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Field Hockey: North Allegheny unbeaten, unscored upon against WPIAL foes

Written by Joe Koch on .

Following Wednesday's 11-0 Section 1-AAA victory at Hempfield, the North Allegheny High field hockey team is 4-0. That's not unrealistic. No, what's impressive is that the Tigers have yet to yield a goal while outscoring their WPIAL opponents 29-0.

North Allegheny followed up Monday's 5-0 victory over visiting Penn-Trafford with a dominating victory over Hempfield that one night earlier had lost a 9-0 decision at Pine-Richland. The victories epitomized the Tigers' offensive and defensive prowess. In the victory over Penn-Trafford, four different players accounted for the team's scoring.

Senior forward Alyssa Leonard led the way with two goals. Senior midfielder Nicole Burns, senior midfielder and captain Hannah Downing and and sophomore forward Erin Coran added one tally apiece.

Defensively, the Tigers kept the Warriors bottled up in their end of the field for most of the game. Senior Isley Smith and sophomore Katie Shideler each played a half in goal, and Penn-Trafford was held to just one shot on goal while the Tigers had 22 shots on goal.

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Field Hockey: North Feature Athlete - Sewickley Academy's Janelle Sands

Written by Joe Koch on .

Name: Janelle Sands
School: Sewickley Academy
Grade: 12
Sport: Field Hockey
Position: Forward

Background: Janelle is a four-year starter for Coach Cheryl Lassen's Panthers and is a captain. She plays the cello as a soloist and with the school's orchestra. Janelle is co-president of the Sewickley Academy Mock Trial team and also is a member of the school's Cum Laude Society and is a member of school's Honor Council. She also is president of the Asian Culture Club and the Ted-Ed Club's co-president.

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Cross Country: North Feature Athlete - Sewickley Academy's Griffin Mackey

Written by Brittany Goncar on .

Name: Griffin Mackey
School: Sewickley Academy
Grade: 10
Sport: Cross Country

Background: Mackey ran a personal best time of 16:11, coming in 11th overall while capturing first place in the Class A division at the 12th Annual Red, White & Blue Classic. He also led his team to a Class A team victory over section rival OLSH by only 6 points (65-71). He followed this up last Tuesday by running a 18:15 at Shady Side Academy, tying the course record and leading Sewickley to a 22-37 win. Mackey took first place in Class A competition at the Slippery Rock Cross Country Invitational on Saturday.

 

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Cross Country: Avonworth boys claim Slippery Rock Invitational title

Written by Brittany Goncar on .

Avonworth boys cross country team took gold at the Slippery Rock Invitational on Saturday. They finished before Our Lady of Sacred Heart (83) and Sewickley Academy (124) with 69 points.

The Antelopes had a tight pack with Michael Noethiger as their front-runner in fifth place. Andrew Domencic was only four seconds behind in seventh with a time of 17:53.1. OLSH's Christopher Kocent finished between the Antelopes in sixth. Colton Fritts just missed the top 10 with a 12th place finish.

 

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Cross Country: Freyermuth paces Knoch at Big Red Invitational

Written by Brittany Goncar on .

Max Freyermuth was the driving force for Knoch at the 23rd Big Red Invitational on Saturday.

The sophomore led the Knights to a second-place team finish in the meet hosted by West Middlesex. He finished in fourth place with a finish time of 17 minutes, 25 seconds. Freyermuth was followed by teammate Preston Carlsson, who finished in 17:29:40. Junior Brandon Grumski placed ninth.

As a team, the Lady Knights finished in third place with sophomore Mandi Moxie as the only runner in the top 10. Moxie placed sixth with a time of 20:56.30. Junior Lauren Karenbauer took 13th place.

 

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Golf: Balish gives Hampton a big boost

Written by Joe Koch on .

Marissa Balish was one of the top competitors a year ago at the WPIAL Class AAA girls golf championship. At that event, she placed fourth with an 8-over-par round of 81.

As things stand, she has a very good chance of returning to the championship round along with six of the other top seven competitors who return this year.

Balish has had plenty of chances to hone her game as she has competed for the Hampton High boys team this year as the school doesn't offer the sport to girls.

On Wednesday, she will join the other female competitors at the WPIAL Individual Qualifier. She'll likely compete at Phesant Ridge. On Tuesday, she had a good tune-up for the postseason as she fired an even-par round of 36 to lead the Talbots to a 200-210 victory over Plum in a Section 8-AAA match at Willowbrook Country Club.

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Boys Golf: Sewickley Academy continues unbeaten reign

Written by Joe Koch on .

Ten times the Sewickley Academy Panthers have teed it up against all comers, and ten times the Panthers have emerged victorious.

