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Swimming: South Feature Athlete - Upper St. Clair's Ryan Dudzinski (2014)

Written by Nicholas Tolomeo on .

Name: Ryan Dudzinski
High School: Upper St. Clair
Grade: 12
Sport: Swimming

Before he was in high school, Ryan Dudzinski watched his brother race against David Nolan in PIAA championship meets. Ryan Dudzinski and Nolan were two of the top backstrokers in Pennsylvania high school history. Now after a recent verbal commitment, the younger Dudzinski will look to replace Nolan on the Stanford swim team. Ryan Dudzinski, a senior at Upper St. Clair, has committed to swim at Stanford next season. The 6-foot, 175 pound swimmer is one of the top talents in the state. He is a 12-time All-American and defending PIAA champion and record holder in the 100 butterfly. He was also part of a state-championship 400 freestyle relay last March.

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Swimming: Mt. Lebanon senior has strong showing in season debut

Written by Nicholas Tolomeo on .

Mt. Lebanon senior Andrei Mihailescu won three bronze medals last season at the WPIAL championships. After a strong showing in his team's regular-season debut against one of the top teams in the state, North Allegheny, Mihailescu may be on pace to change the color of those medals this season in his last go around at WPIALs.

Wins in dual meets against North Allegheny are hard to come by but that is just what the Blue Devils picked up in the first event of the dual meet against the Tigers thanks to Mihailescu, sophomores Jack Lanphear and Gabriel Nass and junior Noah Wechter who swam a 1:35.50 in the 200 medley relay. Mihailescu also took third in the 200 IM, recording a time of 1:59.91. He picked up his second win in the meet when he swam a 52.72 in the 100 backstroke. He was also part of a second-place 200 freestyle relay that swam a 1:27.10 along with Jack Rice, Nass and Jackson Kish.

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Swimming: Mt. Lebanon freshman dazzles against North Allegheny

Written by Nicholas Tolomeo on .

To say Upper St. Clair freshman Abby Matheny is already ahead of schedule would be a drastic understatement. The ninth-grader went toe-to-toe against one of the premier programs in the state, North Allegheny, and one of the premier swimmers in the state, Morgan Soulia, and looked like anything but a ninth-grader in the first month of her first varsity season. Competing against Soulia, a former WPIAL champion who has held WPIAL records in three events, Matheny did more than just compete.

The pair went head-to-head in the 200 freestyle with Soulia (1:52.51) edging Matheny (1:54.61). In the 500 freestyle Matheny swam a head-turning 5:05.43, to outdistance Soulia by over ten seconds. If that time were swam at the WPIAL Class AAA championships in February, Matheny would have placed fourth. Matheny also anchored a first-place 200 freestyle relay and led off a second-place 400 freestyle relay.

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Hockey: Golden Eagles struggling in Class A

Written by Ryan Riordan on .

An Open Cup playoff team in 2012-13 after going 13-6, Keystone Oaks dropped back to 5-14 last season.

This season, after moving to Class A when the Open Division was disbanded, the Golden Eagles are finding it even tougher to win.

The Golden Eagles enter the holiday break with a 1-9-1 mark, the team’s three points tied for last in the Tier 2 Western Conference with Wheeling Park.

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Hockey: Mt. Lebanon breaks out of offensive slump

Written by Ryan Riordan on .

Entering Monday’s game against State College, Mt. Lebanon was 1-5 in its previous six games, scoring a total of seven goals.

But Monday, the offense almost reached that total, as the Blue Devils found the back of the net six times in a 6-2 victory against State College.

George Farrell led the way, scoring twice and adding an assist. Reed Farber added a goal and an assist, while Ryan Gist, Duncan De Haas and Walker Troy each had two assists. 

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Hockey: South Feature Athlete – Bethel Park’s William Lowe III

Written by Ryan Riordan on .

