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Girls Basketball: Bishop Canevin fires highly-successful coach

Written by Mike White on .

Mike White reports that Bishop Canevin fired girls basketball coach Tim Joyce on Monday.

"Tim Joyce built Bishop Canevin High School girls basketball into a strong program and won three WPIAL titles and one PIAA championship in the past five years. But the school informed him Monday that he has been fired.

Joyce, Bishop Canevin's coach for 15 seasons, learned of his release after a short meeting with Bishop Canevin principal Ken Sinagra. According to Joyce, parental complaints were the main reason for his firing. The move is shocking when you consider Joyce's success.

"I don't know what to say. I was kind of caught by surprise," said Joyce. "I knew there were some unhappy parents, but I didn't expect this. [Sinagra] just said there were parents complaining. Over 15 years, I guess you get a few of those."

Joyce, 59, was miffed by the idea that parental complaints led to his ouster. When asked the nature of the complaints, Joyce said, "It's 'you're too hard on them,' or 'you've taken the fun out of the game.' The usual things. We didn't really have a long conversation. I was shocked. I'm upset about it. I've thought about things and I can't say I would've done anything different. But you do what you have to do. I'll try to find another coaching job. If this is the way the school feels, I guess it's time to move on.""

 

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Softball: Baldwin vaults to first place in Class 6A Section 1

Written by Nicholas Tolomeo on .

The Baldwin/Canon-McMillan showdown on May 2 may very well determine Class 6A Section 1's first ever champion. The Highlanders have a half-game advantage over the Big Macs, but their 10-1 loss at Canon-McMillan on April 12 still looms over them.

Baldwin (8-2, 7-1) is just ahead of Canon-McMillan (6-2, 6-1) in the section standings, and Bethel Park (6-2, 5-2) is still alive in the section title race too. Baldwin's loss to the Big Macs was only their second setback of the season and the 10 runs they allowed were twice as many runs as they allowed in all of their other section games combined.

The Highlanders have not lost since that game. They won 1-0 at Bethel Park the day after and then knocked off North Hills, 7-5, in a non-section contest where pitcher Andy Tagg was 3 for 3 including a two-run walk-off home run. Baldwin also defeated Mt. Lebanon, 5-3, on the road and romped past Brashear, 15-0.

Before the showdown against Canon-McMillan, Baldwin plays host to North Allegheny on Monday before visiting Upper St. Clair on Tuesday.

 

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Softball: South Feature Athlete - South Park’s Kaitlyn Morrison

Written by Nicholas Tolomeo on .

Name: Kaitlyn Morrison
School: South Park
Grade: 10
Sport: Softball
Position: Shortstop

Background: South Park has one of the best 'Big Three' in the entire WPIAL. That trio is comprised of sophomore shortstop Kaitlyn Morrison, junior third baseman Katlyn Pavlick and senior pitcher Justine Dean. Each of those three would be the feature player on most teams, but at South Park the trio happily shares the spotlight.

Morrison and Pavlick are tied with the team lead with 16 runs scored through eight games. It is rare enough to have one player scoring two runs a game on average this far into a season, and having two is almost unheard of.

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Softball: Section title race heating up in Class 4A Section 2

Written by Nicholas Tolomeo on .

Yough and Belle Vernon are gaining separation from the rest of Class 4A Section 2, but there will still be plenty of drama down the stretch in the race for playoff spots and a section title. Yough (11-1, 7-0) and Belle Vernon (11-1, 7-1) could decide the section title in their next game but they cannot forget about Elizabeth Forward (6-5, 5-2), which is well within striking distance. South Fayette (7-5, 3-4) and Keystone Oaks (3-6, 3-5) are also alive and fighting for playoff spots.

Yough coach Dutch Harvey has had a front-row view of the section race.

"When you got a pitcher like Belle Vernon does, you are a contender," Harvey said of their ace Bailey Parshall. "She is going to keep the games tight and Belle Vernon is going to be tough. Keystone Oaks is going to compete for that fourth playoff spot too and you have Harry [Rutherford] at Elizabeth Forward, when Harry is coaching there, he is going to put a good product on the field. Through the second half of the season, everybody is going to be in the same boat, everybody is going to have to establish their pitching."

