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By Mike Copper, Tom Reisenweber, Jeff Kirik Erie Times-News staff bloggers
The Varsity blog is the 2013 winner of an international EPPY award for best sports blog. EPPYs are awarded to media-affiliated websites by Editor & Publisher, an industry trade publication. Varsity is primarily maintained by Times-News sports writers Mike Copper and Tom Reisenweber and sports editor Jeff Kirik.   Read more about this blog.
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Posts categorized "Tennis"
Posted: July 20th, 2014

Recent high school graduates Chris Jiuliante of McDowell and Raven Clark of Villa Maria were among more than 1,100-plus runners who completed Sunday’s Presque Isle Half Marathon.

The 13.1-mile race comprised one loop around Presque Isle State Park.

Jiuliante, who didn’t take up competitive running until last year, placed second in the boys age 19-under division with a time of 1 hour, 23 minutes, 20.2 seconds. He trailed only former Cathedral Prep standout John Lacy (1:22.43.8) in that bracket.

Clark was 16th (1:56.25.2) in the girls 19-under division. She was a member of Villa’s 3,200-meter relay team which received gold medals in that event at the 2013 PIAA Class AA track and field meet.

– Mike Copper

Posted: July 20th, 2014

District 10 tennis got a peek at two of its incoming players for 2014-15 during Sunday’s Erie County Tennis Tournament.

The five-day event concluded with seven championship matches at Fairview High School’s Chris Batchelor Memorial Courts. Two of them, the boys and girls age 18-under finals were won by players who start their high school careers come August.

Alec Thomas, a Cathedral Prep recruit, rallied for a 5-7, 6-3, 7-6 (10-8) victory over Fairview junior-to-be and reigning District 10 Class AA doubles victor Ben Westcott. Their match required nearly three hours of play to determine a titlist.

Shannon Sertz, another junior-to-be at Fairview, swept Villa Maria recruit Mary Catherine Prichard 6-2, 6-0. Sertz is the daughter of Tigers tennis coach Rick Sertz.

District 10 veterans Derek Sawer (General McLane) and Tris Tuttle (Fairview) also won the tournament’s boys 18 doubles title via a 6-4, 2-6, 7-5 victory over Austin Fiedler and Westcott.

– Mike Copper

Posted in: District 10, PIAA, Tennis
Posted: July 13th, 2014

Returning members of Fairview’s boys and girls tennis programs will be well in their comfort zone when the 11th annual Erie County Tennis Tournament begins Thursday.

The Tigers have players seeded first or second in three divisions for the four-day event, with all matches scheduled for the Chris Batchelor Memorial Courts. They include Stephanie Ace and Shannon Sertz, who are ranked first and second in the girls age 18 singles bracket, with Fairview graduate Austin Fiedler and junior-to-be Ben Westcott made the favorites in boys 18 doubles.

Westcott (second), Mike Siegel (third) and Tris Tuttle (fourth) are seeded behind varsity prospect Alec Thomas in the boys 18 singles draw.

Chris Jiuliante, who recently graduated from McDowell, is seeded second to tournament veteran Peter Yoars in the men’s open single division.

– Mike Copper

Posted in: District 10, PIAA, Tennis
Posted: July 9th, 2014

Josh Fleming’s presence in the Mercer County tennis community continued to expand Tuesday.

Fleming will remain the boys tennis coach at Kennedy Catholic, where the Golden Eagles play in the spring.

However, Fleming will now be busy on the courts in the fall as Thiel College’s new women’s tennis coach. He replaced Tomcat graduate Kristen Moreland.

Fleming is a mathematics teacher at Reynolds. He formerly assisted Hickory’s tennis program, is an official with the Shenango Valley Tennis Club an instructor with the City of Hermitage’s recreational tennis program.

– Mike Copper

Posted in: District 10, PIAA, Tennis
Posted: July 8th, 2014

During the 10 years since District 10 realigned into regions, the Erie Times-News has been selecting athletes of the year in each District 10 sport.

Here’s a look at all of the fall athletes of the year during the past 10 years: (The winter athletes and fall athletes were previously listed on the Varsity blog.)

