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Locals fill college tennis rosters

The following profiles are brief summaries of where local collegiate players are and what their playing status is.

* Joe Schafer: The 19-year-old freshman is playing first singles and doubles for Davidson, where he was honored with the Bryan Scholarship given to one female and one male athlete in each entering class. He has compiled a 9-1 singles record against players from such outstanding schools as Duke, North Carolina and Clemson. He is 6-3 in doubles.

This adds to his legacy. He captured the Muny Open Singles, Doubles and Mixed Doubles titles last summer, and was named the area's No. 1 male player by The Buffalo News. The Orchard Park resident was ranked No. 1 in the East in the 18-under division last year. He was also voted the Southern Conference Player of the Week in February for his play in the prestigious Carolina Regional tournament.

* Olga Khmylev: The 18-year-old freshman is playing second singles for Boston College in the tough Atlantic Coast Conference. She is attending BC on a full academic and athletic scholarship. This past winter, she scored a noteworthy victory over Rachel Delpriore, the area's No. 1-ranked player, in the Miller Invitational. During her career at Williamsville East High School she had a 40-0 record at first singles, won the Sectional championships twice, and finished second in the New York State High School Singles Championships.

* Matt Kane: The 19-year-old freshman at Niagara is playing second singles and first doubles, where he has attained 7-4 and 8-4 records, respectively. The Hamburg resident is a former Sectional and Erie County Interscholastic singles champion. Perhaps the defining moment of his career was winning the Muny Open Doubles title two years ago. Only 17, he and his brother, 12-year-old wunderkind Tim, defeated Ken White and Mark Szafnicki to become the youngest champions in the history of the tournament.

* Ari Binder: The 20-year-old junior is the seventh man at Williams. He has played occasionally at sixth singles and third doubles. While playing for Amherst High School he was an unprecedented 92-0 at first singles over six years. He was also ECIC Singles Champion four times, Sectional champion once, and runner-up twice.

* Monica Vieth: The 19-year-old sophomore out of Williamsville East is undefeated in 14 matches for Geneseo State at first singles. During her junior and senior years in high school she was undefeated in 28 matches at second and third singles.

* Chris Post: The 21-year-old junior is playing first singles and doubles for St. Bonaventure. Post, a resident of Lakewood (near Jamestown), was 78-7 at first singles for Southwestern. His only losses were to Jonathan Luce, a Maple Grove star. Post won the Sectional championships once and twice was runner-up.

* Elise DeRose: The 22-year-old senior has played first singles for Colgate for the past three years, competing against the likes of Harvard, Yale and Princeton. While playing high school tennis at Nichols she compiled a record of 40-2. She has consistently been ranked among the area's top 10 women, twice among the top five.

* Lauren Bates: The 21-year-old is playing first singles for SUNY Binghamton and has a 9-1 record against strong competition in her junior year. She is 67-25 all-time in singles after winning her match at first singles against Villanova of the Big East, 6-0, 6-0. Bates had a legendary career at Kenmore West, compiling an 84-0 record over a six-year period. (She played as a seventh- and eighth-grader.) Three times she was the Sectional singles champion and played in the state singles championships five years in a row.

* Dave Yovanoff: The 19-year-old Eden resident is a freshman at Brandeis, where he is playing third singles and second doubles. He is 6-8 in singles and 7-6 in doubles. When he played for Eden and Hamburg high schools, he had a 63-2 record over four years, culminating with his winning the Sectionals and ECICs as a senior.

* Catie Wickline: The 19-year-old former Orchard Park High star is alternating between second and third doubles at West Virginia, where she was a walk-on. At Orchard Park she played second singles her senior year, compiling a 12-0 record in league play. She and Caroline Bristol won the consolation prize in the New York State High School Doubles Championships.

* Brett Cromwell: After attending the Nick Bollettieri Tennis Academy for five years and playing in International Tennis Federation tournaments, the 19-year-old Orchard Park native is a freshman at Radford (Va.), where he has an academic scholarship. He lost his only match this spring, against Binghamton at second doubles.

e-mail: thegreatgar@verizon.net

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