The Lockport Lady net Lions must replace 4 of 7 starters, including top 2
By John D'Onofrio Lockport Union-Sun & Journal
Despite losing his top two singles players to graduation and four of seven starters in all, Lady Lions head coach John Beatty knows he has another solid group of athletes on his 2013 Lockport High School girls varsity tennis team.
The Lady Lions open their 14-game Niagara Frontier League slate at 4 p.m. on Wednesday, Sept. 4, against visiting Kenmore East.
“This year is a chance to make the transition from being in close matches to winning close matches,” said Beatty, who boasts an impressive career record of 288-119-47.
The Lady Lions finished 12-2 in the league last year, losing their only matches to undefeated league-champion Niagara-Wheatfield, the projected NFL powerhouse again this fall.
Key LHS losses to graduation are singles standouts Katie Britt (Air Force Academy) and Adrienne Folby (ECC), as well as Lockport’s veteran second doubles tandem of Alexis Costello and Amanda Schrader.
Twenty three young ladies are on the roster this season. Among those who may be filling those crucial single slots are senior Kathryn Krawczyk and freshman Delaney Portka.
“We’ll be trying to fill the void left by four of our seven starters. We’re a little deeper this year than last and we’ve got a tremendous amount of talent at the 8-9-10 spots,” Beatty said. “I’ve got three freshmen (Portka, Hayley Coakley and Madeline Stoness) who are going to be very good. You’ll be hearing a lot from them over the next four years.”
Other key returners on the blue and gold this fall include the first doubles senior tandem of Krawczyk and Morgan Haley. Morgan is one of three Haley siblings on Beatty’s team. The others are sophomore Rachel and eighth grader Erin.
Also featured on the Lady net Lions this fall is sophomore foreign exchange student Andressa Fortunato from Brazil.
Beatty said Niagara-Wheatfield appears to be the team to beat again this year in the NFL, adding that he’s looking for his team to finish somewhere in the top half of the league standings.