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Lacrosse: Seton-LaSalle girls working overtime

Written by Joe Koch on .

Heading into Monday's game with a 4-2 record, the Seton-LaSalle girls lacrosse team has had more than its share of close calls.

The Rebels opened the season with a 12-9 Class 2A Section 2 victory over Moon. Then came an 8-5 non-section loss to Bethel Park and a 15-6 section victory over 2016 WPIAL Division 1 finalist Chartiers Valley.

The Rebels' two most recent games were enough to give coach Brian Klisavage some gray hairs as the Rebels first edged 2016 WPIAL Division 2 champion Blackhawk, 7-6 in overtime, and then suffered a heart-stopping 10-9 double-overtime loss to unbeaten Quaker Valley.

Following this past Monday's 14-1 victory over section rival South Fayette, the Rebels are idle until Monday's game against visiting Trinity. Later this week, the Rebels host non-section rival Ellis School on Thursday before heading to York County on Saturday for two games with Susquehannock and Red Lion. Those two games likely will give the Rebels a good look at how the game is played by schools in Eastern Pa.

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Lacrosse: Trinity, Seton-LaSalle playing well in solid section

Written by Joe Koch on .

Everyone knew that the Class 2A Section 2 grouping in high school girls lacrosse would be one of the most competitive sections in the WPIAL with a defending Division 2 champion, Blackhawk, and a recent Divison 1 champion, Quaker Valley, and a 2016 Division 1 finalist, Chartiers Valley, all competing in the seven-team section.

Quaker Valley and Blackhawk both have emerged as two of the top teams in the section, and that was no surprise. Charters Valley lost a lot of experience from last year's team, and the Colts are experiencing some growing pains.

Two teams that are in the thick of the running in the seven-team section, though, are Seton-LaSalle and Trinity. The Rebels are 4-2 overall and 4-1 against section rivals. The Hillers are 4-1 overall and 3-1 against section foes. Trinity was originally scheduled to host Quaker Valley this past Monday, but that game has been rescheduled for May 9, and it will be the second meeting in six days for the two teams as the Quakers host the Hillers on May 3.

There is plenty for Trinity to consider, though, as the Hillers visit Seton-LaSalle on Monday. The second game between the two teams is May 10, and it is the final game of the regular season for both teams.

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Boys Basketball: McKeesport's Grayson signs with Alderson Broaddus

Written by Drew Karpen on .

McKeesport’s John Grayson signed his National Letter of Intent to continue his basketball career at Alderson Broaddus University in West Virginia on April 12.

The Battlers are a Division II program competing in the Great Midwest Athletic Conference (G-MAC).

 

The 6-foot-4 senior forward played two years on the Tigers basketball team. In his senior season, he made Class 5A Section 1 first-team. He also led the Tigers to a section championships with a 18-5 overall record and 11-1 mark in the section. McKeesport advanced to the WPIAL quarterfinals.

 

Grayson received an invitation to compete in the Roundball Classic.

 

He also played on the football team who advanced to the Class 5A WPIAL championship.

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Track: Canevin's Bonds signs with Wheeling Jesuit

Written by Drew Karpen on .

Walter and Julian Bonds made their impact on the Bishop Canevin basketball program, but they weren’t the only athletes in their family to make their mark.

Meet their twin sister, Sydney Bonds. On April 12, Sydney Bonds signed a National Letter of Intent to Wheeling Jesuit University to continue her career in track and field.

The Cardinals are a Division II program competing in the Mountain East Conference.


Sydney is a four-year sprinter for the Crusaders and a captain her senior year. She competes in the 100m, 200m, and 4x100m relay. Bonds holds the school record in the 100m and 4x100m.

She also competes on the Midas Track Club, where she qualified and competed in the National Junior Olympics in Jacksonville, Fla.

Bonds was awarded the KDKA Extra Effort Award for her success in athletics, community service, and education.

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Alumni Update - Mitchell Patterson (Thiel)

Written by Drew Karpen on .

GREENVILLE, Pa. – Freshman Mitchell Patterson of the Thiel College men's volleyball team was namedPatterson Thiel Continental Volleyball Conference (CVC) Player of the Week on Monday afternoon.

Patterson and the Tomcats went 3-0 last week with wins over Hilbert College, Cairn University, and Rutgers-Newark.

Patterson, a Canon-McMillan graduate, averaged 4.8 kills per set with 54.5 total points on the week and capped the season off with a career-high 26 kills in the win over Rutgers-Newark.

 

(photo courtesy of Thiel College)

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Alumni Update - Jonathon Kletzli (Waynesburg)

Written by Drew Karpen on .

