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Lew-Port Lancers Fall Sports Preview Part II: Girl’s Tennis, Golf, Girl’s Volleyball, Cr

The 2018-2019 sports year was one of the most successful years for Lewiston-Porter athletics in school history. Lancer athletes won four Section VI championships, four Niagara Frontier League championships, crowned a NYSPHSAA state champion in the Lancer cheer team, and captured a horde of individual championships and awards. Here’s how the fall teams pan out for the 2019 season.

Girl’s Tennis

New coach Brian Hall is excited about this year’s Lady Lancer tennis team. Although they lost star player Elaina Jowdy (12-2, NFL Champion) to graduation, Coach Hall says he is very happy about his seniors Alisa Barbiero and Grace Barner stepping up into a leadership role in the first few weeks of practice. Barbiero and Barner are also the top returning players for the Lady Lancers, and will be instrumental to the team’s success this fall. Other returning players include seniors Jenna Deutschman and Alexis Giordano as well as juniors Meghan Pacana and Victoria Winger.

Hall said that the most important thing is for his girls to have fun and improve this season.

“This being my first year as the head coach of girl’s tennis at Lew-Port, I am excited about the improvement that I have seen even in the first two weeks we have been practicing,” said Coach Hall. “The most important thing for me is that they learn good strategies and tennis skills, because it is a game that they can play for the rest of their lives.” Hall said his players are looking forward to matches against Niagara Wheatfield and Lockport, as they are always superpowers in the NFL.

Golf

Lancer Golf has been in the headlines recently because of Madeline Catalano, one of Lew-Port’s first female golfers. She and her female teammates Hannah Cassidy and Brianna Stefik all competed at the Section VI Girls Golf Tournament in May. Catalano finished fifth and went on to play in the NYSPHSAA Girls Golf Championship in Rochester. She is attending NCAA Division 1 Towson University this fall on a golf scholarship.

The team is looking to build on a successful 2018 season where they went 17-6 in meets and placed third in the Niagara Frontier League. Although they lose top players Luke Wilson and Madeline Catalano to graduation, freshman Rocco Randazzo is looking to step up. Last year as an 8th grader he finished with a 44 average. Other key returners include seniors Hannah Cassidy, Lucas Eoute, Tyler Haight, and Anthony Dragone as well as juniors Sean Reilly and Brianna Stefik. Coach Scott Townsend said that the toughest matches for them this fall will be against Kenmore East (9/6 and 9/27) and Niagara Wheatfield (9/4 and 9/25).

Girl’s Volleyball

The Lady Lancers main goals for this season are to improve their game record from 2018 (2-18) and to go on a deep sectional run in the postseason. A strong group of returning seniors and juniors are back to help the team reach these goals.

Senior Olivia Kisiel returns at setter. Coach Paula Singleton said on Kisiel “Olivia has worked hard in the off season and her efforts have brought her ‘on-court play’ and team leadership skills to the next level. Her level of play, setting skills, and teamwork will keep our team competitive in our strong league.”

Senior outside hitter Gianna Smalley has also shown great improvement. Smalley has worked to increase her hitting power which will give the Lady Lancers the ability to attack at the net. Junior Adelaide Buth (Middle/right side/setter) will be a key piece to the team’s success as well. “She is the player who can help in any position,” Singleton said. “She (Buth) will be a solid presence at the net and will create many scoring opportunities for our team.” Other key returners include Emily Fittante at Libero/defense specialist, and Alaina Licht and Meghan Baio at outside hitter.

“Our team is working hard to prepare for a very strong NFL league schedule,” stated Singleton. “We are looking forward to a great season and hope to see lots of fans out to see and support our team.”

Boy’s Cross Country

Last fall, the boy’s cross country team had one of their best seasons in program history. The Lancers were NFL co-champions and were the Section VI B-2 runners up. However, they lost two of their top five runners to graduation. Andrew Perreault was the 2018 NFL and Section VI champion, and Miguel Bautista was a reliable point scorer in meets and invitationals. This year, junior Justin Pavan, an All WNY selection in 2018 returns accompanied by seniors Benjamin Wisto and Cole Accetta. They will be focused on the NFL championship meet at Beaver Island, as well as the Section VI championship at Knox Park. Their key race will be on October 1st when they take on Lockport (2018 co-NFL champs) and Niagara Falls at Beaver Island State Park.

Girl’s Cross Country

This year, the girls will be looking to move up in the NFL league standings. Madeline Heuser and Lydia Schultz are the top returners with a new cast of young runners looking to work hard and run fast. Although the girl’s team has struggled with numbers recently, they will now field a full team at NFL meets and invitationals, so look for them to do some damage this season.

New Home Course

Lewiston-Porter Central School District recently installed a set of cross country running trails behind the school campus on Creek Road. Home dual meets will now be run at the Lew-Port campus instead of at the Bond Lake #2 course. 

The course is a 1.5 mile loop that the runners will repeat twice, with an extra .1 mile straightaway at the end. The course starts at the JV baseball foul pole and runs along the edge of the woods, over the hill behind the North Soccer Field, and into the trail entrance behind the CRC/District Offices Building. It then continues through the trails all the way back to the foul pole and then repeated. On the second time through the runners will continue from the JV foul pole and do a loop around the varsity softball field, ending in a straightaway that will take them back to the Start/Finish Line.

The coaches and runners from around the league are very excited about the new course and are going to be having practice runs there throughout the next few weeks. As for the LPXC team, they are thrilled to have a proper place to run close to their school rather than having to travel to Bond Lake for practices. The school is also looking to expand the course within the next few years and install another trail behind the existing one, which will make the course a full 3.1 mile run.

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