Below is a review of the North posts that appeared Sunday, March 22 through Saturday, March 28.
Kendra Bernard, who was hired in January to succeed Shannon Hadaway as the girls lacrosse coach at North Allegheny High School, has resigned for personal reasons, according to Bob Bozzuto, the school's athletic director.
"She resigned for personal reasons," Bozzuto said of Bernard, who was succeeded by Emily Camerota and Chris Omasits. Prior to this move, Omasits was the junior varsity head coach and a varsity assistant coach. Camerota was hired as a varsity assistant coach.
"(Omasits and Camerota) will assume the responsibilities this year," Bozzuto said. "Right now, they are in charge."
Bernard did not respond to email or telephone requests for a comment.
North Allegheny High served notice in its first three games that it will be a difficult challenge for opponents this season. Coach John Rullan's Tigers earned a thrilling 12-11 overtime victory over Mt. Lebanon on Monday night following a 15-4 season-opening victory over Central Catholic. Kyle Rullan, son of coach John Rullan, tied the game in the fourth quarter and then scored the game-winner with 53 seconds left in overtime. The Tigers overcame a three-goal deficit against the Blue Devils, and the victory snapped a seven-game losing streak against Mt. Lebanon. The loss to the Tigers was the season-opener for Mt. Lebanon.
North Allegheny then won its third game in as many starts with a 9-3 victory over host Seneca Valley in the Tigers' section opener.
The Tigers are in the same section -- Section 2 -- with defending WPIAL champion Shady Side Academy, Seneca Valley, Fox Chapel, Pine-Richland, Franklin Regional and Butler.
Shady Side began its season with a dominating 14-2 victory at section rival Butler. They lost to Peters Township 8-6 this past Thursday, and they hosted Glenbrook, Ill., North on Saturday. A big measuring stick takes place on Tuesday when the Indians visit non-section rival Mt. Lebanon. The Indians defeated the Blue Devils 7-2 in the WPIAL championship game on May 23 at Highmark Stadium. Eight days later, though, the Blue Devils got the last laugh with a 7-6 PIAA second-round victory over the Indians at Moon.
Pat Bowles, Sr., Defense
Adam Weir, Sr., Attack
Chris Cercone, Sr., Midfield
Tom Mulholland, Sr., Long Stick Midfield
Ryder MacDougall, Jr., Midfield
Ben Mulholland, Soph., Attack
Josh Thomas, Jr., Midfield
Ted McClain, Soph. Defense
Tucker Root, Jr., Attack
Levi McCrady- Jr., Midfield
Chris Gibbons- Sr., Defense
Dave Schaffner, Sr., Defense
To say that Nellie Kraus is optimistic about her 2015 Quaker Valley High girls lacrosse team this season would be an understatement.
"We have all but two starters coming back, so we should be very strong and hope to make it farther in (the PIAA tournament) and win the WPIAL," Kraus said.
The Quakers finished with a 19-2 record a year ago. The same team -- WPIAL champion Mt. Lebanon -- handed the Quakers their only defeats last season. The first setback came in the WPIAL championship, 9-7, at Highmark Stadium on May 22. Nine days later, the teams met again in a second-round PIAA game where the Blue Devils again prevailed, 12-8.
Seven seniors returned for Quaker Valley. They include Liberty University recruits Kayla Foster and Aubrie Tarris and John Carroll University recruit Annie Henry.
Maddie Collins, Sr., Midfield
Hannah Kendrick, Sr., Midfield
Gina Sirianni, Sr., Midfield
Carly Hopkin, Jr., Defense
Katie Shideler, Soph., Goalie
Maddie Birmingham, Jr., Defense
Abby Smith, Jr., Defense
Fox Chapel claimed the title at the 16-team season-opening North Allegheny Boys Volleyball Tournament, held March 21. The Foxes defeated Central York, 25-16 in the title match.
Fox Chapel d. Central York, 25-16
Fox Chapel d. Derry 25-20
Central York d. North Allegheny 28-26
Brad Everett profiles the Vincentian girls basketball team.
"HERSHEY, Pa. — Lexi Griggs exited the Vincentian locker room Saturday with the PIAA championship trophy firmly in her grasp and had no intentions of letting it go.
It served as a microcosm for Vincentian's season. The Royals exited last season as WPIAL and PIAA champions, were ranked No. 1 in the state all of this season, and ended a remarkable two-year run by repeating as WPIAL and PIAA champs.
Vincentian claimed its second consecutive PIAA title and third in school history by throttling Old Forge, 86-38, in the Class A final at Giant Center. The 48-point margin was the largest in PIAA girls championship history.
"It was a great icing on the cake," said Griggs, a junior guard/forward who scored 24 points. "It was just a perfect way to end the season and send our seniors off.""
Drew Karpen profiles the Seneca Valley baseball team.
