Author: Michael Love


Deer Lakes’ Cody Scarantine breaks free during a game against Burrell on Oct. 8. The Lancers visit South Allegheny on Friday.
A-K Valley don’t miss high school football matchups for 2021 Week 8
October 20, 2021
Class 5A Northeast

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Leechburg’s Logan Kline is a member of the 2021 football team.
A-K Valley football players to watch in 2021 Week 8
Garrett King

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Plum’s Marissa Liberto heads the ball against Oakland Catholic on Thursday, Oct. 14, 2021, at Plum High School.
Springdale, Plum land No. 2 seeds for WPIAL girls soccer playoffs
The Springdale and Plum girls soccer teams each captured section championships in the regular season, and both the Dynamos and Mustangs lead the Alle-Kiski Valley with No. 2 seeds for the upcoming WPIAL playoffs.

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Western Pennsylvania Interscholastic Softball League playoff tournament matchups set
October 19, 2021
The Western Pennsylvania Interscholastic Softball League playoff tournament will be Saturday and Sunday, and all 12 teams will take part.

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Valley’s Natalie Beckes battles Freeport’s Aleah Parison for possession during their game on Monday, Oct. 18, 2021, at Valley High School.
Freeport girls soccer team edges Valley to take sole possession of 4th in Section 2-2A
October 18, 2021
The Valley girls soccer team came into Monday’s Section 2-2A finale against Freeport at Valley High Memorial Stadium needing to defeat the Yellowjackets to clinch a WPIAL playoff spot for the first time since 2016.

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Shaler, Thomas Jefferson, North Catholic, Bishop Canevin hold top spots in latest WPIAL girls volleyball rankings
After a two-week hiatus from the top spot, Thomas Jefferson again was the No. 1 team in Class 3A when the Western Pennsylvania Volleyball Coaches Association’s Week 7 WPIAL girls rankings were released Monday morning.

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Riverview’s Cohen Hoolahan works the ball upfield during a game against Eden Christian Academy on Sept. 7.
Riverview boys, girls soccer teams show improvement in 2nd half
October 17, 2021
The Riverview girls soccer team lost its first three games of the season and was outscored 30-7.

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Plum’s Ava Weleski (center) celebrates her goal with Nina Kite (left) and Kaley Simqu during their game against Thomas Jefferson on Sept. 28.
Plum girls soccer team ramping up for playoff run
When the final horn sounded on Plum’s 10-0 rout of Section 3-3A rival and WPIAL playoff contender Penn Hills on Oct. 12, the Mustangs had clinched their third consecutive section championship.

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Members of the North Allegheny field hockey team prepare to take on Hempfeld in a Section 1-3A contest Oct. 12, 2021, at Hempfield High School.
After slow start, North Allegheny field hockey finds its rhythm
October 16, 2021
The North Allegheny field hockey team is a youthful bunch with many new starters after 10 seniors graduated from last year.

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Players from Penn Hills (left) and Fox Chapel gather for the pre-game coin toss before their game Oct. 15, 2021, at Fox Chapel.
Dugger brothers lead Penn Hills past Fox Chapel in key Northeast Conference game
October 15, 2021
Penn Hills recorded three touchdowns in the second half of Friday’s Class 5A Northeast Conference game at Fox Chapel.

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Western Pennsylvania Interscholastic Softball League regular season concludes Sunday with 4 doubleheaders
The Western Pennsylvania Interscholastic Softball League playoffs are just around the corner as the regular season concludes Sunday with four doubleheaders.

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Leechburg’s Brylan Lovelace avoids a tackle of Bishop Canevin’s Keshawn Harris in the first half Oct. 8 at Leechburg’s Veterans Memorial Stadium.
A-K Valley don’t miss high school football matchups for 2021 Week 7
October 13, 2021
Class 5A Northeast

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Apollo-Ridge’s Angelo Cicco is a member of the 2021 football team.
A-K Valley football players to watch in 2021 Week 7
Angelo Cicco

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Highlands head coach Tyler Stoczynski celebrates with the championship trophy after the Rams defeated Belle Vernon in the WPIAL Class 4A final Saturday, Feb. 29, 2020, at Petersen Events Center.
Highlands boys basketball coach Stoczynski resigns after 9 seasons
Tyler Stoczynski won 131 games in nine seasons, including 108 over the past six years, as the Highlands boys basketball coach.

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Plum’s Ava Weleski (10) celebrates her goal with Nina Kite and Kaley Simqu during their game against Thomas Jefferson on Sept. 28, 2021, at Plum High School.
Plum girls soccer team gears up with playoffs right around corner
October 12, 2021
The Plum girls soccer team has displayed its usual dominance through the regular season, and the two-time WPIAL Class 3A finalists have their sights set on another strong postseason run.

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Freeport’s Erica Lampus makes a hit in a Section 5-3A match against Highlands on Sept. 9, 2021, at Highlands High School.
Top teams hold pat in latest coaches association WPIAL girls volleyball rankings
October 11, 2021
The top teams in each classification — Shaler (Class 4A), Hampton (Class 3A), North Catholic (Class 2A) and Bishop Canevin (Class A) — held strong this past week as the Western Pennsylvania Volleyball Coaches Association released its Week 6 WPIAL girls rankings Monday morning.

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Riverview cross country senior captains (from left) Lucas Wilton, Parker Steele and Ty Laughlin, cross the finish line together at the Division II, Section 4 finale Oct. 5 at Oakmont East.
Riverview boys cross country team celebrates 4th straight section title
October 10, 2021
The Riverview boys cross country team has set several top goals for itself this season, and the deep group of runners checked one of the boxes last week by capturing a fourth consecutive section championship.

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Plum’s Ashley Persia was 12th at the Section 4 championship race.
Plum runners prepare for postseason meets
The Plum boys and girls cross country teams have their eyes focused on preparation for the WPIAL Class AAA championships in a couple of weeks at Cal (Pa.).

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Serra Catholic quarterback Max Rocco looks on at practice.
Rocco, Serra Catholic have high expectations amidst unbeaten run
As a quarterback, Max Rocco appreciates the work of the center along the offensive line.

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Gateway’s Kefimba Cisse competes at the Section 4 championship race Oct. 6 at Northmoreland Park.
Sandor, Sundin, Cisse lead Gateway runners at Section 4 championship meet
The Gateway boys and girls cross country teams have their eyes focused on preparation for the WPIAL Class AAA championships in a couple of weeks at Cal (Pa.).

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Knoch’s Lindsey Greb (left) and Emily Greb won the WPIAL Class AA doubles title Oct. 7, 2021, at North Allegheny.
Knoch twins, Latrobe duo collect WPIAL doubles gold
October 7, 2021
For the second year in a row, sisters from Knoch rule the roost in WPIAL Class 2A doubles.

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A host of Riverview tacklers bring down Carlynton’s Shawn Curry earlier this season. The Raiders visit Greensburg Central Catholic on Friday.
A-K Valley don’t miss high school football matchups for 2021 Week 6
October 6, 2021
Class 5A Northeast

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Plum’s Dom Beyer is a member of the 2021 football team.
A-K Valley football players to watch in 2021 Week 6
Dom Beyer

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Senior forward Madeline Boulos leads the Deer Lakes girls soccer team with 18 goals and 10 assists through 12 games this season.
Deer Lakes girls soccer to keep pedal down during stretch run
October 5, 2021
The Deer Lakes girls soccer team is on the cusp of clinching its fifth straight trip to the WPIAL Class 2A playoffs, but coach Frank Accetta doesn’t want his players to slow down as they enter the stretch run in the regular season.

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Sophomores and twin sisters Lindsay, at left, and Emily Greb again are helping lead the Class AA power Knoch girls tennis team.
Sisterly bond helps Knoch girls tennis grow into WPIAL powerhouse
October 4, 2021
When Katie and Nance Conlon, coaches of the Highlands and Knoch girls tennis teams, respectively, met for their teams’ Section 3-AA match last week, daughter and mother had another chance to reconnect their love of the game and reminisce about how it has played such a strong part in their lives.

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Greensburg Central Catholic’s Grace Petnuch goes up for a hit against Bishop Canevin’s Olivia Thomas at the net during their match Sept. 13, 2021, at Bishop Canevin High School.
Hampton new Class AAA No. 1 as Western Pennsylvania Volleyball Coaches Association releases latest WPIAL girls rankings
The Western Pennsylvania Volleyball Coaches Association released its latest WPIAL girls top-10 polls Monday morning, and there is a new No. 1 team in Class AAA.

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Plum volleyball caps 1st half of section play with key win over Franklin Regional
October 3, 2021
The Plum girls volleyball team ended the first half of Section 1-3A play in a three-way tie for the section lead with Franklin Regional and Indiana.

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Plum sophomore quarterback Sean Franzi executes a play-action pass with junior Eryck Moore during practice Sept. 29, 2021, at Plum High School.
Shutout victory helps Plum football get back on track
For the first time this season, Matt Morgan was able to deliver a victory speech.

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Thomas Jefferson’s Conner Murga pressures Gateway quarterback Brad Birch during the third quarter on Sept. 3 in Monroeville.
Gateway notebook: Gators girls soccer in hunt for section title
The Gateway girls soccer team earned an important point in the chase for the top spot in Section 1-3A with a 1-1 tie against Hampton on Sept. 28.

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Gateway hockey team continues to build toward success
Shawn Jesih has high hopes this season for the Gateway junior varsity ice hockey team, the organization’s highest-level squad in the Pennsylvania Interscholastic Hockey League.

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Plum head coach Matt Morgan during practice Wednesday, Aug. 11, 2021.
A-K Valley H.S. football notebook: Freshman kickers delivers for Plum
October 2, 2021
Plum coaches put their faith in freshman Angelo Baleno on Friday at Highlands, and Baleno rewarded them.

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Deer Lakes running back Cody Scarantine cuts across field while working through drills Monday, Aug. 16, 2021.
Deer Lakes football team keeps rolling, building confidence
Deer Lakes is on a roll in the Allegheny Seven Conference.

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North Hills’ Cooper Thompson and John Green defend on a ball intended for Kiski Area’s Calvin Heinle in the end zone in the fourth quarter Friday, Oct. 1, 2021, at Martorelli Stadium.
Late defensive stand, long scoring drive help North Hills edge Kiski Area
October 1, 2021
North Hills was in a precarious position late in the fourth quarter of its Northeast Conference opener with Kiski Area on Friday.

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Fox Chapel’s Colin Kwiatkowski beats Franklin Regional’s Caden Smith for a score Sept. 17 at Franklin Regional High School.
A-K Valley don’t miss high school football matchups for 2021 Week 5
September 29, 2021
Class 5A Northeast

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Apollo-Ridge’s Nick Curci is a member of the 2021 football team.
A-K Valley football players to watch for 2021 Week 5
Nick Curci

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Knoch’s Ally Bauer returns a volley against Sewickley Academy’s Ashley Close during the WPIAL Class 2A championship match on Friday, Sept. 24, 2021, at North Allegheny High School.
Knoch’s Bauer aims to rebound at PIAA singles tournament
Ally Bauer won a WPIAL Class 2A doubles championship last year with sister Brooke.

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Kiski’s Karly Keller plays against Butler on Sept. 28, 2021, at Kiski Area High School.
Opportunity knocks for Kiski Area girls soccer in 2nd half of season
September 28, 2021
The Kiski Area girls soccer team finds itself in the middle of a playoff chase in Section 1-3A.

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Shady Side Academy’s Gabby Hill-Junke battles Burrell’s Miley Kariotis for possession during their game on Monday, Sept. 27, 2021, at Burrell High School.
Shady Side Academy girls soccer makes goal count in shutout win over Burrell
September 27, 2021
The defending Section 2-2A champion Shady Side Academy girls soccer team scored just one time in Monday’s Section 2-2A contest on the turf at Burrell’s Buccaneer Stadium.

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Bishop Canevin’s Olivia Thomas celebrates after scoring a point against Greensburg Central Catholic on Sept. 13, 2021, at Bishop Canevin High School.
Shaler, Thomas Jefferson take over top spots in Western Pennsylvania Volleyball Coaches Association rankings
The Western Pennsylvania Volleyball Coaches Association released its Week 4 top-10 rankings Monday, and there are changes at the top in both Class 4A and Class 3A.

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Gateway junior forward Colton Corrie sharpens his footwork during a practice Sept. 22 at Antimarino Stadium.
Gateway boys soccer rolls into 2nd half of Section 4-3A play at 5-1
September 26, 2021
The Gateway boys soccer team finds itself right in the mix for a playoff spot in Section 4-3A as it gets into the second half of section play this week.

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Senior Brady Sundin placed second overall in the boys varsity race at the Gateway Invitational on Sept. 4, 2021, at Boyce Park.
After strong start, Gateway’s Brady Sundin builds confidence for invitational, championship meets
Brady Sundin didn’t have the 2020 cross country season he had hoped.

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Leechburg quarterback Thomas Burke (left) has thrown for nearly 1,200 yards through five games.
Quarterback Burke helps make Leechburg’s high-scoring offense go
September 25, 2021
Thomas Burke is in a lead role for one of the higher-octane offenses in the WPIAL.

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Plum’s Lucas Pittman heads the ball over Franklin Regional’s Anthony DiFalco during their game on Sept. 7, 2021, in Murrysvile.
Early challenges help Plum boys soccer maintain high expectations
The Plum boys soccer team is off to a strong start as it has plans to contend for the Section 4-3A championship and make some noise in the WPIAL playoffs.

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Leechburg’s Eli Rich prepares to play Springdale on Sept. 24, 2021, at Leechburg.
Leechburg strikes early, often to beat Eastern Conference rival Springdale
September 24, 2021
Leechburg didn’t waste any time getting on the scoreboard against visiting Springdale in an Eastern Conference matchup Friday at Veterans Memorial Field.

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Bethel Park’s Mia Gorman shares a laugh with Peters Twp.’s Kat Wang after their WPIAL Class 3A championship match on Friday, Sept. 24, 2021, at North Allegheny High School.
Bethel Park’s Gorman defends WPIAL singles title; Sewickley Academy’s Close wins in Class 2A
Once was nice for Bethel Park’s Mia Gorman.

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Leechburg’s Thomas Burke intercepts a pass and runs it back for a touchdown against Brentwood on Sept. 10.
A-K Valley don’t miss high school football matchups for 2021 Week 4
September 22, 2021
Class 4A Greater Allegheny Conference

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Thomas Burke, Leechburg
A-K Valley football players to watch for 2021 Week 4
Thomas Burke

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Burrell goalkeeper Ali Hughes makes a save during a game against Mt. Pleasant on Sept. 8, 2021, at Burrell High School.
Burrell girls soccer team picks up where it left off
September 21, 2021
A youthful Burrell girls soccer team navigated through all of the covid-related changes last fall, won eight out of 12 games and finished 7-2 in Section 2-AA play.

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Freeport’s Amber Shirey digs the ball in a match with Highlands on Sept. 9, 2021, at Highlands High School.
Volleyball coaches association releases Week 3 WPIAL girls rankings
September 20, 2021
The Western Pennsylvania Volleyball Coaches Association released its WPIAL girls top-10 poll for Week 3 on Monday, and there is a change at the top in Class 3A.

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Gateway girls soccer shows improvement during 3-game winning streak
September 19, 2021
The Gateway girls soccer team came out on the short end of a 5-1 result against Plum, the WPIAL Class 3A runner-up the past two seasons, in the season opener Sept. 4.

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Gateway’s Jaquon Reynolds picks up yardage against Thomas Jefferson on Sept. 3, 2021, in Monroeville.
Gateway sophomore running back Jaquon Reynolds breaks out against Penn Hills
Jaquon Reynolds waited his turn.

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The Riverview girls volleyball team listens to coach Emily Konter in a timeout during a Section 1-4A match at Apollo-Ridge on Sept. 15, 2021.
Riverview girls volleyball riding high after defeating No. 8 Apollo-Ridge
The Riverview girls volleyball team is not the biggest in terms of roster numbers with just 14 from freshmen to seniors, but the Raiders are playing big so far in the 2021 season.

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Plum girls soccer coach Jamie Stewart has led the Mustangs to a 4-0 start in 2021.
Plum girls soccer again off to strong start
The Plum girls soccer team entered the season with high hopes to maintain a standard set the past several years that included consecutive trips to the WPIAL Class 3A title game.

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Highlands’ Jrake Burford catches a touchdown pass as Valley’s Dion Lyons defends during the first half at Valley Memorial Stadium Friday, Sept. 3, 2021.
Tough challenges await unbeaten Kiski Area, Highlands
September 18, 2021
The last time the Kiski Area football team was 4-0, the current players weren’t born.

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Bishop Canevin’s Keshawn Harris drives for yardage as Springdale’s Logan Dexter and Ashton Krebs attempt to stop him in the first half Friday, Sept. 17, 2021, at Springdale’s Veterans Memorial Field.
Bishop Canevin edges Springdale in defensive struggle
September 17, 2021
The Bishop Canevin and Springdale football teams came into Friday’s Eastern Conference opening clash averaging about 33 points a game each.

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Fox Chapel’s Collin Dietz returns for the 2021 football season.
A-K Valley football players to watch in 2021 Week 3
September 15, 2021
Collin Dietz

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Logan Kline and his Leechburg teammates will attempt to get their first win against Clairton. The Blue Devils are 0-26-1 against the Bears.
A-K Valley don’t miss high school football matchups for 2021 Week 3
Class 4A Greater Allegheny Conference

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Freeport/Apollo-Ridge football game canceled because of covid, quarantines
The Freeport and Apollo-Ridge football teams will not play their Week 3 nonconference varsity game Friday at Owens Field in Apollo or Saturday’s junior varsity game at Freeport.

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Isabella Walsh is among the senior leaders for the Springdale girls soccer team.
Springdale girls soccer makes statement with strong start
September 14, 2021
The Springdale girls soccer team opened some eyes Sept. 4 when it toppled perennial Class 2A playoff contender Deer Lakes by a 7-3 score at Lancers Stadium.

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Norwin’s Alyssa Laukus attempts to block the shot of Kiski Area’s Cora Coleman at the Ellen Toy Grass Outdoor Court in Vandergrift’s Kennedy Park on Monday, Sept. 13, 2021.
Norwin, Kiski Area girls volleyball teams gather outdoors for unique matchup
September 13, 2021
Picture-perfect weather conditions greeted a large crowd, as well as both the Kiski Area and Norwin girls volleyball teams, for a special outdoor match at Kennedy Park in Vandergrift on Monday evening.

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Freeport head coach Tom Phillips talks to the team during a timeout while playing Highlands on Thursday, Sept. 9, 2021 at Highlands High School.
Perennially powerful Freeport girls volleyball program off to another good start
The Freeport girls volleyball team has big expectations this season.

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Freeport’s Josie Russo goes up for a hit against Highlands on Sept. 9, 2021, at Highlands High School.
Volleyball coaches association releases Week 2 WPIAL girls rankings
The Western PA Volleyball Coaches Association’s WPIAL girls volleyball top-10 rankings for Week 2 were released Monday morning after the opening week of section competition, additional nonsection matches and a quartet of tournaments Saturday.

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The outdoor court at Kennedy Park in Vandergrift, named in memory of longtime area volleyball coach Ellen Toy, will host the Kiski Area and Norwin girls volleyball teams Monday evening.
Kiski Area, Norwin volleyball teams ‘fired up’ to play in special outdoor event
September 12, 2021
The Kiski Area and Norwin girls volleyball teams are set to meet Monday, but not in the usual gymnasium setting.

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Senior Brady Sundin placed second overall in the boys varsity race at the Gateway Invitational on Sept. 4, 2021, at Boyce Park.
Gateway runners kick off season at host invitational
The Gateway cross country teams have a lot on their plate in the early portion of the season, and coach Tom LaBuff said workouts and challenging competition are helping the boys and girls runners gauge where they are in their progression and also set goals for the end of the season.

