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Lacrosse: Both Quaker Valley teams remain unbeaten

Written by Joe Koch on .

Heading into the Easter break, both Quaker Valley High lacrosse teams are having stellar seasons.

Although it plays in Division 2, the Quakers' boys team is the top-rated squad in Western Pennsylvania with an 8-0 record, according to Laxpower.com. Coach Bill Marcotte's team has faced few challenges thus far. Their closest game was a 12-7 victory over Shaler in the season opener. Since then, the Quakers have earned double-digit victories over Knoch (18-4), Greensburg Central Catholic (17-3), North Hills (18-2), Cave Spring, Va. (13-1) and New River Valley, Va. (16-3).

Quaker Valley returns to action Tuesday with a nonsection game at Latrobe.

On the girls' side, coach Nellie Kraus' team has had similar success, also entering the break with an 8-0 record. Their most significant victories came against No. 9 Pine-Richland (14-4) in the season opener, No. 6 Seneca Valley (14-7), No. 8 Fox Chapel (19-14) and No. 10 North Allegheny (11-8).

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Boys Lacrosse: North Feature Athlete - Hampton's Nick Grabowski

Written by Joe Koch on .

Name: Nick Grabowski
School: Hampton
Grade: 11
Sport: Boys Lacrosse
Position: Midfield

Background Info: Nick is a two-year starter for the Talbots, who also is a captain on this year's team. In a 10-7 loss to Pine-Richland this past Wednesday, Nick scored three goals and now has 19 goals and 6 assists this season. Nick also plays quarterback and linebacker for the Hampton High football team.

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Boys Lacrosse: Seneca Valley earns statement victory

Written by Joe Koch on .

A year ago, Sewickley Academy rode the strength of a late-season push to earn a berth in the WPIAL Division 1 boys lacrosse tournament. The Seneca Valley Raiders might be making a similar statement this season.

Winners in just two of their first eight games, the Raiders stunned No. 7 Mt. Lebanon 7-5 this past Thursday. A year ago, Sewickley lost its first seven games, but went 7-3 down the stretch to earn a playoff berth.

Seneca Valley has had several tough losses in their first nine games. Those include two overtime losses to Pine-Richland (7-6) and Upper St. Clair (9-8) and a double-overtime 9-8 loss at Williamsville, N.Y., East.

But if the Raiders are to make a push in their final six regular-season games, it must begin on Wednesday at No. 9 North Allegheny. Following a home game with Sewickley Academy on Friday, the Raiders then host No. 6 Shady Side Academy on April 30, visit No. 2 Peters Township on May 2 and visit No. 8 Fox Chapel on May 5.

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Boys Volleyball: Butler places second at Hempfield Tournament

Written by Ken Wunderley on .

Butler placed second at the 12-team Hempfield Tournament, which was held April 12. The Golden Tornados beat Meadville in the semifinals, then lost to Cochranton in the title match

Championship
Cochranton 1, Butler 0

Semifinals
Cochranton 1, Norwin 0
Butler 1, Meadville 0

Below is a list of the 12 participatnts.
Altoona, Baldwin, Butler, Cochranton, Conneaut Lake, Deer Lakes, Hempfield, Latrobe, Maplewood, Meadville, Norwin, Thomas Jefferson.

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Tennis: Chen settles in at No. 2 for Shady Side

Written by Ryan Riordan on .

 

Derek Chen won a WPIAL Class AA championship at Vincentian last season.

But for his junior season, Chen transferred to Shady Side Academy and is now playing No. 2 singles for the two-time defending WPIAL Class AAA team champions.

“His addition has helped; he’s definitely added to the team,” Shady Side Academy coach Tom Mercer said of Chen. “But it made my job a little more difficult since I have eight players capable of starting for this team now.”

The Indians returned seven of their top eight players from last season, losing only No. 1 singles player Alok Nimgaonkar.

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Tennis: Vincentian’s Martin takes over team’s top role

Written by Ryan Riordan on .

Last season, Vincentian had the WPIAL Class AA singles champion atop its lineup in sophomore Derek Chen.

Chen transferred to Shady Side Academy this offseason, and Brad Martin has taken over the Royals No. 1 singles spot and played well.

Martin qualified for last week’s WPIAL Class AA tournament by finishing third in the Section 3 singles tournament. He lost to Josh Raymundo of Mars in the semifinals, but beat Mars’ Aaron Gruber, 3-6, 6-3, 6-3, in the consolation final.

At WPIALs, Martin defeated Indiana’s John Appolonia, 10-2, in the first round before losing to eventual champion Luke Ross of Sewickley Academy, 10-4, in the quarterfinals.

Last season, Martin also played in the section tournament, advancing to the quarterfinals before losing to Raymundo.

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Tennis: Goth returns for North Allegheny

Written by Ryan Riordan on .

Kevin Goth didn’t win Tuesday afternoon. But the fact that he was back on the court was a big plus for North Allegheny.

Goth, a senior, made his season debut Tuesday in a match against North Hills. He had been out with an injury for the entire season up until Tuesday.

