Albion netters prep to defend N-O title

By Mike Wertman, Sports Writer Posted 19 March 2016 at 12:00 am

Photo by Mike Wertman – Leading Albion into defense of its N-O title this season will be this quartet of returning starters including Matt Kovaleski, Josh Metzler, Dylan Bader and Daniel Beam.

Anchored by a quartet of returning starters, Albion is preparing to defend its Niagara-Orleans League tennis championship.

Seniors Josh Metzler, Daniel Beam, Dylan Bader and freshman Matt Kovaleski provide the veteran experience for Albion which won a tight five-way battle to claim the N-O crown for the first time since 2004. Metzler earned first team N-O All-League honors.

The Purple Eagles went 9-3 and were followed closely by Akron and Medina, both at 8-4, and Barker and Wilson, both at 7-5.

“Last year finished tight and I expect this season will start tight,” said Coach Jay Kovaleski who is anticipating another close multi team title race.

The Purple Eagles are looking to several other varsity returnees including seniors Matt Flanagan and Kyle Thaine, junior Emilie Barleben and sophomore Victor Benjovsky to help fill out the lineup which was hit hard by graduation.

Those graduation losses include first team N-O honoree Dyer Benjovsky, second team picks Kyler McQuillen and Monica Benjovsky along with honorable mention selections Cristal Quintana and Michael Stilwell.

“We certainly have some spots to fill but we’ve got a pretty good core group coming back,” said Kovaleski. “We’ll just need some players to step up.”

Albion is scheduled to begin its title defense on April 4 at Wilson.

April 4 – at Wilson, 4 p.m.
April 11 – at Roy-Hart, 4 p.m.
April 12 – Newfane, 4 p.m.
April 14 – at Barker, 4 p.m.
April 18 – at Medina, 4 p.m.
April 21 – Akron, 4 p.m.
April 25 – Wilson, 4 p.m.
April 27 – Roy-Hart, 4 p.m.
May 2 – Barker, 4 p.m.
May 3 – at Newfane, 4 p.m.
May 4 – Medina, 4 p.m.
May 9 – at Akron, 4 p.m.