Name: William Lowe III
School: Bethel Park
Grade: 11
Sport: Hockey

Background: Lowe backstopped the Black Hawks to the national championship last season, allowing only four goals on 85 shots in four games at the national tournament. He’s carried over that stellar play to this year, as Lowe leads Class AAA in wins (seven) and is second in goals-against average (2.06) and fourth in save percentage (.913) among goaltenders who have played at least half of their teams’ games. 

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Brad Everett's South High School Basketball Notebook (Dec. 18, 2014)

Written by Brad Everett on .

Here's this week's edition of Brad Everett's South High School Basketball Notebook.

"Seton-LaSalle's boys team won the WPIAL Class AA championship and advanced to the PIAA final last season, but considering the Rebels' top three players graduated, a regression was surely in store.

Early on, that has been anything but the case.

This group of Rebels have a cause, and that's to make another run at a WPIAL title. It's been business as usual for Seton-LaSalle, which sported a 4-0 record heading into Tuesday's Section 3-AA contest at Chartiers-Houston.

Coach Mark "Knobby" Walsh no longer has his 'Big Three' of point guard Dale Clancy and forwards Levi Masua and Malik White, but the Rebels haven't skipped a beat without them."

 

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Boys Basketball: In early going, West Mifflin takes on identity of a winner

Written by Drew Karpen on .

Drew Karpen profiles the West Mifflin boys basketball team.

"High school basketball teams across the WPIAL are starting to form their identities after the first two weeks of the season, including some interesting matchups in tipoff tournaments.

"I thought we did a decent job of implementing what we want," West Mifflin coach Lance Maha said. "We are trying to play up-tempo. We definitely have a long way to go. Hopefully with a week of practice, we will continue to get better next week."

Record-wise, the Titans couldn't have asked for a better start after going 2-0 in the Serra Catholic tournament. West Mifflin won its first game against Shady Side Academy, 74-63, before defeating East Allegheny, 74-39, the second night of competition in the predetermined format.

"For us it benefits us that you play a game and then you talk about your mistakes and get back at it the next day," said Maha, who is in his 17th season as the Titans coach. "We played better the second day.""

 

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Girls Basketball: Experienced lineup greets Upper St. Clair coach

Written by Nicholas Tolomeo on .

Nicholas Tolomeo profiles the Upper St. Clair girls basketball team.

2014 1218 UpperStClair GBasketball(Photo: Madison Serio Averaged 11.1 points per game last season for the Upper St. Clair girls basketball team. John Heller/Post-Gazette)

"There is a lot of experience returning this season on the Upper St. Clair girls basketball, but as far as playing in first-year coach Pete Serio's system, there is a lot of inexperience in that regard.

Serio has taken over for Ernie Koontz, who resigned under pressure after last season after 29 years as head coach. Serio has previously coached teams at Mt. Lebanon, Bishop Canevin and Peters Township where he last coached during the 2008-09 season.

Since then, Serio, who is the husband of University of Pittsburgh women's basketball coach Susie McConnell Serio, has been watching his daughters play, including Madison Serio, who is a senior guard on this year's team and one of a number of talented returning starters.

Serio watched from the stands last season as the Panthers won 14 games, finished tied for second place in Section 4-AAAA and reached the WPIAL playoffs where they fell to eventual runner-up Hempfield Area in the first round."

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Football: Clairton shocked in title game

Written by Marky Billson on .

Marky Billson profiles the Clairton football team.

"The Clairton Bears returned to the PIAA Class A championship football game for the sixth time in seven years last Friday.

As Clairton compiled a 15-1 record, it scored 958 points, the second-highest total in the history of American high school football.

The Bears can list a litany of other achievments.

* Sophomore Lamont Wade rushed for 2,762 yards, a WPIAL single-season record.

* Quarterback Ryan Williams became the sixth quarterback in WPIAL history to throw for 3,000 or more yards in a season when he accumulated 3,034 through the air."