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Moon’s Mia Cochran wins the WPIAL Class AAA cross country title Oct. 30, 2020, at White Oak Park.
Moon’s Cochran a champion again at Red, White & Blue Classic
September 11, 2021
Moon senior Mia Cochran truly has the hang of the White Oak Park cross country course.

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Riverview senior Parker Steele placed third overall 
in the boys varsity race at the Gateway Invitational on 
Sept. 4 at Boyce Park.
Riverview boys cross country eyes return to PIAA meet
The Riverview boys cross country team finished second to Winchester Thurston at last year’s WPIAL Class A championships at White Oak Park.

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Plum senior Ashley Persia finished fifth in the girls varsity race at the Gateway Invitational on Sept. 4, 2021, at Boyce Park.
Plum runners start strong at Gateway Invitational
The Plum cross country teams are regular attendees of the season-opening Gateway Invitational at Boyce Park.

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Fox Chapel’s Collin Dietz hands off to Zidane Thomas during warm-ups before a game Sept. 10, 2021, at Plum.
Fox Chapel pulls away from Plum, picks up 1st win of season
September 10, 2021
Something had to give Friday as the Plum and Fox Chapel football teams both hoped to get into the win column after coming up empty over the first two weeks.

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The Lebo Blue junior high girls slowpitch softball team won the Western Pennsylvania Interscholastic Softball League Junior High Opening Pitch Tournament on Sept. 5, 2021.
Western Pennsylvania Interscholastic Softball League set for Week 2 of game action
The Western Pennsylvania Interscholastic Softball League began its varsity season last Sunday with a pair of doubleheaders, and game action involving the 12 teams continues Sunday at six fields around the Pittsburgh region.

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Dean Cecere
A-K Valley football players to watch for 2021 Week 2
September 8, 2021
Dean Cecere

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Deer Lakes’ Austin Duddy practices Aug. 11.
A-K Valley don’t miss high school football matchups for 2021 Week 2
Nonconference

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The entrance to Leechburg Area High School.
Leechburg boys soccer, girls volleyball teams postpone games through weekend
The Leechburg boys soccer and girls volleyball teams postponed games through this weekend.

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Riverview’s Cohen Hoolahan works the ball upfield during a game against Eden Christian Academy on Tuesday, Sept. 7, 2021, in Ohio Twp.
Riverview soccer teams eager to be back on field
September 7, 2021
It has been nearly two years since the Riverview boys and girls varsity soccer teams played games that counted in the WPIAL.

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Freeport quarterback Garrett King is forced out of the pocket by the Armstrong defense during the first half Aug. 27, 2021, at Freeport High School.
Freeport football to honor veterans Friday
The Freeport football team takes on Avonworth at home Friday, and the Yellowjackets will honor local veterans and celebrate RED Friday.

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Volleyball coaches association releases Week 1 rankings as WPIAL kicks off regular season
September 6, 2021
It was a busy opening weekend to the 2021 season for many WPIAL girls volleyball teams with dual-match and tournament action.

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Gateway’s Amaya Robinson during practice on Wednesday, Aug. 1, 2021 at Gateway High School.
Deep senior class returns to lead Gateway girls volleyball
September 5, 2021
When Kayla Taylor arrived in Monroeville in July as the new head coach of the Gateway girls volleyball team, she wasn’t familiar with much in the program, including its players.

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Gateway girls tennis showing improvement with returning lineup
Kenny Nieser heads to the tennis courts at Gateway High School each time hoping to see improvement from his youthful girls team.

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Sophomore Lola Abraham will help lead the Riverview girls soccer team in their return to competition in 2021.
Riverview soccer teams eager to be back on field
It’s been nearly two years since the Riverview boys and girls varsity soccer teams played games that counted in the WPIAL.

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Grace Thompson is one of three returnees with starting experience from last year’s section champion Plum team.
Plum girls volleyball aims to defend section championship
With the loss of eight seniors, including six who played major roles, from last year’s Section 1-3A championship team, Plum girls volleyball coach Kelsey Bonk knew coming into this season there would be a lot of competition for starting spots in the rotation.

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Freeport and Knoch players wait for the coin toss before their game Friday.
Freeport builds big lead, holds off rival Knoch
September 3, 2021
Last year’s Freeport and Knoch football game was canceled amid the plethora of schedule changes because of the covid pandemic.

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Freeport senior outside hitter and defensive specialist Erica Lampus, an all-state selection a year ago, hopes to help the Yellowjackets to the WPIAL Class AAA championship in 2021.
A-K Valley girls volleyball preview: Freeport seeks 17th straight section title
September 2, 2021
In the Western Pennsylvania Volleyball Coaches Association’s preseason poll for Class AAA, four of the top six girls teams in the rankings are the ones who finished in a four-way tie for last year’s Section 5-AAA title.

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Kiski Area’s Calvin Heinle
A-K Valley football players to watch for 2021 Week 1
September 1, 2021
Calvin Heinle

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Springdale’s Ricky Martinelli pulls in a catch during 7-on-7 competition in July.
A-K Valley don’t miss high school football matchups for 2021 Week 1
Nonconference

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Riverview coach Trevor George won’t be able to resume practices until Sept. 7, according to an email from athletic director Mario Rometo.
Covid cancels Riverview, Butler football games
August 31, 2021
The Riverview football team will not play its nonsection game at Chartiers-Houston on Friday.

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Fox Chapel’s Sydney Schutzman works between Norwin’s Alyssa Aquilio (4) and Evelyn Moore last season.
Fox Chapel girls soccer out to defend section title
For the 18th time in program history, the Fox Chapel girls soccer team brought home a section championship in 2020, edging WPIAL power Norwin by two points for the Section 3-4A crown.

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Deer Lakes’ Carson McCoy, who ran to a PIAA Class AA title in the 1,600-meter run in May, hopes to add more gold this fall in his senior cross country season.
Deer Lakes runner McCoy gears preparation toward contending at WPIAL cross country championships
August 30, 2021
Carson McCoy is a state champion in track and field, as he won the PIAA Class AA title in the 1,600-meter run in May at Shippensburg after placing second at WPIALs at week earlier.

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The North Allegheny girls volleyball team celebrates with the WPIAL Class 4A championship trophy after defeating Shaler on Saturday, Nov. 7, 2020, at Chartiers Valley.
Volleyball coaches association releases preseason WPIAL girls rankings
Girls volleyball teams in the WPIAL officially begin their seasons Friday and Saturday with matches and tournaments all throughout the region.

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Plum sophomore Ava Weleski works in an offensive drill during practice Aug. 24, 2021, at Plum High School.
Plum girls soccer aims to maintain contender status
August 29, 2021
With back-to-back runs to the WPIAL Class 3A championship game, the Plum girls soccer team has established itself as a team to beat.

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Plum senior midfielder and co-captain Luke Kolankowski is one of seven returning starters.
Plum boys soccer players motivated by early playoff exit
The Plum boys soccer team didn’t expect last season to end suddenly.

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Gateway junior Emily Mannion, at left, defends while junior Hallie Grant attempts to push the ball upfield during a practice Aug. 24, 2021, at Gateway’s Antimarino Stadium.
Optimism abounds for experienced Gateway girls soccer team
The 2020 season for the Gateway girls soccer team was anything but normal as covid uncertainties and a two-week stoppage in the middle of the regular season were just some of the obstacles which challenged the Gators players and coaches.

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Gateway boys soccer embarks on ‘new beginning’
On the main page of the Gateway boys soccer website are the words “New beginnings” along with “Pride, passion and perseverance.”

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Plum’s Kaley Simqu, at left, Tori Ruggiero and Kaitlyn Killinger, at right, compete at practice Aug. 24, 2021, at Plum High School.
A-K Valley girls soccer preview: Plum eyes another trip to WPIAL final
August 28, 2021
The Plum girls soccer team hopes three is the magic number this fall.

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Springdale head coach Seth Napierkowski during 7 on 7 competition on July 7, 2021, at Freeport Area High School.
Alle-Kiski Valley high school football notebook: Springdale, Deer Lakes renew rivalry
A number of high school football rivalries were put on hold last year as the covid pandemic delayed, shortened and toyed with players, coaches and fans from August to early December.

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Franklin Regional’s Caden Smith warms up before playing Plum on Aug. 27, 2021, at Franklin Regional.
Smith shines as Franklin Regional beats rival Plum
August 27, 2021
Things couldn’t have started any better for Franklin Regional and new coach Lance Getsy on Friday against Plum at Franklin Regional Stadium in Murrysville.

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Springdale’s John Utiss, a backup quarterback, throws during 7-on-7 competition in July.
Versatile senior brings big-play threat to Springdale offense
August 25, 2021
Last year, Logan Dexter and Dmitri Fritch led the Springdale receiving corps with a combined 53 catches for 841 yards and 10 touchdowns.

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Fox Chapel coach Tom Loughran works with his team Aug. 17.
A-K Valley don’t miss high school football matchups for Week Zero 2021
Nonconference

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Deer Lakes’ Derek Burk returns for the 2021 season.
A-K Valley football players to watch for Week Zero 2021
Derek Burk

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Springdale’s Logan Dexter (2) pulls in a catch in 7-on-7 competition against Apollo-Ridge in July.
Springdale hoping to build on back-to-back winning seasons
Springdale is coming off its second straight winning season after just two victories in 2018.

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Riverview’s Dean Cecere during practice Wednesday, Aug. 11, 2021 at Riverside Park.
Riverview ready to rebound after winless campaign
The Riverview football team took its lumps last season as it navigated its way through a WPIAL-wide truncated season with restrictions and schedule changes brought on by the covid pandemic.

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Riverview senior fullback Anthony Mazur carries the ball during an offensive drill Aug. 24, 2021, at Riverside Park in Oakmont.
Blue-collar linebacker leads charge for Riverview
August 24, 2021
Anthony Mazur came into Riverview’s preseason football camp in 2018 as a fullback on offense as he hoped to make an impact in his first varsity season.

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Thomas Jefferson receiver Sean Sullivan catches a pass during practice on Aug. 23, 2021, in Jefferson.
2021 WPIAL Class 4A football breakdown: Contenders line up to knock TJ from throne
Thomas Jefferson reigned again in Class 4A last season, winning its 10th WPIAL championship followed by its fifth PIAA title.

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Young Gateway golfers look to make impact this season
August 22, 2021
Paul Doonan sees a youth movement with his Gateway boys golf team.

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Apollo-Ridge’s Karter Schrock throws during a 7-on-7 competition in July.
Apollo-Ridge excited to build on strong season
Apollo-Ridge was an experienced team in 2020. That experience helped the Vikings navigate the covid landscape and truncated season to a 6-1 overall record and a rout of perennial Class 2A contender Washington in the WPIAL playoffs.

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Knoch junior Ally Bauer gets set to return a serve during practice Friday.
WPIAL girls tennis preview: Knoch, Latrobe loaded to defend titles
August 21, 2021
Knoch girls tennis players pulled off a rare WPIAL trifecta last year.

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Knoch senior Keegan Fraser takes a handoff during a morning practice session Aug. 20, 2021, at Knoch High School.
Multi-talented Fraser hopes to have healthy season, be key player for Knoch
Keegan Fraser is on multiple missions entering football season.

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Kiski Area lineman Brandon Lawhorn Moore, also known as “Beef,” poses for a photo Aug. 10, 2021, at Kiski Area.
New generation of versatile, athletic linemen paves way for A-K Valley offenses
Brandon Lawhorn Moore doesn’t mind that his Kiski Area teammates and coaches call him “Beef.”

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Senior Brayden Dunmire enters his fourth year as a varsity starter for the Kiski Area football team.
Senior linebacker making name for himself at Kiski Area
August 20, 2021
Anyone who plays football at Kiski Area is bound to receive a nickname from head coach Sam Albert and his coaching staff.

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Knoch’s Carson Kosecki looks to throw during practice Monday, Aug. 16, 2021, at Knoch High School.
Knoch determined to get back to winning ways
There is optimism in Saxonburg.

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Highlands’ Chandler Thimons looks for a receiver during a 7-on-7 competition in July.
Highlands looks to leave playoff drought in past
Chandler Thimons enters his third year as the Highlands starting quarterback hoping to help snap the Golden Rams’ five-year playoff drought.

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Highlands offensive line coach Scott Newell talks to his players at the end of a practice session Thursday.
Highlands’ new-look offensive line showing potential
August 19, 2021
Last year, a Highlands offensive line that included four seniors opened holes for the run game and protected the passer who averaged 300 yards a game as the Golden Rams finished 4-3 in the Greater Allegheny Conference and challenged for a WPIAL playoff spot through the final week of the regular season.

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Kiski Area quarterback Lebryn Smith works with his varsity team Tuesday, Aug. 10, 2021.
With more preparation, Kiski Area expects strong start to season
Matt Hilty is hoping this season at Kiski Area can start and remain normal after a 2020 fall that was anything but.

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Freeport sophomore wide receiver/outside linebacker Colton Otterman delivers a tackle during a practice drill Aug. 17, 2021, at Freeport High School.
Freeport sophomore Colton Otterman set to take off after breakout freshman season
August 18, 2021
Colton Otterman is not the biggest dog in the fight. But the Freeport sophomore wide receiver and outside linebacker wants to make sure opponents experience his bite.

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Highlands freshman Montrell Johnson goes up for the ball in a receiving drill during the morning practice session Aug. 16, 2021, at Golden Rams Stadium.
As football practice kicks off across A-K Valley, Leechburg begins quest to end playoff drought
August 16, 2021
Leechburg head coach Randy Walters woke up early Monday morning, got his coffee and was at the practice field by 7:30 to make sure everything was ready for the first workout session of preseason camp at 9.

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New Gateway girls volleyball head coach Kayla Taylor, right, served as an assistant last fall at California, her alma mater. With Taylor is Trojans head coach Renee Pascoe.
New girls volleyball coach eager to get started at Gateway
August 15, 2021
Kayla Taylor’s excitement for Gateway’s upcoming girls volleyball season has been building since she was hired as head coach last month.

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Freeport’s Garrett King throws during 7 on 7 completion on July 7, 2021 at Freeport Area High School.
Experienced core has Freeport thinking big
The Freeport football coaching staff met a number of times over several days toward the end of last year and took a close look at the personnel it would have at its disposal for the 2021 season.

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Apollo-Ridge senior right tackle Bradey Schrock works in a blocking drill during a heat acclimation workout Aug. 13, 2021, at Apollo-Ridge High School.
Klingensmith, Schrock anchor stout Apollo-Ridge offensive line
August 14, 2021
Greg Klingensmith and Bradey Schrock have come a long way since their first start for Apollo-Ridge as freshmen linemen against Leechburg in the 2018 opener.

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Plum coach Matt Morgan led the Mustangs to the WPIAL Class 5A semifinals last season.
A-K Valley football coaches eager to get back to normal when camp starts Monday
At this time last August, high school football teams throughout the Alle-Kiski Valley were wading through a pool of uncertainty as the covid pandemic threatened to eliminate the season.

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Deer Lakes’ newly hired girls volleyball coach Laurie Caraher observes a girls volleyball camp at Deer lakes High School Wednesday, Aug. 11, 2021.
Caraher will draw on experience as Division I player, club coach as she takes over Deer Lakes girls volleyball
August 12, 2021
Laurie Caraher is pumped for Monday’s start of preseason practices as the new coach of the Deer Lakes girls volleyball team.

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Freeport senior Garrett King stands next to new football uniforms during King’s Make-A-Wish unform reveal Aug. 9, 2021, at Stage AE on the North Shore.
Freeport cancer survivor Garrett King repays football teammates for support with Make-A-Wish surprise
August 10, 2021
When Garrett King received a testicular cancer diagnosis this time a year ago, his Freeport football teammates and coaches and the community were quick to rally around him.

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Highlands pitcher Tanner Nulph throws a pitch during a WPIAL Class 4A first round playoff matchup with Belle Vernon on May 19, 2021.
A-K Valley notebook: Highlands’ Nulph to join national power baseball program
August 8, 2021
Highlands rising senior Tanner Nulph watched closely Seton Hill baseball’s run to the NCAA Division II Baseball Championship tournament this past spring.

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Plum’s Nino Walker works against Seneca Valley’s Tyler Chappell at 106 pounds during the WPIAL Class AAA individual wrestling championship on Feb. 27, 2021, at Canon-McMillan High School.
Plum wrestlers excel during summer tournaments
Plum’s varsity wrestling team was young in the 2020-21 season as all but one member was an underclassman.

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Valley’s Joe Lang tags out Highlands’ DJ Loveland during a Western Pennsylvania Summer Baseball League game last year.
Created out of pandemic necessity, league plays ball for a 2nd summer
August 4, 2021
The Western Pennsylvania Summer Baseball League’s second season didn’t have the same number of teams as the inaugural version last summer in the midst of the covid pandemic, but for programs such as Highlands, Fox Chapel and Kiski Area, the on-field experience held just as much weight.

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Deer Lakes’ Abigail Boulos (left) closes in on Burrell’s Leah Brockett during the first half of a Section 2-2A matchup Sept. 23, 2020, at Deer Lakes’ Lancers Stadium.
Deer Lakes soccer standout ready to kick off college career at St. Francis
August 2, 2021
The countdown has reached zeroes for Deer Lakes graduate Abigail Boulos as she embarks on a Division I soccer tenure at St. Francis (Pa.).

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Gateway rising junior Madi Jesih helped the Pittsburgh Hotspurs U16 girls soccer team reach the U.S. Youth Soccer National Championships in Florida.
Pittsburgh Hotspurs players reflect on trip to U.S. Youth Soccer nationals
August 1, 2021
The Pittsburgh Hotspurs U16 (2005) Blue girls soccer team put it all together this spring and summer for a run to the U.S. Youth Soccer National Championships in Sarasota, Fla.

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Springdale’s Logan Dexter (2) pulls in a catch during a 7-on-7 competition against Apollo-Ridge in July at Freeport.
Springdale’s Logan Dexter puts latest injury behind him, eyes big senior year
July 29, 2021
During a seven-on-seven scrimmage with his Urban Impact club team in March, Logan Dexter went up to catch a pass and came down hard on his left wrist.

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Riverview junior Patrick Harvey works on a foot drill during a workout July 27, 2021, at Creekside Park in Oakmont.
Riverview boys, girls soccer teams back on track
July 27, 2021
Low numbers and covid concerns conspired to put a halt to the Riverview varsity boys and girls soccer seasons last fall.

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Pine-Richland’s Tyler Armstrong, left, and Knoch’s Eli Sutton helped Team Pennsylvania top Maryland in a best-of-three series at the Big 26 Baseball Classic on Friday and Saturday in Harrisburg.
WPIAL products help Team Pennsylvania top Maryland in Big 26 Baseball Classic series
July 26, 2021
With four catchers on the Team Pennsylvania roster for its Big 26 Classic series with Maryland last Friday and Saturday, each one knew that playing time was a valuable commodity.

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Highlands girls soccer coach Paul Matisz watches Mia Ruediger in a footwork drill during a workout July 22, 2021, at Highlands’ Golden Rams Stadium.
Highlands turns to familiar face to lead girls soccer program
July 23, 2021
Paul Matisz was hired last week as coach of the girls soccer program at Highlands. There was no need for an introduction to the Golden Rams players.

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Knoch catcher Eli Sutton
Knoch’s Sutton part of Team Pennsylvania in upcoming Big 26 Classic
July 22, 2021
Eli Sutton has one year of high school baseball remaining.

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Plum rising freshman Wes Lorish follows his tee shot on the driving range July 20, 2021, at Willowbrook Golf Club.
Plum teen enjoying winning summer on links
July 21, 2021
Wes Lorish kicked off his summer of golf in winning fashion.

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Highlands’ Brock White carries the ball against Plum last season.
Highlands playmaker Brock White on road to recovery from knee injury
Brock White might have to wait a few games to start his 2021 football season.

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The baseball scoreboard at James E. Swartz Sr. Memorial Field in Freeport Borough will be lit up often for next week’s Freeport International Baseball Invitational.
Fifth field added for Freeport International Baseball Invitational, which expects 20 teams
July 20, 2021
Excitement continues to build for next week’s Freeport International Baseball Invitational, with 20 teams, five area fields and close to 60 games scheduled over five days.

