Niagara Gazette

Sports

May 15, 2014

Lew-Port tennis claims NFL crown

Niagara Gazette — It was the best-tasting pizza the Lewiston-Porter boys tennis team had eaten in 36 years. Pizza always tastes better when you're league champions, and it's been a while since the Lancers could last claim that distinction.

They swept Kenmore East (4-10) with a 5-0 win on Wednesday to clinch the first Niagara Frontier League championship for Lew-Port since 1978. The Lancers as a team finished the season 13-1. Doubles duo Tyler Richmond and Ryan Taylor went a perfect 14-0. By all accounts, this was the Lancers' coming-of-age season, especially for the team's four seniors.

"A lot of things came together, all at the right moment," said Paul Frederick, who is in his third year as head coach, before treating his team to a celebratory postgame tomato pie. "It was a culmination of things. I think — and I think all the NFL coaches would say this — the reason we won is because of our tremendous depth. We had great players from first singles all the way down to second doubles, and our lineup never changed."

Seniors Joe Laurendi and Jake Warren concluded their careers with wins in first and second singles, respectively. In third singles, sophomore Yash Maheshwari capped his season at 13-1 with a straight-set win over Sam Tulipane. Lew-Port then swept doubles play.

Warren and Sean Richardson will move on to represent the Lancers in the NFL doubles tournament on Friday.

"This season has been a wild ride," Frederick said. "Last year was a breakthrough for us and ... "

He broke away from the phone conversation for a brief moment to shout to a third party in the background, "We won! First title since '78!"

"This was long overdue," Frederick said.

Nia.-Wheatfield 5, Niagara Falls 0

The Falcons won each of their five matches in straight sets as they swept past the Wolverines in the NFL matchup. Jason Bolea, Austin Hayes and Joe Lebold were winners in singles play.

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