"It's all about getting hot at the right time. That is exactly what Seneca Valley did last year in the Class AAAA WPIAL playoffs. The Raiders overcame all odds and won the WPIAL championship as a No. 16 seed a year ago.
With that accomplishment in the past and the weather beginning to warm up, the Raiders are ready to begin their title defense in 2015.
"Every year we just try to do the little things right," coach Eric Semega said. "The outcome takes care of itself. When we take the field our expectations are high. We are fortunate that we get baseball players and not kids that play baseball."
The Raiders began the new season on a high note, opening with a 3-2 win against Fox Chapel."
Nicholas Tolomeo profiles the Deer Lakes softball team.
"Not many high school students would be excited to return home from Myrtle Beach to late-March Pittsburgh weather.
Count the players on the Deer Lakes softball team as the exception.
With nine returning starters from a team that made a run to the WPIAL final last year and after a successful spring training trip to the Ripken Experience in Myrtle Beach, it is easy to see why the Lancers are so excited to return home and begin defense of their Section 3-AA title.
"They are ready," coach Craig Taliani said. "They are ready to come home and open up section. They are excited and ready to go.""
Keith Barnes profiles the Mars hockey team.
"It was not easy for Mars players to talk about their 5-2 loss to Bayard Rustin in the Pennsylvania Cup Class A hockey championship.
Not after having a one-goal lead with just over 10 minutes to play and a plus-26 advantage in shots in the game.
"They did a good job of blocking shots or we could have had even more than what we had," Mars coach Steve Myers said. "I thought they blocked some key opportunities that we had, some shots from the high slot that our 'D' were walking in on...we felt this was a very good matchup for us and we thought we carried the play and just couldn't win."
Leading, 2-1, after senior forward Kyle Thomas deflected a right-point shot from senior defenseman Ian Houk-Graves that gave Mars its only lead at 2:31 of the third period, Bayard Rustin scored four unanswered goals, including a crazy carom off the boards that turned into an empty net goal for Michael Grande with 0.5 seconds remaining, to win its second consecutive title and third in seven years."
Marky Billson profiles the Pine-Richland boys lacrosse team.
(Photo: Pine-Richland attacker Jeremy Kennedy will play college lacrosse at Saint Vincent. Matt Freed/Post-Gazette)
"The Pine-Richland Rams begin the 2015 boys lacrosse season with a new head coach.
Chip Young, 26, guides the Rams after serving as an assistant under former Pine-Richland boss Rob Marasti, who left to become an assistant at Robert Morris University this offseason after an 11-5 season.
"I'm never going to say it's easy, but I've definitely been lucky this year," Young said. "I walked into a great group of 14 seniors and every single one of them is a great leader. The more leaders we have the stronger the team will be. They've made my life easier."
Young's tenure began on a positive note when a roster of 32 players enjoyed an 8-5 victory March 20 against Peters Township. Midfielder Scott Wilden scored three goals with one assist as Pine-Richland broke open a 3-3 halftime tie with five consecutive goals."
Ken Wunderley profiles Jamie Kyriazis, who recently stepped down as North Allegheny's wrestling coach. Read his story below.
When Jamie Kyriazis made his return to North Allegheny in 2000, the 1990 Tigers alumnus thought he would be serving as an assistant to George DeAugustino.
"Shortly after I was hired, George stepped down as head coach and I was promoted to head coach before we held our first official practice. The rest is history," said Kyriazis, after coaching his final match March 15 at the Dapper Dan Wrestling Classic.
"I've been thinking about retiring for a couple years. It was a lot of little things that led to this decision, not one big thing. It was a very tough decision, but it's time. It's the right decision."
Kyriazis steps down at age 42 after 15 seasons at North Allegheny. The Tigers posted a 217-68 record during his tenure and qualified for the WPIAL team tournament all 15 years. He led the Tigers to 12 outright section titles and two shared titles. He also led North Allegheny to the WPIAL title match in 2012 before losing to powerhouse Canon-McMillan.
Megan Ryan profiles Shaler track standout Brianna Schwartz.
"In less than a year, star Shaler runner Brianna Schwartz has experienced two events that could change her life forever.
In December, she was diagnosed with Celiac disease, which will alter her lifestyle choices forever.
Then last month, she was diagnosed with a stress reaction in her lower left tibia that might force her to miss her final high school outdoor track season.
The distance runner for cross country and track has won six WPIAL titles and holds records in three events -- the 800-meter, 1,600-meter and 3,200-meter runs. She has a state title in cross country as well as two consecutive titles in the 1,600 meters. While she will probably still go down as the best runner in WPIAL and maybe even state history, it looks unlikely that she will extend that legacy with that third consecutive trophy and the state record -- the last achievement eluding Schwartz at the high school level."
