Lewiston’s finest continue to thrive

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It shouldn’t be any surprise to anyone who has followed the Lewiston High School tennis program (16 combined state championships, eight runner-up trophies since 1973 and counting) that at least three recent graduates are off to a smashing start this season at the collegiate level.

Boasting the best individual and team record of the trio is Allison Bleakney, a sophomore who is 12-2 in singles and 7-3 in doubles for Stonehill College of Easton, Mass.

In her most recent outing, Bleakney dispatched Lauren Mullen of Bryant College, 6-3, 6-3. The victory solidified a 5-4 Stonehill triumph that terminated Bryant’s 35-match winning streak in the Northeast-10 Conference. The Skyhawks are 14-1 overall and 11-0 in league play.

Junior Amy Sarrazin has worked her way onto the singles ladder at Quinnipiac College in Hamden, Conn., where she is a solid 5-2 for the two-time defending Northeast Conference champion Bobcats. Sarrazin stormed past Emily Boyd of Wagner College, 6-0, 6-1, in her last encounter.

That’s a different role from last season, when Sarrazin was an all-conference pick at No.3 doubles.

Merrimack College has captured seven of its last eight men’s team matches at least partially on the shoulders of freshman Adam Wilding, who is already entrenched at No. 1 and No. 2 singles while sharing the spotlight in the Warriors’ top doubles tandem.

Wilding even provided a spark in the lone loss of the current stretch, chalking up one of Merrimack’s two points in a loss to Bryant with a 6-2, 7-5 individual victory.

Storm warning

Katie Morin continues her splendid softball season for the University of New England in Biddeford.

The sophomore shortstop from Lewiston leads the team with six doubles, three stolen bases and a .554 slugging percentage. Morin’s .446 average is second on the squad, while her nine RBIs are tied for second-best.

The Nor’easters (10-7) flaunt four local players in the lineup. Senior catcher Karcha Turner of Paris (Oxford Hills) has started every game, batting .339 and leading UNE with 14 RBIs. Sophomore outfielder and backstop Chelsea Goslin of Lisbon Falls (Catherine McAuley) is hitting .222, while another Oxford Hills graduate, sophomore Chelsea Cummings, is seeing time as a utility infielder.

Six area standouts strengthen the UNE lacrosse teams this spring.

Freshmen midfielders Evan Xanthos of Farmington (Mt. Blue) and Lewiston’s Robert Labbe have made an immediate impact. Labbe scored two goals Monday and Xanthos added another in UNE’a 19-14 triumph over Nichols College. It was the third win of the season for the Nor’Easters.

Labbe has scored five goals in 10 starts. Xanthos struck three times and added an assist in nine appearances. Senior middie Jared Martin (Oxford Hills) also has an assist.

On the women’s side, Nicole Mace of Readfield (Maranacook) recently scored her first career goal for UNE. Mace is joined in the midfield by fellow freshman Danielle Martineau of Greene (Edward Little). Victoria Langelier, a senior from Lewiston, bolsters the defense.

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Put ’em in the book

Three area players have combined to drive in 13 runs this season for the Saint Joseph’s College softball team.

Kim Bechard of Lewiston, who is part of a third base platoon as a freshman, leads the group with six RBIs while swatting a toasty .350. Junior Jamie Morrison of Auburn (Edward Little) is hitting .242 with five RBIs at first base. Middle infielder Andrea Piela of Lisbon Falls has punched in a pair of runs in spot duty for St. Joe’s, which swept Salem State on Monday to level its record at 10-10.

Hoop handouts

The Maine Men’s Basketball Coaches Association didn’t announce its postseason award winners until this week, but it was worth the wait for three representatives of Bates College.

Juniors Zak Ray and Rob Stockwell earned two of the five spots on the MMBCA first team. Stockwell averaged 15.8 points and 9.8 rebounds per game while becoming the 19th 1,000-point scorer in the history of the Bates men’s program. Ray was a steadying force at point guard, leading the New England Small College Athletic Conference in steals and placing among the league leaders in scoring and assists.

Ninth-year head coach Joe Reilly was named Maine’s Coach of the Year for the second time in his career. Reilly directed Bates to the first 20-win season in school history.

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