It’s a good thing that Matt and Kim Barmasse of Lockport let their three daughters make such a big racket growing up.

Freshman Miller Barmasse is the third Barmasse daughter to pass through the Lockport Lady Lions varsity tennis program, under the direction of legendary head coach John Beatty, now in his 23rd year. Hailey (2005) and Kiele (2003) are both LHS graduates and former starters at both singles and doubles.

“Kiele had better foot speed and Hailey had much more consistent ground strokes, but I think Miller will be better than both of them by the time she graduates,” said Beatty of this year’s second singles starter.

“She’s the heir apparent at first singles to (senior) Brenna Miller, unless someone else steps up and knocks her out of it. She started last year at third singles as an eighth grader. With the graduation of Sara Shaw at first singles and Stephanie Hobbs at second singles, we really needed Miller and some of our other younger players to step up this year and they have.

“Miller has been improving every day as have our other freshmen at second doubles, Andrea Licata and Renee Schwartz, who are undefeated this year,” Beatty said.

“We’re looking for one or both of those two doubles players to also make the jump up to singles next year.”

Miller said the jump from third to doubles singles is noticeable.

“It’s a lot more competitive at second singles. The level of my opponents is a lot higher,” she said.

“My goal this year is to play as best I can and try to help the team by winning as many matches as I can.”

Barmasse began her tennis career at the age of six and said she remembers taking lessons from Dave Shambach, who coaches the LHS boys varsity tennis team and runs the city’s annual tournament and summer instructional program.

Her favorite professional tennis player is Maria Sharapova.

With a league loss tovisiting Grand Island on Thursday, the Lady Lions dropped to 9-3 in the Niagara Frontier League and 12-3 overall this season.

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