Girls Volleyball: Avonworth stands tall

Written by Ken Wunderley on .

Ken Wunderley profiles the Avonworth girls volleyball team. Read his story below.

2015 0904 Avonworth GVolleyball(Photo: Sophomore middle hitter Erin Williams is one of Avonworth's 6-foot players. Bill Wade/Post-Gazette)

Avonworth girls volleyball coach Doug Vandervort could have the tallest team in the WPIAL.

"We have four girls who are 6 feet and two who are 5 feet 11," said Vandervort, now in his 15th season. "I would be surprised if any team in Class A can match our size. In fact, we may have the tallest team in the entire WPIAL."

Two of Avonworth's 6-footers are seniors: outside hitter Abby Oberdick and middle hitter Sierra Hartings.

"Sierra sat out the 2014 season with an injury," said Vandervort of Hartings, the daughter of former Steelers lineman Jeff Hartings. "It happened the first Saturday of the season at a tournament and she missed the rest of the season. It was the third year in a row that we had to deal with a serious season-ending injury."


Avonworth 2015 Football Preview

Written by Joe Koch on .

Avonworth coach Duke Johncour hopes high school football fans — not to mention his Antelopes — will get the opportunity to see senior quarterback Zach Chandler's talents displayed over a full season.

"He was the leading passer in the WPIAL with 742 yards after three games, and then he broke his leg in the fourth game against Brentwood," Johncour said. "He's anxious to get out there and compete. He had a healthy summer."

Avonworth avenged a regular-season, 28-0 loss to Cardinal Wuerl North Catholic with a 28-21 victory against the Trojans in a WPIAL Class A semifinal. A week later, the Antelopes fell to eventual PIAA Class A runner-up Clairton, 46-14, in the WPIAL Class A championship at Heinz Field. The Antelopes finished 11-2 overall, 6-1 in the Black Hills Conference.

"It was a worthwhile experience to play Clairton," said Johncour, entering his fifth year. "That game gave us a taste of what success is like, and I think that will give us the motivation to get back there."


Baseball: Avonworth clinches playoff berth

Written by John D'Abruzzo on .

From the very start of season, Avonworth's varsity baseball team showed some promise. The Antelopes opened their schedule with a pair of shutout wins, toppling Quigley Catholic, 10-0, before beating Fort Cherry, 10-0. They, however, went on to lose three of their next five games.

Nevertheless, Avonworth (10-4, 9-4) rebounded during the month of April and remained in contention for a spot in the WPIAL Class AA playoffs. The Antelopes entered this week riding a three-game winning streak and had won five of their last six games. Senior Chris O'Malley came up with a clutch game last week against Burgettstown. The 6-foot-4, 230-pound pitcher/infielder went 5 for 5 with a home run during Avonworth's 16-5 Section 1-AA victory. Senior Jay Knable also added some offensive support by going 4 for 5 at the plate, while freshman Alex Osbourne went 3 for 4.

The Antelopes kept their postseason chances alive last week by knocking off top-ranked Quaker Valley, 4-3. They also picked up another key section win May 4 with an 11-3 decision against Northgate. That win, along with the fact that South Side Beaver lost to Quaker Valley, should had been enough to secure a spot in the WPIAL's Class AA bracket. Avonworth is scheduled to close out its Section 1-AA schedule May 6 at New Brighton.


Alumni Update - Havilah Gaugler (Geneva)

Written by Drew Karpen on .

Youngstown, Ohio Indoor Track and Field became an official PAC sport during the 2014-15 school year allowing Geneva student-athletesGaugler Geneva to compete for a trophy during the winter season. The Golden Tornadoes’ 69 points allowed them to finish over Waynesburg, Thiel, W&J and St. Vincent. Grove City claimed the first-ever Championship with 116 points.


In addition to their fifth place finish, the Golden Tornadoes were honored with the 2015 indoor track and field team sportsmanship award.


Havilah Gaugler, an Avonworth graduate, earned two silver medals and school record.

Gaugler’s silver mile run time of 5:23.52 broke Alayna Merkle’s record set in 2013 of 5:23.77. 


(photo courtesy of Geneva College)


Wrestling: Avonworth senior advances

Written by Keith Barnes on .

Keith Barnes profiles Avonworth wrestler Darion Trimmer.

2015 0227 Avonworth Wrestling(Photo: Freedom's Kody Komara, left, battles Darion Trimmer of Avonworth in the WPIAL Class AA individual championships Saturday at South Fayette. Komara won the third-place consolation match by decision, 3-1. Cara DeCarlo/Tri-State Sports & News Service)

"Avonworth senior Darion Trimmer had a lot riding on him when he competed in the WPIAL Class AA individual wrestling finals last weekend at South Fayette.

Not only did he have his own expectation of competing for and possibly winning a championship, he had the hopes of the Antelopes athletics department to have a respectable enough finish that could jump-start sagging participation in the program.

Though he didn't come home with a gold medal, he did keep Avonworth alive to compete another day as he finished fourth in the 132-pound weight class and moved on to the two-day PIAA Class AA Southwest Regional tournament, which begins today at Canon-McMillan.

"He did OK, but obviously I want us to win all the time," Avonworth coach Tom Giel said. "It's a tough weight class and the top four kids in that weight class are very aggressive and, if they wrestled six different times, there would be six different outcomes.""