Belle Vernon must run a gauntlet of section road games against Carrick, Elizabeth Forward and South Fayette before the May 9 showdown with Yough. Elizabeth Forward is still in contention for the section crown and they have the benefit of staying home at William Penn for a majority of the remainder of their schedule. The Warriors host South Fayette, Belle Vernon, Yough and West Mifflin and only have to travel to Keystone Oaks.

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Lacrosse: Mt. Lebanon in the middle of a solid winning streak

Written by Joe Koch on .

You can tell a lot about how things are going in WPIAL Class 3A girls lacrosse by how well things are going for the Mt. Lebanon Blue Devils.

The season might not have started out well for the Blue Devils as they absorbed a 14-4 loss to Langley, Va., in the season opener. First appearances, though, can be deceiving. Langley's Saxons are 11-0, and they are the top-ranked team in the 27-team Virginia 6A North classification, according to Laxpower.com.

Since that opening loss, the Blue Devils have run off seven wins in a row, the last four by double-digit margins. This past week, Mt. Lebanon earned a 12-10 victory over visiting Pine-Richland and hosted Upper St. Clair on Friday night. In an unusual quirk, the Blue Devils close out the first half of play with Canon-McMillan on Monday, start the second half with Baldwin on Wednesday and visit Canon-McMillan in a second-half game on Friday.

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Lacrosse: Chartiers Valley nicely turns season around

Written by Joe Koch on .

Four games into the season, the Chartiers Valley boys lacrosse team was foundering with a 1-3 record following a 5-3 victory over 3A Canon-McMillan, a 12-8 loss to 3A stalwart Upper St. Clair and successive losses to Class 2A Section 1 rival Quaker Valley, 8-7, and a 16-4 loss to Class 3A member Seneca Valley.

But the Colts rebounded well with successive double-digit victories over section rivals Winchester Thurston, 16-1 and Trinity, 15-4, sandwiched around a 20-7 triumph over 3A Norwin. The Colts improved to 5-3 heading into the game at Moon with a 16-8 victory over 3A Hempfield.

This past week, the Colts stepped out of section play with a pair of games against two solid Class 2A Section 2 opponents, Moon and Cardinal Wuerl North Catholic. The Colts absorbed an 18-1 loss to the Tigers, and they hosted North Catholic on Friday. The Colts will remain out of section play for one more game when they visit Fox Chapel on Monday.

Then comes a bit of a meat-grinder as three of their final four games will be against section rivals Gateway, Seton-LaSalle and neighborhood rival South Fayette in the season finale. Their other game is on April 28 against Class 3A foe Central Catholic.

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Lacrosse: Key games in store for Peters Township

Written by Joe Koch on .

Following a thrilling 10-5 victory over perennial WPIAL contender Mt. Lebanon this past Tuesday and a trip to Central Ohio opponents Delaware Hayes on Friday and Pickerington Central on Saturday, the Peters Township boys lacrosse team has a section games this week with Allderdice on Wednesday before finishing the week with an intriguing non-section game with visiting Fox Chapel on Friday.

The Indians have dished out plenty of heartache with double-digit victories over Trinity, 16-3, Central Catholic, 13-3 and Baldwin, 23-0.

The Indians also had a close 13-9 victory over Class 2A Hampton and a pair of excruciating non-section losses to Class 3A, Section 3 stalwart Pine-Richland, 7-6, and Class 2A powerhouse Mars, 13-10.

The Indians are 3-0 in Class 3A Section 1. Upper St. Clair is 4-0. Those two teams meet on May 2 at Upper St. Clair.

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Alumni Update - Mason Miller (Waynesburg)

Written by Drew Karpen on .

BEAVER FALLS, Pa. – The Waynesburg University baseball team traveled to Geneva on Friday for a Presidents'Miller Waynesburg Athletic Conference (PAC) doubleheader. The Yellow Jackets picked up the sweep against the Golden Tornadoes.

