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Lacrosse: Mt. Lebanon girls set sights on PIAA playoffs

Written by Joe Koch on .

The shoe is on the other foot for the Mt. Lebanon High girls lacrosse team. But the determination is certainly there for a team that lost its first game of the year in an 11-9 setback to Quaker Valley in the WPIAL Division 1 championship game this past Thursday at Highmark Stadium.

Both teams qualified for the PIAA playoffs that begin Wednesday at times and sites to be determined.

The loss snapped an 18-game winning streak for the Blue Devils, who were the defending WPIAL Division 1 champions. Now, they turn their attention to the PIAA playoffs that begin Wednesday at sites around the state.

Mt. Lebanon meets the winner of a play-in game between the winner of District 6 and the winner of District 10. If the Blue Devils win that game, it could possibly set up a rematch with Quaker Valley. The Quakers meet the second-place team from District 3. That same scenario played out last year when the Quakers and the Blue Devils met in a second-round game won by Mt. Lebanon.

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Lacrosse: Mt. Lebanon will try again in WPIAL title game

Written by Joe Koch on .

Joe Koch profiles the Mt. Lebanon boys lacrosse team.

"Tonight, the Mt. Lebanon High School boys lacrosse team will be in a familiar situation, but the Blue Devils are hoping for a better result.

A year ago, Mt. Lebanon lost to Shady Side Academy in the finals of the WPIAL Division 1 boys lacrosse tournament at tonight's venue, Highmark Stadium. Blue Devils coach Mike Ermer hopes his team can perform better against North Allegheny. Game time is 8 p.m.

North Allegheny edged Shady Side, 8-7, Tuesday to advance to the championship match.

Mt. Lebanon reached the championship game as a balanced offense and a stifling defense combined to lead the Blue Devils to a 10-6 Division 1 boys semifinal victory against Pine-Richland this past Monday at Chartiers Valley Stadium."

 

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Boys Tennis: Canon-McMillan's Gladden gets ready for states

Written by Keith Barnes on .

Keith Barnes profiles Canon-McMillan tennis player Chris Gladden.

2015 0522 CanonMcMillan BTennis(Photo: Canon-McMillan's Chris Gladden returns a ball against Latrobe's Chad Kissell in the WPIAL Class AAA singles championship at The Club in Monroeville. Peter Diana/Post-Gazette)

"Canon-McMillan junior Chris Gladden discovered an interesting way to prepare for the PIAA Class AAA singles finals.

He's decided to consort with the enemy.

Because of the fact the two-day state finals are slated to open today at the Hershey Racquet Club and that the Big Macs failed to qualify for the WPIAL Class AAA team tournament, Gladden has been on a competitive hiatus for nearly a month. To that end, he sought out the person who beat him in the WPIAL singles finals at The Club in Monroeville, Greater Latrobe senior Chad Kissell, and the two met for a few practice rounds.

"This has been a time where there really haven't been any big tournaments, so I've been mainly practicing every single day," Gladden said. "It's awesome playing against him because it's like having one of the best practices you can have. We live far apart, so it's really hard for us to play each other, but if you can get one day to meet and play, it's really awesome and it's really good.""

 

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Track: Finally gold for Washington's Isbell

Written by Brad Everett on .

Brad Everett profiles Washington sprinter DeQuay Isbell.

2015 0522 Washington BTrack(Photo: Washington's DeQuay Isbell heads to the finish line to win the Class AA 200-meter dash at the WPIAL track championships May 14 at Baldwin. Matt Freed/Post-Gazette)

"Washington High School's DeQuay Isbell was the second-fastest 400-meter runner in WPIAL Class AA his sophomore season.

He held that same distinction his junior season.

Isbell will end his high school career at the very top.

After finishing as the runner-up the previous two years, Isbell claimed the 400-meter dash title at the WPIAL Class AA championships last week at Baldwin High School."