2004: Zac Kuchta, North East
2005: Drew Astorino, General McLane
2006: Kolten Hoffman, West Middlesex
2007: Tyler Sargent, Fairview
2008: A.J. Fenton, McDowell
2009: Shyquawn Pullium, Cathedral Prep
2010: Mark Kulinski, Oil City
2011: Wes Phipps, Grove City
2012: Damion Terry, Cathedral Prep
2013: Blake Reddick, Lakeview

Boys soccer
2004-05: Dan Howell, Iroquois
2005-06: Kyle Campbell, North East
2006-07: Afrim Latifi, Cathedral Prep
2007-08: Aaron Meehl, North East
2008-09: Adam Clement, McDowell
2009-10: Mitchell Mack, Cathedral Prep
2010-11: Max Weber, Mercyhurst Prep
2011-12: Jose Abdala, Mercyhurst Prep
2012-13: Eric Campbell, Harbor Creek
2013-14: Eric Campbell, Harbor Creek

Girls soccer
2004-05: Tami Krzeszewski, Mercyhurst Prep
2005-06: Taylor Hilinski, Harbor Creek
2006-07: Samantha Kaiser, Mercyhurst Prep
2007-08: Amanda Lewis, Villa Maria
2008-09: Chrissy Keck, Fairview
2009-10: Amanda Lewis, Villa Maria
2010-11: Becca Costello, Mercyhurst Prep
2011-12: Steph Corey, Harbor Creek
2012-13: Sarah Kaiser, Mercyhurst Prep
2013-14: Sara Suler, Hickory

Boys cross country
2004-05: Jed Christiansen Greenville
2005-06: Mike Stolar, Mercyhurst Prep
2006-07: Mike Stolar, Mercyhurst Prep
2007-08: Dan Dillon, General McLane
2008-09: Sam Havko, Fairview
2009-10: Alex Beardsley, North East
2010-11: Jacob Kildoo, Grove City
2011-12: Dan Jaskowak, Grove City
2012-13: Dan Jaskowak, Grove City and Austin Pondel, Corry
2013-14: Sebastian Curtin, Mercyhurst Prep and Jeremy Parsons, Maplewood

Girls cross country
2004-05: Nichole Smith, Mercer
2005-06: Lauren Zarger, Harbor Creek
2006-07: Lauren Zarger, Harbor Creek
2007-08: Lauren Zarger, Harbor Creek
2008-09: Lauren Zarger, Harbor Creek
2009-10: Elesia Wilson, Meadville
2010-11: Morgan Richards, Hickory
2011-12: Morgan Richards, Hickory
2012-13: Bernadette Prichard, Villa Maria
2013-14: Reilly Walsh, Cambridge Springs

Girls volleyball
2004-05: Allison Harvey, Titusville
2005-06: Amanda Bancroft, Maplewood
2006-07: Angela Groshner, Maplewood
2007-08: Angela Groshner, Maplewood
2008-09: Becca Beightol, Maplewood
2009-10: Courtney Lydick, General McLane
2010-11: Nicole Brunot, Maplewood
2011-12: Amber Litwiler, Linesville
2012-13: Maria Peluso, Fort LeBoeuf
2013-14: Challen Litwiler, Conneaut

Boys golf
2004-05: Mike Wolfe, McDowell
2005-06: Cameron Peterson, Grove City
2006-07: Greg Gurdak, Corry
2007-08: Gregor Orlando, Cathedral Prep
2008-09: Gregor Orlando, Cathedral Prep
2009-10: Greg Podufal, Cathedral Prep
2010-11: Ryan Prokay, Grove City
2011-12: Cameron Zbrzeznj, Cathedral Prep
2012-13: Brett Rinker, Slippery Rock
2013-14: Andrew Britton, Cathedral Prep

Girls golf
2004-05: Ellen Ciacchini, Villa Maria
2005-06: Ellen Ciacchini, Villa Maria
2006-07: Ellen Ciacchini, Villa Maria
2007-08: Jackie Dill, Villa Maria
2008-09: Jenna Rinker, Slippery Rock
2009-10: Karlie Zabrosky, McDowell
2010-11: Karlie Zabrosky, McDowell
2011-12: Karlie Zabrosky, McDowell
2012-13: Megan Moylan, North East
2013-14: Megan Moylan, North East

Girls tennis
2004-05: Allison Haener, Mercyhurst Prep
2005-06: Stephanie Novakowski, Mercyhurst Prep
2006-07: Stephanie Novakowski, Mercyhurst Prep
2007-08: Stephanie Novakowski, Mercyhurst Prep
2008-09: Rebecca Haener, Mercyhurst Prep
2009-10: Daraja Hill, McDowell
2010-11: Maggie McLaughlin, Mercyhurst Prep
2011-12: Adrianna Jeffress, McDowell
2012-13: Adrianna Jeffress, McDowell
2013-14: Katie Elia-Brittany McBride, Mercyhurst Prep

Posted: July 7th, 2014

Fariview tennis players Mike Siegel and Stephanie Ace, plus McDowell’s Jake Labonte, were three of the age-group winners from Lake Shore Country Club’s 16th annual Junior Singles Tournament. The finals were held Sunday morning at the Fairview Township courts.