Going into the individual qualifier at Pittsburgh North Golf Club on Monday, the Panthers have an overall record of 10-0 and a 7-0 mark in Section 9-AA. Sewickley Academy's latest victory was a 193-235 victory over Our Lady of the Sacred Heart at Moon Golf Club.

Senior Anthony Muscato led the Panthers' charge with a 1-under-par round of 35.

The top finishers at Monday's individual qualifier advance to the WPIAL Class AA Individual Finals that take place on Sept. 24 at Youghiogheny Country Club.

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Golf: North Allegheny teams trade wins, losses

Written by Joe Koch on .

It was a week of mixed results for both of North Allegheny High's golf teams. The girls had a 1-2 week with a victory over Penn-Trafford (186-208) sandwiched between two losses to nonsection rival Peters Township (176-196) and Section 4-AAA stalwart Shady Side Academy (187-192).

In the loss to Shady Side, the Tigers' Megan Leto had a season-low round of 37. Standout sophomore Casey Morrow led the balanced Indians with a round of 41.

Following a 194-201 loss on Tuesday at Seneca Valley, the North Allegheny boys team bounced back with a 199-225 victory over Shaler. Martin Lazzaro fired an even-par round of 35 to pace the Tigers. Tanner Grzegortczk led the Titans with a round of 40.

Both teams advance to their respective individual qualifiers next week. The boys individual qualifier starts at 8 a.m. Monday at the North Park Golf Course. The girls individual qualifier begins at 9 a.m. Wednesday at Pheasant Ridge Golf Club.

 

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Girls Volleyball: North Feature Athlete - Fox Chapel's Ana Spangenberg

Written by Ken Wunderley on .

Name: Ana Spangenberg
High School: Fox Chapel
Grade: 11
Sport: Girls Volleyball
Position: Setter/Right-side hitter

Background Info: Spangenberg enters her third season as a varsity player and letter winner on the right side. She played club volleyball for Renaissance last year and was selected to the Section 3-AAA All-Star Team as a sophomore setter/right-side hitter. She is a 6-foot-1 left-handed player and our co-captain this year as junior.

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Girls Basketball: Vincentian standout commits to Pitt

Written by Craig Meyer on .

Craig Meyer reports that Vincentian girls basketball standout Brenna Wise committed to Pitt on Thursday.

"Throughout her life, Brenna Wise said her parents have told her to surround herself with good people. When it came time to decide where to make her college choice, the Vincentian forward didn't have to look too far to find that.

Wise, the reigning Pittsburgh Post-Gazette girls basketball player of the year, committed to Pitt Thursday, about two weeks after taking her official visit there.

"It's been a long process and I figured if I knew, why drag it out any longer?" Wise said.

She selected the Panthers over Villanova, where she visited last week."

 

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Girls Tennis: Section 2 sending four North athletes to WPIALs

Written by Ryan Riordan on .

The WPIAL’s new tennis alignment this season has cut down the number of sections in both classifications to four, which has increased the number of qualifiers for WPIALs from each section from three to four.

In Class AAA Section 2, all four of the qualifying spots went to players from North schools.

On Wednesday, North Allegheny’s Anna Li and Eugenia Lee, Hampton’s Lucy Gloninger and North Hills’ Helena Varys all advanced to the section semifinals, which qualified them for the WPIAL tournament. The section semifinals and finals will be played today.

Only Li, who placed third in the section tournament last season, has qualified for the WPIAL singles tournament previously. 

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Girls Tennis: Inexperienced Pine-Richland improving as season progresses

Written by Ryan Riordan on .

 

No team in WPIAL Class AAA had to replace as much talent as Pine-Richland this season.

The Rams lost Marlys Bridgham, the 2013 PIAA Class AAA singles champion and 2012 and 2013 WPIAL Class AAA fourth-place finisher Yvon Martinez. Additionally, Pine-Richland lost three other starters.

But with five new starters, the Rams have still managed to go 5-1 in Class AAA Section 2, with the lone league loss coming to defending state champion North Allegheny.

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Girls Tennis: North Feature Athlete — Pine-Richland’s Alice Qian

Written by Ryan Riordan on .

Name: Alice Qian
School: Pine-Richland
Grade: 9
Sport: Tennis

Background: In her first year in high school, Qian is playing in the No. 1 spot for the Rams, taking over for the 2013 state singles champion Marlys Bridgham, who graduated. Qian is the No. 12 ranked player in Pennsylvania in the Class of 2018 according to tennisrecruiting.net.

Pine-Richland coach Janet Chappell: “Alice is going to be a very good player. She’s not Marlys or Taylor [Perz], but at the same time, I think she has a good chance to make WPIALs and possibly even states someday. She’s committed and her family is committed to tennis.”

