A Page -- Aug. 21, 2011

Avon Lake tennis lacks varsity experience but is loaded with National-Honor-Society, honor-roll, high-honors, class-officer, National-English-Honor-Roll, Model-United-Nations Student/Athletes; returning district qualifier Erin Hrivnak to lead Shoregals

By Norm Weber

Student/Athlete-Cleveland Editor


AVON LAKE – Avon Lake High will have a young tennis team this season, but that just fits right since the Shoregals have a young coach; thus, more interaction going back and forth will be relative.

Christine Chiricosta, who just graduated from Bowling Green three months ago as the university’s tennis record holder in just about every category, takes over as the head coach of the Shoregals, who return district doubles qualifier Erin Hrivnak, a sophomore who finished 3rd in the Southwestern Conference last year in singles play.

Hrivnak (R) with last year's doubles mate Kate Beegen

The only other veteran returning is Amanda Harley, who should provide the senior leadership.

“Our toughest challenge is that we only have two experienced varsity players,” said Coach Chiricosta. “However, we have an older, mature team that focuses on playing as a whole unit. Our girls have incredible chemistry and that will help us earn victories over tough opponents.”

Avon Lake is faced with a solid schedule this year that has some tough private schools on the calendar such as Walsh Jesuit and Beaumont, and then there is the always tough SWC and as a Division I school will see some formidable opponents in the Coaches’ Cup.

Season Preview

Generally, Avon Lake has been the team to beat in the county tournament, but Elyria Catholic and Avon have presented great challenges lately in said tourney.

“As a team, we are looking to win the LCAAA tournament this year,” Chiricosta said. “Also, we hope to finish first in our conference. Individually, we hope to get Erin Hrivnak to the State Tournament in singles.”

Hrivnak lost in a three-set match in the qualifying round of last year’s doubles section of the Oberlin District.

The top incoming prospect for the Shoregals is freshman Brianna Makadia, the only first-year Student/Athlete in the program.

“Overall, we are looking very solid for this season,” said Chiricosta, a three-time CoSida Academic All American at Bee Gee.  “Academically, we are a remarkably strong team. We have a squad of extremely hard workers and this translates from the classroom back to tennis. Our girls are competitive in all aspects, including their grades.”

At Avon Lake, the list of academic and other adjunct accomplishments is incredible.

Mary Kate Maloney is a member of the National Honor Society. Jamie Carpenter and Kaitlyn Bove are members of Model United Nations. Bove and Amanda Harley are members of the National English Honor Society. Hrivnak, the No. 1 singles player, is a class officer. Carpenter, Hrivnak, and Maloney are members of the high honor roll (over a 4.0 GPA). Harley, Bove, and Victoria Bertero are members of the honor roll. Brianna Makadia, the sole freshman in the group, was on high honor roll at Learwood Middle School.

“I am a firm believer that success in the classroom translates to success on the tennis court, as it is often a sign of hard work and maturity,” Coach Chiricosta said.

The Shoregals also have a new assistant coach in Caroline Hughes, who has been helping the ALHS tennis program on and off for about eight years

“Our greatest team strength is our work ethic and ability to play as a unified team,” said Chiricosta a 2007 alumna of ALHS. “The girls are very close with one another and as solid individuals create a great support system for each of the others. This will play a vital role in our success this season.”

In the battle of the two purple-and-gold teams, St. Joe’s tops The ‘Wood, 4-1

CLEVELAND (WEST PARK) St. Joseph opened the tennis season with a 4-1 win over Lakewood High.

Singles winners for the Jaguars were Callie Powers, Missy Drapac, and Elizabeth Wagner.

Taking the point at second doubles for Joe’s were Bailey Williams and Emily DeGidio.

Saint Joseph Academy 4, Lakewood 1

Singles:  Wagner (SJA) d. McKee 6-2, 7-6 (7-3); Powers (SJA) d. Gallovic 6-1, 6-3; Drapac (SJA) d. Hanson 6-0, 6-0.
Doubles:  Hoffert/Shaw (L) d. Violand/Kahl 6-2, 3-6, 6-4; DeGidio/Williams (SJA) d. Elder/Stephen 6-4, 6-1.

All sorts of tandem combinations for Mags tennis giving opponents a serious case of double division

Rocky River -- After the first week of high school tennis action, Magnificat is spelling double trouble for opponents.