PITTSBURGH, Pa. – The Waynesburg University baseball team hit the road on Monday for a nine-inning, non-Kletzli WaynesburgPresidents' Athletic Conference (PAC) game at La Roche. The Yellow Jackets got a fine pitching performance from senior Jacob Meyer, but a late Redhawk rally gave the home team a 4-3 win.

Senior first baseman Jonathon Kletzli recorded all of his team's runs with one swing of the bat. The two-out, three-run homer was Kletzli's fifth of the year.

Kletzli, a Chartiers Valley graduate, paced the offense by going 3 for 5 at the dish with a double and the homer.

 

(photo courtesy of Waynesburg University)

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Baseball: Seton-LaSalle grad helping Pitt baseball squad rebuild

Written by Craig Meyer on .

Craig Meyer profiles Seton-LaSalle graduate Nico Popa, who now plays baseball at Pitt.

"Most any college baseball player has that moment, the one when the stakes of their situation become real, when they realize they're no longer in high school.

Nico Popa's unsettling epiphany came early, in his first intra-squad game last fall. Facing junior pitcher Josh Mitchell, the Pitt freshman outfielder stepped into the batter's box, stood and gazed as three strikes passed by him in what felt like a blur.

"I was like 'Wow, that was quick,'" Popa said.

Every time he takes the field now, that same out-of-place, overwhelmed feeling doesn't engulf Popa. About one month into the season, he feels like he belongs, even if most every day comes with a different lesson about the next level, however small it may be."

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Alumni Update - Ben Morgret (Saint Francis)

Written by Drew Karpen on .

MOON, Pa. -Saint Francis sits fourth in a crowded leader board after the first day of the Colonial Invite hosted by Robert Morris.Morgret SFU

SFU shot a team score of 319 to sit in a tie for fourth, just three shots behind Iona for third place. The teams dealt with windy conditions with steady winds of 15-20 miles per hour throughout the round.

Ben Morgret, a Peters Township graduate, recorded a pair of birdies en route to a 79 on Monday to be SFU's second finisher and sit in a tie for 11th overall.

 

(photo courtesy of Saint Francis University)

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Alumni Update - Maddie Leya (Saint Vincent)

Written by Drew Karpen on .

Maddie Leya finished with a two-day total of 178 (96-82), which was good enough for a 15th place finish at lastLeya SVC weekend’s Carnegie Mellon Spring Shootout.

The Seton-LaSalle graduate was named PAC Women’s Rookie of the Week.

 

(photo courtesy of Saint Vincent College)

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Alumni Update - Brendan Shaughnessy (Saint Vincent)

Written by Drew Karpen on .

Brendan Shaughnessy shot a 156 (77-79) at last weekend’s Carnegie Mellon Spring Shootout, tying for 24th at theShaughnessy SVC event.

The Bishop Canevin graduate was named PAC Men’s Rookie of the Week.

 

(photo courtesy of Saint Vincent College)

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Alumni Update - Gino DiPardo (Point Park)

Written by Drew Karpen on .

APOLLO, Pa. -- Point Park University men's golf had a strong final round Sunday to capture second place of nine teams at the Carnegie Mellon University Shootout held at The Links at Spring Church.

The Pioneers were in third place after Saturday's first round. They opened with a score of 312, which was 11 shots back of leader Carnegie Mellon after 18 holes. Point Park followed that up with a score of 291 on Sunday to close the gap on CMU and moved up to second place in the final standings.

CMU shot 301-294 to win the team title by eight shots over Point Park (312-291). The Pioneers shot the second-best round of the day Sunday. Third-place Saint Vincent (316-290) shot a 290 on the final day.

Point Park sophomore Gino DiPardo, a Chartiers Valley graduate, finished in a tie for fifth, just three shots off the lead. He fired rounds of 76 and 72 for a two-day total of 148.

 

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Alumni Update - Rachel Pell (Penn State - Behrend)

Written by Drew Karpen on .

ALLIANCE, Ohio - The Penn State Behrend women's track and field team competed Satuday afternoon at the JohnPell PSUB Homon Open hosted by Mount Union.

Rachel Pell, an Elizabeth Forward graduate, took part in three top-five finishes on the day including a first place and school record performance in the 400 meter hurdles. She finished the race with a time of 1:04.49.

Pell also ran a leg in both the 4x100 and 4x400 team relay. Paige Allen, Ashlyn Carlsson, Haley Yenchik, along with Pell took first place in the 4x100 meter race with a time of 49.40.

 

(photo courtesy of Penn State-Behrend)

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Boys Tennis: South Feature Athlete - Mt. Lebanon's Michael Wilke

Written by Keith Barnes on .