 

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Football: Second title is twice as nice for South Fayette

Written by Drew Karpen on .

Drew Karpen profiles the South Fayette football team.

2014 1218 SouthFayette Football(Photo: South Fayette teammates pose for photos after defeating Dunmore in the PIAA Class AA championship game at Hersheypark Stadium Saturday afternoon. Matt Freed/Post-Gazette)

"Numbers are soaring around the South Fayette football team at a historic pace.

There is the 32 consecutive wins, which is good enough for fourth longest in WPIAL history.

There are the 263 yards and 95-yard touchdown jaunt that junior running back Hunter Hayes put up in the PIAA championship game. There are the mulitple records senior quarterback Brett Brumbaugh has that makes him the most prolific passer in WPIAL history.

But it is a number as simple as two that holds the most meaning. It stands for the consecutive state championships the Lions have after defending their crown on Saturday in Hershey with a 28-16 come-from-behind victory against Dunmore."

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Alumni Update - Mike Resnik (Washington & Jefferson)

Written by Drew Karpen on .

WASHINGTON, Pa. -- The Washington & Jefferson men's basketball team fell at home to Thiel, 61-53, inResnick WJ Presidents' Athletic Conference action from the Henry Memorial Center.

Mike Resnik, a McKeesport graduate, led W&J with 14 points and added five rebounds and three steals. Haas finished with nine points, six assists, five rebounds and three steals.

 

(photo courtesy of Washington and Jefferson College)

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Alumni Update - Taylor Duchon (Thiel)

Written by Drew Karpen on .

WASHINGTON, Pa. – The Thiel College women's basketball team was defeated 77-55 by the WashingtonDuchon Thiel & Jefferson Presidents in a Presidents' Athletic Conference (PAC) contest Sunday.

Taylor Duchon, a Baldwin graduate, scored a team-high 13 points for the Tomcats. Duchon also pulled down four rebounds, had three steals and three assists.

 

(photo courtesy of Thiel College)

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Alumni Update - Kelly Johnson (Point Park)

Written by Drew Karpen on .

MONTGOMERY, W.Va. — The No. 22 Point Park University women’s basketball team won its ninth game of the season with a 91-74 victory Wednesday at West Virginia Tech.

Kelly Johnson, a Mt. Lebanon graduate, put up a final line of 30 points on 14 of 19 shooting, nine rebounds, five assists and four steals in 25 minutes to lead Point Park (9-1).

 

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Alumni Update - Arnes Bajgora (La Roche)

Written by Drew Karpen on .

BUFFALO, NY -- The La Roche men's basketball team fought for a full sixty minutes and took D'Youville College to the wireBajgora LaRoche before falling 69-68.

Arnes Bajgora, a Baldwin graduate, had a game-high 21 points (7 of 10 shots) and added 8 rebounds and 4 steals.

 

(photo courtesy of La Roche College)

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Alumni Update - Addy Knetzer (Waynesburg)

Written by Drew Karpen on .

DANBURY, Conn. – After two solid games on the court, freshman women's basketball player AddyKnetzer Waynesburg Knetzer was recently honored by the Eastern Collegiate Athletic Conference (ECAC) as its NCAA Division III South Rookie of the Week.

Knetzer, a Chartiers-Houston graduate, averaged 12.0 points, 9.3 rebounds and 23.3 minutes over two games last week. The standout forward shot 55.6 percent from the field and 60 percent from the free throw line.

She also notched her first collegiate double-double against Grove City on Saturday by pouring in 11 points and ripping down a game-high 14 rebounds.

 

(photo courtesy of Waynesburg University)

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Alumni Update - Mike Hull (Penn State)

Written by Drew Karpen on .

 

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. - Penn State senior Mike Hull has earned another All-America selection, today being named an Associated Press third-Hull PSUteam All-American.

Hull previously was named a second-team All-American by USA Today and a third-team All-American by Scout.