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Trib HSSN Preseason WPIAL Football All-Star team: Deontae Williams, Woodland Hills
July 19, 2021
The Tribune-Review and the TribLive High School Sports Network are profiling each member of the 25-player Trib HSSN Preseason Football All-Star team. The players will be recognized Thursday during HSSN Media Day at Kennywood Park.

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The Pittsburgh Hotspurs 2005 Blue girls soccer team will test its mettle at the U.S. Youth Soccer National Championships in Sarasota and Bradenton, Fla. Team members are Kaley Simqu (Plum), McKenzie Pritts (Yough), Sofia Decerb (Latrobe), Emily Mannion (Gateway), Ashley Ornowski (Norwin), Ava Weleski (Plum), Kaitlyn Killinger (Plum), Gabriella Folino (Oakland Catholic), Cami Collins (Plum), Casey Gorman (Mt. Lebanon), Alyssa Aquillio (Norwin), Regan Reilly (Latrobe), EmilyRae Graeca (DuBois), Madisyn Jesih (Gateway) and Ava Lorenzi (Latrobe).
Plum soccer players head to national tournament with Pittsburgh Hotspurs
July 16, 2021
Plum rising junior Cami Collins said the Pittsburgh Hotspurs 05 Blue girls soccer season has been one to remember, and the goal is to bring home the gold from next week’s U.S. Youth Soccer National Championships in Bradenton and Sarasota, Fla.

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New Deer Lakes varsity boys soccer coach Aaron Smith instructs during a workout July 14, 2021, at Lancers Stadium.
New Deer Lakes soccer coach Aaron Smith steps in to ‘higher-end program’
July 15, 2021
Aaron Smith spent the past 11 years on the sidelines for the Valley girls soccer team.

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Trib HSSN Preseason WPIAL Football All-Star team: Jacob Porter, North Allegheny
The Tribune-Review and the TribLive High School Sports Network are profiling each member of the 25-player Trib HSSN Preseason Football All-Star team. The players will be recognized July 22 during HSSN Media Day at Kennywood Park.

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New Burrell girls basketball coach Shaun Reddick instructs his players during a workout Tuesday.
Shaun Reddick returns to lead Burrell girls basketball program
July 14, 2021
Shaun Reddick is no stranger to coaching basketball at Burrell in his nearly 25 years on the bench overall.

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Trib HSSN Preseason WPIAL Football All-Star team: Cadin Olsen, Armstrong
July 13, 2021
The Tribune-Review and the TribLive High School Sports Network are profiling each member of the 25-player Trib HSSN Preseason Football All-Star team. The players will be recognized July 22 during HSSN Media Day at Kennywood Park.

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Freeport junior Ben Lane will be one of the many top skill players on display during Wednesday’s eight-team Freeport 7-on-7 at Freeport Area High School.
A-K Valley football teams set for annual Freeport 7-on-7
July 12, 2021
With the start of preseason high school football campst five weeks away, Freeport coach John Gaillot hopes Wednesday’s locally infused Freeport seven-on-seven event will help serve as a springboard to the final series of summer workouts and also generate excitement for the start of the 2021 season.

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Plum’s Kennedie Montue grabs a rebound over Hampton’s Biz Watson during their game on Jan. 21.
Valley News Dispatch Girls Athlete of the Year: Kennedie Montue, Plum
July 10, 2021
Consistency was the calling card for recent Plum graduate and basketball standout Kennedie Montue.

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Fox Chapel’s Eli Yofan scores during a game on Jan. 9 at Fox Chapel.
Valley News Dispatch Boys Athlete of the Year: Eli Yofan, Fox Chapel
Eli Yofan made the most of his athletic opportunities during the 2020-21 school year.

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TribHSSN Preseason WPIAL Football All-Star team: Brandon Lawhorn Moore, Kiski Area
The Tribune-Review and the TribLive High School Sports Network are profiling each member of the 25-player Trib HSSN Preseason Football All-Star team. The players will be recognized July 22 during HSSN Media Day at Kennywood Park.

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As the new Highlands boys soccer coach, Jakub Kasprzyk hopes to help lead the Golden Rams back to the WPIAL playoffs.
New coach brings European flavor to Highlands boys soccer program
July 9, 2021
As director of coaching for the Highlands Area Soccer Club, Jakub Kasprzyk is heavily involved with the area youth soccer scene.

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New Deer Lakes coach Sam Salih coaches the Greensburg Central Catholic girls team during the 2019 season.
Girls basketball coach Sam Salih makes move to Deer Lakes from Greensburg CC
July 7, 2021
When Sam Salih resigned as girls varsity head coach at Greensburg Central Catholic in April after three seasons, he said it was time for a change, and he left the Centurions program on good terms.

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Highlands starting pitcher Jaycee Haidze throws against Clearfield during a first-round PIAA Class 4A softball game June 7.
Highlands’ Jaycee Haidze named Valley News Dispatch Softball Player of the Year
June 26, 2021
2021 Valley News Dispatch Softball All-Stars

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The hall of fame room at Gateway’s Furrie Sports Complex.
Gateway Sports Hall of Fame making plans for next induction
June 20, 2021
When the Gateway Sports Hall of Fame enshrined its 2019 class in October of that year, the committee members already were looking forward to the next biennial induction ceremony in 2021.

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Plum Bulldogs rising junior Griffin Oresic returns to baseball this year after three seasons away.
Plum baseball team eager to tackle summer tournament schedule
June 19, 2021
The Plum Bulldogs baseball team members are no strangers to each other.

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Fox Chapel’s Thomas Koch celebrates after scoring against Plum on May 10.
After strong spring seasons, Fox Chapel athletes pick up all-section honors
The Fox Chapel baseball team made a run at the Section 2-5A title this spring, challenging Plum for the championship into the final week of the regular season.

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North Allegheny’s Rick Mihm competes in the boys 500 freestyle during the 2020 AAA WPIAL Swimming and Diving Championship.
North Allegheny grad Rick Mihm reaches finals in 200 IM at U.S. Olympic trials
June 17, 2021
The U.S. Olympic Swim Trials continued Thursday morning and local products Zoe Skirboll, Bailey Bonnett and Rick Mihm took to the pool in preliminary events in Omaha.

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Jess Cekada (left) and Kylie Zourelias (center) and pitcher Jaycee Haidze were key players this season for Highlands.
Highlands softball savors triumphs during historic season
June 16, 2021
A weird feeling came over Jen Koprivnikar on Tuesday.

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Plaques and photos line the wall of a new AK Valley Sports Hall of Fame gallery at the renovated G.C. Murphy Building on Corbet Street in Tarentum.
Alle-Kiski Valley Sports Hall of Fame finds home in Tarentum
June 15, 2021
The Alle-Kiski Valley Sports Hall of Fame has enshrined and celebrated area athletic greats for 50 years, and now the signature plaques and photographs of past inductees have a permanent display in Tarentum.

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Armstrong’s Emma Smerick is cheered on as she comes home after hitting a two-run homer against North Hills in the fourth inning during a PIAA Class 5A semifinal on Monday, June 14, 2021, at Mars.
Smerick, River Hawks topple North Hills, advance to PIAA championship game
June 14, 2021
For Emma Smerick, the softball field at Mars is out of this world.

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Beaver starting pitcher Payton List throws against Highlands during the PIAA Class 4A semifinal on Monday, June 14, 2021, at Mars Area High School.
List dominates as Beaver bests Highlands in PIAA Class 4A semifinal
Runs and hits were at a premium when Highlands and Beaver met for the WPIAL Class 4A softball championship June 2.

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Highlands’ Jess Cekada hits a home run against Bishop McDevitt in the sixth inning during a PIAA Class 4A quarterfinal on Thursday, June 10, 2021 at Central Cambria High School.
Hard-hitting Highlands gets rematch with WPIAL champ Beaver in PIAA Class 4A semifinals
June 13, 2021
Jess Cekada was mobbed by her Highlands teammates as the junior shortstop crossed home plate after hitting a two-run homer in the bottom of the sixth inning of Thursday’s PIAA Class 4A quarterfinal game against Bishop McDevitt under the lights at Central Cambria High School.

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Highlands celebrates Jess Cekada’s home run against Bishop McDevitt in the sixth inning during the PIAA Class 4A softball quarterfinals.
A-K Valley PIAA playoff preview capsules for June 14, 2021
Class 4A

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Ligonier Valley’s Annabella Schueltz hangs onto the ball as Chestnut Ridge’s Zoie Dunlap runs into her during the fourth inning of a PIAA Class 2A softball quarterfinal Thursday, June10, 2021, at Mt. Aloysius College.
After persevering through suspended game, Ligonier Valley softball team focused on PIAA semis
June 12, 2021
After a delay of 1 hour, 45 minutes, the Ligonier Valley softball team began Thursday’s PIAA Class 2A quarterfinal against District 5 champion Chestnut Ridge at Mt. Aloysius College.

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Fox Chapel pitcher Mackenzie Borlovich (left) celebrates with catcher Amelia Herzer and Brynn Palmer after defeating Plum in their WPIAL Class 5A first round playoff game on Tuesday, May 18, 2021, at Gateway High School.
Fox Chapel softball exceeds expectations with deep playoff run
After losing 2020 to the covid pandemic, the Fox Chapel softball team entered this spring with optimism that it could get to the Class 5A playoffs and make a run.

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Plum’s Makenzie Lang celebrates during a game against Armstrong on Monday, May 10, 2021, at Armstrong High School.
Plum spring athletes earn postseason honors
Rayla Smith was an offensive force for the Plum girls lacrosse team this spring.

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Highlands’ Jess Cekada runs down a ball hit by Bishop McDevitt’s Olivia Murphy in the sixth inning during the PIAA Class 4A softball quarterfinals Thursday, June 10, 2021, at Central Cambria High School.
Nearly 6 hours of down time ‘worth the wait’ for Highlands softball players
June 11, 2021
Cloudy skies and rain greeted the Highlands softball team Friday afternoon as they gathered for practice in preparation for Monday’s PIAA Class 4A semifinal against Beaver.

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Highlands celebrates Jess Cekada’s home run against Bishop McDeviit in the sixth inning during the PIAA Class 4A softball quarterfinals Thursday, June 10, 2021 at Central Cambria High School.
Highlands softball beats Bishop McDevitt, earns rematch with Beaver in state semifinals
June 10, 2021
EBENSBURG — The Highlands softball team had to wait through a four-hour delay from the original 4 p.m. start of its PIAA Class 4A quarterfinal game Thursday against Bishop McDevitt.

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Ligonier Valley’s Bella Vargulish points to Ruby Wallce on second base after scoring against Chestnut Ridge in the fourth inning during the PIAA Class 2A softball quarterfinal on Thursday, June 10, 2021 at Mt. Aloysius College.
Ligonier Valley moves into PIAA semifinals with rain-shortened win over Chestnut Ridge
CRESSON — The record will show Ligonier Valley secured a 1-0 victory over Chestnut Ridge in the PIAA Class 2A softball quarterfinals Thursday.

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“I don’t know if you can count how many runs we’ve saved on defense this year,” Highlands junior center fielder Maera Williams said.
Defense proves invaluable to Highlands softball team
June 9, 2021
The Highlands softball bats and the players swinging them have proven themselves all season with high hit and run totals.

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Highlands’ Jaycee Haidze and Joie Beacom celebrate after beating Clearfield in a PIAA Class 4A first-round game Monday.
A-K Valley PIAA playoff preview capsule for June 10, 2021
Softball

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North Allegheny grad Jack Wright competes for Virginia men’s swimming during the 2019-20 season.
WPIAL products fare well at U.S. Olympic Swim Trials
North Allegheny graduate Jack Wright said he was taken aback when he entered the CHI Health Center in Omaha for the Wave I U.S. Olympic Swim Trials last week.

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The North Allegheny girls varsity quad competed at the Scholastic Rowing Association of America national championships Memorial Day weekend and earned eighth place overall. From left, are Tabo Mkandawire, Ashley Zeman, Alexandra Junko and Mirae Choe.
North Allegheny rowers fare well at national championship regatta
June 8, 2021
Several members of the North Allegheny rowing team competed at the Scholastic Rowing Association of America national championship regatta over Memorial Day weekend on the Schuylkill River in Philadelphia.

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Leechburg’s Karli Mazak steal second on DuBois Central Catholic’s Jessey Frank during a first-round PIAA Class A softball playoff game Monday June 7, 2021, at Heindl Memorial Field in DuBois.
Furious rally falls short as Leechburg softball falls to DuBois Central Catholic
June 7, 2021
Things didn’t start out well for the Leechburg softball team in Monday’s PIAA Class A first-round game against DuBois Central Catholic at Heindl Field in DuBois.

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golden glove
                                Highlands shortstop Jess Cekada makes a diving catch on a ball hit by Clearfield’s Ruby Singleton during a first round PIAA Class 4A softball playoff game Monday, June 7, 2021, at Heindl Memorial Field in DuBois.
Highlands keeps making history, wins 1st PIAA playoff game
Already in uncharted territory, the Highlands softball team added to its historic season Monday against Clearfield in the first round of the PIAA Class 4A playoffs.

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Leechburg pitcher Emma Ritchie delivers against Mapletown during a WPIAL Class A quarterfinal on Thursday, May 20, 2021, at Norwin High School.
Leechburg softball team ready for 2019 PIAA rematch
June 6, 2021
For the second time in as many seasons, the Leechburg softball team survived a pressure situation in the WPIAL consolation final to earn a trip the PIAA playoffs.

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Gateway’s Chamor Price during workouts Tuesday, July 21, 2020, at Gateway High School.
Gateway seniors cap high school career at East-West all-star game
Gateway football seniors Jacques Taylor and Chamor Price teamed up one final time May 30 to cap their high school careers in the Pennsylvania Scholastic Football Coaches Association East-West Football Classic at Landis Field in Harrisburg.

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Highlands starting pitcher Jaycee Haidze throws against Beaver during the WPIAL Class 4A championship game Wednesday June 2, 2021, at Lilley Field Cal (Pa.).
Highlands softball team hopes to continue brilliant season in PIAA playoffs
June 5, 2021
This been a season of firsts for the Highlands softball team.

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Beaver celebrates winning the WPIAL Class 4A softball championship game Wednesday, June 2, 2021 at Cal U’s Lilley Field.
Beaver Area shakes off Highlands rally, walks off with WPIAL softball crown
June 2, 2021
The first three WPIAL softball championship games played at Cal (Pa.) on Wednesday ended by way of the mercy rule, with the winning teams scoring 17, 15 and 12 runs.

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Highlands starting pitcher Jaycee Haidze throws against Freeport on April 9.
WPIAL Class 4A softball championship preview: Highlands vs. Beaver
June 1, 2021
2-Beaver (16-0) vs. 5-Highlands (16-4-1)

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Armstrong freshman Jesse Pugh rounds the bases after hitting her second home run of the game against Franklin Regional on Thursday, April 22, 2021, in Murrysville.
WPIAL Class 5A softball championship preview: North Hills vs. Armstrong
Softball

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Gateway boys volleyball players, from left, juniors Gabriel Sha, Gunnar Hayes and Ryan Bozicevic, will return to help form the core of the 2022 Gators squad.
Gateway boys volleyball looks toward future with talented returning lineup
May 30, 2021
The Gateway boys volleyball team was the underdog as the No. 14 seed when it traveled to Ambridge on May 18 to take on the No. 3 Bridgers, WPIAL champions in 2018 and ’19, in the first round of this year’s Class AA tournament.

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Highlands’ Abbie Deiseroth (23) celebrates with Jaycee Haidze during their game against Valley on April 5, 2021, in Harrison.
Highlands softball team enjoys rest after beating No. 1 seed
May 29, 2021
Maera Williams arrived to school Thursday and soon was greeted with a plethora of well-wishes and congratulations for her and her Highlands softball teammates.

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Plum’s Colin Solinski reacts while being called out next to Latrobe’s Chase Sickenberger at second base during their WPIAL Class 5A first-round playoff game on May 19.
Successful season ends early for Plum baseball
The Plum baseball team had different designs on the 2021 WPIAL postseason than what played out May 19 against Latrobe in a WPIAL first-round game at Norwin.

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Plum’s Logan Parker, shown practicing in 2019, is seeded fifth in the state in the shot put.
A-K Valley contingent takes medal aspirations into Class AAA state meet
May 27, 2021
The Kiski Area girls 3,200-meter relay knocked nearly 15 seconds off its seed time at last week’s WPIAL Class AAA track and field championships at Slippery Rock.

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The North Allegheny boys volleyball team celebrates after defeating Seneca Valley in the WPIAL Class 3A finals Wednesday, May 26, 2021.
North Allegheny fends off Seneca Valley challenge, wins 4th straight WPIAL boys volleyball crown
May 26, 2021
The North Allegheny boys volleyball team defeated section rival Seneca Valley twice in the regular season, and it sought to add a third victory as the Tigers and Raiders met Wednesday evening to decide the WPIAL Class AAA title at Fox Chapel.

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Seton LaSalle celebrates after defeating North Catholic in the WPIAL Class 2A boys volleyball finals Wednesday, May 26, 2021.
Seton LaSalle captures program’s 1st WPIAL boys volleyball championship
A first-time WPIAL champion was crowned as North Catholic and Seton LaSalle met Wednesday to decide the Class AA boys volleyball title at Fox Chapel.

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Deer Lakes’ Carson McCoy competes in the boys’ class AA 1600 meter run during the WPIAL Track and Field Championships on Wednesday, May 19, 2021 at Slippery Rock University.
Deer Lakes’ Carson McCoy among A-K Valley athletes ready for state track meet
Deer Lakes’ Carson McCoy knows the feeling of running at the PIAA Class AA track and field championships.

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Leechburg pitcher Emma Ritchie delivers against Mapletown during a WPIAL Class A quarterfinal on Thursday, May 20, 2021, at Norwin High School.
A-K Valley softball playoff capsules: Games for May 27, 2021
Thursday’s games

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Union takes down Leechburg, advances to WPIAL Class A title game
May 25, 2021
The Union softball team has another crack at unseating West Greene from its WPIAL Class A throne.

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Emma Smerick collected two hits and scored the game-winning run in the bottom of the seventh for Armstrong in a 2-1 victory over Fox Chapel in a WPIAL Class 5A softball semifinal May 25, 2021, at Mars.
Walk-off win propels Armstrong softball to Class 5A title game
The Armstrong softball team hit eight home runs and scored 27 runs over its first two WPIAL Class 5A playoff victories.

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Elizabeth Forward’s Kailey Larcinese hit a solo home run, singled and was the winning pitcher in a 7-5 triumph over Knoch in a WPIAL Class 4A quarterfinal May 24, 2021, at Plum.
Elizabeth Forward hits 3 home runs, rallies past Knoch in Class 4A quarterfinal
May 24, 2021
Elizabeth Forward, the top seed in the WPIAL Class 4A softball playoffs, hit 15 home runs in 17 regular season games.

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West Mifflin rallies past Burrell in Class 4A softball
The West Mifflin softball team’s return to Plum was a successful one.

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A-K Valley softball playoff capsules: Games for Tuesday, May 25, 2021
Class A

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Highlands’ Jaycee Haidze connects on a pitch during the Rams’ game against Valley on April 5, 2021, in Harrison.
Alle-Kiski Valley WPIAL softball playoff capsules for May 24, 2021
May 23, 2021
Class 4A quarterfinals

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Gateway’s Amaya Robinson (center) competes in the 100-meter dash prelims at the WPIAL Class AAA track and field championships May 19 at Slippery Rock.
Gateway’s Jenkins, Robinson claim medals at WPIAL championships
Clear, sunny skies and temperatures in the low to mid 80s greeted Gateway track and field athletes as they competed at last week’s WPIAL Class AAA championships at Slippery Rock.