Name: Michael Wilke
School: Mt. Lebanon
Grade: 12
Sport: Tennis

Background: Is the No. 26 senior in the state and the No. 1 singles player for the Blue Devils. Did not compete in the WPIAL Class 3A singles or doubles tournaments last season, nor did he play in section single or doubles in 2016. Helped the Blue Devils back into the WPIAL playoffs, where they have qualified for the state playoffs the last three seasons, the last two as the third-place consolation winner.

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Boys Tennis: Peters Township a serious WPIAL title contender

Written by Keith Barnes on .

If there is a team out there that might challenge Fox Chapel for the WPIAL Class 3A team title, it might be Peters Township.

Not only do the Indians have several solid wins this season, including a victory against 2016 runner-up North Allegheny, No. 1 singles player, Connor Bruce, is the No. 4 freshman in the state and has already faced some of the best in the WPIAL.

They also have a rock-solid No. 2 in senior Ryan Farrell and an experienced senior at No. 3 in Miguel Ascencio.

History, though, is not on Peters Township's side. Since the PIAA split tennis into two classifications the Indians have not played in the team finals and have not been to the semifinals since they were the top seed and were upset by Mt. Lebanon in 2007. The Indians won their only team tennis title in 1976.

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Boys Tennis: Young South Park fighting for playoff berth

Written by Keith Barnes on .

Last season, South Park qualified for the WPIAL Class 2A playoffs and had a young team this year that was going through some growing pains.

South Park had junior Devin Stolar leading the way at the No. 1 singles slot, a sophomore in Anthony Girol playing at No. 2 and junior Logan Mannheimer in at the No. 3 singles slot. The Eagles have been competitive throughout the season, but that youth may come into play if they make it into the tournament once again.

Last year, South Park lost to third-place finisher and state tournament qualifier, Quaker Valley, 4-1, in the first round.

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Alumni Update - Delaney Elling (Penn State)

Written by Drew Karpen on .

YPSILANTI, Mich. – The Penn State softball team dropped the final game, 6-4, of a three-game series with theElling PSU Michigan State Spartans Sunday, April 9 at Varsity Field on the campus of Eastern Michigan University.

 

The Nittany Lions (15-21, 3-6 B1G) took an early lead but a five-run inning for the Spartans (21-12, 5-4 B1G) in the bottom of the fourth proved too much for Penn State to overcome in the loss.


Freshman Delaney Elling, a Trinity graduate, tallied three hits in four at-bats.

 

(photo courtesy of Penn State University)

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Track: South Feature Athlete - South Fayette’s Rachel Helbling

Written by Brad Everett on .

Name: Rachel Helbling
School: South Fayette
Grade: 11
Sport: Track & Field
Events: 200, 400, 800

Background: Something that seemed almost unfathomable happened to the WPIAL's best 400-meter runner last Saturday: She failed to win an event that wasn't the PIAA championships. Except for falling short of the top of the medal podium at the PIAA meet her freshman and sophomore seasons, Helbling had never lost in the 400 during her high school career. That was until she finished second to Butler's Alexis Leech at the Tri-State Track Coaches Association championships at West Mifflin. Still, the two-time defending WPIAL champion is a favorite to three-peat this season, but it won't be easy. Among her chief competition will be Leech, who ran a 56.39 to edge Helbling's 57.31 at the TSTCA meet. Helbling placed third in the 200. Helbling ran a 56.54 to claim last year's WPIAL title in the 400 before running a 56.27 to finish fifth at the PIAA championships. She is also an excellent student. She boasts a 4.2 GPA.

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Track: South Park boys sweep hurdle events at TSTCA championships

Written by Brad Everett on .

The South Park boys hurdled nearly two dozen teams to finish seventh at the Tri-State Track Coaches Association championships.

An outstanding day by a pair of hurdlers played a key role in the result.

Gary Raymond and Sam Hartman had golden days in the 29-team event held Saturday at West Mifflin. Raymond won the 110-meter hurdles and Hartman won the 300-meter hurdles.

Raymond ran a 15.88 to edge a field that included runner-up Sven Rabshal of Laurel Highlands, who finished in 16.00. Hartman placed seventh with a time of 16.51.

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Track: South Fayette boys a surprise winner at TSTCA championships

Written by Brad Everett on .

At an event that included heavyweights such as Butler and Penn Hills, it came as a big surprise that the South Fayette boys won the team title at last Saturday's Tri-State Track Coaches Association championships.

Count South Fayette coach Scott Litwinovich among those in disbelief.

"I didn't expect top three, to tell you the truth," Litwinovich said. "When I saw the boys team scores, I was kind of shocked."

South Fayette (67 points) pulled a stunner when it edged Penn Hills (64) and Butler (62) to win the title in an event that included 29 WPIAL teams.