Schreiber’s biggest sports season underway

Matt Corsitto and Noah Sollinger

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Badminton

Following a rigorous week of tryouts, the Lady Vikings badminton team is poised  to make a deep postseason run in 2018.  With returning leaders such as seniors Sherry Shi and Lizzy Kaplan, the team hopes to improve upon last year’s record of 5-9.  The girls are looking to achieve success on a county level with a championship, just they did in 2016.  During the ‘16 season, just two years ago, the Lady Vikings were able to beat Calhoun in a close match by a score of 4-3 to claim the Nassau County championship.  Members of that championship-winning team—such as seniors Eileen Brickell and Mia Froccaro—are leading the team this year, and hope to impart some of that winning mentality to the younger members of the team.  One of those younger team members is sophomore Rachel Bernstein.

“The majority of our team is seniors, and since it is their last year, they make sure everyone works hard every practice,” said Bernstein.  “We’re all so excited for the season because we are continuing where we left off and we were really improving last year.” 

That improvement during the 2017 season was unfortunately cut short by county powerhouse Jericho, who defeated the Lady Vikings by a close score of 4-3 in the county quarterfinals last year.  This season, the squad will have a chance to get revenge for last year’s postseason loss when they face Jericho at home on April 11.  Another team to beat this year is 2017 county semifinalist East Meadow, whom the Lady Vikings will play twice this season, once at home and once away.  The girls hope to start their season off right in an out-of-division matchup away at Lynbrook on March 22.  With solid leadership and vast amounts of talent, this team is truly capable of a championship, and it will be interesting to observe their progress and hard work as the season progresses. 

Softball

With multiple college commits and a strong core of leadership, the softball team is off to an excellent start this season. With two sets of star sisters, the Lady Vikings hope to emerge victorious from the competitive Nassau County Conference AA-II.  Those two sets of sisters are the Gallagher and the Bullaros, who collectively account for five members of the team. The Gallaghers, with sophomore Maddie, who is committed to the University of South Carolina, junior Kailey, and senior Fairfield University commit Ashlynn, have all played for the Varsity team since Maddie was in seventh grade.  Meanwhile, the Bullaros, with sophomore Maria and senior Nina, also contribute greatly to the team, with Maria’s pitching expertise and Nina’s capability at the plate. These five athletes, in addition to the various other great players on the team, hope to improve upon last year’s record of 8-11.  

However, there are various obstacles which stand between the Lady Vikings and their hopes of a deep postseason run, one of which is county powerhouse and division rival Farmingdale.  Last season, the squad lost to Farmingdale on multiple occasions, home and away. This year, the team will have a chance to prove themselves, as they once again face Farmingdale at home and away, on March 26 and April 23, respectively.  The Lady Vikings hope to recreate the success of the 2016 season, in which they finished with an incredible record of 14-5, including wins against division rivals such as Farmingdale and Plainview.  With hard work and dedication, the team will be making a run for the county championship this season. The journey towards the postseason begins on March 19 when the Lady Vikings will face off against 2017 county finalists Oyster Bay at home.

Girls Lacrosse

Following a successful and exciting 2017 campaign, the girls varsity lacrosse team is prepared for another strong season.  With returning leaders such as seniors Ali Hoffman and Rebecca Rosen, the team has all the tools to recreate the magic of last year’s season.  Although the team has retained many of its stars, a few key players have departed for college since last season.  

A few of those athletes include Rachel Rosen, who recently scored her first goal for Penn State, as well as Lily Avazis, who currently plays for East Carolina University.  With these losses, some younger players will have to step up and provide a spark for the rest of the squad.  Junior duo Michaela and Morgan Gearty are ready to step into a leadership role, as the twins combined for 35 goals and nine assists this past season.  The Lady Vikings must work hard every day in practice to be ready for the start of the regular season, as their very first game will be against 2017 county champion Massapequa at home on March 20.  The team suffered a heartbreaking loss in the county finals against Massapequa last season, and this year’s team is ready to get revenge and set the tone for what will hopefully be a long and successful 2018 campaign. 