Facing the defending Class A state champs, Mars sent a barrage of shots on net Saturday in the Class A Pennsylvania Cup title game.
But Bayard Rustin’s Jason Grande was up to the task.
Grande stopped 40 of 42 shots to help Rustin become the first team since Mars in 2010 and 2011 to win back-to-back Class A state titles.
The Planets jumped out to a 2-1 lead behind goals from Paul Maust, who had a hat trick in the Planets’ Penguins Cup win over Quaker Valley, and Kyle Thomas. But Rustin scored the game’s final four goals to pull away for the win.
It ended a great season for the Planets, who made the Penguins Cup title game for the seventh time in eight years (2014 was only year it missed out) and ended the Quakers’ three-year run as Class A Penguins Cup champion.
Josh Raymundo, Mars, Jr.
Aaron Gruber, Mars, Jr.
Jared Isaacs, North Allegheny, Jr.
Richard Hoffman, North Allegheny, Fr.
Derek Chen, Shady Side Academy, Sr.
Eric Grubbs, Shady Side Academy, Sr.
Cooper Kann, Shady Side Academy, Jr.
Sid Rajupet, Fox Chapel, Jr.
Alex Himler, Fox Chapel, So.
Ben Vinarski, Pine-Richland, So.
Sid Iyer, Pine-Richland, So.
Luke Ross, Sewickley Academy, So.
Sam Sauter, Sewickley Academy, So.
Shady Side Academy has won three straight WPIAL Class AAA titles and has appeared in the district’s team championship match seven of the past eight years.
The Indians are favorites to return this season.
Shady Side Academy returns five starters from last season’s WPIAL and PIAA Class AAA championship team, including all three singles players – Cooper Kann, Derek Chen and Eric Grubbs.
CALIFORNIA, Pa. - The Saint Vincent track team opened up its outdoor season at the California University of Pennsylvania Early Bird Invitational. SVC was led by several strong individual performances at the meet.
On the men's side, the Bearcats had two individuals take the top spot in their respective events.
Sophonore Vince Tonzo, a North Allegheny graduate, took the top spot in the 800 Meter Run, finishing with a time of 1:55.57.
(photo courtesy of Saint Vincent College)
DEFIANCE, Ohio - The Saint Vincent College women's lacrosse team doubled up Defiance College for a 14-7 victory in Ohio River Lacrosse Conference action at Coressel Stadium in Ohio.
The victory improved to the Bearcats to 4-0 in ORLC play and 5-5 overall. Meanwhile, the host Yellow Jackets fell to 1-2 in the ORLC and 1-7 overall.
SVC got on the board firs when freshman Delaney Dobracki, a Shaler graduate, tallied her first collegiate goal off a pass from Molly Snyder just a little over a minute into the contest.
(photo courtesy of Saint Vincent College)
PITTSBURGH, PA – The La Roche Lacrosse team overcame a three goal second half deficit to rally and defeat Mt. St. Joseph 8-7 on Saturday afternoon. The win evens La Roche's record to 2-2 on their home field.
Mt. St. Joseph scored the lone first quarter goal and added another early in the second to go up 2-0. Jon Monahan put the Redhawks on the board just a minute later when he beat the goalie short side. \
Monahan, a Shaler graduate, led all scorers with 3 goals and an assist.
STEUBENVILLE, Ohio -- The Grove City College softball team played its first games since returning from spring break on Tuesday afternoon, rolling to a doubleheader road sweep of Franciscan.
The Wolverines took game one 13-0 in five innings and also shut out the Lady Barons 15-0 in five innings in the second game.
Senior outfielder Erica Gmuer, a Hampton graduate, led the Wolverine offense by going 4-5 in the doubleheader with a pair of doubles.
- Alumni Update - Shaun Berry (Point Park)
- Alumni Update - Jen Bahm (Washington & Jefferson)
- Alumni Update – Emily Rabenold (Grove City)
- Alumni Update - Katie Guarnaccia (Point Park)
- Boys Track: 2015 North Season Preview
- Boys Track: 2015 North Athletes to Watch
- Girls Track: 2015 North Season Preview
- Girls Track: 2015 North Athletes to Watch
- Baseball: 2015 North Season Preview
- Baseball: 2015 North Players to Watch
- Softball: 2015 North Season Preview
- Softball: 2015 North Players to Watch
- Girls Basketball: Vincentian rolls to second PIAA title in a row
- Sports Town North Week in Review (Mar. 15-21)
- Girls Basketball: Wise, Vincentian win another PIAA title
- Hockey: Mars falls in state title game
- Brad Everett's North High School Basketball Notebook (Mar. 20, 2015)
- Boys Basketball: A landmark season ends for Mars
- Boys Basketball: North Allegheny finishes with record high in wins
- Girls Basketball: Vincentian advances to state final