, 2-6, 4-6.

In doubles, Kristina Walker and Starr Warner battled to win a first-set tiebreaker and bested Julia Cummings and Abby Bennett, 7-4, 6-4; and Olivia Laroche and Clarisse Stradtman lost to Grace Brydges and Lauren Minscott — the second set in a tiebreaker — 3-6, 5-7.

"I’m very happy and proud of my team for winning today,” said Cerone. “I’m super excited for what’s next. I tried to keep positive, calm and focused and I think it paid off for me.”

She added she is “not excited at all” about the four-hour trek to Caribou due to the opponent’s proximity, but “I know that we can beat them and the long drive will be worth it.”

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