Annie Foliano and Kelly Plagens won the First Doubles Championship while Jessica Hollis and Abby Lawless won the Second Doubles Title in the always-tough Rocky River Invitational for the Blue Streaks.

In a dual match against perennial state power Lexington, Hollis and Plagens teamed together to win as did Foliano and Sarah Patrick. The doubles wins were the only team points as the Streaks dropped a tight, 3-2, decision to Lexington.

Other great performances were the team of Hayley Lawless and Miranda Faranacci for their second-place finish at Second Doubles in the River tournety.

Also in River, Emily Witt garnered a third-place finish at First Singles, and the team of Josie Miller and Katie McCabe nabbed a fourth-place finish at First Doubles.

Rocky River Tournament:  1. Kenston-26 points   2. Magnificat A- 25 points  2. Westlake-25 points 4. North Canton Hoover 5. Magnificat B 6. Brecksville 7. Revere 8. Rocky River

Final Dual Score -- Lexington 3   Magnificat 2.

Wright State Women's Soccer Wins Opener at Ohio; Amherst alumna Liz Soto scores match's only goal

Behind a first-half goal from Liz Soto, the Wright State women's soccer team defeated Ohio 1-0 in the season opener for both teams Friday afternoon in Athens.


Soto's goal came just 7:46 into the contest and the Raider defense held on from there for the victory.  WSU goalkeeperBrooke McCurdy posted the shutout as she recorded six saves.

Wright State returns to action on Sunday, August 21, as the Raiders host Canisius in a 1:00 match at the Athletes in Action Complex in Xenia.

Dolesh (27)

NDCL alumna Katy Dolesh scores twice to spark RedHawks shut out 

Pair of Sophomores Powers Miami Past IUPUI in Season Opener

OXFORD, Ohio – Sophomores Katy Dolesh and Kayla Zakrzewski each scored twice and the Miami University women’s soccer team showed strong defense en route to a 4-0 win over IUPUI (0-1-0) Friday evening at Miami Soccer Field in the season opener for both teams.

After shaking off the rust in the opening minutes, the RedHawks (1-0-0) began to take control of the match, as Dolesh just missed getting her foot on the end of a cross in the seventh minute. In the 23rd minute, Zakrzewski (London, Ont.) did put Miami on top, 1-0. She gathered the ball after a failed clear attempt by IUPUI, took a few dribbles to beat a defender and fired a laser from just inside the 18-yard box that landed in the upper, right corner of the net.
Katy Dolesh

Just over three minutes later, Dolesh (South Euclid, Ohio) found the back of the net for the first time on the year when she buried a cross from freshman Amanda Filian (Palatine, Ill.) with her head right in front of the cage. The ‘Hawks would continue to control play, keeping the ball in the Jaguars end of the field, but settled for a 2-0 halftime lead.

“I thought it was a good start for us. We were a little slow out of the gate but you’ve got to expect that in the first game of the year,” head coach Bobby Kramig said. “Once we got that out of our system, I thought the game really picked up. We were able to get in behind them a few times and scored some nice goals.”

Miami held an 8-1 edge in shots in the opening period while collecting six of its eight corner kicks on the day. IUPUI earned just one corner in the first stanza and finished with just two in the game.

The RedHawks would add to their advantage in the 70th minute when Zakrzewski struck for the second time. Junior Jess Kodiak (Naperville, Ill.) settled a pass just beyond mid-field and played a perfect through ball to Zakrzewski, who beat her defender and was able to chip the ball over IUPUI keeper Kristin Haseley from the left side to make it a 3-0 contest.

With just over 15 minutes remaining, Miami finished its scoring by knocking in a loose ball in the box. The ‘Hawks took a free kick near the goal line and centered into the box where senior Courtney Clarke (Scarborough, Ont.) first took a hack at it but it was blocked. The ball continued to bounce loose until Zakrzewski tapped it to Dolesh, who finished the goal for her second score of the day. Zakrzewski picked up the assist, giving her a five-point match.

“We were real excited to come out. Bobby’s been asking me the last few days how many goals I was going to get. I told him two. He wanted three but I think two’s good enough,” Dolesh said. “It was really exciting. We were moving the ball fast and playing outside and we got a lot of crosses in which helped a lot.”