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Track: Freshman a winner for South Fayette

Written by Keith Barnes on .

Keith Barnes profiles South Fayette track standout Rachel Helbling.

2015 0522 SouthFayette GTrack(Photo: South Fayette's Rachel Helbling wins the Class AAA 400-meter run at the WPIAL track championships May 14 at Baldwin. Matt Freed/Post-Gazette)

"Rachel Helbling had plenty of choices when she decided on what event she wanted to run in the WPIAL Class AAA track championships.

She had some success at the 200-meter and 800-meter runs. But at the end of the day, the Lions freshman opted for the 400 meters as her only individual event. And what a choice she made.

Helbling, who came into the meet as the No. 2 seed in the 400 behind only North Hills sophomore Emma Bagnato, ran the best time in the event in two years as her 57.19-second run defeated Hempfield Area sophomore Gabby Holmberg by 0.7 seconds and Bagnato by 0.89 to win her first WPIAL Class AAA track title.

"It was very exciting," Helbling said. "I wasn't expecting it at all and it was a lot of fun.""

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Track: West Mifflin speedster runs bases and on the track

Written by Brad Everett on .

Brad Everett profiles West Mifflin sprinter Todd Sekowski.

2015 0522 WestMifflin BTrack(Photo: West Mifflin's Todd Sekowski, left, edges Kiski Area's Kianta Britton to win the AAA 100 meter dash at the WPIAL track championships last week at Baldwin. Matt Freed/Post-Gazette)

"For Todd Sekowski, it has always been about baseball.

The sport has served as his passion and athletic focus since he was 6, and it was no different this spring.

A slick-fielding shortstop for West Mifflin, Sekowski batted .333, led the team in runs and stolen bases, and helped the Titans win a section title for the second season in a row. He'll play next season at Alderson Broaddus University in Philippi, W.Va.

In other words, Sekowski's body of work is not exactly the resume you would expect for a recently crowned WPIAL track champion."

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Boys Tennis: Mt. Lebanon’s season ends in PIAA semis

Written by Ryan Riordan on .

Mt. Lebanon had to win a WPIAL consolation match just to qualify for the PIAA Class AAA team tournament, but the Blue Devils made the most of their opportunity to play at states.

The Blue Devils won two state tournament matches, defeating State College and Conestoga (which had made four straight PIAA final appearances and beat Mt. Lebanon 4-1, at last season’s state tournament), before falling to rival Upper St. Clair in the state semifinals, 3-2.

Mt. Lebanon, still in search of its first PIAA Class AAA boys team title, last made the semifinals in 2012, when it fell to Conestoga. The Blue Devils will return the majority of their roster next season, with only one senior graduating. 

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Boys Tennis: Upper St. Clair falls in PIAA final

Written by Ryan Riordan on .

Upper St. Clair participated in the PIAA Class AAA team tournament for the first time since it won the state title in 2008, and the Panthers almost won the whole thing again.

USC won its first two matches in Hershey (plus a first-round state tournament match in Fox Chapel) to reach the PIAA final, but fell to District 1 champion Lower Merion, 3-2. It was the fourth time Lower Merion and USC met in the PIAA title match, with Lower Merion also winning in 2006 and 2007 and USC taking the title in 2008.

The Panthers won both doubles matches, getting a straight-set wins from Sam Schiffman and Josh Meyer at No. 1 doubles and Liam Gibbons and Scott Russell at No. 2 doubles. But the Panthers dropped all three singles matches in straight sets to fall one win short of a state championship. 

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Boys Tennis: South Feature Athlete – Mt. Lebanon’s Charlie Strohl

Written by Ryan Riordan on .

Name: Charlie Strohl
School: Mt. Lebanon
Grade: 11
Sport: Tennis

Background: Strohl plays No. 3 singles for Mt. Lebanon and won each of his three matches in the PIAA Class AAA tournament last week as the Blue Devils advanced to the state semifinals before falling to Upper St. Clair. Strohl will return to Hershey this week to compete with teammate Dane Bendel in the PIAA Class AAA doubles tournament after the duo took third at WPIALs. 