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Craig Meyer's North High School Football Notebook (Sept. 11, 2014)

Written by Craig Meyer on .

Here's the latest edition of Craig Meyer's North High School Football Notebook.

"What was supposed to be a big season for Quaker Valley — one that would provide the kind of results the school had not seen in some time — was put into jeopardy before it could even begin.

Quarterback/defensive back Dane Jackson, the team's most dynamic player, went down with a knee injury in practice in late August. It's still unknown when exactly he'll return — coach John Tortorea said Jackson was expected to start running again Wednesday — but for the time being, the Quakers are without the one person most central to their success.

Thus far, the adjustment hasn't been easy.

Quaker Valley is 1-1 through two games, with a narrow 25-19 victory against Keystone Oaks in Week 1 followed by a 48-12 rout at the hands of South Park last Friday. The loss to the Eagles was fueled primarily by six Quaker Valley turnovers, five of which came on its side of the field."

 

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Football: Knoch goes 2-0, claims conference lead

Written by Joe Koch on .

Joe Koch profiles the Knoch football team.

2014 0911 Knoch Football(Photo: Greensburg Salem's Teegan Hahn takes down Knoch's Cody Milsom during action in last Friday's Greater Allegheny Conference game at Offutt Field in Greensburg. Peter Diana/Post-Gazette)

"Knoch football coach Mike King is pleased with the way his team has responded in the early stages of victories against Franklin Regional and Greensburg Salem that have put his team atop the Greater Allegheny Conference in the WPIAL's Class AAA grouping.

"We've been playing well early," said King, who is in his 17th season as the Knights' coach. "But we have a lot of kids going both ways, and I think we got a little worn down against Greensburg Salem in the second half. We're learning what it takes to go four quarters in this conference."

The Knights (2-0, 2-0) step out of conference this week with a road game at Big Nine Conference member Ringgold (1-1, 1-1) before playing host to Gateway on Sept. 19.

"It's never easy when you play Ringgold," he said. "That's a very athletic team, and their coaches do a good job. But we've just completed Week 2 in the WPIAL, and anything can happen.""

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Football: Pine-Richland suddenly wary of Fox Chapel

Written by Justin Criado on .

Justin Criado previews Friday's football game between Pine-Richland and Fox Chapel.

2014 0911 PineRichland Football(Photo: Pine-Richland's D'ondre Gastion is one of several offensive weapons that quarterback Ben DiNucci has at his disposal. Bob Donaldson/Post-Gazette)

"The Northern Eight Conference provided two of the more exciting Week 2 games last Friday night as Fox Chapel upset Seneca Valley, 41-12, while Pine-Richland used overtime to down North Allegheny, 28-24.

This week the two triumphant teams will meet at Pine-Richland.

"[Fox Chapel] went out and put a whooping on [Seneca Valley] so we have our hands full for sure," Pine-Richland coach Eric Kasperowicz said.

Foxes quarterback Billy Urso ran and threw for a touchdown against the Raiders, and Kasperowicz said Fox Chapel's (1-1, 1-1) running game has become its strong suit as four different Foxes scored touchdowns in Week 2."

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Girls Golf: Rivals Shady Side, North Allegheny prepare to tee up

Written by Joe Koch on .

Joe Koch previews the girls golf match between North Allegheny and Shady Side Academy.

"In a sport where each match is pivotal, today's Class AAA, Section 4 girls golf match between North Allegheny and Shady Side Academy appears to fit that criterion.

Last Thursday, Shady Side Academy — which has played three matches and won all of them — captured a crucial 182-194 victory against neighborhood rival Fox Chapel Area. The next day, the Foxes bounced back with a 210-211 victory against North Allegheny at the Tigers' home course, Shannopin Country Club. It was the second time the Foxes had defeated the Tigers this season.

Shady Side coach Helene Gosse said her team's "quiet strength" has been a touchstone for the team this season.

"They just play golf, and they don't make any big predictions about who they will beat," she said. "They play quietly, and they play well.""

 

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Girls Volleyball: Shaler has plenty of talent

Written by Ken Wunderley on .

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

Kris Ruppert has led the Shaler Area High School girls volleyball team to nine consecutive WPIAL Class AAA playoff berths.

During that stretch, the Titans have made seven appearances in the quarterfinals.

Last year, Shaler advanced to the semifinals before bowing to eventual runner-up Bethel Park. The Titans then dropped a 3-0 decision to Norwin in the third-place consolation match, thus failing to secure a PIAA berth. Seven starters are back from that squad, including four All-WPIAL players, which has earned Shaler the top spot in the WPIAL Class AAA rankings.

"This is the best team I've ever coached," Ruppert said. "If everybody stays healthy, we definitely have a shot at winning the title."