The Big Ten Butkus-Fitzgerald Linebacker of the Year, Hull led the conference with 134 tackles. He was named first-team All-Big Ten by the coaches and media, as well as BTN.com and ESPN.com. Hull joins All-American Michael Mauti as recipients of the Big Ten Linebacker of the Year Award, giving LinebackerU two of the award's initial four recipients.

Twenty-one Nittany Lions have earned a total of 24 first, second or third-team All-America honors since 2005. With Hull's USA Today selection, five Penn State linebackers have earned a total of seven first or second-team All-America accolades since 2005: Paul Posluszny (2005-06), Dan Connor (2006-07), Navorro Bowman (2009), Michael Mauti (2012) and Hull (2014).

Hull has been instrumental in helping Penn State rank in the FBS Top 10 in all of the primary statistical categories: rushing defense (1st, 84.8 ypg), total defense (2nd, 269.8 ypg), scoring defense (8th, 17.7 ppg), pass efficiency defense (2nd, 99.71) and third down conversion pct. defense (6th, .301). The Nittany Lions are No. 1 in the Big Ten in rushing, total, scoring and pass efficiency defense.

A senior co-captain, Hull leads the Big Ten in tackles with 134 total tackles (11.2 tpg), averaging at least 1.9 tpg more than every other conference player. He ranks seventh nationally in stops and also leads the Big Ten in tackles in conference games only (96, 12.0 tpg).

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Alumni Update - Laurel Miller (California University)

Written by Drew Karpen on .

CALIFORNIA – California University of Pennsylvania senior Laurel Miller was selected a Capital OneMiller CalU 101013 Academic All-American by the College Sports Information Directors of America (CoSIDA) on Wednesday afternoon.

 

Miller, a Bethel Park graduate, becomes the 13th overall student-athlete, and second volleyball player, in school history to receive Academic All-America laurels twice in a career. The Cal U volleyball program has now featured an Academic All-American five times in the last six years.

 

As a senior, Miller led the Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference (PSAC) and ranked eighth in the country with 476 total kills while finishing third in the league with 3.50 kills per set.  She ranked second on the team and set a career high with 432 digs after totaling 21 kill/dig double-doubles.

 

Miller led NCAA Division II this season with 1,536 total attacks while playing all but seven sets.

 

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Alumni Update - Kayla Dames (Pitt-Greensburg)

Written by Drew Karpen on .

GREENSBURG, Pa - The Pitt-Greensburg women's basketball team picked up their first conference win of the season afterDames PGU dispatching with Penn State Altoona, 62-52.

The Bobcats would use a well balanced attack and some solid defense to even their record at 4-4 and 1-1 in the Allegheny Mountain Collegiate Conference. The Lions now fall to 2-6 on the season and 1-2 in conference play.

Four Bobcats would finish the game scoring in double figures. Kayla Dames, a Chartiers Valley graduate, would lead the way with 16 points, which included 3-4 (75%) from three, and team highs in rebounds, 14 and steals, five.

 

(photo courtesy of Pitt-Greensburg University)

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Alumni Update - Shiloh Simonson (Point Park)

Written by Drew Karpen on .

PITTSBURGH -- Point Park University volleyball had two players recognized with the announcement of the American Volleyball Coaches Associations' NAIA All-Northeast Region teams this week.

Sophomore outside hitter Shiloh Simonson, from Peters Township High School, was named to the AVCA NAIA All-Northeast Reigon First Team.

a spot on the all-region first team as one of the top all-around players in the region. The All-KIAC First Team selection had 399 kills to rank second in the KIAC and 424 digs to rank sixth in the KIAC. Simonson, a 5-9 sophomore, was the only KIAC player to rank in the top 10 of the conference in both kills and digs.

 

Simonson led the KIAC in total service aces with 68, a figure that ranked fourth in the NAIA. She ranked 31st in the nation with 0.46 service aces per set.