Goth lost at No. 1 singles to Pablo Morcate, 4-6, 7-5, 6-3.

If Goth can regain his top form by the WPIAL team tournament, it would be a huge boost to the chances of the Tigers to make it to Hershey for the second consecutive season.

Goth is a two-time Class AAA Section 2 singles champion and was a WPIAL singles semifinalist in 2012.

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Tennis: North Feature Athlete — Pine-Richland’s Caleb Kramer

Written by Ryan Riordan on .

Name: Caleb Kramer
School: Pine-Richland
Grade: 12
Sport: Tennis

Background: Kramer, the Rams’ No. 1 singles player, won his first Class AAA Section 2 singles title this season and advanced to the WPIAL quarterfinals. Last season, he took third at WPIALs. He was also a WPIAL quarterfinalist in doubles last season.

Pine-Richland coach Janet Chappell: “Caleb’s an awesome leader. He takes care of the young guys. I don’t know if we’ve ever had a better leader. He’s done very well in both practices and matches just talking to them.”

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Baseball: With familiar face at helm, Hampton rolls

Written by Drew Karpen on .

Drew Karpen profiles the Hampton baseball team.

2014 0417 Hampton Baseball(Photo: Hampton's Steve Dayton pulls in a fly ball during a non-section game against Bethel Park March 27. Matt Freed/Post-Gazette)

"He's back.

Those close to the Hampton community remember the name Gary Wilson. Wilson coached the Talbots baseball team for 13 years before taking the past four years off. But his desire to return was too strong, putting Wilson in the position he is right now. Wilson is in the first year of his second stint as head coach of Hampton.

In his first term, Wilson had a decent amount of success, taking the Talbots to WPIAL championship games in 2004 and 2010 but lost both times.

This time around, he is hoping to finish the feat."

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Baseball: With everyone back, Shaler has big plans

Written by Nicholas Tolomeo on .

Nicholas Tolomeo profiles the Shaler baseball team.

2014 0417 Shaler Baseball(Photo: Shaler's Justin Defide gets Penn Hills' Tyler Reis out at second base on a force play during a Section 4-AAAA game last week. Matt Freed/Post-Gazette)

"Armed with the entire starting lineup and pitching staff back from a year ago, the Shaler Area baseball team is poised for a breakout season.

"We are expecting big things," Shaler coach Brian Junker said.

It is the first time in his five seasons that Junker has been able to return the entire team.

"We returned every starter, that has never happened to me and I'm sure it doesn't happen to a lot of teams," Junker said. "We are real excited.""

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Softball: Seneca Valley comes out swinging

Written by Nicholas Tolomeo on .

Nicholas Tolomeo profiles the Seneca Valley softball team.

"With 11 letter-winners and all nine starters back, Seneca Valley has been able to start the 2014 season 6 for 6 in section play.

All seven teams in Class AAAA Section 3 have played at least six section games and Seneca Valley is the only one to start 6-0 within the section.

The Raiders blasted Fox Chapel Area, 11-0, to open the season and then knocked off perennial section powers North Allegheny and Shaler Area in back-to-back games. The Raiders defeated North Allegheny, 9-4, at home and then four days later they traveled to Shaler where they got past the Titans, 5-4.

They added wins against North Hills, Butler Area and Pine-Richland last week."

 

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Track: Senior twosome takes lead for Fox Chapel

Written by Joe Koch on .

Joe Koch profiles Fox Chapel track standouts Brandon Mitchell and Brian Papich.

2014 0417 FoxChapel Track(Photo: Fox Chapel's Brandon Mitchell has overcome some health hurdles early this season to be a force on the track once again. John Heller/Post-Gazette)

"Two seniors likely will play a big role in how well the Fox Chapel Area High School boys track and field team does this spring in the sport's Class AAA arena.

But for one of them -- Brandon Mitchell -- the season will be a bit shorter than the ones experienced by his teammates. Mitchell received a favorable X-ray on April 7 to determine if his right collarbone has properly healed from a break that took place at an indoor track meet in March at Edinboro University.

The next day, Mitchell had solid efforts in a tri-meet against North Allegheny and Seneca Valley, running a time of 39.6 seconds in the 300-meter hurdles and the 200-meter dash in 23.6 seconds.

At the Butler Invitational this past Friday, he won the 300 hurdles in 38.72 seconds, and finished eighth in the 200-meter dash with a time of 23.90 seconds. He also ran the third leg on the Foxes' 1,600-meter relay team that captured first place with a time of 3 minutes, 28.98 seconds."

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Boys Volleyball: Fox Chapel a contender for WPIAL title

Written by Ken Wunderley on .

Ken Wunderley profiles the Fox Chapel boys volleyball team. Read his story below.

The Fox Chapel Area boys volleyball team was without two starters in Monday's rematch with Seneca Valley, but it didn't stop the Foxes from avenging its section-opening loss to the Raiders.

