Top tennis seeds Madeleine Eiss (Clarence) and Kiersten Brown (Grand Island) advanced to the semifinal round of the Section VI girls tennis tournament on Friday at the Miller Tennis Center in Williamsville.
Eiss will play Williamsville North’s Courtney Kessler, the No. 3 ECIC seed, while Brown is matched up with Paige Szymusiak from Lancaster, the No. 2 ECIC player.
Eiss, the top ECIC seed, advanced by defeating Niagara Falls’ Lauren Granieri, 6-0, 6-0. She then defeated Will East’s Olivia Bakshi, again in two 6-0 sets.
Her opponent, Kessler, scored an impressive victory over the top CCAA seed, Bernadette Gens (Fredonia), 6-0, 6-0 in the quarterfinals. Gens was a top-four overall seed.
Brown knocked off Iroquois’ Logan Streety, 6-2, 6-1, in the opening round and defeated East Aurora’s Maria Roach in the quarterfinals, 6-4, 6-2.
Szymusiak beat Jenna Hayes (Maple Grove), 7-6, 6-0 and later defeated Alicia Kluck (Fredonia), 6-3, 6-0.
The semifinal round will be played at 3 p.m. Saturday with the finals to follow. The top three out of four singles players qualify for the state tournament.
Top tennis duos remain
All four of the top girls tennis doubles teams advanced to the semifinal round of the Section VI tournament.
The No. 1 pairing of Kelly Barnes and Zoe Watson (Orchard Park) opened the first round with a 6-0, 6-0 win over Olean’s Brookelinn Garey and Mackenzie Windus.
Barnes and Watson went on to top the sibling duo of Sophia and Serena Bangia from Amherst, 6-4, 6-2, to advance to the semifinal round.
The No. 2 seed, Williamsville East’s Kareena Cheruvu and Richelle Yu, earned a big victory over the top Niagara Frontier League pair of Jocelyn Fike and Nikki Kwiatkowski (Niagara-Wheatfield) in two sets, 6-1, 6-1, in the quarterfinals.
Orchard Park’s Maya Clinard and Mallory Musterait, the No. 3 ECIC seed, knocked off the top seed from the CCAA in Elizabeth Kane and Hiba Munir (Southwestern), 6-2, 6-1, to make it to the semifinals.
Ava Casell and Julia Laspro, Clarence’s doubles team and the overall No. 2 seed, defeated the No. 2 CCAA team of Macy and Nicole Youngberg (Falconer), 6-2, 6-3, in the quarterfinals to advance.
Regardless of Saturday’s outcome, all four pairs have earned a place on the Section VI team at the NYSPHSAA tournament next week in Latham.
Joe’s wins title shot
Joe Fronczak scored the game-winning goal ten minutes into overtime to lift St. Joe’s over rival Canisius, 2-1, in the Monsignor Martin boys soccer semifinals at the Robert T. Scott Athletic Complex.
Fronczak beat the Crusaders’ center back to a pass from Anthony Cianciosa and tapped it over the head of Canisius’ goalie for the win.
The senior had scored the team’s first goal in eerily similar fashion. Fronczak beat two Canisius backs to a pass, again from Cianciosa, and scored.
Rehn Pielechowski tied the game five minutes into the second half for Canisius. He booted a free kick into the Marauders’ net.
“The kids played really well,” said veteran coach Michael Thoin. He noted that it was the first time since St. Joe’s season opener that he had a fully healthy team at his disposal.
St. Joe’s will square off against Nichols for the Class A Monsignor Martin title on Nov. 1 at Canisius College.
The Vikings won a tough semifinal game of their own, taking St. Francis to two overtime periods before a late goal gave them a 2-1 win.
The Class B MMAA championship will be between St. Mary’s of Lancaster and Timon/St. Jude, after the latter defeated Cardinal O’Hara, 5-0.
North, Clarence win big
Williamsville North and Clarence won handily in the Class AA girls soccer quarterfinals.
The No. 4 Spartans beat No. 5 Lockport, 6-0, in the first meeting between the two teams this season.
Gabby Ciambella had two goals while Lianna VanSice scored once and had two assists.
Top-seeded Lancaster awaits Will North team in the semifinal round on Nov. 1.
“We’re going to have to play our best game of the year and give our best effort,” Spartans coach Doug Kircher said.
Meanwhile, No. 2 Clarence took home a 6-1 victory over No. 7 Niagara Falls in their quarterfinal match.
Payton Payne and Kailey O’Brien each scored twice for the Red Devils, who will play No. 3 Frontier in the next round. The Falcons beat No. 6 Orchard Park, 3-1.
Dragons upset Eagles
No. 8 Maple Grove made a big statement in the Class C girls soccer playoffs by downing top-ranked Ellicottville, 1-0.
Megan Baer had the Red Dragons’ lone goal of the day in the 24th minute, assisted by Alex Daniels.
Sophomore Kasie Craig was stellar in net. She made seven saves as she earned the shutout.
Maple Grove hadn’t defeated Ellicottville yet this season, but the teams had played two tough defensive battles.
The Eagles won the first bout, 1-0, but the teams played to a tie on Sept. 30.
Maple Grove will challenge No. 5 Frewsburg in the semifinal round on Monday. The Bears beat No. 4 Holland, 2-1.
Boys A-2 title game set
No. 1 Williamsville South and No. 3 Lafayette will square off Wednesday for the Class A-2 boys soccer championship after Lafayette downed No. 2 Lew-Port, 2-1, while the Billies blanked No. 4 Grand Island, 1-0, in the semifinals.
It will be the first time the two teams have ever squared off; Lafayette traditionally has been a member of Class B but was called up to Class A for the season.
Will South should pose a big challenge for the Violets. The Billies have not lost since Sept. 24 and have five shutouts since Oct. 14.
It would be Lafayette’s first championship since the team won the Class D title in 2017.
The Violets returned only three players from last year’s roster, coach Brad Brodnicki said. The game is set for Wednesday at 5 p.m. at Sweet Home.