Waynesburg (11-16, 5-7) never trailed on the day against Geneva (8-20, 2-12). The Jackets took game one 9-2, before scoring a 7-3 triumph in game two.

In game two, freshman Mason Miller earned his first collegiate win on the mound after giving up two runs, both of which were earned, on six hits and two walks.

Miller, a Bethel Park graduate, piled up seven strikeouts over five innings.

 

(photo courtesy of Waynesburg University)

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Baseball: Sehnert finding ways to succeed at Peters Township

Written by Sarah Spencer on .

Sarah Spencer profiles Peters Township baseball standout Tor Sehnert.

2017 0421 PetersTownship Baseball(Photo: Peters Township outfielder Tor Sehnert is one of the top players in the WPIAL who is committed to defending NCAA champion Coastal Carolina next season. Stephanie Strasburg/Post-Gazette)

"From the first time Austin Kitchen saw Tor Sehnert play baseball at Pullman Park in Butler, he knew Sehnert had "blue-collar" talent. Good speed, power and discipline.

"I'm pretty sure he had something like three triples, or something crazy," Kitchen said. "Just a freshman... I knew pretty much from there that he was going to be good."

After playing two years of club ball together as Steel City Wildcats, it's possible Mt. Lebanon alumnus Kitchen and Peters Township's Sehnert could reunite at defending national champion Coastal Carolina come fall. That would make two WPIAL Chanticleer players, not long after Montour's Anthony Marks signed with the San Francisco Giants after his senior season at Coastal. West Allegheny's Mike Crawford will also join CCU's team next season as a preferred walk-on.

"When you have WPIAL guys around, we all look at each other, and everyone talks smack or jokes around, and we'll look at each other like 'WPIAL. We're the best,'" Kitchen said. "It's just funny. Because everyone on the team, they're not from near PA. They could be from California, Florida, Georgia, where they don't know where the WPIAL is.""

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Alumni Update - Nick Zanetta (Pittsburgh)

Written by Drew Karpen on .

GREENSBORO, N.C. Junior Dom Forys and redshirt junior Nick Zanetta were named to the 2017 All-Zanetta PittACC Academic wrestling team as announced by conference Commissioner John Swofford Monday morning.

Both natives of the Pittsburgh area, Zanetta receives the honor for the second year in a row while this is Forys’ first. The pair of Panthers are among a list of 20 wrestlers from the Atlantic Coast Conference.

Zanetta, a Keystone Oaks graduate, is a business information systems and supply chain management major, boasts a 3.67 semester GPA, while maintaining a 3.4 cumulative GPA.

Zanetta wrapped up the 2016-17 season with a 19-13 overall record and excelled in tournaments this year, going 14-8. His year was highlighted by placing eighth at the Midlands Championships.

 

(photo courtesy of University of Pittsburgh)

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Boys Tennis: South Feature Athlete - Peters Township's Connor Bruce

Written by Keith Barnes on .

Name: Connor Bruce
School: Peters Township
Grade: 9
Sport: Boys Tennis

Background: Has solidified the top singles spot in the Indians lineup and made Peters Township the team to beat in the WPIAL Class 3A playoffs. Is the No. 4 ranked freshman in the state and has already beaten some of the best upperclassmen in the WPIAL. Did not get the opportunity to play Fox Chapel sophomore Robby Shymansky on Monday when the two teams squared off in what could have been a WPIAL singles preview as the latter was off for Easter break.

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Boys Tennis: Thomas Jefferson in a familiar position

Written by Keith Barnes on .

Thomas Jefferson has been here before.

Last season the Jaguars were the No. 7 seed in the WPIAL Class 2A team tennis playoffs and hosted No. 10 Beaver in the first round of the playoffs.

At the end of the day, they were only favorite to lose in the first round as they dropped a 4-0 decision to the Bobcats.

This year the same two teams will meet in the first round, at the same venue holding the same seeds as they did in 2016. Only this time Thomas Jefferson is looking for a much different outcome.

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Boys Tennis: South Park finds itself in the favorite role

Written by Keith Barnes on .

Each of the last two years, South Park has qualified for the WPIAL Class 2A team tennis playoffs.

