Cross Country: Knoch showcases its Moxie

Written by Brittany Goncar on .

Knoch's Mandi Moxie made history Thursday at the WPIAL cross country championships.

The senior conquered the Cooper's Lake course in 19 minutes, 46 seconds to claim the Class AA title. Moxie became the first girl in school history to win a title. She defeated Quaker Valley's Lucie Kubinski by 14 seconds.

Moxie will make her fourth trip to the PIAA championships, which will be held Nov. 7 in Hershey.

The boys team reclaimed their WPIAL title. Max Freyermuth finished third, John Ejzak took eighth place, and Brandon Grumski was 11th.


Girls Volleyball: Knoch keeps playoff streak alive

Written by Ken Wunderley on .

Ken Wunderley writes about the Knoch girls volleyball team.

Diane Geist is celebrating her 30th season as Knoch High School's girls volleyball coach with a 16th consecutive WPIAL Class AA playoff berth.

"When I started coaching, there were only two classes and we were in Class AAA in a section with North Allegheny, Pine-Richland and eventually Seneca Valley," Geist said. "We made the playoffs four or five times."

The PIAA added a third class in 2000 and Knoch was designated as a Class AA team.

"We've qualified for the playoffs every year since we moved down to Class AA in 2000," Geist said. "That's a tribute to the talented athletes I've worked with over the years."

Knoch entered last night's Class AA Section 4 finale against Deer Lakes with a 9-2 record in the section and a 13-2 mark overall. The Knights only losses were to Freeport, the No. 1-ranked team in the WPIAL in Class AA.

"I haven't seen all the top teams in Class AA, but Freeport has to be considered the favorite in the WPIAL," Geist said.

Knoch, ranked No. 9, has wins against four non-section opponents. The Knights swept Indiana and beat Mars, Hampton and Avonworth in four games.

"We faced four quality teams in our non-section matches," Geist said. "We're hoping that will help us in the seeding."

The WPIAL volleyball committee will determine the brackets Monday, with first-round matches to begin as early as Tuesday.

"I am very surprised that we've done as well as we have," Geist said. "Over the last two years, we lost some very talented players to graduation.

"We've made a lot of errors this year, but have been fortunate to win all but two matches. That's a credit to the girls and how hard they have worked."

Geist has built this year's squad around three players who were recognized as All-Section 4. Carly Bozzo, a 5-5 sophomore libero, was voted to the first team. Abbie Fissore, a 5-6 senior middle hitter, and Sarah Armahizer, a 5-11 sophomore middle hitter, were voted to the second team.

"Abbie is one of four seniors on the team," Geist said. "Three are starters, while the other is a sub."

The other two senior starters are 5-4 setter Julie Zilka and 5-2 senior defensive specialist Taylor Lesseski. Zilka is a returning starter, while Lesseski is a returning letterman.

"Julie was our opposite last year," Geist said. "She didn't do any setting until this year. We run a modified 5-1 offense with Abby Pospisil as our other setter."

Pospisil is a 5-7 sophomore, who also plays outside hitter.

"Our seniors and juniors are providing good leadership, but we're still a young team," Geist said. "Our sophomore class is more athletic. The combination of our seniors, juniors and sophomores has worked very well."

Knoch's other returning starter is Alley Kerkan, a 5-2 junior defensive specialist.

Newcomers to the Knights starting rotation are 5-7 sophomore outside hitter Bethany Nulph, 5-4 sophomore defensive specialist Celia Knappenberger, 5-5 junior outside hitter Katelyn Schwab and 5-11 sophomore outside hitter Abby Kopac.


Alumni Update - Ian Lindsey (Clarion)

Written by Drew Karpen on .

CLARION, Pa. - Clarion juniors Ian Lindsey and Collin Vest (Larksville/Wyoming Valley West) and freshman Taylor WesselhoftLindsey Clarion (Woodbridge, Va.) were all double winners on Saturday leading the Golden Eagles to a 177.5 – 113.5 win over Grove City in the 2015-6 season opener for the men's swimming and diving team at Tippin Natatorium.


Lindsey, a Knoch graduate, won his specialties – the 100 breaststroke (1:00.35) and the 200 breaststroke (2:17.61), while Wesselhoft took the 1650 (17:30.10) and the 500 free (5:03.19).


(photo courtesy of Clarion University)


Football: Knoch standout following in his father's footsteps

Written by Joe Bendel on .

Joe Bendel profiles Knoch football player Mac Christy.

"One of Mac Christy's cherished possessions is a photo of him and big sister, Nicolette, parading through a sea of confetti while firmly clutching the hand of their father, Jeff. The indelible snapshot came moments after the Tampa Bay Buccaneers triumphed in Super Bowl XXXVIII, Jeff serving as the starting center.

Only 3 years old at the time, Mac Christy has a limited recollection of that Super evening in San Diego. The moment, though, has had lasting effects on the gifted young football player – a junior running back/wideout/quarterback/linebacker/punter for the Knoch High School football team.

"It gives me butterflies," Mac Christy said of the image, which hangs in the family's home in Saxonburg. "A great memory."

Father and son are making more of those memories together at Knoch, where Jeff is in his first season as the offensive line coach. It is there that the elder Christy gets to watch Mac pursue his football dreams – just as Jeff did at Freeport High many years earlier."



Cross Country: Knoch boys top the field at Slippery Rock

Written by Brittany Goncar on .

The Knoch boys cross country team won the Slippery Rock XC on Saturday.

Max Freyermuth started the rally crossing the line in fourth place. The junior crossed the line in 17:16.8, only three seconds before Indiana's Samuel Lenze.

Brandon Grumski and John Ejzak were the next Knights to cross the line in ninth and 10th place, respectively.

Aidan Neigh squeezed into the top 20 as the final scorer for Knoch. He outlasted Hopewell's Gregory Nero by three seconds with a time of 18:22.6.