High school sports

Net gain: Belfast swings to first regional boys tennis title

In battle of unbeatens, Lions outlast Caribou 3-2 at Bates College
By Zack Miller | Jun 05, 2019
Photo by: Zack Miller Belfast's Dyllan Clark.

Lewiston — For the first time in school history, the Belfast Area High School boys tennis team will play for the state Class B championship.

That is because, in a battle of unbeaten opponents, the No. 2 Lions (15-0) outlasted No. 1 Caribou (14-1) 3-2 in the Class B North title match on Tuesday afternoon, June 4 at Bates College.

The victory earned the talented Waldo County court squad, led by coach Scott Benzie and assisted by John Cameron, its first regional title and berth in a state championship match.

Watch video and see more photos below.

Belfast will play Yarmouth, which beat Freeport 3-2 in the south final, for the coveted state crown on Saturday, June 8 at 4:15 p.m. (time change) at Lewiston High School.

In the south regional, Freeport (12-2) was ranked first and Yarmouth (14-1) third.

Belfast and Caribou did not play during the regular season.

Earlier in the regional playoffs, Belfast beat No. 7 Old Town 5-0 and No. 6 John Bapst of Bangor 4-1. Caribou defeated No. 9 Erskine Academy of South China 3-2 and No. 5 Waterville 4-1 previously in the postseason.

"You can't replace this (feeling)," said Benzie. "I've been in a few (state championships) as a coach and a player, and you always think back to the events that happened. I'm 62 years old and I can still remember the things I did when I was 18. This is something these kids are going to remember for a very long time."

"I think it's great to make it all this way, especially after a great season," said Lion senior Sam Spectre. "It was nice [when we clinched]. Kyle [Agbuya] jumped in my arms, and it was a lot of fun."

"I was really happy," said Agbuya. "I don't know what to say. It feels really good [to be the first Belfast team to go to states]."

"We began feeding off Josh [Chun] and Eli [Jolliffe] (at the beginning of the season)," said Benzie. "They are the ones that got things going, and then we found a couple of athletes. The rest of the team has very little experience. There are three to four guys that have only played for two years, and [Bonarrigo] picked up a racket eight weeks ago. They've gelled, and the doubles have played well, and really stood up today."

The individual results, with Lion players listed first, were: In singles, Josh Chun lost to Parker Duprey, 2-6, 6-7 (5); Eli Jolliffe beat Sawyer Deprey, 6-2, 6-3; and Max Lewis lost to Gabe Rand, 2-6, 2-6.

In doubles, Dyllan Clark and Bonarrigo beat Aidan Plante and Cody Martin, 6-1, 6-4; and Spectre and Agbuya beat Brevin Barnes and Logan Cheplie, 3-6, 6-3, 6-2.

Belfast versus Caribou boys tennis
Belfast versus Caribou on June 4 in high school boys tennis at Bate College in Lewiston. (Video by: Zack Miller)
The 2019 Class B North boys tennis champions from Belfast Area High School. (Photo by: Zack Miller)
Belfast's Eli Jolliffe. (Photo by: Zack Miller)
Belfast's Eli Jolliffe. (Photo by: Zack Miller)
Belfast's Eli Jolliffe. (Photo by: Zack Miller)
Belfast's Eli Jolliffe. (Photo by: Zack Miller)
Belfast's Max Lewis. (Photo by: Zack Miller)
Belfast's Dyllan Clark. (Photo by: Zack Miller)
Belfast's Kyle Agbuya. (Photo by: Zack Miller)
Belfast's Vin Bonarrigo. (Photo by: Zack Miller)
Belfast's Kyle Agbuya. (Photo by: Zack Miller)
Belfast's Vin Bonarrigo. (Photo by: Zack Miller)
Belfast's Kyle Agbuya. (Photo by: Zack Miller)
Belfast's Sam Spectre. (Photo by: Zack Miller)
Belfast's Sam Spectre. (Photo by: Zack Miller)
Belfast's Sam Spectre. (Photo by: Zack Miller)
Belfast's Max Lewis. (Photo by: Zack Miller)
Belfast's Max Lewis. (Photo by: Zack Miller)
Belfast's Max Lewis. (Photo by: Zack Miller)
Belfast's Max Lewis. (Photo by: Zack Miller)
Belfast's Max Lewis. (Photo by: Zack Miller)
Belfast's Max Lewis. (Photo by: Zack Miller)
Belfast's Max Lewis. (Photo by: Zack Miller)
Belfast's Dyllan Clark. (Photo by: Zack Miller)
Belfast's Vin Bonarrigo. (Photo by: Zack Miller)
Belfast's Vin Bonarrigo. (Photo by: Zack Miller)
Belfast's Vin Bonarrigo. (Photo by: Zack Miller)
Belfast's Vin Bonarrigo. (Photo by: Zack Miller)
Belfast's Dyllan Clark. (Photo by: Zack Miller)
Belfast's Eli Jolliffe. (Photo by: Zack Miller)
Belfast's Eli Jolliffe. (Photo by: Zack Miller)
Belfast's Josh Chun. (Photo by: Zack Miller)
Belfast's Josh Chun. (Photo by: Zack Miller)
Belfast's Josh Chun. (Photo by: Zack Miller)
Belfast's Josh Chun. (Photo by: Zack Miller)
Belfast's Josh Chun. (Photo by: Zack Miller)
Belfast's Josh Chun. (Photo by: Zack Miller)
Belfast's Josh Chun. (Photo by: Zack Miller)
Belfast's Josh Chun. (Photo by: Zack Miller)
Belfast's Josh Chun. (Photo by: Zack Miller)
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