On the ferry ride headed to Shrewsbury to play in the division three state championship match against Hopedale Friday afternoon, first singles player Samantha Potter had the book Catch-22 by Joseph Heller on the table. A metaphor for the day?

Team finished the season with a 22-0 record. — L.A. Brown

“This book is about war and we are going to war,” Samantha said. Then she laughed. “This is exciting.”

Samantha may be media savvy already, but the metaphor was apt. The Vineyard girls’ tennis team defeated Hopedale 4-1 to win the state championship.

Hopedale was a young team, with eighth graders playing at first singles and second doubles. They had won the central division final and had a league record of 15-3. But the Vineyarders were ready with a strategy.

“You want to break them early,” said Lizzie Williamson, referring to how to play a younger, perhaps unseasoned, opponent. And yet Lizzie, along with Kat Roberts at second singles, are just freshman themselves. They just seem older because they are so poised — and so good. Both are undefeated and each has only lost one set this entire season.

Kat Roberts at second singles gave Vineyard first win of the day. — L.A. Brown

Coach Nina Bramhall also had a strategy. For every match this year she has worn her lucky pants, clogs and green earrings. “But I do change the top,” she said.

Before the match began, the girls formed a circle and took turns psyching each other up with inspirational quotes.

“Whenever you find yourself doubting yourself think about how far you have come,” said Charlotte Potter, who plays at the first doubles position.

And indeed, the team had come a long way, and not just in terms of this year, arriving at the state finals with a record of 21-0. The journey really began when they were about five or six years old, and they started playing at the Vineyard Youth Tennis Center, where thanks to the generosity of Gerry DeBlois, Island kids receive free tennis lessons.

“They were at the tennis center from day one,” said Rob Potter, father of twins Samantha and Charlotte.

Scott Smith, the director of the Youth Tennis Center, was at the match to cheer the girls on. He still remembers when they first started playing for him.

“I’ve got pictures of Lizzie and Kat when they were just 7 and 8 years old,” he said. “I even have a video of Sam not moving her feet at all on the court as a little girl.”

Victorious singles players Lizzie Williamson, Samantha Potter and Kat Roberts. — Bill Eville

And when did Mr. Smith know this group of girls were going to be so good?

“We just assumed they’d be good based on their expert instruction,” he said with a laugh. Then he paused. “It was when their dedication kicked in, when they started going to tournaments off-Island.”

The Vineyard jumped off the mark from the very beginning, with all three singles players winning their first sets. The Hopedale players were strong, as you would expect from anyone playing in the state finals, but they didn’t hit the ball hard.

Senior Samantha Potter put on a clinic on how to take on a tough eighth-grader who kept the ball in play.

“She was really consistent and didn’t hit the ball with a lot of pace,” Samantha said. “So I just kept hitting it deep.”

She also sliced it down low, served her opponent out wide, mixed up hard backhands with long high forehands, and played very smart tennis.

Sam won the first set against Aimee Figgins 6-1.

First-year coach Nina Bramhall and assistant coach Liz Roberts. — L.A. Brown

Kat Roberts at second singles gave the Vineyard its first win of the day with a dominating 6-0, 6-0 performance against Megan McLellan.

“That was a lot less stressful,” she said as she walked off the court, referring to her match against Lynnfield in the semifinals, where she was the last match on the court. In that match she was down to match point but came back to win and seal the team victory at 3-2.

In Shrewsbury, as at all the matches, her mother Liz Roberts cheered from the sidelines as both a parent and the assistant coach.

“She’s easy to coach,” Mrs. Roberts said after the match. “She actually listens to her mother.”

Lizzie at third singles was next on the winner’s board, with a 6-0, 6-2 performance against Rachel Szemethy. And then it was Samantha’s turn. When she won her second set 6-0, the Vineyard had officially won the state championships, even though the two doubles matches were still being played.

“After my last shot I thought, was that really it? And then I saw my teammates running onto the court and I realized we really had won,” Samantha said. “I’ve always dreamed of being state champs but it’s sort of surreal.”

Indeed it has been quite a week at the Potter household.

In addition to being state champions, last week Samantha graduated number one in her class at the Martha’s Vineyard Regional High School, and her twin sister Charlotte graduated number three.

“It’s a fantasy world we are in right now,” acknowledged proud father Rob Potter.

Next off the court were Charlotte Potter and Josie Iadicicco who beat Maddie Sparks and Colleen Kincaid 6-3, 6-1.

As Charlotte came off the court she hugged her mother Deborah Potter.

First singles Samantha Potter clinched the win for the Vineyarders. — L.A. Brown

“I love you Mom,” Charlotte said. “How does it feel to have two state championship daughters?”

At first Deborah had trouble finding the words. Tears can do that.

“I am so very proud of my girls, no matter what,” she said later. “The state championships are icing on the cake.”

The final match of the day took place at second doubles, where Hopedale notched their only win. Abai O’Neill and Jennie Holland defeated Madison McBride and Lia Potter 6-4, 2-6, 7-6.

It was quite a year for the players, just as it was for first year coaches Nina Bramhall and Liz Roberts.

At the awards ceremony it was announced that Ms. Bramhall had been named coach of the year by the Boston Globe.

Both coaches may have been new to the team this year, but they were not new faces for the players. For years, the coaches had worked at the Vineyard Youth Tennis Center and had taught many of the players when they were just picking up racquets for the first time.

Victory celebration. — Bill Eville

“I knew what talent we had, but even more important I knew what heart we had,” said Ms. Bramhall.

“This is thrilling for everyone, but especially for the senior captains,” she added, referring to Samantha and Charlotte and Josie.

For the past three years the girls’ teams couldn’t make it out of the sectionals, each time losing to Cohassett. This year they beat Cohasset 3-2 in a bruising match to win the south sectional regional championships. That match was also notable for several instances of unsportsmanlike behavior from the Cohasset team.

During the state championship awards ceremony, Billy Gibbons, the director of the MIAA, made a point of emphasizing the importance of sportsmanship, especially at the high school level.

“On behalf of the MIAA I’d like to congratulate both teams on a great final of great tennis, but more importantly on great sportsmanship” he said. “This is the way high school sports should be played. You play hard and you play to win, but you play with class. That’s the most important thing.”

And what’s next for the team? For the Potter twins, some serious rest.

“We are very tired,” they said in unison, even suggesting they might nap on the bus ride back, before getting ready to party on the ferry.

On Tuesday, Samantha heads off to the Air Force Academy to begin training, and on the same day Charlotte leaves for London for a post-graduation gift. In the fall she will attend Stonehill College.

“I will be one lonely guy then,” admitted Rob Potter.