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Gateway’s Grady Otterman bats against Penn-Trafford on Tuesday, April 12, 2021, at Penn-Trafford High School.
Gateway caps roller coaster season with playoff loss to Mars
As the No. 8 and No. 9 seeds in the first round of the WPIAL Class 5A baseball playoffs, Mars and Gateway were expected to play a close and competitive game.

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The Riverview boys 3,200-meter relay team claimed the WPIAL Class AA title May 19, 2021, at Slippery Rock University. Team members are, from left, Amberson Bauer, Ty Laughlin, Parker Steele, Mason Ochs.
Riverview’s distance relay looks forward to PIAA meet
May 22, 2021
Mason Ochs knew he had another long race ahead of him — the individual 3,200-meter run — at Wednesday’s WPIAL Class AA championships when he anchored the 3,200 relay in the morning’s heated temperatures under sunny skies.

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Fox Chapel’s Hunter Taylor tags out Plum’s Kendall James at second base during their WPIAL Class 5A first round playoff game on Tuesday, May 18, 2021, at Gateway High School.
After upset loss, Plum softball turns attention to promising future
The Plum softball team hoped for a long stay in the playoffs as it kicked off the WPIAL Class 5A tournament against Fox Chapel in the first round May 18 at Gateway.

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Fox Chapel’s Brynn Palmer hits during an April 30 game against Mars.
3-run, walk-off homer propels 14th-seeded Fox Chapel softball past Franklin Regional
May 20, 2021
Fox Chapel’s Brynn Palmer came up in the bottom of the seventh of Thursday’s WPIAL Class 5A quarterfinal against Franklin Regional with the game on the line.

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Riverview’s Mason Ochs (left) takes the handoff during the 3,200-meter relay at the WPIAL Class AA track and field championships Wednesday at Slippery Rock.
Riverview relay team, Apollo-Ridge’s Weightman claim WPIAL gold
May 19, 2021
Mason Ochs knew he had another long race ahead of him - the individual 3,200-meter run - at Wednesday’s WPIAL Class AA championships when he anchored the 3,200 relay in the morning’s heated temperatures under sunny skies.

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North Catholic’s Trevor Paschall reacts after winning the boys’ 400-meter dash at the WPIAL Class AA track and field championships Wednesday, May 19, 2021, at Slippery Rock University.
North Catholic’s Trevor Paschall wins 4 gold medals at WPIAL Class AA track and field championships
Temperatures under sunny skies climbed throughout the morning Wednesday as the top athletes competed at the WPIAL Class AA track and field championships at Slippery Rock University.

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Fox Chapel’s Brynn Palmer celebrates with catcher Amelia Herzer after recording an out during their WPIAL Class 5A first round playoff game against Plum on Tuesday, May 18, 2021, at Gateway High School.
Alle-Kiski Valley WPIAL softball playoff capsules for May 20, 2021
Today’s games

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Penn-Trafford’s Sarah Yamrick drives in a run in front of Hampton catcher Bella Henzler during the fifth inning of their WPIAL Class 5A first round playoff game on Tuesday, May 18, 2021, at Gateway High School.
Penn-Trafford softball stomps Hampton in 1st round
May 18, 2021
The Penn-Trafford softball team scored four runs in the bottom of the first during Tuesday’s WPIAL Class 5A first-round playoff game against Hampton at Gateway.

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Fox Chapel’s Neena Pietropaolo reacts as she rounds the bases after hitting a home run during the sixth inning against Plum on Tuesday at Gateway High School.
Fox Chapel stuns Plum in first-round pitchers’ duel
The Plum and Fox Chapel softball teams met in late March to open the 2021 season.

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Freeport’s Savanna Urik celebrates her catch at the fence with the bases loaded during the fifth inning against Burrell on Friday, April 16, 2021, at Freeport Community Park.
Alle-Kiski Valley WPIAL softball playoff capsules for May 19, 2021
Wednesday’s games

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The members of the Burrell boys 1,600 relay, from left, seniors Brayden Callahan, Ian Smola, Jake Guerrini and Ryan Wurzer, warm up together before a workout Monday, May 17, 2021, on the track at Valley High School. The relay is seeded second for the WPIAL Class AA championships at Slippery Rock University.
Burrell relay team, other Class AA medal hopefuls gear up for WPIAL meet
May 17, 2021
As sophomores in 2019, Burrell’s Brayden Callahan, Jake Guerrini and Ryan Wurzer, along with the now-graduated Kaleb Seibert, finished 12th in the 1,600-meter relay at the WPIAL Class AA championships at Slippery Rock.

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Plum pitcher Melanie Meinke delivers during a game against Armstrong on Monday, May 10, 2021, at Armstrong High School.
Alle-Kiski Valley WPIAL softball playoff capsules for May 18, 2021
Tuesday’s games

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Hempfield’s Owen Kelley attempts to score against Beaver County Christian during the Hempfield Tournament on April 17, 2021, at Hempfield High School.
North Allegheny, Seton LaSalle earn top seeds for WPIAL boys volleyball playoffs
North Allegheny and Seton LaSalle are the top seeds in their respective boys volleyball playoff brackets as the WPIAL released the Class AAA and AA pairings Monday afternoon.

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Penn-Trafford sophomore Daniel Tarabrella practices his sets prior to facing Penn Hills in a boys volleyball match April 12, 2021, at Penn-Trafford.
Coaches association releases final WPIAL boys volleyball rankings
The WPIAL Class AAA and Class AA playoff brackets will be revealed Monday at noon on Trib HSSN.

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Gateway runners Brady Sundin, left, and Luke Whisel practice May 12, 2021, at Gateway.
Gateway athletes set for WPIAL championship meet
May 16, 2021
The Gateway track and field spring season was one of growth and discovery for a number of athletes breaking into varsity competition for the first time.

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Gateway’s Taili Thompson tries to get the tag on Penn-Trafford’s Jake Otto on Tuesday, April 12, 2021, at Penn-Trafford High School.
Tough schedule prepares Gateway for WPIAL baseball playoffs
The Gateway baseball team went through a lot during the regular season with a roller coaster of game results while overcoming a midseason covid pause.

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Fox Chapel’s Laura Carter leads the pack en route to winning the 1600 meter run during the Baldwin Invitational on May 8, 2021, at Baldwin High School.
Distance runners Carter, Miller ready for 1st crack at WPIAL girls championships
May 15, 2021
Fox Chapel’s Laura Carter and Kiski Area’s Eliza Miller first meet in competition in fall 2018 as seventh-grade cross country runners.

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Plum’s Ashley Polakovic makes a catch in front of Maura Marston during their game against Armstrong on Monday, May 10, 2021, at Armstrong High School.
Plum softball, baseball teams turn attention to WPIAL playoffs
The Plum softball team hadn’t played a game in nearly two weeks when it came back May 10 from a covid pause to face Section 1-5A foe Armstrong in a game crucial to each team’s goal of a section title.

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Plum pitcher Melanie Meinke (left) celebrates a strikeout with Jaralyn Kincaid during their game against Armstrong on Monday.
Record 12 A-K valley schools qualify for WPIAL softball playoffs
May 13, 2021
A record 12 Alle-Kiski Valley softball teams now know their WPIAL playoff fates as the tournament brackets were released Thursday afternoon.

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Freeport catcher Natalie King tags out Burrell’s Gabby Britton during their game on April 16.
A-K valley softball notebook: Leechburg not the only team with a long playoff streak
May 12, 2021
Leechburg owns the record for consecutive seasons making the WPIAL playoffs, but several teams also are building sizeable streaks of their own.

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Knoch senior Marissa Melius looks to score a run during a Section 1-4A home game against McKeesport on May 11, 2021, at Laura Doerr Park in Cabot.
Knoch softball team hoping for a deep playoff run like 2019 squad
Olivia Vissari, Marissa Melius, Brynnae Coe, Quinn Hughes, Sophie Brandon and Bailey Rickenbrode remember the 2019 postseason well. They were members of the Knoch softball team that advanced to the WPIAL semifinals and qualified for the state playoffs.

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Plum’s Makenzie Lang crosses home plate after hitting a three-run homer against Armstrong.<span class='IDappliedStyle' title='InDesign: Light'></span>
Plum blanks Armstrong in return from covid pause
May 10, 2021
The Plum softball team hadn’t played a game in two weeks before Monday’s crucial Section 1-5A matchup at Armstrong.

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Shaler’s Ian Weber blocks the shot of Norwin’s Joshua Govannucci during the Hempfield volleyball tournament April 17, 2021, at Hempfield High School.
WPIAL boys volleyball teams make push for playoffs; final week begins with coaches rankings
With one final week remaining in the regular season, boys volleyball teams in both WPIAL Class AAA and Class AA are making final cases for section titles and playoff berths.

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Apollo-Ridge pitcher Casey Weightman delivers against Ligonier Valley on Monday, April 26, 2021, in Ligonier.
Apollo-Ridge senior Weightman excels doing double duty
May 9, 2021
Casey Weightman is no stranger to success at the WPIAL-championship level.

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Gateway senior Jayson Jenkins, freshman Kiki Pitts and senior Omarion Davidson are hoping for big things in the hurdles at the WPIAL Class AAA track and field championships May 20 at Slippery Rock.
Gateway hurdlers to be well represented at WPIAL meet
Jayson Jenkins is known in athletic circles at Gateway as a talented place kicker who will head to Robert Morris in August and join the Colonials football team.

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Valley senior Marco Vigilante returns a serve in practice during the 2021 season.
Valley tennis program braces for WPIAL team postseason
May 6, 2021
The Valley and North Catholic boys tennis teams both were undefeated at 7-0 when they met April 23 to decide the Section 3-AA team title.

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Plum’s Ethan Kircher bats against Mars during a game on April 12, 2021, in Adams.
Plum backstop Ethan Kircher comes through in the clutch
The Plum baseball team has fashioned a strong record this spring, overall and in Section 2-5A, and senior catcher Ethan Kircher has been at the center of the action.

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Plum’s Francesca Beighley makes a catch against Penn Hills on Tuesday, April 20, 2021, at Milltown Community Park.
Alle-Kiski Valley softball notebook: Plum hopes to continue streak after covid pause
May 5, 2021
Plum has been off the field for more than a week, but the Mustangs wrap up a covid pause with a return to practice Friday.

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Highlands’ Abbie Deiseroth (23) celebrates with Jaycee Haidze during their game against Valley on April 5, 2021, in Harrison.
Highlands softball stalking long-awaited playoff win
The last time a Highlands softball team won a WPIAL playoff game, most of the current team members were just learning to walk and talk.

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Norwins’ Jordyn Turcovski edges out Burrell’s Ava Rusiewicz in the 100-meter dash during the Lady Spartan/Wildcat Invitational track and field meet April 16, 2021, at Latrobe’s Memorial Stadium.
Burrell sprinter Rusiewicz has sights on continuing Bucs’ tradition of strong sprinters
May 3, 2021
While moving through junior high, Ava Rusiewicz made sure to watch the Burrell girls sprinters closely, including the groupings on the annually successful 400-meter relay.

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Shaler’s Dom Rossi volleys the ball back to Norwin during a match at the Hempfield Spartan Volleyball Tournament on April 17, 2021.
Few changes this week with WPIAL boys volleyball coaches rankings
There was slight movement but no big changes in the WPIAL Class AAA and Class AA top 10 boys volleyball lists released Monday morning by the Western Pennsylvania Volleyball Coaches Association.

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Fox Chapel sophomore singles player Cooper Friday ranges to hit a ball during play at the Fox Chapel High School courts.
Fox Chapel tennis team confident, motivated heading into WPIALs
May 2, 2021
Will Ernharth likes where the Fox Chapel boys tennis team is positioned heading into Monday’s WPIAL Class AAA first-round matchup with Sewickley Academy at the Fox Chapel High School courts.

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Gateway junior Gabriel Sha gets set to serve during a practice April 28, 2021, at Gateway’s Furrie Sports Complex.
After limited early schedule, Gateway volleyball expects busy stretch to end season
The Gateway boys volleyball team has been looking for consistency to its 2021 spring season, but with covid stoppages and postponed games, it has been a challenge.

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Fox Chapel’s Emma Wecht plays in the steady rain against Shady Side Academy on Thursday, April 29, 2021, at Fox Area High School.
Strong start has Fox Chapel girls lacrosse in WPIAL playoff contention
May 1, 2021
An experienced Fox Chapel girls lacrosse team hoped to do big things last year, but the PIAA’s concerns over the growing covid pandemic cut short plans for the Foxes to defend their 2019 section title, win their fourth section title overall and challenge for a WPIAL championship in Class AAA.

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Plum’s Nate McMasters looks to the dugout after stealing second base in the mud during a game against Mars on April 12,, 2021, in Adams.
Plum baseball looks to finish strong
The Plum varsity baseball team fashioned an unblemished Section 2-5A record through a pair of victories over Penn Hills on April 26 and 27.

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Riverviews’ John Patsey throws against Penn Hills on Wednesday, March 17, 2021 at Wild Things Park.
Riverview’s Patsey excels in baseball, track during sophomore season
Before his freshman year at Riverview, John Patsey assured himself and his teammates and coaches that he wanted to pursue both baseball and track and field at the varsity level during the spring competition season.

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Fox Chapel’s MacKenzie Borkovich drives in the winning run to beat Mars in the bottom of the seventh inning on April 30, 2021 at Fox Chapel Area High School.
Fox Chapel softball gives up big lead before winning in 7th inning
April 30, 2021
After three innings of Friday’s Section 3-5A matchup with Mars, the Fox Chapel softball team held a six-run lead and hoped to add on.

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Highlands’ Maera Williams runs down a ball hit by Freeport’s Sydney Selker in the fourth inning Friday, April 9, 2021, at Highlands High School.
A-K Valley softball notebook: Highlands set for showdown with Burrell
April 28, 2021
When the Highlands softball team suffered a 14-4 loss to Freeport in its Section 1-4A opener at home April 9, the Golden Rams could have looked ahead to the next matchup with the Yellowjackets.

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Apollo-Ridge pitcher Casey Weightman delivers against Ligonier Valley on Monday, April 26, 2021, in Ligonier.
Hard-hitting Apollo-Ridge softball in WPIAL playoff mix
The Apollo-Ridge softball team was on the wrong side of a perfect game Monday against Ligonier Valley junior standout Maddie Griffin.

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Ligonier Valley pitcher Maddie Griffin delivers during a game against Apollo-Ridge on Monday, April 26, 2021, in Ligonier.
Griffin tosses perfect game as Ligonier Valley blanks Apollo-Ridge
April 26, 2021
The Apollo-Ridge softball team scored at least nine runs in all six of their wins this season, including 11 each in convincing Section 2-2A victories last week over Serra Catholic and Seton LaSalle.

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Shaler’s Dom Rossi volleys the ball back to Norwin during the 2021 Hempfield Spartan Volleyball Tournament Saturday, April 17, 2021, at Hempfield.
Seton LaSalle takes over top spot in WPIAL Class AA volleyball coaches rankings
The Western Pennsylvania Volleyball Coaches Association released its Week 5 rankings Monday morning, and there is a change at the head of the Class AA Top 10.

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Valley is one of six schools to have two teams competing in the WPIAL Class AAA or Class AA doubles tournaments Tuesday. From left, are Nicholas Bussard, Dylan Gentile, Thomas Albert and Dario Wolfe.
WPIAL’s top tennis doubles teams set for gold rush
April 25, 2021
The WPIAL’s top Class AAA and Class AA boys doubles teams will go for gold Tuesday and Wednesday and also challenge for berths to the PIAA tournaments, slated for May 28 and 29 in Hershey.

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Franklin Regional’s Sophia Reitz and Sophia Yaniga fight for a rebound with Gateway’s Dynasty Shegog Friday, Feb. 12, 2021 at Gateway High School.
Gateway’s Shegog looks forward to prestigious Roundball Classic
Gateway senior forward Dynasty Shegog went toe-to-toe with Penn Hills’ Amoni Blackwell, Jasmyn Golden and Jayla Golden; McKeesport’s Haley Hertzer; and Woodland Hills’ Peyton Pinkney in Section 4-5A during the truncated 2020-21 season.

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Gateway junior Amaya Robinson cools down after running a leg of the 400-meter relay during a section tri-meet with Plum and Penn Hills on April 20 at Gateway’s Antimarino Stadium.
Gateway’s Robinson finding her place among WPIAL’s top sprinters
Amaya Robinson felt at home at the South Hills Classic on April 10. Baldwin hosted, but Gateway’s Antimarino Stadium provided the setting for the events.

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Plum sophomore Dannika Susko completes the 400-meter run at a section tri-meet against Gateway and Penn Hills on April 20, 2021, at Gateway’s Antimarino Stadium.
Plum track and field athletes shine at Lady Spartan/Wildcat Invitational
April 24, 2021
After competing in a trio of Section 5-AAA meets in the early part of the season, Plum boys and girls track and field team members stepped out and tested their mettle at their first invitational of the spring April 16.

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Plum sophomore Kylie Fischer looks to make a play during a Section 1-AA game April 19, 2021, at Franklin Regional.
Plum girls lacrosse off to strong start, aims to win 1st playoff game in program history
The Plum varsity girls lacrosse team hopes to make history this year with its first WPIAL playoff victory in its fifth year as a full member of the WPIAL.

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Tia Germanich is greeted at home plate by teammates after hitting a three-run home run in the top of the first of an 8-2 win over Derry on Friday, April 23, 2021.
Deer Lakes softball streaks past Derry to cap off big week
April 23, 2021
Some early two-out lightning put the Deer Lakes softball team on the right track to an 8-2 Section 1-3A victory over Derry on Friday.

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Deer Lakes sophomore Shayne Cerra throws to first during a drill on March 19.
A-K Valley softball notebook: Dramatic win was worth wait for Deer Lakes
April 21, 2021
Things didn’t go as planned for the Deer Lakes softball team in a 6-3 section loss at Valley in Section 1-3A on April 9.

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Plum’s Francesca Beighley plays against Penn Hills on Tuesday, April 20, 2021 at Milltown Community Park.
Plum softball starting to hit stride in search of elusive playoff victory
When the Plum softball team suffered a 5-0 loss to Section 1-5A rival Franklin Regional on April 7, team members were itching to get back on the field and bounce back from the uncharacteristic shutout.

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Ambridge’s Tyler McKight volleys the ball against Latrobe during the 2021 Hempfield Spartan Volleyball Tournament Saturday, April 17, 2021, at Hempfield.
North Allegheny, Ambridge hold their top spots in boys volleyball coaches rankings
April 19, 2021
The Western Pennsylvania Volleyball Coaches Association released its WPIAL Week 4 boys rankings Monday morning, and North Allegheny (Class AAA) and Ambridge (Class AA) maintained their No. 1 positions in their respective polls.

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Knoch senior Josh Rohland took first in the shot put and discus at the Butler County Classic.
Knoch thrower Josh Rohland hoping for big numbers as postseason approaches
April 18, 2021
Knoch’s Josh Rohland got his first taste of WPIAL track and field championship competition as a sophomore at the 2019 Class AAA meet at Slippery Rock.

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Gateway senior Joelle Jenkins has commited to the women’s soccer team at Cal (Pa.). With Jenkins is Gateway athletic director Don Holl.
Gateway soccer standout seizes opportunity with Cal (Pa.)
In December, Gateway senior Jayson Jenkins set in stone his decision to kick in college for the Robert Morris football team.

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Gateway’s Angelo Ross bats against Penn-Trafford on Tuesday, April 12, 2021, at Penn-Trafford High School.
Gateway baseball determined to join playoff race in second half of season
As the Gateway baseball team continues to find its way in what is turning out to be a competitive Section 1 in Class 5A, coach Mark Wardzinski likes the resolute attitude of his players. They’re determined to keep building on the positives and working to smooth any bumps in the road along the way.

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Plum’s Connor Moss drives past West Allegheny’s Anthony Ross during their WPIAL Class 5A playoff game on Saturday, Feb. 27, 2021, at Plum High School.
Riverview, Plum athletes look forward to final high school basketball game
April 17, 2021
Gideon Deasy’s final high school basketball season didn’t start off as he had hoped as he continued to recover from an ankle injury that had plagued him since the fall.