Siegel took home the boys age 18 division title, sweeping Tom Burt 6-3, 6-3 in their final, while Ace defeated Tiger teammate Shannon Sertz 6-4, 6-3 in the girls 16 championship match.

Labonte, a sophomore-to-be for McDowell, was the boys 16 victor. He claimed victory in the day’s best final, beating Fairview’s Dan Pakulski 7-6 (7-5), 4-6, 6-4.

– Mike Copper


Posted in: District 10, PIAA, Tennis
Posted: July 4th, 2014

During the 10 years since District 10 realigned into regions, the Erie Times-News has been selecting athletes of the year in each District 10 sport.

Here’s a look at all of the spring athletes of the year during the past 10 years: (Look for the winter athletes Saturday and the fall athletes Sunday on the Varsity blog.)

2004-05: Shawn Valenly, Sharpsville
2005-06: Chris Hyde, Northwestern
2006-07: Bob Revesz, Grove City
2007-08: Jaymee Shephard, Hickory
2008-09: Addison Dunn, Warren
2009-10: T.J. Mitchell, Mercyhurst Prep
2010-11: Jeff Revesz, Grove City
2011-12: Steve Sada, Saegertown
2012-13: Adam Bleday, Titusville
2013-14: Zach Guth, Franklin

2004-05: Allison Hasbrouck, Corry
2005-06: Danielle Chase, Iroquois
2006-07: Becky Zill, Iroquois
2007-08: Ali Grab, Villa Maria
2008-09: Becky Zill, Iroquois
2009-10: Cari Conway, Wilmington
2010-11: Kelli Rohan, McDowell
2011-12: Raven Rozantz, Fairview
2012-13: Raven Rozantz, Fairview and Amanda Krolczyk, Fort LeBoeuf
2013-14: Alexa Bupp, Warren

Boys track and field
2004-05: Jed Christiansen, Greenville
2005-06: Cody Cipalla, Northwestern
2006-07: Zach Dow, Corry
2007-08: Dan Kwiatkowski, McDowell
2008-09: Sam Havko, Fairview
2009-10: Alex Beardsley, North East
2010-11: Jacob Kildoo, Grove City
2011-12: Ryan Smathers, North East
2012-13: Clay Allen, West Middlesex
2013-14: Luke Lewis, Hickory

Girls track and field
2004-05: Nicole Smith, McDowell
2005-06: Natalie Clickett, Union City and Amanda Seigworth, Northwestern
2006-07: Ajla Glavasevic, McDowell
2007-08: Kristy Woods, Grove City
2008-09: Lauren Zarger, Harbor Creek
2009-10: Emily Woods, Hickory
2010-11: Morgan Richards, Hickory
2011-12: Lauren Lubarski, Hickory
2012-13: Rebekah Petty, Greenville
2013-14: Emily Campbell, Slippery Rock

Boys volleyball
2004-05: Tyler Mattera, Conneaut Valley
2005-06: Jordan Varee, Conneaut Valley
2006-07: Robert Cierniakoski, Maplewood
2007-08: Ben Wetsell, Saegertown
2008-09: Nick Bancroft, Maplewood
2009-10: Adam Barba, Meadville
2010-11: Dave Rion, McDowell
2011-12: Alex Minnis, Meadville
2012-13: Shane Rigby, Saegertown
2013-14: Logan Herzberger, Cochranton

Boys tennis
2004-05: Derek Taylor, Keith Whittingham, McDowell
2005-06: Kevin Riley, Fairview
2006-07: Jeff Nuhfer, Warren
2007-08: Landon Williams, McDowell
2008-09: Landon Williams, McDowell
2009-10: Landon Williams, McDowell
2010-11: Alex Brzozowski, Cathedral Prep
2011-12: Alex Brzozowski, Mario Nicolia, Cathedral Prep
2012-13: Nick Ward, Cathedral Prep
2013-14: Nick Donovan, McDowell

Boys lacrosse:
2011-12: Ben Lorei, McDowell
2012-13: Josh Baronner, McDowell
2013-14: Hunter Emerson, Cathedral Prep

Girls lacrosse:
2011-12: Jen Hartmann, McDowell
2012-13: Erin Gleason, Fairview
2013-14: Alex Zielinski, McDowell

Posted: July 4th, 2014

Lake Shore Country Club in Fairview Township will host its 16th annual Junior Singles Tennis Tournament this weekend. The event will start Saturday at 8:30 a.m. and conclude with Sunday’s 10 a.m. finals.

