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There are four ECIC girls tennis teams who hope their success in the regular season carries over into the Sectionals.

Orchard Park, Williamsville North, Amherst and East Aurora each won their respective league titles with 10-0 records.

The only thing certain about this year's Section VI Championship is that two-time defending singles champion Dena Baritot won't win it. The six-year Orchard Park standout has graduated to the University of Wisconsin.

The consensus among coaches is that this year's event, scheduled for Oct. 25-26 at the Southtowns Tennis Center, is wide open.

The Quakers, even for them, are unusually deep this season. Senior Leah Wasielewski, a three-time representative to the state meet, wasn't able to secure a spot in singles this year. Standing in her way were a trio of sophomores -- Amy Thomas (No. 1 singles), Krista Thompson (No. 2) and Michelle Mercer (No. 3).

Orchard Park's depth was also evident at last weekend's ECIC singles qualifier when top-seed Nicole Kramer of Williamsville North was eliminated in the quarterfinals by the Quakers' No. 3 singles player (Mercer), 6-2, 6-1.

Williamsville North dropped to Division II this year and won its first ECIC title in years.

The Spartans feature a pair of regular season undefeated singles players: Kramer (at No. 1) and Brazilian exchange student Mariana Sandri (No. 2).

Amherst's singles players, freshman Julie Pace, German exchange student Katja Vom Hofe and junior Ann Schule, were undefeated in Division III.

"I didn't think we'd be undefeated," said coach Pete Cothran. "Our second doubles team (Tracy Bleckinger and Mary Reid) never played together. It turned out to be a perfect combination. It's been a very rewarding year."

It was business as usual for East Aurora, which won its 22nd ECIC title in a row.

"We're a tennis town in a small-school division," said coach Bob Crowell. "We've got some good tennis players out here."

Among them are first singles player Kallie Speller. Last year, as a junior, she finished third in the ECIC tourney, losing in the semifinals to Orchard Park's Thomas. Speller teamed with Leah Fasenmyer to win a Sectional doubles title last year.

East Aurora senior Claire Grundtisch, a strong midcourt player, won a Sectional doubles title two years ago teamed with Fasenmyer.

Speller and Thomas shared the No. 8 spot in a recent Buffalo News ranking of the top female players in Western New York. Pryia Shastri of non-sectional participant Nichols was ranked No. 4.

The ECIC's top talent was on display last weekend at the singles Sectional qualifier at the Buffalo Hilton.

The top eight qualifiers were: Thomas (OP), Mercer (OP), Speller (EA), Kramer (Wmsv. North), Thompsen (OP), Nicole Sargent (Hamburg), Jackie Aycyna (Wmsv. East) and Tricia Sargent (Hamburg).

The doubles Sectional qualifier is Friday and Saturday at the Buffalo Hilton. The top eight teams qualify.

The Niagara Frontier League and CCIAC will send four singles players and four doubles teams each to Sectionals.

The increasingly competitive NFL doesn't plan on leaving Sectionals empty handed.

The Kenmore West doubles team of Michelle Brown and Lindsay Brown will be looking for a patch. Their sister, Kelly Brown, currently a sophomore scholarship athlete at Kentucky, is the only girl from WNY to win a state singles title.

Senior Kristen Janese of Niagara-Wheatfield is a threat in singles.

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