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Plum pitcher Colin Solinski delivers against Mars on Monday, April 12, 2021, in Adams.
Plum baseball ‘resilient and tough’ in early-season stretch
When Plum baseball coach Carl Vollmer looked back at the Section 2-5A series against Mars from April 12 and 13, he didn’t see perfection.

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Plum right fielder Brooke Kundla bats during the second inning of Wednesday’s Section 1-4A game against Armstrong. The Mustangs won 9-6.
A-K Valley softball notebook: Plum breaks out bats in return to action
April 14, 2021
Plum players had to wait a week to get the bad taste of a 5-0 loss to Section 1-5A rival Franklin Regional out of their mouths.

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Fox Chapel junior Mackenzie Borkovich has 77 strikeouts over 44 innings.
Fox Chapel strikeouts specialist Borkovich exceeding expectations
Mackenzie Borkovich logged most of the pitching innings as a freshman for Fox Chapel in 2019.

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Highlands senior Gabe Norris hopes to make his mark out of the No. 10 seeded position at Tuesday’s WPIAL Class AA singles tournament.
WPIAL tennis season heats up for A-K Valley trio, Section 3-AA teams
April 12, 2021
The Alle-Kiski Valley will be well-represented Tuesday at the WPIAL Class AA singles championships as Highlands senior Gabe Norris and Valley sophomore Nicholas Bussard and senior Thomas Albert will take to the court at Shady Side Academy.

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Deer Lakes outside hitter Seth Sciubba prepares for a match against Gateway on April 8, 2021, at Gateway High School.
Ambridge takes over as Class AA No. 1 in latest WPIAL volleyball coaches rankings
The Western Pennsylvania Volleyball Coaches Association released its Week 3 boys volleyball rankings Monday morning, and for the second week in a row, there is a new team at the top of Class AA.

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Gateway freshman Matt Bandos competes at No. 3 singles April 6, 2021, at Kiski Area.
Clark brothers bolster lineup for Gateway tennis
April 11, 2021
David Clark loves the competition on the tennis court with twin brother, Nathan.

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Gateway seniors Patrick Baumann, left, and Nate Codeluppi battle for a ground ball during practice April 7, 2021, at Gateway’s Antimarino Stadium.
Gateway boys lacrosse developing young roster
With 19 seniors and a high level of experience up and down the lineup, the 2019 Gateway boys lacrosse team made history.

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Pine-Richland senior Cole Spencer is the recipient Saturday, April 10, 2021, of the inagural Willie Thrower Memorial Award honoring the top high school quarterback in Southwestern Pennsylvania. The award also honors the legacy and memory of New Kensington native Willie Thrower as the first black quarterback in professional football history.
Pine-Richland’s Spencer wins 1st Willie Thrower Memorial Award
April 10, 2021
Chuck Curtis played football for the New York Giants in 1957 before beginning a football coaching career that lasted for 30 years.

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Plum senior outside hitter Alex Vidas earned second-team all-section honors as a sophomore in 2019.
Plum boys volleyball aims for success under new leadership
The Plum boys volleyball team is hopeful for a run at a berth in the WPIAL playoffs this spring, and the Mustangs will go after it in a new classification with a new coach at the helm.

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Freeport’s Sydney Selker scores against Highlands in the third inning on Friday, April 9, 2021 at Highlands High School.
Little things add up for Freeport softball in win over Highlands
April 9, 2021
Freeport third baseman Autumn Powell grounded out to second base for the first out of the second inning of Friday’s Section 1-4A opener at Highlands.

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Highlands pitcher Jaycee Haidze (32) celebrates an out with Jess Cekada during their game against Valley on Monday.
Alle-Kiski high school softball notebook: Fox Chapel-Burrell provides pitchers’ duel
April 7, 2021
Spectators at the March 29 nonsection game between Fox Chapel and Burrell were treated to a double pitching gem.

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Freeport’s Maya Borghol high-fives coach Sam Jones after hitting a lead-off home run in a scrimmage against Kiski Area on Tuesday, March 23, 2021.
Freeport’s Borghol overcomes back issues to make triumphant softball return
Maya Borghol hit a home run in a March 23 scrimmage against Kiski Area.

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Kiski Area’s Stephen Rayburg (34) celebrates his hat trick goal with Jonathan Ayres during their PIHL Class A Penguins Cup quarterfinal against Greensburg Salem on Monday, April 5, 2021, at Belmont Complex. Kiski won, 5-0.
Kiski Area blanks Greensburg Salem on opening night of PIHL playoffs
April 5, 2021
The Kiski Area hockey team is headed back to the PIHL Penguins Cup Class A semifinals.

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North Catholic takes over Class AA top spot in latest WPIAL coaches boys volleyball rankings
The Western Pennsylvania Volleyball Coaches Association released its Week 2 boys volleyball rankings Monday morning, and there is a change at the top in Class AA.

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Gateway freshman Kierra Pitts hands off to junior Amaya Robinson during a relay race at a section dual meet against McKeesport on March 30 at Antimarino Stadium.
Renewed hope takes over for Gateway track and field athletes
April 4, 2021
Gateway track and field head coach Tom LaBuff is used to spending the spring coaching Gators athletes to top finishes at meets and invitationals.

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Plum’s Kennedie Montue takes a shot against Hampton on Jan. 21.
Valley News Dispatch Girls Basketball Player of the Year: Plum’s Kennedie Montue
April 3, 2021
Valley News Dispatch Girls Basketball Player of the Year

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Riverview’s Lucas Wilton hands off to Ty Laughlin during the boys 3,200-meter relay against Aquinas Academy on March 30, 2021, at Oakmont’s Riverside Park.
Riverview track and field athletes aim to maintain section success
After being denied an opportunity to compete and defend section championships last spring, members of the Riverview boys and girls track and field teams got back to competition March 27 at the Altoona Igloo Invitational.

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Infusion of young talent boosts Valley softball
April 2, 2021
While there are many things Valley softball coach Carrol Perroz is concentrating on this season, planning a senior-day ceremony isn’t one of them.

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Senior John Luke Balley has helped the Valley baseball team win three of its first four games this season.
Valley baseball builds momentum with experienced lineup
When looking for silver linings in what was an otherwise frustrating turn of events with the sudden cancellation of high school sports last spring, Valley baseball coach Jim Basilone knew that he would have nine players returning with varsity experience gained in either 2018 or ’19.

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The Freeport hockey team celebrates after defeating North Catholic, 4-3, on Feb. 9, 2021, at UPMC Lemieux Sports Complex in Cranberry.
PIHL sets brackets for Penguins Cup playoffs
After a most unprecedented regular season with more changes and ups and downs than one can count, the PIHL has reached the Penguins Cup varsity playoffs.

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St. Joseph third baseman Kalyda O’Connor prepares for a ground ball during a game against Highlands on Tuesday, March 30, 2021.
Senior duo excited to lead young St. Joseph softball squad into battle
April 1, 2021
Seniors Kelsey DuVall and Kassandra O’Hara own varsity starting experience, and that experience, along with their leadership, is being called upon to help guide a group of eight freshman on a roster of 11 for the St. Joseph softball team this spring.

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Senior Hayden Mallin is a captain for the 2021 St. Joseph baseball team.
St. Joseph baseball ready to cut loose after canceled season
Only one senior was lost from the 2019 St. Joseph baseball team that finished 8-8 overall and suffered a heartbreaking 7-6 loss to Union in the quarterfinals of the WPIAL Class A playoffs.

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Springdale’s Brandon John rounds the bases against Carrick on Tuesday, March 30, 2021.
Springdale baseball eager to ‘meet any challenge’
March 31, 2021
After winning just two games in 2019, the Springdale baseball team had high hopes to move up the ladder last year with an experienced group.

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Junior Emily Wilhelm is Springdale’s leadoff hitter.
Springdale softball looks to build on success of breakthrough season
There was a great deal of excitement surrounding the Springdale softball team after a rather youthful group posted 13 wins in 17 games and made the quarterfinals of the WPIAL Class A playoffs in 2019. 

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Hempfield’s Sean Knight, now a senior, hugs teammate Will Kuhns as they celebrate a score on Penn-Trafford on April 2, 2019, during boys volleyball match at Penn-Trafford High School. Kuhns is a freshman this spring on the Penn State men’s volleyball team.
Volleyball coaches association releases WPIAL Week 1 poll
March 29, 2021
Several WPIAL boys volleyball teams kicked off the 2021 spring season with matches Friday and Saturday.

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Gateway’s Andrew Holmes competed at the PIAA swimming championships March 20, 2021, at Cumberland Valley.
Gateway swimmer claims medals, finds motivation at state meet
March 28, 2021
In a high school swim season full of ups and down, with changes and uncertainty around every corner, Andrew Holmes still planned to meet all of his goals and expectations.

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Leechburg senior Cam Curfman is back after leading the Blue Devils in hitting in 2019.
Leechburg baseball team’s expectations remain high with new coach
March 27, 2021
Bill Stoops knows what it’s like to help lead a high school baseball team to the WPIAL playoffs and pick up postseason victories.

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Leechburg right fielder Skylyn Raypush is one of five seniors on the team this year.
Leechburg softball puts playoff streak on line
No softball team in the WPIAL has built a streak quite like Leechburg’s.

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Plum’s Logan Minick dives with fellow competitors in the 200-yard freestyle during the WPIAL Class AA swimming championships March 6 at Upper St. Clair.
Plum swimmers perform well at PIAA meet
One moved up, and one moved down.

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Gateway senior Mason Servello rolls a ball during a practice at New Great Valley Lanes in North Versailles early in the 2020-21 season.
Gateway bowlers cap season at regional tournament
March 21, 2021
While covid protocols and safety precautions made the 2020-21 Western Pennsylvania Interscholastic Bowling League season like no other, an experienced Gateway boys varsity team worked through all of the obstacles to finish with successful results.

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Gateway junior Will Roper gets into position to field a ground ball during a practice March 16, 2021, at the Gateway Sports Complex.
Gateway baseball players looking to build on past success with holdovers from ’19
Luke Jackson played 14 games and collected 33 at-bats as a sophomore in 2019 as Gateway finished 13-7 and qualified for the WPIAL Class 5A playoffs.

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Upper St. Clair’s Josh Matheny won three gold medals at the PIAA Class AAA championships March 20, 2021, at Cumberland Valley.
Upper St. Clair’s Josh Matheny betters his national record in winning PIAA breaststroke title
March 20, 2021
As a sophomore, Josh Matheny wowed the crowd at Bucknell’s Kinney Natatorium and many others watching on television with a time of 52.52 seconds in the 100-yard breaststroke.

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Franklin Regional’s Jason Tosh dives in alongside Penn-Trafford’s Austin Prokopec to compete in the 200-yard freestyle relay March 7, 2021, in the WPIAL swimming championships at Upper St. Clair High School. They helped their relays to PIAA medals on Saturday.
Penn-Trafford, Franklin Regional, Hempfield relays earn PIAA medals
The Penn-Trafford boys 200-yard freestyle relay entered Saturday’s PIAA Class AAA swimming championships at Cumberland Valley High School tied for the 10th seed.

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Fox Chapel’s Sophie Shao (right) edged Sydney Gring from Muhlenberg (left) in the 100 fly at the PIAA Class AAA championships March 20, 2021, at Cumberland Valley.
Fox Chapel’s Sophie Shao defends PIAA title in 100 butterfly
After defending her WPIAL title in the 100-yard butterfly two weeks ago, Fox Chapel sophomore Sophie Shao went looking for a similar repeat performance Saturday at the PIAA Class AAA championships at Cumberland Valley.

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The North Allegheny girls swim team celebrates after winning the PIAA Class AAA title March 20, 2021, at Cumberland Valley.
North Allegheny girls capture 1st PIAA swimming championship since ’97
The last time a North Allegheny girls swimming and diving team won a PIAA state championship, the TV show “Friends” was all the rage on NBC and the Green Bay Packers reigned as Super Bowl Champions.

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Riverviews’ Jonathan Meising bats against Penn Hills on Wednesday, March 17, 2021 at Wild Things Park.
Young, talented Riverview baseball team ready to compete in Class A
Bill Gras has high hopes this spring for his Riverview baseball team, a group he said which is high on both youthfulness and talent.

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Plum senior Matt Frazzetta, foreground, and fellow senior Christian Brown work on a baserunning drill during a practice March 16, 2021, at the All-American Fieldhouse in Monroeville.
Plum baseball looks to find success in move to Class 5A
Two years ago, the Plum baseball team missed the WPIAL playoffs for the first time since 2005.

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Neshannock senior Conner McBeth claimed gold in the 100-yard freestyle and silver in the 50 free at the PIAA Class AA swim championships Friday at Cumberland Valley High School.
Neshannock’s McBeth, Belle Vernon’s Shahan spark WPIAL gold rush at state swim meet
March 19, 2021
Neshannock’s Conner McBeth and Belle Vernon’s Ian Shahan picked up where they left off from WPIALs in the 50-yard freestyle as the seniors did battle for state gold at the PIAA Class AA boys swim championships Friday at Cumberland Valley High School.

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Neshannock’s Conner McBeth and Belle Vernon’s Ian Shahan came home with gold medals from the PIAA Class AA swimming championships Friday, March 19, 2021.
Belle Vernon’s Ian Shahan shatters state record in final high school meet
In his final high school meet, Ian Shahan put his stamp on the PIAA state record book.

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Freeport’s Alexis Schrecongost competes in the 100-yard breaststroke at the WPIAL swimming championships at Upper St. Clair on March 6.
State medal remains elusive for Freeport swimmer
Alexis Schrecongost wanted more.

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Apollo-Ridge senior Amber Earnest plays second base during practice March 15, 2021, at Apollo-Ridge.
Apollo-Ridge seniors relish chance to continue postseason streak
John Kinnamon is cautiously optimistic his Apollo-Ridge softball team can add to recent successes which include three straight WPIAL playoff appearances.

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Mapletown sophomore Ella Menear won the 100-yard backstroke title at the PIAA Class AA championships March 19, 2021, at Cumberland Valley High School. With Ella are her parents and coaches, Rick and Christy.
Mapletown’s Menear claims gold medal at PIAA swimming championships
It took Ella Menear a little longer than she had hoped to make her PIAA Class AA swimming debut.

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Riverside’s Joseph Roth, Graham Kralic, Sam Kline and Alexander Roth celebrate their victory in the WPIAL Class AA boys 200-yard freestyle relay on Saturday, March 6, 2021, at Upper St. Clair High School.
Ellwood City’s Roth brothers among WPIAL swimmers set to challenge for state gold
March 18, 2021
A long and winding road finally leads to Cumberland Valley High School for the start of the PIAA swimming championships Friday morning.

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Fox Chapel’s Sophie Shao competes in the 200-yard individual medley at the WPIAL Swimming Championships at Upper St. Clair on March 7.
Fox Chapel’s Shao ready to defend 100 fly title at state meet
March 17, 2021
One title defense down, one to go.

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Southmoreland’s Henry Miller wins the boys 100-yard breaststroke at the WPIAL swimming championships at Upper St. Clair on March 6.
Southmoreland’s Miller eager for crack at state swimming gold
Henry Miller and his father were about 10 minutes away from Bucknell University’s Kinney Natatorium last year when they got the call that the PIAA, out of growing concern with what would become the covid pandemic, canceled the two-day Class AA swimming and diving championships.

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Gateway’s Andrew Holmes leads in the boys 200-yard freestyle at the WPIAL Class AAA swimming championships March 7, 2021, at Upper St. Clair High School.
After claiming WPIAL gold, Gateway’s Holmes turns attention to PIAA meet
March 15, 2021
Andrew Holmes had WPIAL gold on his mind March 7 at the Class AAA championships at Upper St. Clair High School.

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Gateway’s Ryan Greggerson defends on Franklin Regional’s Cam Rowell Friday, Feb. 12, 2021, at Gateway High School.
With young, talented roster set to return, Gateway boys turn focus to future
All Will Kromka could do was watch.

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Plum’s Logan Minick placed fifth in the 500-yard freestyle at the WPIAL Class AAA championships.
Plum swimmers earn 1st trip to PIAA championship meet
After Plum seniors Logan Minick and Sam Schohn secured top-eight medals in the 500-yard freestyle and 100 breaststroke, respectively, at the WPIAL Class AA championships March 6 at Upper St. Clair, the waiting game began.

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Mars’ Aly Cooper battles Plum’s Jamie Seneca for possession during the WPIAL Class 3A championship game on Saturday, Nov. 7, 2020, at North Allegheny.
Plum senior soccer players to continue careers at next level
Plum girls soccer coach Jamie Stewart knew that at the end of the 2020 season he would be losing another strong senior class that had accomplished a great deal on and off the field.

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Franklin Regional’s Anup Nadesan is a three-year letterman.
H.S. boys tennis preview: Teams ‘amped up’ to start season
March 14, 2021
Last spring was one of loss for high school teams across the state as the covid pandemic caused the PIAA to suspend and ultimately cancel the spring sports season.

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Fox Chapel’s David Manelis and North Allegheny’s Christina Shi won PIAA Class AAA diving championships Saturday, March 13, 2021.
Fox Chapel’s Manelis, North Allegheny’s Shi clean up at PIAA Class AAA diving meet
March 13, 2021
The fourth time was the charm for Fox Chapel senior David Manelis.

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Fox Chapel’s David Manelis competes in the WPIAL Class AAA Diving Championship at North Allegheny on Feb. 27.
WPIAL diving champs ready to take on state’s best
March 12, 2021
The “fab four” of WPIAL diving champions will attempt to claim more gold Saturday at the PIAA Class AAA and Class AA competitions at Cumberland Valley High School.

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The Hempfield rifle team poses with the WPIAL championship trophy last month.
Hempfield takes 3rd in state rifle championships
March 10, 2021
WPIAL team rifle champion Hempfield placed third overall at Wednesday’s Pennsylvania State Scholastic Smallbore Rifle Championships.

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Beaver shuts down Knoch, earns spot in Class 4A girls title game
March 9, 2021
The Beaver girls basketball team is back in familiar territory.

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Southmoreland’s Henry Miller won the Class AA boys 100-yard breaststroke at the WPIAL swim championships on Saturday, March 6, 2021, at Upper St. Clair High School.
Western Pa. individual swimmers, relays discover fates for PIAA championships
Swimmers from Alle-Kiski Valley and Westmoreland County schools brought home eight WPIAL Class AAA and Class AA titles from this past weekend’s swimming championships at Upper St. Clair High School.

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Fox Chapel’s Sophie Shao competes in the 200 IM at the WPIAL swimming championships March 7, 2021, at Upper St. Clair High School.
Fox Chapel’s Sophie Shao defends WPIAL title in 100 butterfly
March 7, 2021
A change of location didn’t deter Sophie Shao’s goal of defending her WPIAL Class AAA girls 100-yard butterfly championship.

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Gateway’s Ryan Greggerson defends on Franklin Regional’s Cam Rowell Friday, Feb. 12, 2021 at Gateway High School.
Gateway boys build confidence after WPIAL playoff victory
Gateway boys basketball coach Alvis Rogers appreciated the spirited atmosphere that an increased number of fans, including student sections, brought to the Gators’ WPIAL Class 5A first-round game against Albert Gallatin last Wednesday at the Furrie Sports Complex.

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Franklin Regional’s Sophia Reitz and Sophia Yaniga fight for a rebound with Gateway’s Dynasty Shegog Friday, Feb. 12, 2021 at Gateway High School.
Up-and-down season provides ‘learning experiences’ for Gateway girls
The Gateway girls basketball team hoped for good things from their WPIAL Class 5A preliminary-round game March 1 at Mars.

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Hempfield’s Liam Randolph competes in the boys 200-yard individual medley Sunday, March 7, 2021, in the WPIAL Class AAA swimming championships at Upper St. Clair High School.
Fox Chapel freshman makes mark at WPIAL championships
Whether it was a sprint or a more measured pace, Zachary Zornan-Ferguson was able to shine in his WPIAL swimming championship debut Sunday at Upper St. Clair High School.