Redshirt freshman goalkeeper Allison Norenberg (Palatine, Ill.) earned her first career shutout in her first collegiate action, as she needed to make just one save all day for the clean sheet. Miami outshot the Jaguars, 17-3, for the match, led by three shots each from Dolesh and Kodiak. IUPUI’s Giselle Guzman took the loss, allowing both first-half tallies, while Haseley, who played the second half in net, finished with three of the Jaguars four saves.

“I was very pleased with our defense. We spent most of this week trying to reinvent our back four. We’ve had some injuries back there and we have some kids playing a bit out of position,” Kramig said. “I was particularly proud of Haley Clark. She did a super job back there despite normally playing in the midfield. Morgan (Stallard) had a great game and CC (Courtney Clarke) is always super reliable.”

The RedHawks return to the pitch today when they host Morehead State at 1 p.m. at Miami Soccer Field. Live stats will be available for Sunday’s contest on MURedHawks.com and the game will also be streamed live via the All-Access subscription package on MURedHawks.com.






















Walsh Jesuit volleyball ready for the challenges as new members in the North Coast League and new entries in D-I post-season play; experience-gaining year in ’10 expected to bear fruit in ‘11

By Norm Weber

Student/Athlete-Cleveland Editor


CUYAHOGA FALLS – Walsh Jesuit’s volleyball team will take on some new challenges this season as it will be competing for the first time in the North Coast League (the all-Catholic-school league in Cleveland) and also will be moving up to Division I from Division II.

One of the most formidable programs in the state traditionally, Walsh, as usual, will be a contender in the sectional, district, regional and state as well as in a league now.

Coach Missy Sturm is blessed with a group of Student/Athletes who excel in both ends of the mind-body spectrum. More than a dozen S/As in the Walsh program have GPAs above 3.7.

The Warriors, sectional champs in 2010, have stellar performers returning in Courtney Grdina, Emma Klein, Brittany Zmyslinski, Mary Grace, Annie Osterfeld, Becca Carney and Kyra Coundorides.  Grdina a transfer last year, Simpson, Klein and Zmyslinksi are seniors. The rest are juniors except for Coundorides, who is a sophomore.


Incoming S/As expected to make an impact are juniors Katie Gaugler and Nicole Onderko, and sophomores Carla Karleski and Kit McCarty.

Note: This story could also be found at S/A-Cleveland's national electronic paper, S/A-Jesuit:


And By Clicking on Aug. 21 A Page

Simpson, the libero, is a two-year letterwoman as are Zmyslinski and Grace, both outside hitters. Klein and Carney are also liberos and Coundorides the setter.

Three of the four new ones to the varsity are middle hitters while Gaugler is an outside hitter.

“We’re fast, experienced, athletic, scrappy, strong and exciting,” the coach said. “We expect to have good communications, gel as a team, push one another in a positive manner, and have each individual fulfill her specific role.”

Walsh, 13-11 in ’10, fielded a young team that earned a lot of experience as underclassmen and juniors. Now they are stronger, more experienced and more confident and should be a contender in all post-season tourneys, which is typical at Walsh.

Sturm, now in her 18th season as the head gal, is assisted this season by Connor McCluskey, Amy Tausch, Andy Kerr, and Joyce Bowers. Kerr is new, Bowers is in her 14th season at Walsh, while McCluskey and Tausch are in their seventh and fourth campaigns, respectively.

Lots of things are new for Gilmour football: coaches, opponents, defensive schemes, offensive personnel; Lancers hope to return pride, playoffs of Lancer yesteryear

By Norm Weber

Student/Athlete-Cleveland Editor


GATES MILLS – Gilmour football has another new head coach, but this time the Lancers have higher expectations in return to the way things were in the early part of the century when the Lancers were annually making the playoffs in the smaller half of the six state divisions.

Shawn Dodd brings a strong local flavor as the new head coach of the Lancers, who are hoping to bank off the familiarity factor. Dodd was a Student/Athlete at North High School in Eastlake and returned to the East Side after his collegiate S/A days, most recently as an assistant at Notre Dame-Cathedral Latin. He was part of a coaching staff that led the Lions to the playoffs.

Season Preview

Prior to that he was the offensive coordinator and receivers coach for Mike Rezzolla at Euclid High, which also made near annual trips to the playoffs.

“Our team strengths will be our ability to communicate and work hard,” said Dodd. “Our goals include working to get better on a daily basis and to get this program back to the winning tradition of the past.”