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Alumni Update - Anna Simone (Duquesne)

Written by Drew Karpen on .

The Duquesne women's track and field team participated in the 2015 ECAC Outdoor Track & Field Championships this weekend.Simone Duq

 

The Dukes scored 15.75 points and a pair of school records were broken. Fellow Atlantic 10 Conference member George Mason was first with 53 points.

 

In the preliminary round of the 400m hurdles, Anna Simone finished fourth in a field of 32 runners with a time of 58.63. She finished the highest out of any runner in her heat.


In the finals, the Mt. Lebanon graduate finished third with a time of 57.98. 

 

(photo courtesy of Duquesne University)

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Alumni Update - Greg Schneider (Frostburg State)

Written by Drew Karpen on .

FROSTBURG, Md. Freshman Greg Schneider and head coach Guy Robertson earned their second Rookie and Coach of the YearSchneider Frostburg honors as the pair highlights eight d3baseball.com All-South Region nods for the Frostburg State baseball team.

 

Fresh off its Mideast Regional win, FSU adds to its postseason awards as the Bobcats placed four players on the All-South Region First team, one on the Second Team and one on the Third Team to go along with Schneider's and Robertson's top awards.

 

Schneider received his second Rookie of the Year selection after taking home the award from the Capital Athletic Conference earlier this season.

 

The Thomas Jefferson graduate earned a spot on the All-South Region Second Team and was named to the Mideast Regional All-Tournament team. Schneider is currently third on the team with a 1.90 ERA and an 8-1 record in 80.1 innings of work on the mound and boasts a .346 batting average in 26 games as an outfielder for the Bobcats.


Schneider has 94 strikeouts on the year and is tied for fourth in a single season at Frostburg. At the plate, Schneider has driven in 14 runs while scoring 23 on 28 hits. Schneider picked up the 7-1 win over Washington & Jefferson in the opening round of the Mideast Regional last week.

 

(photo courtesy of Frostburg State University)

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Alumni Update - Tanya Timko (Indiana University of Pennsylvania)

Written by Drew Karpen on .

INDIANA, Pa. – IUP women's tennis player Tanya Timko has been named to the 2014-15 Capital One Academic All-District® 2 at-largeTimko IUP team, as selected by the College Sports Information Directors of America (CoSIDA).

 

The senior psychology major graduated last week with a 3.97 cumulative grade point average. This is her first career CoSIDA Academic honor.

 

The Academic All-District® student-athletes are chosen for their combined performances both athletically and in the classroom.

 

Timko, a Chartiers-Houston graduate, has been the Crimson Hawks' top singles and doubles player each of the past two seasons, earning two consecutive Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference (PSAC) West Athlete of the Year awards. She owns a combined record of 47-20 (.701) this year, with 22 singles victories and 25 doubles wins.

 

She was named the Atlantic Region Senior Player of the Year by the Intercollegiate Tennis Association (ITA) and owns IUP's three career wins records with 86 singles, 103 doubles and 189 combined victories.

 

(photo courtesy of Indiana University of Pennsylvania)

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Track: West Mifflin sprinters capture three gold medals at WPIALs

Written by Justin Criado on .

The West Mifflin sprinters have led the boys team all season and at the WPIAL Class AAA championships May 14 at Baldwin they showed they are the best in class by winning three golds while qualifying for states.

Todd Sekowski won the 100 with a time of 10.91 seconds before running the 400 relay with teammates Howie Reid, Kevin Dulak and Phil Jackson, winning with a time of 42.73.

The 1,600 relay team of Cameron Short, Kevin Garbark, Robert Nelson and Jackson used a 3:21.69 mark to finish first.

Garbark also qualified for states with a 22.09 mark in the 200.