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Belle Vernon’s Ian Shahan (center) dives to compete in the boys 50 yard freestyle Saturday, March 6, 2021 during the WPIAL swimming championships at Upper St. Clair High School.
Belle Vernon’s Shahan claims 2 more WPIAL individual championships
March 6, 2021
Ian Shahan found himself in seventh heaven at Saturday’s WPIAL Class AA swimming championships at Upper St. Clair High School.

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Freeport’s Alexis Schrecongost competes in the 100 breaststroke at the WPIAL swimming championships March 6, 2021.
Freeport’s Schrecongost sets school record at WPIAL championships
Alexis Schrecongost finished third in the WPIAL Class AA 100-yard breaststroke as a freshman and placed fourth last season.

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Plum’s Ta’Rasi Means pressures West Allegheny’s Nodin Tracy during their WPIAL Class 5A playoff game on Saturday, Feb. 27, 2021, at Plum High School.
Plum basketball teams enjoy playoff success before bowing out
For the Plum girls basketball team, joy at winning the program’s first playoff game since 2002 on March 1 turned to disappointment the next day as covid issues forced the Mustangs to bow out of the WPIAL Class 5A tournament ahead of a first-round matchup against No. 2 Chartiers Valley.

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Plum sophomore Sarah Kvortek won the Intermediate I (Gold) division bars competition at the WPIAL individual gymnastics championships Feb. 27, 2021, at Moon Area High School.
Experience helps Plum’s Kvortek capture WPIAL gymnastics gold medal in bars event
When Sarah Kvortek placed fifth on bars at last year’s WPIAL individual gymnastics championships at Moon High School, her sights quickly were set on soon rising to the top of the medals podium.

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Upper St. Clair’s Josh Matheny competes in the boys 200 individual medley during the 2020 WPIAL Class AAA Swimming and Diving Championship at Trees Pool on Thursday, Feb. 27, 2020.
WPIAL’s top swimmers gear up for this weekend’s championship meets
March 5, 2021
Josh Matheny never thought he would be in position to win a WPIAL swimming championship in his home pool.

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Fox Chapel’s Marissa Ritter (left) celebrates with Domenica Delaney after defeating Penn Hills, 39-34, in their WPIAL Class 5A playoff game on Thursday, March 4, 2021, at Fox Chapel High School.
Fox Chapel holds off Penn Hills in WPIAL Class 5A clash
Fox Chapel walked the line in the fourth quarter of Thursday’s WPIAL Class 5A first-round girls basketball game against Penn Hills.

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Shady Side Academy’s Peter Kramer battles Apollo-Ridge’s Keighton Reese for a loose ball during their WPIAL 
Class 3A playoff game at Fox Chapel.
Shady Side Academy betters Apollo-Ridge for 3rd time this season
March 4, 2021
After a pair of regular-season losses to Section 3-3A rival Shady Side Academy, the Apollo-Ridge boys basketball team hoped the third meeting would be the charm Thursday in a WPIAL first-round game at Fox Chapel.

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Fox Chapel’s Nate Ross works out on Thursday, March 4, 2021, at Fox Chapel High School.
Fox Chapel swimmers lead A-K Valley contingent into WPIAL championship meet
Fox Chapel’s Talia Bugel made the most of her freshman swimming season.

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Fox Chapel head coach Zach Skrinjar talks with Eli Yofan during a game against Chartiers Valley on Jan. 9, 2021, at Fox Chapel Area High School.
A-K Valley basketball playoff capsules: Games for Friday, March 5, 2021
Here’s a look at Friday’s WPIAL basketball playoff games involving A-K Valley teams:

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Knoch’s Ryan Lang (right) drives to the basket past Mars’ Anthony Vargo during their game on Dec. 11, 2020, in Adams.
A-K Valley basketball playoff capsules: Games for Thursday, March 4, 2021
March 3, 2021
Here’s a look at Thursday’s WPIAL basketball playoff games involving A-K Valley teams:

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Mt. Pleasant’s Tiffany Zelmore shoots over Freeport’s Natalie Volek during their WPIAL Class 4A playoff game on Tuesday, March 2, 2021, at Freeport.
Sophomore scorer sparks Mt. Pleasant girls in overtime win over Freeport
March 2, 2021
Survive and advance.

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Plum’s Kennedie Montue scored a game-high 19 points Monday night against Lincoln Park.
Plum girls pull away from Lincoln Park, earn program’s 2nd playoff win
March 1, 2021
For just the second time in program history, the Plum girls basketball team owns a WPIAL playoff victory.

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Freeport’s Garrett King works out Thursday, July 15, 2020.
After battling cancer, Freeport’s Garrett King eager to get back on field
February 28, 2021
In one week, the Freeport boys lacrosse team begins practice, and junior Garrett King with be there ready to work.

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Gateway’s Andrew Holmes competes in the 200 freestyle during the 2019 WPIAL Swimming/Diving Championship at Pitt’s Trees Pool.
Gateway swimmers take aim at WPIAL success
Gateway boys and girls swimmers are making final preparations for Sunday’s WPIAL Class AAA championships at Upper St. Clair.

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Gateway head coach Don Holl monitors workouts in July at Gateway High School.
Gateway’s Holl looks forward to coaching in East-West all-star game
For the first time in the nearly two decades of the Pennsylvania State Football Coaches Association’s East-West Classic, there will be two games celebrating many of the state’s top players.

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WPIAL’s Finest, an unattached 3,200-meter relay team consisting of, from left, Riverside senior Colby Belczyk, Greensburg Salem senior Quintin Gatons, Knoch senior Mike Formica and Deer Lakes junior Carson McCoy, set the top high school indoor time in the country, a 7:50.60, at the Youngstown State Open/High School Meet #3 on Feb. 13, 2021, at YSU’s WATTS Indoor Track Facility.
WPIAL’s Finest distance relay takes 2nd at national indoor track championships
WPIAL’s Finest almost was the finest in the nation.

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Plum senior Charlotte Jones returns to the WPIAL Class AAA championships in the 100-yard backstroke. She is seeded 14th.
Plum swimmers seeking success at WPIAL championship meet
February 27, 2021
The Plum boys and girls swim teams are making final preparations for this weekend’s WPIAL Class AAA and AA championships at Upper St. Clair High School.

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The replica statute that will be given to the winner of the inaugural Willie Thrower Memorial Award sits in front of the real thing at Valley High School.
Inaugural Willie Thrower Award to honor football pioneer, recognize top WPIAL QB
February 26, 2021
Willie Thrower established himself as a top-level quarterback at New Kensington High School in the 1940s before making his mark in college at Michigan State and making history as the first Black quarterback in the NFL.

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Thomas Jefferson’s Nick Johnson won the WPIBL boys singles title Wednesday, Feb. 24, 2021.
Thomas Jefferson junior wins WPIBL boys singles title by 4 pins
February 24, 2021
Thomas Jefferson’s Nick Johnson edged Freeport’s Mark Livingston by four pins to capture the Western Pennsylvania Interscholastic Bowling League boys singles championship Wednesday at AMF Mt. Lebanon Lanes.

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Knoch’s Nina Shaw drives into Highlands’ Kalleigh Nerone during their game on Jan. 11, 2021, at Knoch High School.
Sisters team up — or in one case, square off — on A-K Valley hardwood
When Kalleigh Nerone took the court for her second varsity game Jan. 11, the freshman guard at Highlands found herself going up against a unique opponent.

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Reese Hasley and her No. 14 Deer Lakes teammates face No. 3 Southmoreland in the first round of the WPIAL playoffs.
Alle-Kiski Valley girls basketball notebook: Deer Lakes ready for Southmoreland
Deer Lakes last played a game Feb. 9 at North Hills.

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North Allegheny’s Molly Smyers is the top seed in the girls Class AAA 500-yard freestyle and the No. 2 seed in the 200 individual medley for the WPIAL swimming championships March 7 at Upper St. Clair High School.
WPIAL releases entry lists for swimming championships
The WPIAL swimming psych sheets for the Class AA and Class AAA championship meets March 6-7 at Upper St. Clair High School have been released on WPIAL.org.

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Apollo-Ridge girls race past nonsection rival St. Joseph
February 22, 2021
Despite not residing in the same section, the St. Joseph and Apollo-Ridge girls basketball teams have played every year since the 2009-10 season.

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Upper St. Clair’s Taylor Connors competes in the girls 200-yard freestyle at the WPIAL Class AAA swimming championships Feb. 27, 2020, at Pitt’s Trees Pool.
WPIAL posts final swimming and diving performance lists
The WPIAL released its final swimming and diving performance lists Sunday evening, and individual swimmers and relays continued to produce new WPIAL-best performances during the final week of the regular season.

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Freeport’s Marcus Trask works in front of the North Catholic goal during a game on Tuesday, Feb. 9, 2021, at UPMC Lemieux Sports Complex in Cranberry.
Busy month ahead for undefeated Freeport hockey team
February 21, 2021
In a normal high school hockey season in Western Pennsylvania, the regular season would be all but finished by now and teams would be looking to start a possible run in the playoffs.

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Gateway sophomore Morgan Holmes swims the freestyle Feb. 17 at a practice at Gateway High School.
Gateway’s Morgan Holmes aims for faster times in 2nd trip to WPIAL meet
Morgan Holmes’ introduction to swimming at WPIALs as a freshman last year came in the 200- and 50-yard freestyle events and as a member of the Gateway 200 and 400 free relays.

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Gateway’s Jaydon Carr drives past Franklin Regional’s Aidan Carlisle Friday, Feb. 12, 2021 at Gateway High School.
Gateway basketball teams prepare for WPIAL postseason
The Gateway boys and girls basketball teams have reached the end of the regular season.

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Riverviews’ Maddie Deem during practice Thursday, Dec. 3, 2020 at Riverview High School.
Riverview basketball teams look forward to open playoffs
February 20, 2021
When the WPIAL announced in December that it would stage open playoff tournaments for basketball, fearing unbalanced section standings would create issues in determining playoff qualifiers, the Riverview girls basketball team knew it would be one of the participants.

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Plum’s Logan Parker tossed a school indoor record of 57 feet, 6 ½ inches in the shot put at Youngstown State on Feb. 13, 2021.
Plum’s Logan Parker improves on indoor shot put record
At the third Youngstown State open high school meet of the indoor season Feb. 13, Plum senior Logan Parker threw further than anyone else in the shot put.

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Plum’s Gina Proviano possesses the ball in a WPIAL Class 3A quarterfinal against Thomas Jefferson on Oct. 29, 2020, at Plum High School.
Plum’s Proviano to play soccer at Division I Long Island University
February 19, 2021
Plum senior Gina Proviano scored 70 goals and had 33 assists over four years as one of the WPIAL’s top girls soccer players.

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Valley, Leechburg opt out of WPIAL girls basketball playoffs
February 18, 2021
Earlier this week, Valley girls basketball coach Ernie Sipolino said he was optimistic his team, despite only having five players able to take the court, would enter the open WPIAL Class 4A playoffs.

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Greensburg Salem girls repeat as WPIBL champions
For the second year in a row, the Greensburg Salem girls bowling team is the WPIBL champion.

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Burrell girls basketball team gets revenge with win over Highlands
February 17, 2021
Highlands won the first meeting Jan. 30.

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Plum’s Jamie Seneca defends Fox Chapel’s Sarah Slembler on Jan. 28.
A-K Valley girls basketball notebook: Plum, Fox Chapel part of exciting section race
With just a week left in the truncated WPIAL girls basketball regular season, Section 2-5A is in position to have every team complete its section slate.

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Freeport’s Ava Soilis scores past Highlands’ Maria Fabregas on Thursday, Jan. 14, 2021, at Highlands High School.
All A-K Valley girls basketball teams intend to compete in playoffs
The WPIAL Board of Directors in December, fearing covid cancellations and other interruptions to team schedules would create unbalanced section standings, voted to have the basketball playoffs decided with open-tournament formats.

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WPIAL’s Finest, an unattached 3,200-meter relay team consisting of, from left, Riverside senior Colby Belczyk, Greensburg Salem senior Quintin Gatons, Knoch senior Mike Formica and Deer Lakes junior Carson McCoy, set the top high school indoor time in the country, a 7:50.60, at the Youngstown State Open/High School Meet #3 on Feb. 13, 2021, at YSU’s WATTS Indoor Track Facility.
WPIAL distance running all-star team clocks nation’s best time
February 15, 2021
When Knoch senior Mike Formica and Deer Lakes junior Carson McCoy, two of the top distance runners in the WPIAL, got to talking at the Spire Ohio Championship Preview Meet in Geneva, Ohio, on Jan. 30, they discussed plans to break away from the usual individual races they had run for several weeks this winter and see what an all-star relay could accomplish.

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Penn-Trafford’s Daniel Newsom competes during a 2020-21 rifle match.
WPIAL postpones team rifle championships
The WPIAL, citing weather concerns, has postponed the team rifle championships from Tuesday to Wednesday.

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Fox Chapel’s Sophie Shao competes in the girls 100-yard butterfly during the WPIAL Class AAA swimming championships on Feb. 27, 2020, at Pitt’s Trees Pool.
Several new top marks highlight latest WPIAL swimming and diving performance lists
The WPIAL released its latest swimming and diving performance lists Monday, and individual swimmers, relays and divers continue to produce new WPIAL-best performances.

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WPIBL concludes regular season, looks ahead to team and singles championships
A regular season far from normal has concluded for the Western Pennsylvania Interscholastic Bowling League, and top teams and individuals now are looking forward to the team and singles championships set for this week and next.

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Kiski Area’s Parker Sterlitz swims during practice Feb. 8, 2021, at Kiski Area High School.
Kiski Area swimmers focused on top performances as WPIALs looms
February 14, 2021
Last year as a freshman, Parker Sterlitz had a goal of joining classmate Levi Hansen on the medals podium for the Class AAA boys 500-yard freestyle at the WPIAL championships at Pitt’s Trees Pool.

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Gateway’s Andrew Holmes competes in the boys 500 freestyle during the 2020 WPIAL Class AAA Swimming and Diving Championship at Trees Pool on Friday, Feb. 28, 2020.
Gateway’s Andrew Holmes posts top WPIAL time in 200 IM
Gateway junior Andrew Holmes earned a WPIAL swimming championship automatic qualifying time in the 200-yard individual medley with a personal-best of 1 minute, 52.04 seconds against North Hills on Feb. 9.

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Plum’s Kennedie Montue poses with coach Steve Elsier after breaking the program’s all-time scoring record Friday, Feb. 12, 2021.
Plum’s Montue grateful to reach top of program’s career scoring list
February 13, 2021
Kennedie Montue had scored 30 or more points three times this season and added a fourth game with 29, so 28 points — what was left for the Plum senior forward to secure the program’s all-time career scoring record — was attainable Friday as the Mustangs battled Section 2-5A rival Fox Chapel.

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Plum freshmen Sam Snyder (left) and Antonino Walker (right) look toward coach Mike Supak during a practice on Tuesday, Jan. 26, 2021.
Plum wrestlers ready for individual tournaments
The Plum wrestling team turns its focus this week from team competition to individual accomplishments with subsection and section tournaments taking center stage throughout the WPIAL.

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Beth Shoop of Riverview High School warms up Jan. 16 with teammates at Killer Whales swim club practice at Fox Chapel High School.
Riverview’s Shoop chasing WPIAL swimming success in 500 freestyle
Riverview senior Beth Shoop swam the 500-yard freestyle in a time of 5 minutes, 31.36 seconds during Fox Chapel’s Jan. 14 meet with Woodland Hills.

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Knoch head coach Chris Andreassi watches from the bench during a game against Highlands on Jan. 11, 2021, at Knoch High School.
Alle-Kiski Valley girls basketball notebook: Fox Chapel-Plum rematch looms
February 10, 2021
The Fox Chapel girls basketball team hopes to get back on the winning track, while Plum hopes to keep a winning streak alive.

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Apollo-Ridge girls basketball coach Ray Bartha talks to his team in a timeout Monday.
Apollo-Ridge girls display grit in rebound section win
With a mix of experienced seniors and younger players still testing their abilities at the high school level, the Apollo-Ridge girls basketball team remains a work in progress, veteran coach Ray Bartha said.

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Apollo-Ridge senior Emily Bonelli warms up for the second half of a Section 4-2A game with Greensburg Central Catholic on Feb. 8, 2021, at Apollo-Ridge High School. The Vikings edged the Centurions, 46-42.
Apollo-Ridge girls edge Greensburg Central Catholic for key section victory
February 8, 2021
In crunch time, the Apollo-Ridge girls basketball team stood tall.

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WPIAL releases latest swimming and diving performance lists
The WPIAL released its latest swimming and diving performance lists Monday, and there are changes at the top in four individual events and a relay from meets this past week.

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Burrell junior Lydia Flanagan eyes up an approach during a practice Feb. 2, 2021, at Wildlife Lanes in Lower Burrell.
Burrell bowlers turn attention to postseason after strong regular season
February 7, 2021
The top boys and girls bowlers in the Western Pennsylvania Interscholastic Bowling League compete at Wildlife Lanes in Lower Burrell.

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Three Gateway senior football players signed letters of intent to play at Division I and II schools. Seated, from left, are Jayson Jenkins (Robert Morris), Jacques Taylor (Notre Dame College, Ohio) and Diego Bledsoe (Bluefield State, W.Va.). In back is Gateway head coach Don Holl.
Gateway seniors sign on for future in college football
It has become tradition with the Gateway football team that the first Wednesday in February is a day to celebrate the achievements of its senior players and also look ahead to what they hope are bright futures in college.

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Gateway’s Ryan Greggerson practices Feb. 4, 2021, at Gateway.
Gateway boys continue to build identity in advance of WPIAL playoffs
When the Gateway boys basketball team’s Section 3-5A game with Woodland Hills was postponed from Feb. 2, Gators coaches and school officials looked for another opportunity to play.

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Fox Chapel girls top Hampton, complete section series sweep
February 5, 2021
The Fox Chapel girls basketball team came into Friday’s Section 2-5A matchup with Hampton winners of three straight.

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Fox Chapel’s Elizabeth Schwrtzman pulls down a rebound over Plum’s Dannika Susko on Jan. 28, 2021, at Plum High School.
All-Kiski Valley girls basketball notebook: Fox Chapel to face Hampton again
February 3, 2021
Fox Chapel is the only team in Section 2-5A to topple Hampton (8-2, 4-1) this season.

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Belle Vernon’s Ian Shahan competes in the Class AA boys 100-yard freestyle at last year’s WPIAL swimming championships Feb. 28, 2020, at Pitt’s Trees Pool.
Dates for WPIAL swimming championships finalized
The WPIAL swimming steering committee met Wednesday afternoon and made some highly anticipated decisions regarding the Class AA and Class AAA championship meets.

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Freeport’s Grace Soilis dribbles around Greensburg Salem defender Kylie Smith last season.
With senior Soilis leading the way, ‘things are starting to click’ for Freeport girls
As the lone senior on the Freeport girls basketball team, Grace Soilis had concerns about the status of her final high school season and what might happen in the face of covid postponements and cancellations.

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Hallie Findlan, a senior at Thomas Jefferson, is the defending WPIAL Class AA champion in the girls 100-yard freestyle.
In-pool profile: Thomas Jefferson’s Findlan ready to defend WPIAL 100 free title
Hallie Findlan was a woman of steel against Steel Valley on Jan. 25 as she swam the top WPIAL Class AA girls 100-yard freestyle time this season.

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Butler’s David Bocci stands on the No. 2 podium step, fourth from the left, signifying his runner-up finish in the Class AAA boys 100-yard butterfly at the WPIAL swim championships Feb. 27, 2020, at Pitt’s Trees Pool.
In-pool profile: Butler’s Bocci has sights set on WPIAL swimming gold
February 2, 2021
David Bocci played second fiddle in the 100-yard butterfly and 500 freestyle at last year’s WPIAL Class AAA championships at Pitt’s Trees Pool.