Other crucial matchups on the team’s schedule include a tough away game at 2017 state champion Garden City, who will once again be the team to beat in Nassau County this season.  Moreover, another exciting game will take place against division rivals Syosset at home on April 24, who the Lady Vikings defeated in overtime in the county semifinals last year.  Although the team has lost multiple amazing players, there is still plenty of talent present on this year’s squad.  This team has everything they need to make it even further than last year and finally win that elusive county championship.

Baseball

The boys baseball team has high hopes in their pursuit of a comeback season this spring.  Their primary goal will be to establish solid chemistry and work as a unit. The team is confident that they will bring enough talent back to the ball field this year to turn this season into a triumphant one.

“Most of our big losses are in our pitching staff,” said senior captain Jack Stolper.  “We are returning our entire batting line up along with our defensive line up.  We need to get our younger guys some reps on the mound so they can fill the spots the seniors held last year in our pitching rotation.”

This season will see the return of several key playmakers, such as seniors Ryan Meth and Brian Schorr, junior Alex Chang, and sophomores Derek Livingston and Sean Meth, all of which will make for sturdy foundational pieces down the stretch on both offense and defense.

The team has its eyes set on a playoff berth this year, but they will face some dangerous competition along the way.  One of their major competitors is Massapequa, a team which the Vikings were not able to defeat last season. Port went 0-4 against Massapequa last year and was outscored by the rival team 35-6. The Vikings were also unable to defeat Oceanside last season in any of their four matchups.

“Both of their teams have a lot of talent, especially when it comes to pitching,” said Stolper.  “We need to clean up our defense and keep the bats rolling in order to take them down this year.”

With a lot of potential brewing behind the offensive lineup and a defense that is coming together nicely, the Vikings are setting all the pieces in place for a successful season in 2018.  If they manage to overcome their tough divisional rivals in Massapequa and Oceanside, the team could be in a good spot for a playoff run. 

“Were shaping up to have a really good season,” said senior Ryan Meth.  “We go a lot of young talent, and although there’s room for improvement, we’ve started off strong. We’re really looking forward to what should be a great season.”

Tennis

Out of all of Schreiber’s athletic programs, tennis has been one of its most consistently successful for the past several years.  From the looks of it, the 2018 season will be no different.  The Vikings tennis team is coming off an impressive playoff run last season which was ultimately ended by Roslyn at the county championship semi-finals.  This year, the team is confident they will make it even further.

“We lost last season in the semi-finals, but this season we’re looking to at least make it to the county championship match and compete with Syosset,” said senior captain Dylan Spilko.  “As a team we believe our depth will give us an edge over the other teams this season that lost seniors.  Our talent throughout the lineup makes us confident we can earn our way to the counties this year.”

Perhaps the most exciting part about the tennis team this season is their immense range of talent.  While many teams are relying on seniors this season, tennis has talent that is diversified and evenly spread amongst all age brackets, from freshmen to seniors.  This will give the Vikings more than a fighting chance against their divisional rivals, many of which have lost a lot of firepower due to graduating seniors.

“We have a lot of special players who will really help to put us over the top,” said Spilko.  “Freshman Gabe Boticelli is easily our top player and will be a huge part of our success at first singles.  Other players who have been on the team longer like [juniors] Zachary Gruber and Ryan Siegel will also rack up wins for our team.”

The Vikings aren’t worried too much about the competition.  With a roster that has so much potential, they are quite confident that they will be the team to beat this season.  Port’s primary rival this season will be Syosset, a team that is coming off a county championship last season.

“We’re looking forward to challenging Syosset this season,” said Spilko.  “They have been dominant for a very long time in our conference, and now with Roslyn losing a lot of seniors, Syosset will definitely be our top target to take down.”

The Vikings have all the keys for success this season.  They are determined to challenge a rival Syosset team and make a run for a county championship.  If they manage to stay focused and stay healthy, this team will be one of the most formidable teams in the division looking forward. 

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