 

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Track: South Feature Athlete - DeQuay Isbell, Washington

Written by Justin Criado on .

Name: DeQuay Isbell
High School: Washington
Grade: 12
Sport: Track

Background: Isbell won the 200- and 400-meter races at the WPIAL Class AA championships May 14 at Baldwin with times of 21.99 and 48.77 to become the top seed in the PIAA championships May 22-23.

 

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Track: Belle Vernon thrower brings home gold in the discus

Written by Justin Criado on .

Belle Vernon senior Gianna Gaul won gold in the discus at the WPIAL Class AAA championships May 14 at Baldwin with a mark of 131 feet, 5 inches.

The win marked the first time a Belle Vernon girl won a WPIAL championship and also made her the top seed in the PIAA championships May 22-23.

Gaul holds school records in both the discus and shot put.

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Track: Keystone Oaks relay team qualifies for PIAAs

Written by Justin Criado on .

The Keystone Oaks 3,200-meter relay team of Jessie Porter, Lauren Ragan, Kara Hoffman and Jenny Murtha just missed out on a trip to the PIAA championships last year, but that only served as motivation this time around as the Golden Eagles placed fourth in the event at the WPIAL Class AA championships May 14 at Baldwin with a time of 10:04.93.

The state berth marks the first time a Keystone Oaks relay team, boys or girls, will participate in the PIAA championships in more than a decade.

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Baseball: Mt. Lebanon, Bethel Park take aim at semifinal berths today

Written by Brad Everett on .

Based off of seeding, Mt. Lebanon was a pre-tournament favorite to reach the WPIAL Class AAAA championship, while Bethel Park was a longshot to even win its first-round game.

Both have now reached the quarterfinals, and with wins today would actually meet in the semifinals.

After storms forced the teams to postpone their quarterfinal games Monday, they'll both be in action today. Mt. Lebanon, the No. 1 seed, will play No. 9 Norwin at Upper St. Clair at 4 p.m. Bethel Park, the No. 13 seed, will take on No. 5 Fox Chapel at West Mifflin at 4 p.m.

Mt. Lebanon (15-2) has won 13 of its past 14 games, the only loss being a non-section defeat to Seneca Valley the final game of the regular season. The Blue Devils had a first-round bye. They'll now play Norwin (13-4), which defeated North Allegheny, 1-0, in the opening round.

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Baseball: Bishop Canevin continues to surprise

Written by Brad Everett on .

It might not be fair to consider Bishop Canevin a sleeper anymore.

The Crusaders showed again Monday that they are for real and a legitimate contender to win the WPIAL Class A title.

Less than a week after stunning No. 3 Vincentian in the first round, Bishop Canevin edged No. 6 Cardinal Wuerl North Catholic, 1-0, in a quarterfinal at West Mifflin.

The victory advanced the Crusaders (8-6) to Wednesday's semifinals, where they will take on the winner of today's quarterfinal between No. 2 Greensburg Central Catholic (17-3) and No. 10 Carmichaels (13-3). Wednesday's semifinal will take place at West Mifflin at 2 p.m.

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Baseball: Steel Valley keeps hopes of a repeat alive with wild win

Written by Brad Everett on .

Three outs away from seeing its season end, Steel Valley needed to mount a huge comeback to keep its postseason going.

Eight runs later, the Ironmen had somehow punched their ticket to the WPIAL Class AA semifinals.

Steel Valley rallied from four runs down after six innings to topple second-seeded Brownsville, 8-4, in a quarterfinal Monday at Washington & Jefferson.

With the win, the defending champion Ironmen kept their hopes of a title repeat alive. The No. 10-seeded Ironmen (11-5) will try to take the next step when they face the Neshannock-Shady Side Academy winner Wednesday at Washington & Jefferson at 4 p.m. Neshannock (13-5), the No. 3 seed, and Shady Side Academy (13-5), the No. 6 seed, meet in a quarterfinal today at Chippewa Park.