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Kiski Area’s Mason Pierce works out on Thursday, Jan. 28, 2021, at Center Ice Arena in Delmont.
Kiski Area hockey program moving in right direction, hungry for more
February 1, 2021
Optimism surrounded the Kiski Area hockey team as it entered the 2020-21 season.

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Plum sophomore Nicholas Daniels works on his game during a practice Jan. 6, 2021, at Nesbit’s Lanes in Plum.
Western Regional bowling tournaments split into 2 weekends
In response to covid-19 guidelines and protocols for gathering numbers, the Western Regional high school bowling championships this year will be split up over two weekends, the Western Pennsylvania Interscholastic Bowling League announced Monday.

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Quaker Valley’s Isabel Huang owns the top time in the WPIAL Class AA girls 200-yard individual medley and 100 backstroke through meets ending Jan. 30, 2020.
WPIAL posts latest swimming and diving performance lists
The WPIAL on Monday morning released its latest swimming and diving performance lists.

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Hempfield swimmers get pumped up before the start of the 2020 WPIAL Class AAA swimming and diving championships at Pitt’s Trees Pool on Friday, Feb. 28, 2020.
Meeting could steer WPIAL swimmers in right direction
January 31, 2021
The WPIAL swimming steering committee is scheduled to meet Wednesday, and the group could finalize a plan for the championships and provide answers amid the uncertainty with covid-19 gathering restrictions.

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Charters Valley’s Perri Page (11) wins a jump ball against Gateway’s Dynasty Shegog (21) during their game on Jan. 18, 2021.
Gateway girls gaining experience against top competition
The Gateway girls basketball team started its season with losses in its first six games, including its first four in Section 2-5A play.

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Fox Chapel’s Sophie Shao in the girls 100 breaststroke during the 2020 AAA WPIAL Swimming and Diving Championship at Trees Pool on Friday, Feb. 28, 2020.
Fox Chapel’s Sophie Shao off to fast start in quest to defend WPIAL, PIAA championships
January 30, 2021
Two years ago, then-eighth grader Sophie Shao witnessed Fox Chapel freshman Zoe Skirbol make history with a WPIAL swimming championship in the 100-yard breaststroke and a state title in the 200 individual medley.

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Fox Chapel’s Allison Hager steals the ball from Plum’s Kai Johnson during a Section 2-5A girls basketball game Thursday, Jan. 28, 2021, at Plum High School.
Fox Chapel rallies past Plum, grinds out Section 2-5A victory
January 28, 2021
The Plum girls basketball team couldn’t have asked for a better start to its Section 2-5A home matchup against Fox Chapel at Plum High School.

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Plum’s Kennedie Montue pulls down a rebound against Hampton on Jan. 21, 2021, at Hampton High School.
Winning, not points or records, motivates Plum girls basketball standout Montue
January 27, 2021
Kennedie Montue averaged 22.1 points a game last year and helped the Plum girls basketball team to a 14-7 record and to within a game of the program’s first section championship.

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Kiski Area’s Samantha Worthing had a steal that led to the winning basket Saturday against Greensburg Salem.
AK Valley girls basketball notebook: Every second counts for Kiski Area
In Saturday’s 33-31 buzzer-beating win over Greensburg Salem, Kiski Area’s players saw first-hand how much every second counts in close games.

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No. 2 Knoch girls roll past Burrell in Class 4A game
January 25, 2021
The Knoch girls basketball team hadn’t played in a week before hosting Section 1-4A rival Burrell on Monday.

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Freeport senior Mark Livingston leads the Western Pennsylvania Interscholastic Bowling League in scoring average (233) through 18 games bowled in the 2020-21 season.
Senior Mark Livingston helps Freeport bowlers strike first, strike hard
Last season, Mark Livingston punched his ticket to the state bowling championships with an 11th-place finish in the qualifying round at the Western Regional singles event.

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St. Joseph junior Sam Wygonik practices with his Fox Chapel Killer Whales teammates Jan. 16, 2021, at Fox Chapel High School.
WPIAL releases latest swimming and diving performance lists
Both battle-tested veterans and newcomers ready to burst onto the scene highlight the latest WPIAL Class AAA and AA swimming and diving performance lists released Monday.

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Gateway’s Andrew Holmes competes in the boys 500 freestyle during the 2020 WPIAL Class AAA Swimming and Diving Championship at Trees Pool on Friday, Feb. 28, 2020.
Gateway’s Holmes motivated by medal-winning performance
January 24, 2021
Andrew Holmes was among the top swimmers in the 200- and 500-yard freestyle events at last year’s WPIAL Class 3A championship meet at Pitt’s Trees Pool.

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Plum junior Jason Rowe sizes up a target during a rifle practice Jan. 22, 2021, at Plum High School.
High school rifle season looks different this year
January 23, 2021
Over the past three winters, Madison Herrick enjoyed traveling to different schools for rifle matches with her Plum teammates.

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Plum’s Kennedie Montue drives to the basket past Hampton’s Olivia Bianco during their game on Thursday, Jan. 21, 2021, at Hampton High School. Hampton won, 68-41.
Plum girls basketball back in rhythm early-season shutdown
Plum girls basketball coach Steve Elsier said his team has played well as it gets into the meat of its truncated season but knows there are a lot of challenging matchups ahead as the Mustangs hope to claim their first section championship and set themselves up for a WPIAL playoff run.

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Riverview’s Gideon Deasy works out with teammates during practice on Wednesday, Jan. 20, 2021, at Riverview High School in Oakmont.
Gideon Deasy makes quick impact in return to Riverview lineup
Gideon Deasy experienced pain in his left ankle through much of his fall cross country season.

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Burrell’s Olivia Watts goes through drills during practice Nov 23, 2020, at Burrell High School.
A-K Valley girls basketball notes: Burrell’s Watts on road to recovery from ACL tear
January 20, 2021
Olivia Watts is back on the road to recovery after a second ACL tear in her left knee put her on the sidelines for her entire junior season.

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Knoch’s Nina Shaw drives into Highlands’ Kalleigh Nerone during their game on Monday, Jan. 11, 2021, at Knoch High School.
Knoch girls eager to continue strong section start
It’s been nearly 50 years since a Knoch girls basketball team has won a section championship.

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Knoch girls start fast, roll past rival Freeport
January 18, 2021
The Knoch girls basketball team scored the first eight points in Monday’s Section 1-4A contest with rival Freeport at Freeport Middle School.

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Gateway boys basketball head coach Alvis Rogers calls a timeout against Shaler during a WPIAL Class 5A quarterfinal game Feb. 17, 2020, at North Hills.
Gateway’s Rogers eager to return to basketball court after recovery from heart bypass surgery
January 17, 2021
Being away from the basketball court for any length of time normally is a foreign concept for Alvis Rogers.

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Gateway’s David Clark, the team’s only senior, won nine matches last season.
Gateway wrestlers making up for lost time
Gateway wrestlers and their coaches were looking forward to the start of official practices Nov. 20 when the school district closed its buildings and moved to online learning for a couple of weeks to handle covid concerns and issues.

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This Dec. 25, 2018, photo shows bowling balls at the Back Bowl bowling alley in Eagle, Colo. (AP Photo/Jenny Kane)
Gateway boys bowlers leaning on experience
Experience is the calling card for the Gateway boys bowling team.

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Sam Wygonik of St. Joseph practices with teammates during Killer Whales swim club practice Saturday, Jan. 16, 2021, at Fox Chapel High School.
St. Joseph swimmer Wygonik completes long road back from elbow surgery
January 16, 2021
Sam Wygonik hoped for the best when he stepped up to the block for the boys 200-yard freestyle Thursday during a dual meet between Fox Chapel and Woodland Hills at Fox Chapel High School.

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Riverivew sophomore Logan Bechtold stretches before a wrestling practice Jan. 12, 2021, at Riverview High School.
Despite shorthanded roster, Riverview wrestlers getting up to speed
Riverview has fewer wrestlers on its roster than normal, but coach Joe Murphy said excitement is high for those ready to test their mettle on the mat.

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Plum gymnast Sarah Kvortek finishes her vault Jan. 23, 2020, at Jewart’s Gymnastics.
Plum’s Kvortek sets sights on success at WPIAL gymnastics meet
Sarah Kvortek made her WPIAL gymnastics championship debut as a freshman last year, and the Plum athlete showed she had arrived with a fifth-place finish on bars in the Gold Intermediate I Division.

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Freeport’s Melaina DeZort scores past Highlands’ Jocelyn Bielak (24) and Kalleigh Nerone on Thursday, Jan. 14, 2021, at Highlands High School.
Freeport girls basketball defeats section foe Highlands
January 14, 2021
It wasn’t the cleanest of games in the eyes of Freeport girls basketball coach Fred Soilis, but his team did what it needed to do Thursday evening to claim victory in its season opener.

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Plum’s Kennedie Montue helped the Mustangs to a season-opening victory.
A-K Valley girls basketball notebook: Plum flashes potential with win over Mars
January 13, 2021
A mix of experience and youthful talent has the Plum girls basketball team hoping to finish at the top of Section 2-5A and break a long playoff win drought.

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Deer Lakes’ Reese Hasley takes a shot during the Lancers’ practice on Wednesday, Jan. 13, 2021, at Deer Lakes High School.
Deer Lakes’ Hasley strives to lead improving team
In a high school basketball season like no other, leaders are needed to help guide teams through the uncertainties that remain as schedules continue to evolve.

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Knoch’s Nina Shaw drives into Highlands’ Kalleigh Nerone during their game on Monday, Jan. 11, 2021, at Knoch High School.
Finally back in action, Knoch girls basketball takes down Highlands
January 11, 2021
Knoch sophomore Hattie McGraw sank her team’s first points of the season Monday with a 3-pointer just 22 seconds into a Section 1-4A home matchup against Highlands.

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Freeport’s Alexis Schrecongost competes in the 100-yard breaststroke during the 2020 WPIAL Class AA swimming and diving championship at Trees Pool on Friday, Feb. 28, 2020.
Freeport girls swim team grateful to be back in pool
January 10, 2021
Alexis Schrecongost was grateful to dive into the pool and compete Friday as she and her Freeport teammates kicked off their season at Kiski Area.

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Kiski Area’s Grant Smith works against Plum’s Andrew Claassen at 145 pounds during their match Wednesday, Jan. 8, 2020, at Kiski Area High School. Kiski won, 66-12.
Plum wrestlers look forward to competition in Section 1B
After more starts and stops to the season than he cares to remember, Plum wrestling coach Mike Supak said he’s anxious to see his team begin competition this week.

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Sophomore Nicholas Daniels works on his game during a practice Jan. 6, 2021, at Nesbit’s Lanes in Plum.
Plum bowlers happy to be back in action after layoff
The Plum varsity bowling teams didn’t have a lot of time between the return to practice Jan. 4 from the three-week state-government imposed shutdown of high school activities and Monday’s scheduled start of the season.

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Burrell’s Hope Clark is fouled by Kiski Area’s Karly Keller (left) during Friday’s game.
Kiski Area girls rally past Burrell to go 1-0
January 8, 2021
A 12-point third-quarter advantage helped the Kiski Area girls basketball team turn a slim halftime deficit into a season-opening 39-26 victory Friday at Burrell.

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Mars girls basketball coach Dana Petruska and Deer Lakes coach Dave Petruska high five during a practice leading up to the 2019 Cager Classic girls all-star game March 21, 2019, at Highlands High School.
Schedule change pits mother against son as Deer Lakes girls basketball meets Mars
Mother and son are set to go head-to-head again.

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Plum junior Vinny Citrano is motivated to make states after narrowly missing out on trips to Hershey the past two seasons.
Plum wrestler Vinny Citrano eager to take first steps on road to Hershey
January 6, 2021
For Vinny Citrano, the return to the Plum wrestling room this week was a welcome change.

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Fox Chapel senior Ellie Schwartzman takes a shot during practice on Tuesday, Jan. 5, 2020, at Fox Chapel Area High School.
From the piano to the paint, Ellie Schwartzman plays key role for Fox Chapel
Ellie Schwartzman is proficient at playing the piano, having studied and practiced the craft for more than a decade.

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Freeport’s Alexis Schrecongost competes in the girls 100-yard breaststroke at the WPIAL Class AA swimming championship Feb. 28, 2020, at Pitt’s Trees Pool.
WPIAL swimming committee lowers qualifying times for championship meets
January 5, 2021
The WPIAL swimming committee met Tuesday afternoon, and the group agreed to establish faster automatic qualifying standards for the WPIAL championship meets.

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Seneca Valley senior Edie Sawyer will swim in college for Division I Ohio University.
In the pool profile: Seneca Valley’s Edie Sawyer hoping for senior success before heading to Ohio University
January 3, 2021
Edie Sawyer made the most of her one December swim meet.

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Indiana’s Kyle Thome stands at the top of the podium after winning the Class AA boys 200-yard freestyle at the WPIAL swimming championships Feb. 27, 2020, at Pitt’s Trees Pool
In the pool profile: Indiana’s Thome hoping to add more WPIAL gold to an already full resume
Kyle Thome earned WPIAL-championship gold last year as the best in the Class AA 200-yard freestyle.

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South Park’s Justin Mettrick scores past Blackhawk goalie Joshua Paulovich during their game Dec. 10, 2020 at Brady’s Run Ice Arena. South Park won 7-4.
PIHL ready to get back to action
The PIHL, along with the WPIAL and other sports organizations, is returning to team activities Monday after a shutdown issued by Gov. Tom Wolf on Dec. 10 as part of overall efforts to slow the spread of covid-19.

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Chartiers Valley’s Perri Page drives past Trinity’s Alyssia Clutter (24) and Riley DeRubbo during the WPIAL Class 5A championship game Feb. 29, 2020, at Pitt’s Petersen Events Center.
Chartiers Valley’s Perri Page commits to Division I Columbia
January 1, 2021
Chartiers Valley’s Perri Page is in a New York City state of mind.

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Plum’s Reed Martin leaps to try to make a catch against McKeesport on Oct 30.
Top 10 stories in A-K Valley sports in 2020
December 30, 2020
The year 2020 was one nobody soon will forget.

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Jayson Jenkins, at right, talks with twin sister, Joelle, at a Gateway home game during the 2019 season.
Gateway’s Jayson Jenkins to kick for Robert Morris
A dream now is a reality for Gateway’s Jayson Jenkins.

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Freeport’s Caleb Hoffman (10) scored in the Yellowjackets’ most recent game.
Freeport hockey hopes to continue winning ways after shutdown
December 25, 2020
Excitement remains high for the Freeport hockey team despite having to work through a couple of stops and starts over the first two months of the 2020-21 PIHL regular season.

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Aiden Dunlap (22) and Nicholas Bruno (56) lead Hempfield with six goals apiece.
Unbeaten Hempfield, rest of PIHL eager for return
Hempfield is one of three hockey teams without a loss in PIHL Class AA in a season heavily impacted by covid issues.

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Fox Chapel’s Kent Baldauf shoots a 3-pointer over Hampton’s Robert Coll during their game on Friday, Dec. 11, 2020, at Fox Chapel.
High school basketball teams appreciate, take lessons from pre-shutdown games
December 17, 2020
Last Friday, 71 WPIAL and City League boys and girls basketball teams kicked off their 2020-21 seasons in the shadow of a looming shutdown that will extend through the first couple of days of the New Year.

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Plum seniors Evan Azzara, seated at left, and Max Matolcsy signed Division I letters of intent with Miami (Ohio) and Penn, respectively, on Dec. 16, 2020, at Plum High School.
Seniors who drove Plum football to new heights make college choices on signing day
December 16, 2020
Evan Azzara anchored the Plum offensive line with power for several years.

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Nikki Scherer runs the 400-meter dash at the Atlantic Coast Conference indoor track and field championships Feb. 28, 2020, in South Bend, Ind.
Burrell grad Scherer honored with education scholarship
December 15, 2020
Burrell graduate Nikki Scherer, a senior member of the Pitt women’s track and field team, is a recipient of $2,500 in tuition from the Go Teach Dr. Pepper Tuition Giveaway, a partnership of the Atlantic Coast Conference and the College Football Playoff Foundation, the conference announced Tuesday.

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Belle Vernon’s Ian Shahan competes in the boys 100 butterfly during the 2020 AA WPIAL Swimming and Diving Championship at Trees Pool.
WPIAL contenders wonder how sports shutdown will impact swimming season
December 14, 2020
Ian Shahan hopes for big things in his senior swimming season.

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Gateway’s Summer Raymer competes in the girls 500 freestyle during the 2020 WPIAL Class AAA Swimming and Diving Championship at Trees Pool on Feb. 28.
Gateway’s Summer Raymer has sights set on school swimming records
December 13, 2020
Summer Raymer’s name already is on the swimming record boards in the natatorium at Gateway High School.

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Gateway’s Derrick Davis breaks in the clear against Woodland Hills on Oct. 17.
Gateway athletes pick up postseason honors after challenging fall
The Gateway boys and girls soccer teams and the Gators football team each earned WPIAL playoff berths in a fall season dominated each week by covid concerns, cancellations and delays.

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Apollo-Ridge’s Logan Harmon (44) rushes the ball against Beaver Falls at Geneva College’s Reeves Field on Friday, Nov. 6, 2020.
Valley News Dispatch Offensive Player of the Year: Apollo-Ridge’s Logan Harmon
December 12, 2020
Alle-Kiski Valley Offensive Player of the Year

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Fox Chapel huddles before meeting Oakland Catholic on Friday, Dec. 11, 2020.
Oakland Catholic girls hold off spirited Fox Chapel rally
December 11, 2020
The Fox Chapel girls basketball team gave host Oakland Catholic all it could handle in a nonsection game Friday night.

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St. Joseph’s Ally Swierezwski (left) and Neshannock’s Hunter Newman battle for a loose ball in the first half Friday, Dec. 11, 2020.
St. Joseph girls ‘all-in’ on playing opener, lose to Neshannock
St. Joseph girls basketball coach Dennis Jones said there was no question his team wanted to take the court Friday to open its season less than 24 hours after Gov. Tom Wolf announced high school sports would shut down for four weeks as part of covid-19 mitigation efforts.

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Burrell’s Olivia Watts goes through drills during practice last month.
A-K Valley teams disappointed, not shocked by high school sports shutdown
December 10, 2020
Over the past few weeks, coaches, athletes and administrators from around the Alle-Kiski Valley have been battling the unknown.

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North Allegheny’s Paige Morningstar sets a kill during the Tigers’ match against Pine-Richland on Oct. 22, 2020, in McCandless.
WPIAL standouts earn spots on all-state girls volleyball lists
December 7, 2020
More than three dozen from the WPIAL have earned all-state girls volleyball recognition by the Pennsylvania Volleyball Coaches Association.

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Valley’s Ben Aftanas brings the ball upcourt during practice on Monday, Dec. 7, 2020, at Valley High School.
Boys basketball preview: Valley wants redemption after missing playoffs
After three straight trips to the WPIAL playoffs, the Valley boys basketball team was not as fortunate last season as it skidded to a 4-17 overall record and a 3-9 mark in Section 3-3A.

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Valley’s Jada Norman works out during practice Wednesday, Nov. 27, 2019, at Valley High School.
Girls basketball preview: Valley seeks 1st winning season in 17 years
Jada Norman is ready to take that next step, both in her personal game and for the team overall.

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Junior guard Trinity Lockwood-Morris is among the returning starters for St. Joseph.
Girls basketball preview: Numbers shouldn’t be a problem for St. Joseph this season
December 6, 2020
The St. Joseph girls basketball team won just three games a year ago, but an opportunity to take part in the WPIAL Class A playoffs was a positive end to a season of growth for a team that lost just two to graduation.

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St. Joseph’s Andrew Sullivan shoots during practice Thursday, Dec. 3, 2020.
St. Joseph boys basketball eyes return to postseason after down year
Andrew Sullivan remembers the feeling two years ago when the St. Joseph boys basketball team won 18 games and advanced to the quarterfinals of the WPIAL Class 1A playoffs.

