Monday's Westmoreland Sports Notebook

Latrobe, Burrell girls soccer score key wins; 5 volleyball teams clinch playoffs; PIHL season begins

Mon Oct 10, 2022 - 8:32AM

Sean Meyers Sean Meyers

Last Updated: Mon Oct 10, 2022 - 2:35AM

Wildcats, Bucs girls soccer score key wins

With the conclusion of WPIAL girls soccer section play on the horizon, a couple of Westmoreland County teams notched crucial victories for their playoff aspirations last week. Greater Latrobe stunned previously-undefeated Plum 1-0 in overtime on Monday, and then followed with a 9-0 rout of Penn Hills two days later. Against the Mustangs, Ella Bulava netted the OT winner for the homestanding Wildcats. Against the Indians, sisters Regan and Robin Reilly each scored a hat trick, while Bulava contributed one goal and three assists. Although still behind Plum, Greater Latrobe improved to 7-1-1 in Class 3A Section 3, securing a playoff berth. Meanwhile, the Buccaneers handed Freeport Area its first loss, 1-0, and then tied Deer Lakes 0-0. In the stunning win at home against the Yellowjackets, Mikayla Coury netted the winning goal, assisted by Lily Householder, while goalkeeper Ali Hughes recorded the clean sheet. Subsequently, Burrell sits in third place in Class 2A Section 2 with a mark of 6-2-2.

Five area volleyball teams clinch playoff berths

Although two weeks remain in the WPIAL girls volleyball regular season, a quintet of Westmoreland County teams have already secured their spots in the postseason. In Class 4A, Penn-Trafford and Norwin have clinched. The Warriors currently lead Section 3, at 5-1, while the Knights are in third, at 3-2. In Class 3A, Greater Latrobe has secured its spot in the playoffs. The Wildcats boast an unblemished mark of 8-0 to lead Section 5. In Class 2A, both Southmoreland and Burrell are postseason-bound. The Scotties sit in second place in Section 3 with a record of 10-3, while the Buccaneers are 8-2 in Section 5, good for second place.

Norwin, Greensburg Salem dominant in PIHL openers

The Pennsylvania Interscholastic Hockey League (PIHL) season commenced last week, and Norwin and Greensburg Salem both notched lopsided wins. Last Thursday, the defending Class A Penguins Cup Champion Knights blasted host Westmont Hilltop 11-2. Norwin received a five-goal, one-assist performance from Joe Vecchio, while Dom Cerilli scored a hat trick and Mario Cavallaro added three assists. On the same night, the Golden Lions registered a 7-1 win at home against Kiski Area. Owen Tutich netted three goals and an assist, while Colten Humphrey contributed a goal and three helpers for Greensburg Salem.

Derry Area’s Jurica wins WPIAL golf title

Derry Area senior golfer Hunter Jurica captured the WPIAL Class AA Boys Individual Championship last Tuesday at Oakmont Country Club, as he edged Brownsville Area’s Daniel Sethman to take first. With the title contested in a two-round format for the first time, Jurica and Sethman entered Tuesday tied for first, as they both shot a four-over-par the previous week at Hannastown Golf Club in Greensburg. Over the final 18 holes, though, Jurica carded a seven-over 78, finishing three strokes better than Sethman. Jurica also qualified for the PIAA competition that will be held at Penn State University’s Blue Course beginning on Oct. 17. Other Westmoreland County qualifiers for the state competition in Class AA included Greensburg Central Catholic senior Wade Boyle, junior Rogan Maloney of Belle Vernon Area, and Ligonier Valley senior Josh Harbert. In Class 3A, Penn-Trafford junior Nick Turowski tied for second, as he finished six strokes behind Pittsburgh Central Catholic senior Rocco Salvitti. Turowski, who captured the WPIAL crown in 2021, was the lone county boys golfer from the classification to advance to the state competition.

PT, Ligonier Valley receive WPIAL Sportsmanship awards

The WPIAL announced its annual sportsmanship awards last week, and Penn-Trafford and Ligonier Valley were among the schools honored. The selection process was based on the fall, winter, and spring seasons of the 2021-22 school year. Schools were eligible to be nominated through either a self-assessment, by another school, or by an officials’ chapter. The WPIAL Sportsmanship Award Committee then met to discuss the nominees, with a maximum of five schools to be honored. Beaver Area, Hampton, and Saint Joseph also received the award. The schools will be recognized during the WPIAL Sportsmanship Summit at the Heinz History Center and Sports Museum on Nov. 16. Penn-Trafford previously received the award in 1998-99.

Penn State New Kensington names new AD

Last week, Penn State New Kensington hired Dr. Renee Brown-Antonelli as its athletic director. Brown-Antonelli fills the void left after Megan Bratkovich stepped down from the position. Previously, Brown-Antonelli served as an assistant athletic director at Penn State Beaver, beginning in February, 2020. She also boasts an extensive background in basketball, both as a player and a coach. She was a multi-year All-Conference performer during her playing career at Edinboro, and later served as an assistant women’s basketball coach at the University of Pitt-Johnstown for three seasons.