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(Photo by Bill Allen/NJ SportAction)

TAKING CARE OF BIS-NESS: Hun School junior lacrosse star Bis Fries, right, looks for an opening in the Raiders' 16-8 win over visiting Hopewell Valley last Thursday. Fries, who scored five goals in the contest as Hun won its fifth straight game, now has a team-high 40 on the season. The Raiders, currently 6-2, play at Notre Dame on April 28, host Pennington on April 30 and then play at Princeton High on May 4.
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Fries' Year-Round Commitment Pays Dividends for Hun Girls' Lax

By Bill Alden

Bis Fries has left no stone unturned in her drive to maximize her potential as a lacrosse player.

The Hun School junior played for the Tri-State all stars last summer in addition to competing in several local lacrosse leagues. In the fall and winter, the slender Fries played in the Peddie league, which made for some late nights since she also was a member of Hun's girls' basketball team.

In addition to participating in the myriad of organized programs, Fries has spent countless hours on her own working to hone her stick skills, cutting, and one-on one moves.

All that effort is paying dividends this spring as Fries has been the top gun for Hun, scoring a team-high 40 goals for the rapidly improving squad which has won five straight games since falling to Lawrenceville on April 7.

After firing in five goals in Hun's 16-8 win over visiting Hopewell Valley last Thursday, Fries said her hot hand was a result of the many hours she has put into her game.

"I've worked year round to get better this year and to improve on what I did last year," said Fries, who scored 51 goals as a sophomore as Hun went just 2-10.

"Since my freshman year, I've tried to work on my stick skills as much as I can. It's helped my improvement. I think that my strong points are taking it one-on-one and catching it in tight situations near the goalie and quick sticking it in."

Fries, though, is quick to point out that she isn't the only weapon driving the Raiders' increasingly potent offense. "I think our midfield is our strongest point," said Fries, who clicks well with the Kirnan sisters, Tarah, a senior, and Katie, a sophomore, in Hun's midfield. "It's important that we can have transition from defense to attack and get it down to the attack to score. Our transition has seen such a change from last year."

It took the discouraging 18-7 loss to Lawrenceville to get the Raiders on the road to change this season. "After the loss to Lawrenceville, we saw the reasons we had to pick things up," acknowledged Fries. "We saw a real turnaround in our team. I give a lot of credit to Ms. P (head coach Lauren Provenzano), she has really pushed us."

Provenzano, for her part, concurs that the defeat to Lawrenceville served as a wake-up call for her 6-2 squad. "I think that game really shook them up," said Provenzano. "They really don't want something like that to happen again. We turned things around after that, the girls have practiced hard everyday. I think they've gotten more intense."

The third-year head coach, however, had no doubts about Fries' intensity. "I think playing year-round has gotten Bis ready for the season," maintained Provenzano. "I value her as a player. I think her stick skills have just been fabulous, Her switching hand is so smooth you don't even know what hand it's in."

Provenzano says that the bond Fries has developed with the Kirnan sisters has given the Raiders a major boost. "They're very close," added Provenzano, whose team plays at Notre Dame today, hosts Pennington on April 30, and then plays at Princeton High on May 4. "They do a lot of give-and-goes, they look for each other. They are really putting it together."

Fries acknowledges that she has reached a special comfort level with the Kirnans. "We're best friends, we hang out a lot," said Fries, who went over the 100-goal mark in her career in Hun's recent win over Blair with Tarah Kirnan reaching that milestone in the victory over HoVal.

"We feel a connection and are very comfortable playing with each other. This is the last year all of us will play together and we want to make it a good one."

Based on how things have started for Hun, it looks like Fries and the Kirnans may be in for a very good spring.

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