"Michael Eisner and Andrew Tublin are in Europe on a trip with our Spanish Club," said Fox Chapel coach Phil O'Keeffe, after the Foxes 3-0 sweep of the Raiders.

"Fortunately, our squad doesn't have one guy whom we can't live without. Our other players picked up the slack and led us to a very big victory."

The match was supposed to be played today, and mark the opening of the second half of section play, but was moved to Monday due to Fox Chapel's long Easter break. Tuesday marked the end of the first half of section play, but the Foxes had a bye.

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Boys Tennis: Shady Side Academy a WPIAL threat

Written by Ryan Riordan on .

Ryan Riordan profiles the Shady Side Academy boys tennis team.

"Shady Side Academy has won three of the past four WPIAL Class AAA boys tennis team championships, and has qualified for the PIAA tournament in six of the past seven years.

So when Indians' coach Tom Mercer says this season's team is his deepest yet, that's quite the statement.

"This is our deepest team for sure," Mercer said. "I've never had a player who started the [previous] year who I think didn't lose a match who isn't [starting] this year. I would say we have the best eighth player in the state."

Mercer was referring to junior Naveen Jain, who played No. 2 doubles as a sophomore for the Indians last season. But spots in the seven-man starting lineup are limited, because the Indians lost just one of their top eight players from last season, No. 1 singles player Alok Nimgaonkar."

 

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Girls Lacrosse: Quaker Valley enjoys 8-0 start

Written by Joe Koch on .

Joe Koch profiles the Quaker Valley girls lacrosse team.

"Quaker Valley High School girls lacrosse coach Nellie Kraus believes her team has come up with the right formula for success that has yielded victories in all eight games this season and a healthy balance on offense.

"I have a lot of confidence in our offense, and just the way they see each other [on the field]," said Kraus, in her third season as the Quakers coach.

Quaker Valley is idle until next Tuesday after the team improved to 8-0 and has a No. 2 ranking in the Laxpower.com ratings following a 14-3 victory against Oakland Catholic this past Friday in a non-section game.

"They're very unselfish," Kraus said. "There are more assisted goals than unassisted goals. That's just a product of teamwork.""

 

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Alumni Update – Emily Rabenold (Grove City)

Written by Drew Karpen on .

NEW WILMINGTON, Pa. -- The Grove City College women's track and field team captured the teamRabenold GC title at the 18-team Westminster Invitational Saturday afternoon at Memorial Field.


The Wolverines accumulated 153.50 team points in rolling to the championship. Clarion took second with 123.50 points and Westminster took third with 120 points.


Grove City athletes earned six individual wins Saturday. Sophomore Emily Rabenold, a Hampton graduate, won the 3000 steeplechase in a school-record time of 11 minutes, 3.50 seconds. She also won the 5000 in 18:15.81.

 

(photo courtesy of Grove City College)

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Alumni Update - Holly Bachman (Waynesburg)

Written by Drew Karpen on .

WASHINGTON, Pa. – The Waynesburg University women's lacrosse team made history on several frontsBachman Waynesburg during Monday night's game at Washington & Jefferson. The Yellow Jackets raced out to a 7-0 lead and went on to score a 15-9 win over the Presidents.

 

The victory gave the Jackets their third win (3-6) of the 2014 season, which is a program record for victories in a year. Waynesburg also snagged its first win over a current member institution of the Presidents' Athletic Conference (PAC). The Orange and Black was a combined 0-18 against Saint Vincent, Thiel and W&J (0-8) since women's lacrosse became a varsity sport at Waynesburg in 2008.

 

Holly Bachman, a Knoch graduate, led all players with a game-high five goals. She added an assist for a contest-best six total points.

 

(photo courtesy of Waynesburg University)

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Alumni Update - Christian Locher (Grove City)

Written by Drew Karpen on .

Christian Locher earned medalist honors at the Bethany Invitational, hosted by the Wheeling CountryLocher GC Club, on April 9 by shooting a one-over 73. The Mars graduate won the event by three strokes.


His performance earned him PAC Men’s Golfer of the Week.

 

(photo courtesy of Grove City College)

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Alumni Update - Kaylee Zozos (La Roche)

Written by Drew Karpen on .

BUFFALO, N.Y. -- La Roche Softball (6-10, 2-4) dropped both games of a double-header to MedailleZozos La Roche College (8-8, 4-4) 8-6, 15-5 in an AMCC conference matchup on Saturday afternoon.

In game one, Kaylee Zozos had two hits and twice for the Lady Redhawks.

In game two Zozos, a North Hills graduate, hit her La Roche record and AMCC leading eighth home run of the season.

 

(photo courtesy of La Roche College)

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Alumni Update - Jennifer Suder (Washington & Jefferson College)

Written by Drew Karpen on .

NEW WILMINGTON, Pa. -- Jennifer Suder, a Seneca Valle graduate, placed third in a 30-golfer fieldSuder WJ after a round of 89 to help Washington & Jefferson place third of six teams at the Westminster Spring Women's Golf Invitational at the New Castle Country Club. 

(photo courtesy of Washington & Jefferson University)