Both times the Eagles walked off the court with a loss.

This season, though, South Park is a favorite as the team heads into the postseason as the No. 5 seed and will take on a relative playoff neophyte in No. 12 Knoch. The Knights have not appeared in the tournament in more than a decade.

South Park has a relatively young team with junior Devin Stolar, sophomore Anthony Girol and junior Logan Mannheimer taking up the three singles spots in the lineup. The only senior in the squad is Nicholas Westine, who plays second doubles.

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Girls Basketball: South Fayette's Kilgus looks to continue her success at Saint Vincent

Written by Drew Karpen on .

The South Fayette girls basketball team has been a force the last three years. They had numerous players contribute to their success, but none meant more than Carlee Kilgus.

Kilgus will now look to contribute to the success of the Saint Vincent College women’s basketball team after announcing her commitment on April 16.

 

The Bearcats are a Division III program competing in the Presidents’ Athletic Conference. They finished last year 18-10 and advanced to the PAC championship game.

 

The 5-foot-8 guard led the Lions to a point where no South Fayette girls basketball team has gone before this past year. Kilgus and the Lions were one quarter away from advancing to the Class 5A PIAA championship game, before losing to Trinity.

 

Kilgus went to back-to-back WPIAL championships as a sophomore and junior, winning the title as a junior against Trinity. She also has led the Lions to back-to-back section championships.

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Alumni Update - Haley Yenchik (Penn State-Behrend)

Written by Drew Karpen on .

ERIE, Pa. - Penn State Behrend women's track and field athlete, Haley Yenchik, earned Eastern Collegiate AthleticYenchik PSUB Conference (ECAC) Division III North field Athlete of the Week, announced Wednesday.

Yenchik, a Canon-McMillan graduate, competed at the Mount Union John Homon Open where she flew over 11 feet for the second time this outdoor season in the pole vault and also triple jumped 10.16 meters (33'4").

She leads the Colonial States Athletic Conference in both events. She also led the women's 4x100-meter relay to a win in 49.40 and sprinted to season-best times in the 100 meters and 200 meters respectively.

 

(photo courtesy of Penn State Behrend)

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Alumni Update - Kassie Kesneck (Indiana University of Pa.)

Written by Drew Karpen on .

INDIANA, Pa. – Women's tennis player Jarka Petercakova (Bratislava, Slovakia/Sport Gymnasium) and softballKesneck IUP outfielder Kassie Kesneck have been named the IUP Athletes of the Week, which were announced by the IUP Sports Information Office on Monday morning.

 

Kesneck, a Chartiers-Houston graduate, hit .500 with a .722 slugging percentage as she helped IUP softball to a 5-1 record in three PSAC Central doubleheaders last week.

 

The freshman went 9-for-18 at the plate with two doubles and a triple, driving in five runs while scoring five of her own. A speedy left fielder, Kesneck also stole four bases.

 

She had a hit in all six games last week, including a 5 for 7 day against Pitt-Johnstown, which included three extra-base hits and three RBI.

 

It's Kesneck's first career IUP weekly honor.

 

(photo courtesy of Indiana University of Pa.)

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Alumni Update - Nick Riotto (Penn State)

Written by Drew Karpen on .

COLLEGE PARK, Md. -- Penn State freshman right fielder Braxton Giavedoni (Punxsutawney, Pa.) homered twice butRiotto PSU Maryland powered past the Nittany Lions, 15-2, in Big Ten baseball action Sunday afternoon in Bob "Turtle" Smith Stadium.

Centerfielder Nick Riotto, a Trinity graduate, went 2 for 4. 

 

(photo courtesy of Penn State University)

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Alumni Update - David Boehme (Penn State-Behrend)

Written by Drew Karpen on .

GREENSBURG, Pa. – The Penn State Behrend baseball team took on Pitt-Greensburg Friday afternoon, falling twiceBoehme PSUB with a 4-3 and 6-5 walk-off loss.

In game one, David Boehme, a Seton-LaSalle graduate, went 2 for 2 in game one with one RBI and one run scored.

 

(photo courtesy of Penn State-Behrend)