The Lancers do not have much depth and as a result as in past years under various head coaches, the Lancers will probably play a decent number of freshmen and sophomores up at the varsity level.

“We are very young and still in the process of getting our numbers up,” said Dodd.  “Many of our kids will have to play both ways. Conditioning will be very important to the success of this season.”

In addition to a new coaching staff, the Lancers have added a hefty number of new opponents for 2011. Among the new foes on the schedule are Tuscarawas Central Catholic on the road Sept. 3, Grand Valley on the road Sept. 23, Trinity at home on Oct. 1, Conneaut at home on Oct. 8 for Homecoming and VASJ at home to end the regular season on Oct. 29.

“If we can stay healthy and our younger kids play with confidence and to their ability early, we expect to compete every week and contend for the playoffs,” said Dodd. “Our staff is very confident in the kids and what we are doing,” said Dodd. “Our kids are gaining more confidence every day and are starting to get their swagger back.”

Scheduling and coaching are not the only changes. Defensively, the Lancers are changing their scheme from a 3-4 to a 3-3-5. Offensively, they will have a new quarterback and running back as well as other key positions.

Other new coaches include John Yuma (Offensive Coordinator/Running Backs), Joe Shumar (Offensive and Defensive Lines) and Joe Iveljic (Middle Linebackers/Tight Ends).

Returning for a second seasons are Jason Bednar (Quarterbacks/Defensive Backs) and Adam Lesko (’05, Special Teams/Wide Receivers/Defensive Backs).

The Lancers still need to develop depth, strength and experience on the lines. They are hoping to have enough bodies to play JV and freshmen schedules to get everyone enough touches.

Collinwood alumnus Cecil Shorts III sees action 

for Jaguars Friday night

Former Mount Union football players Pierre Garcon (West Palm Beach, Fla./John Leonard), Cecil Shorts III (Cleveland/Collinwood) and Kyle Miller (Elida/Elida) all saw action Friday in NFL preseason games.

Garcon, who is starting his fourth year with the Indianapolis Colts, had one catch for 11 yards in a 16-3 loss to the Washington Redskins.

Cecil Shorts was a fourth round draft of the Jacksonville Jaguars this past spring (Photo by jaguars.com)

Cecil Shorts III (84)

Shorts and Miller are teammates for the Jacksonville Jaguars who beat the Atlanta Falcons, 15-13 on national television Friday.

The first play called for Shorts in a game in the NFL was a reverse that was botched and resulted in a fumble, but he bounced back to lead the Jaguars in receiving with five catches for 52 yards in the win, while Miller registered in his first NFL catch for Jacksonville in the game.

Indianapolis next hosts Green Bay on a national televised preseason game next Friday at 8 pm, while Jacksonville plays next Saturday night at 7 pm in Buffalo.

Padua soccer opens season with 6-1 win over 

defending district runners up Lake Ridge; 

Viebeck scores twice for Bruins

Lake Ridge Academy opened its 2011 Girls Soccer season at home Saturday against Padua Franciscan, with the Bruins emerging with a  6-1 win. 

The 10 am game was played under sunny skies with little cloud cover and a slow, dew-heavy playing field.  The wet pitch held the offenses in check for the first nine minutes, with neither team taking a shot on goal, until Padua scored on a corner kick that Katie Viebeck headed in from ten yards out.

Padua scored twice more in the half to take a 3-0 lead after forty minutes.  New LRA goalie Kyndall Wellons, in her first game ever, made six stops in the half to keep the score close. 

Lafayette-bound Sam Potoczak

The second half saw Padua control the ball and relentlessly press as the Bruins again scored three goals on eleven shots.  The lone score for Lake Ridge came after a Padua goal kick was intercepted by Devon Sponseller, who assisted on Lafayette College recruit Sam Potoczak’s 35 yard bullet just inside the left side of the Padua net.  

The Padua scoring was spread out, with Viebeck being the only multiple scorer with two goals.  Emily Giel, Amanda Jancewicz, Leah Menwald, and Brittany Mackulin also tallied for the Bruins.  Mackulin showed her versatility by defending the goal in the second half after starter Lauren Kuznik had shut down Lake Ridge in the first half.

Lake Ridge travels to Oberlin for their next game on August 24; Padua hosts Chardon on Monday, August 22.