An experienced Williamsville East girls volleyball team opened its schedule with 25-21, 25-14, 25-9 ECIC III victory over Starpoint on Tuesday. The Flames were the No. 1 ranked large school team in Western New York last year when they went to the state Class A final before losing.
"We got off to a sluggish start and Starpoint was playing well," said Flames coach Scott Wright. "It took us a while to find our game."
East is loaded with seniors but success will depend on how some players have adjusted to new roles. Summer Clark, who has taken over full time as setter had 26 assists against Starpoint. Junior Madison Smith, a new outside hitter, had 12 kills in Tuesday's match. Rachel Steffan, a returning captain, has 12 kills as well.
"It's a little early, but our goals (league, sectional and state titles) are there," Wright said.
"We'll know more about our team on Saturday in the Clarence Tournament. We're in a tough bracket with Niagara Wheatfield, who we played in the sectional final last year, Williamsville North and Eden."
There will be a 12-team field in the Clarence Tournament, one of the early season highlights in the WNY girls volleyball schedule.
Warren sisters lead Nichols
Nichols traveled to Rochester for a girls soccer match against Aquinas and came away with a 5-1 victory, with the three Warren sisters accounting for four goals.
Freshman Sitira Warren had two goals for the Vikings while her twin sisters, Cam and Marisa, seniors, each scored a goal. Marisa Warren was a first-team All-Catholic A selection last season when Nichols won the Monsignor Martin Association title.
Goalkeeper Bella Simoncelli had nine saves for Nichols (2-0).
Claire Birkemeier scored five goals and Emma Kusher had three tallies as Lake Shore defeated visiting Cheektowaga, 10-0, for its first ECIC III girls soccer victory of the season. Olivia Winder added a goal and three assists while Melody Lagattutta had a goal and one assist. Grace Flickenger needed just two saves for the shutout.
Donovan goal wins for Iroquois
Grace Donovan scored with 29 seconds left to give Iroquois a 3-2 win over Pioneer in their ECIC III girls soccer match Donovan took a feed from Grace Kulniszewski from the 18-meter box scored despite hurting her ankle on the play.
It was the Chiefs first victory since 2013 over Pioneer after a tie and five straight losses.
Playing with only three subs available and a backup in goal, Nardin persevered in the heat and pulled out a 2-1 nonleague girls soccer win over Frontier.
Olivia Jerge assisted on Nardin's first goal by Emily Den Haese. And after Frontier tied the game, Jerge scored the winner with about 10 minutes to play.
Nardin had a strong defensive game by Abby Molloy. "She was a rock," said Nardin coach Frank Cotroneo, "We really had to strategize and play a smart game ... especially with the hot temperatures."
Barker field hockey wins at Nichols
Barker, which always seems to figure in the WNY field hockey picture, stepped outside the Niagara-Orleans League for a nonleague game at Nichols and came away with an impressive 6-0 victory.
"We have only two seniors," said Raiders coach Jeff Costello, whose team tied Akron for the N-O title last season, but fell to the Tigers in the Section Vi Class C championship game.
Junior Katrina Clare scored three goals, Rachel Hurtgam, another junior scored twice and Lena Fazzolari had the other tally for the Raiders, who are 2-0 overall including a win over Medina in their league opener last week.
Kayla Gill and Chloe McKenna scored three goals each and Anna Lorenzo and Emily Eichner each a pair of scores in Williamsville South's opening ECIC win over East Aurora, 10-0. Gill added a pair of assist for a five-point game while McKenna, Lorenzo and Eichner had a single assist each.