There will be boys and girls matches held in nine different divisions for players between the ages of 10 and 18.

The tournament will be run by new tennis director Andy Findlay. Lake Shore’s board of directors hired the head professional of Pennbriar Athletic Club and director of the District 10 girls tennis tournaments to replace former Cathedral Prep coach Kent Peightal.

Peightal retired last August after 31 years of coaching, which included 26 seasons with the Ramblers. Lake Shore presented him an honorary lifetime membership upon Findlay’s arrival.

– Mike Copper


Posted in: District 10, PIAA, Tennis
Posted: June 27th, 2014

Jon Oskin and Ben Westcott, juniors-to-be at Fairview, won the boys 18 doubles title of the City Rec Junior Tennis Tournament. The finals were held Thursday at the Frontier Park courts.

Oskin and Westcott swept Tris Tuttle and Derek Sawer 6-3, 6-4. Tuttle is a Tigers’ teammate of Oskin and Westcott, while Sawer competes for General McLane.

The boys 18 singles trophy was presented to Kyle Thomas. The Harbor Creek tennis player outlasted Alec Thomas, his younger brother, 6-2, 1-6, 6-2.

– Mike Copper

Posted in: District 10, PIAA, Tennis
Posted: June 25th, 2014

District 10 boys tennis champion Ben Westcott, a junior-to-be at Fairview, beat a teammate Tuesday to move on in the City Rec Junior Tennis Tournament.

Westcott split his first two sets with Tris Tuttle before persevering with a 6-1, 6-7, 6-2 victory in the quarterfinal round of the boys 18 singles division. His semifinal opponent will be Alec Thomas, who upset General McLane fourth seed Derek Sawer 6-3, 7-5.

Stephanie Ace, another Fairview tennis player, eliminated the fourth seed in the girls 16 singles bracket. She recovered from being shut out in the second set to defeat Sarah DeMarco 6-3, 0-6, 6-4 in their quarterfinal.

Ace will face top seed Francesca Kern in today’s semifinals.

Tuesday’s matches were split between the Frontier Park courts and Pennbriar Athletic Club because of inclement weather. Today’s tournament action, back at Frontier, will start at 5 p.m.

– Mike Copper

Posted in: District 10, PIAA, Tennis
Posted: June 24th, 2014

Derek Sawer of General McLane and Jake Labonte of McDowell were two of the first-day winners after Monday’s matches in the 2014 City Rec Junior Tennis Tourament. Play was originally scheduled for the Frontier Park courts, but was moved indoors to Pennbriar Athletic Club because of inclement weather.

Sawer, seeded fourth in the boys 18 singles division, swept Adam Stormer 6-1, 6-1. His quarterfinal opponent will be Alec Thomas who also won 6-1, 6-1 over Richard Vicary.

Labonte advanced when No. 3 seed Mike Siegel of Fairview withdrew from their match because of an undisclosed illness. The Trojans’ sophomore-to-be drew Quinn White as his quarterfinal foe.

Fairview junior-to-be Ben Westcott received a first-round bye as the bracket’s top seed. The reigning District 10 Class AA doubles titlist will take on Tigers teammate Tris Tuttle today at 5 p.m.

– Mike Copper

Posted in: District 10, PIAA, Tennis
Posted: June 23rd, 2014

Chris Jiuliante, who recently completed his senior season with the McDowell boys tennis team, was the overall champion of Sunday morning’s Biggest Loser Half Marathon. The 13.1-mile event started and ended Penn State Behrend’s new soccer and lacrosse complex.

Jiuliante crossed the finish line in 1 hour, 24 minutes, 15. seconds. His time was more than 2 1/2 seconds faster than that of silver medalist Adam Rowe of Ripley, N.Y.

Jiuliante took up running last summer in conjunction with tennis. His time in last September’s Erie Marathon at Presque Isle was fast enough to make him eligible for the 2014 Boston Marathon, which he entered and completed.

This fall, Jiuliante will start college at Indiana (Pa.) University. He plans to major in accounting.

– Mike Copper

Posted in: District 10, PIAA, Tennis

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