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Gateway’s Summer Raymer competes in the girls 500 freestyle during the 2020 Class AAA WPIAL championships at Pitt’s Trees Pool.
Gateway swimmers have medal ambitions, wait patiently to dive into competition
The last time Gateway swimmers competed in a high school meet, coronavirus impacted the proceedings.

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Gateway’s William Kromka (23) pulls down a rebound against Shaler during a WPIAL Class 5A quarterfinal game Feb. 17 at North Hills.
Gateway boys look to build off WPIAL playoff berth
The Gateway boys basketball team made strides last season, going from just three wins in section and five victories overall the year before to 10 wins and a return berth in the WPIAL Class 5A playoffs.

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Gateway’s Dynasty Shegog averaged nearly 10 points last season and recently committed to Cal (Pa.).
Girls basketball preview: Gateway has firepower to contend in loaded section
December 4, 2020
The Gateway girls basketball team opened its season with a practice Nov. 20, the first day winter sports teams were permitted to do so in the WPIAL and throughout Pennsylvania.

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Riverview’s Jack Betler practices Thursday, Dec. 3, 2020, at Riverview High School.
Riverview boys basketball expects to contend when team gets to full strength
The Riverview boys basketball team missed the WPIAL Class 2A playoffs last season, but it was within a few points of forging a different outcome.

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Riverview’s Elena Wyrick brings the ball up the floor during practice Thursday, Dec. 3, 2020, at Riverview High School.
Riverview girls basketball team hopes to build off memorable season
Last season was one to remember for the Riverview girls basketball team.

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Kiski Area’s Calvin Heinle works out during practice Monday, Nov. 30, 2020, at Kiski Area High School.
Boys basketball preview: Kiski Area hopes preseason competition leads to in-season success
November 30, 2020
Opportunity was a main theme as the Kiski Area boys basketball team began preseason practices Nov. 23.

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Kiski’s Dejah Burnett battles head coach Nick Dizon for a rebound during practice on Monday, Nov. 30, 2020, at Kiski Area High School.
Girls basketball preview: Kiski Area forced to adapt after injury sidelines top sophomore
Lexi Colaianni made the most of her freshman season with the Kiski Area varsity girls basketball team.

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Jett Slepak throws in the second inning of a Western Pennsylvania Summer Baseball League game June 24, 2020, at Valley High School.
Highlands’ Slepak gives baseball verbal commitment to Division I Mount St. Mary’s
November 29, 2020
The day after Thanksgiving, Highlands junior Jett Slepak gave thanks for the opportunity to make a verbal commitment to the baseball program at Division I Mount St. Mary’s.

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Plum’s Charlotte Jones competes in the girls 100 backstroke during the 2020 WPIAL Class AAA Swimming and Diving Championship at Trees Pool on Friday, Feb. 28, 2020.
Plum swim teams ready to navigate season
Anticipation for the Plum boys and girls swim teams always is at a high level this time of the year.

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Ray Davis will retire Monday after 21 years as Springdale athletic director
Springdale AD Davis retiring after 21 years leading Dynamos athletics
November 28, 2020
The Springdale football team took on California to open the 1999 football season.

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Plum’s Gina Proviano (14) celebrates a goal with teammates against Thomas Jefferson on Oct. 29, 2020.
Plum’s Proviano named Valley News Dispatch Girls Soccer Player of the Year
Valley News Dispatch Girls Soccer Player of the Year

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Knoch senior Mike Formica crosses the finish line while competing at the WPIAL Class AA cross country championships Oct. 28, 2020, at White Oak Park.
A-K Valley cross country all-star teams announced
November 25, 2020
After a fall season like no other, area cross country coaches came together recently to celebrate the athletes who competed on some of the biggest stages in the WPIAL and beyond with the sixth edition of the Alle-Kiski cross country all-star teams.

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Cheswick Christian’s Daisy Hamilton takes a shot during practice Thursday, Jan. 16, 2020, at Cheswick Christian Academy.
Girls basketball preview: After successful run, high expectations remain for Cheswick Christian
Cheswick Christian Academy girls basketball coach Jacque Willis said it was hard to put into words how special last season was for the program.

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Cheswick Christian Academy’s Jesse Radvansky goes through drills during practice Wednesday, Nov. 20, 2019, at Cheswick Christian Academy.
Boys basketball preview: Large senior class set to guide Cheswick Christian
When veteran Cheswick Christian Academy boys basketball coach Todd Rosio assessed his team’s 2019-20 season, he saw improvement from the players but knew they were not satisfied with their record.

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Burrell’s Brandon Coury (44) and Shady Side Academy’s Ethan Salvia (4) chase down a loose ball last season.
Boys basketball preview: Burrell confident improvement is around corner
November 24, 2020
The Burrell boys basketball team won just one game last year, although it came close to adding to the win total on several occasions.

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Burrell’s Allison Fisher goes through drills during practice Monday, Nov 23, 2020 at Burrell High School.
Girls basketball preview: Young Burrell lineup eager to show how much it’s improved
Allison Fisher is ready.

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Apollo-Ridge’s Klay Fitzroy (10) drives past Brentwood’s Riley Brendel (left) during a WPIAL Class 2A playoff game last season.
Boys basketball preview: After breakthrough season, Apollo-Ridge steps up in class
November 23, 2020
The Apollo-Ridge boys basketball team is moving on up.

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Senior starter Morgan Gamble is an important piece of the Apollo-Ridge girls basketball roster.
Girls basketball preview: Longtime coach returns to guide talented Apollo-Ridge roster
Ray Bartha is back on the bench for the Apollo-Ridge varsity girls basketball team.

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Latrobe goalie Logan Byrd makes a save during the second period against Montour on Monday, Nov. 9, 2020, at RMU Island Sports Center. Latrobe won 5-4 in a shootout.
PIHL juggling schedule amid covid restrictions
November 22, 2020
When the Pennsylvania Interscholastic Hockey League began its season earlier this month, league officials prepared themselves for several possible scenarios.

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The North Allegheny girls volleyball team celebrates a point against McDowell during its PIAA Class 4A state quarterfinal Nov. 14, 2020, at North Allegheny.
North Allegheny girls volleyball hopes PIAA finals experience pays off against Unionville
November 20, 2020
North Allegheny is going after its fourth consecutive PIAA Class 4A girls volleyball championship and seventh overall in program history.

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Gateway’s Jayden Hurt defends a pass intended for Woodland Hills’ Michael James on Oct. 17.
Promising season ends with one-point loss for Gateway football
November 15, 2020
Gateway’s bid for a second straight WPIAL Class 5A championship and third title in four seasons came to an end by the slimmest of margins in the semifinals Nov. 6.

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Gateway senior Emma Kennedy is congratulated by athletic director Don Holl during a ceremony on Nov. 11, 2020, at Gateway High School recognizing Kennedy’s signing of a letter of intent to play softball at Division II Slippery Rock University.
Gateway’s Emma Kennedy commits to Slippery Rock for softball
Emma Kennedy is a rock behind the plate for her high school and club softball teams.

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Plum seniors gather to celebrate their college decisions on the first day of the NCAA National Letter of Intent early-signing period Nov. 11, 2020, at Plum High School. In front, from left, are Emily Kirkpatrick (women’s soccer, Towson) and Jamie Seneca (women’s soccer, Gannon). In back are Makayla Jackson (women’s volleyball, Pitt) Matt Frazetta (baseball, Seton Hill) and AJ Koma (men’s soccer, Seton Hill).
Plum athletes ready to take next step in athletic careers
November 14, 2020
Each year, when the NCAA’s National Letter of Intent early-signing period for Division I and II athletes begins, Plum finds itself at the forefront with several signees.

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Plum’s Dannika Susko blocks a shot during a match on Oct. 20, 2020 at Kiski Area.
Plum celebrates successful fall sports season with 4 section, conference titles
Only two WPIAL schools had their football, girls volleyball, boys soccer and girls soccer teams capture section or conference titles during the fall 2020 season.

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Plum’s Makayla Jackson will play volleyball for Pitt next year.
Alle-Kiski Valley players make next-level commitments
November 11, 2020
A little over a year ago, Makayla Jackson verbally committed to join the women’s volleyball team at Pitt.

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Knoch’s Brooke Bauer (left) and Ally Bauer compete in the WPIAL Class AA girls tennis finals Oct. 8.
‘Little school in Saxonburg’ joins state tennis elite during Knoch’s memorable season
November 10, 2020
Of all the Class AA girls tennis teams in the state of Pennsylvania, only three played in this year’s PIAA team tournament and also had representatives in the state singles and doubles brackets.

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South Fayette senior lineman Ryan O’Hair, hitting the sled during an August workout, announced a verbal commitment Monday to play in college at Miami (Ohio).
South Fayette lineman Ryan O’Hair chooses Miami (Ohio)
November 9, 2020
Ryan O’Hair received his 13th Division I offer last Wednesday from Miami (Ohio).

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Plum senior Andrea D’Incau (22) hugs teammates after the Lady Mustangs’ 1-0 loss to Mars in the WPIAL Class 3A championship game on Saturday, Nov. 7, 2020, at North Allegheny.
As emotion of final loss fades, Plum girls soccer team revels in special season
The emotion was etched on the faces of the Plum girls soccer players and coaches in the moments after the final buzzer sounded Saturday afternoon at North Allegheny’s Newman Stadium and Mars laid claim to its second consecutive WPIAL Class 3A championship.

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Penn-Trafford won its fifth consecutive WPIAL field hockey championship Monday, defeating Fox Chapel for the Class 2A title.
Penn-Trafford beats Fox Chapel for WPIAL field hockey title
November 8, 2020
The Penn-Trafford field hockey team is champion again.

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Gateway senior Luke Whisel placed 41st overall at the WPIAL Class AAA boys cross country championships Oct. 30, 2020, at White Oak Park.
Luke Whisel paces Gateway runners at soggy WPIAL championship race
An unprecedented season for the Gateway cross country teams, altered at every turn because of the coronavirus pandemic, concluded Oct. 30 at the WPIAL championships at White Oak Park.

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Connellsville’s Gabriel McCrum (17) makes a catch and is tackled by Gateway’s Camron Price and Jermir Harber on Oct. 23, 2020, at Connellsville Stadium.
Defensive effort guides Gateway in opening-round win
Survive and advance.

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Plum’s Ryan Hubner looks for a receiver against Thomas Jefferson in the WPIAL Class 4A semifinals on Friday, Nov. 6, 2020.
A-K Valley high school football notebook: Semifinal loss ends historic season for Plum
November 7, 2020
Plum wrapped up its 2020 season Friday with a 20-17 loss to Thomas Jefferson in the WPIAL Class 4A semifinals, but the one defeat, Mustangs coach Matt Morgan said, takes nothing away from the record-setting performance of his team the entire season.

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The Mars girls soccer team celebrates with the WPIAL Class 3A championship trophy after defeating Plum, 1-0, on Saturday, Nov. 7, 2020, at North Allegheny.
Mars captures 7th WPIAL girls soccer title
The Mars girls soccer team is golden again.

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Plum’s Gina Proviano possesses the ball in a WPIAL Class 3A quarterfinal against Thomas Jefferson on Thursday, Oct. 29, 2020.
Success on home field propels Plum girls soccer into WPIAL finals
As the No. 2 seed for the WPIAL Class 3A playoffs, the Plum girls soccer team enjoyed the comforts of home as it made its run to a second consecutive championship game appearance.

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Plum’s Max Matolcsy reacts after sacking McKeesport quarterback Glenn Terrance in the first half Friday, Oct. 30, 2020.
Season of statements for Plum football
Preston Sunday said Plum football’s WPIAL Class 4A first-round victory over former conference rival McKeesport was big in the ongoing process of what has turned out to be one of the most successful seasons in program history.

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Thomas Jefferson’s Jake Pugh passes in the WPIAL Class 4A semifinals against Plum on Friday, Nov. 6, 2020.
Thomas Jefferson rallies past Plum to return to Class 4A championship game
November 6, 2020
Thomas Jefferson coach Bill Cherpak breathed a sigh of relief in the minutes after Friday’s 20-17 home victory over Plum in a WPIAL Class 4A semifinal.

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Mars’ Ellie Coffield works against Plum’s Andrea D’Incau during last year’s WPIAL Class 3A championship game.
WPIAL Class 3A girls soccer championship preview: No. 1 Mars vs. No. 2 Plum
Class 3A

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Knoch’s Mike Formica crosses the finish line while competing in the WPIAL cross country championships at White Oak Park on Oct. 28, 2020.
Knoch’s Mike Formica has high expectations for PIAA championship meet
Mike Formica stood on the top of the mountain Oct. 28 at White Oak Park as the newly crowned WPIAL Class 2A boys cross country champion.

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Plum’s Gina Proviano (14) celebrates a goal with teammates in a WPIAL Class 3A playoff game against Thomas Jefferson on Oct. 29.
Plum girls soccer faces toughest task yet: A WPIAL finals rematch with unbeaten Mars
Before the Plum girls soccer team began the season Sept. 14, it assembled a collection of goals.

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The Deer Lakes boys soccer team celebrates with the WPIAL championship trophy after defeating Shady Side Academy, 2-1, in the Class AA final Thursday, Nov. 5, 2020, at North Allegheny.
Deer Lakes edges Shady Side Academy in penalty kick thriller, wins first WPIAL title
November 5, 2020
The Deer Lakes and Shady Side Academy boys soccer teams were all knotted up in head-to-head matches over the past four years as they met Thursday to decide the WPIAL Class 2A boys championship.

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Plum’s Max Matolcsy
A-K Valley football players to watch for Week 9
Zach Fields

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Plum’s Zachary Fields, raises his hands in victory at midfield against McKeesport Friday, Oct. 30, 2020.
Plum focused on current Thomas Jefferson team, not Jaguars’ past success
The Plum football team Friday will play its first WPIAL semifinal game since 1996.

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Plum’s Gina Proviano
Plum girls soccer reaches Class 3A finals with another 1-0 win over West Allegheny
November 4, 2020
It was déjà vu for the Plum girls soccer team.

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Knoch’s Laura Greb plays against Sewickley Academy’s Simran Bedi during the WPIAL Class AA girls team tennis championship match Oct. 22, 2020, at Shady Side Academy.
WPIAL singles, doubles champions to begin quest for state titles
The PIAA singles and doubles tennis tournaments kick off Wednesday for the four WPIAL champions at the Oxford Athletic Club in Wexford.

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Penn-Trafford won its fifth consecutive WPIAL field hockey championship Monday, defeating Fox Chapel for the Class 2A title.
Penn-Trafford beats Fox Chapel for WPIAL field hockey title
November 2, 2020
The Penn-Trafford field hockey team is champion again.

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Shady Side Academy celebrates after a 2-1 victory over Ellis School in the WPIAL Class A field hockey championship game Monday, Nov. 2, 2020.
Shady Side Academy edges rival Ellis School, wins 3rd straight WPIAL field hockey title
Shady Side Academy and Ellis School are no strangers in battling for a WPIAL field hockey championship.

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Junior Addy Green is one of six Gateway girls soccer players to earn all-section honors for the 2020 season.
Successful season flies by for Gateway girls soccer
November 1, 2020
Gateway girls soccer coach Kelly Bender said the 2020 season for her players went by in a flash.

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Springdale faced the top three teams in WPIAL Class A this season: No. 1 Clairton, No. 2 Rochester and No. 3 Jeannette.
A-K Valley high school football notes: Springdale succumbs to grueling schedule
October 31, 2020
Not many teams get the chance to say they faced the No. 1, No. 2 and No. 3 teams in their respective classification in one season.

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Riverview’s Mason Ochs takes second in the boys WPIAL Class A cross country championship Oct. 28 at White Oak Park.
Despite missing out on trip to state meet, Riverview boys proud of 2nd-place finish
Under normal WPIAL cross country circumstances, the Riverview boys team would be heading to Hershey this weekend to compete with the best in the state.

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Plum slowpitch softball excited for future
The Plum slowpitch softball team was unable to solve second-seeded Seneca Valley in a Western Pennsylvania Interscholastic Softball League quarterfinal Oct. 24 at Mt. Lebanon.

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Plum’s Max Motolcsy reacts after sacking McKeesport quarterback Glenn Terrance in the first half Friday, Oct. 30, 2020.
Plum shuts down McKeesport to reach first WPIAL semifinal since 1996
October 30, 2020
The Plum and McKeesport football teams were no strangers to each other when they met Friday at Plum’s Mustangs Stadium for a berth in the WPIAL Class 4A semifinals.

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Springdale’s Billy Lawrence celebrates his second goal against Bentworth during a WPIAL Class A first-round game Tuesday, Oct. 27, 2020, at North Allegheny.
Alle-Kiski Valley WPIAL soccer playoff preview capsules: Oct. 31
Boys

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Burrell’s Leah Brockett takes sixth in the girls AA Tri-State Coaches Association cross country championships Wednesday, Oct. 21, 2020 at White Oak Park.
Two fall sports doesn’t slow Burrell’s Brockett
Leah Brockett has logged a lot of miles this fall.

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Plum players celebrate a goal against Thomas Jefferson on Thursday, Oct. 29, 2020.
Plum girls blank TJ, advance to WPIAL semifinals
October 29, 2020
Neither a steady rain nor Thomas Jefferson could prevent the Plum girls soccer team from advancing in the WPIAL Class 3A playoffs Thursday evening.

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Plum’s Preston Sunday
A-K Valley football players to watch for Week 8
Preston Sunday

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Knoch’s Mike Formica crosses the finish line to win the WPIAL Class AA cross country title Wednesday at White Oak Park.
Knoch’s Formica wins WPIAL Class AA cross country title; GS boys victorious
October 28, 2020
Mike Formica celebrated his 18th birthday in style.

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Brownsville Area’s Jolena Quarzo, pursued by Montour’s Hope Trimmer, competes in the WPIAL cross country championships at White Oak Park on Oct. 28, 2020.
Brownsville runner keeps WPIAL Class 2A cross country gold in family
As a freshman last year, Brownsville’s Jolena Quarzo earned a silver medal at the WPIAL Class AA cross country championships at Cal U (Pa.) as older sister Gionna dominated the field to claim gold.

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North Allegheny defeated Seneca Valley 21-10 in the championship game of the 2020 Western Pennsylvania Interscholastic Softball League playoff tournament Oct. 25, 2020, at Mt. Lebanon’s Middle Field.
North Allegheny defeats Seneca Valley to win WPISL playoff championship
October 27, 2020
North Allegheny defeated Seneca Valley, 21-10, to capture the Western Pennsylvania Interscholastic Softball League varsity championship Sunday at Middle Field in Mt. Lebanon.

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Plum’s Gina Proviano (14) scored Plum’s first two goals Monday.
Plum girls soccer team routs Gateway in playoff opener
October 26, 2020
Plum needed penalty kicks in last season’s WPIAL Class AAA first-round girls soccer matchup to get by neighboring Gateway on its way to an eventual championship-game appearance.

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Freeport’s Cassidy Dell plays against Hampton Tuesday, Oct. 13, 2020 at Hampton High School.
Freeport faces challenging road in quest for another WPIAL volleyball title
The Freeport girls volleyball team finished in a four-way tie for the Section 5-3A title with Mars, Armstrong and Hampton.

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Plum’s Makyala Jackson (left) celebrates a point with teammates during their match on Oct. 20, 2020, at Kiski Area.
North Allegheny, Beaver, North Catholic, Bishop Canevin earn top seeds for WPIAL girls volleyball playoffs
North Allegheny, Beaver, North Catholic and Bishop Canevin were selected as top seeds as the WPIAL girls volleyball committee finalized and released the playoff brackets Monday afternoon.

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North Allegheny’s Paige Morningstar celebrates a kill with Mia Tuman during the Tigers’ match against Pine-Richland on Thursday, Oct. 22, 2020, in McCandless.
North Allegheny, Beaver, North Catholic, Bishop Canevin top final girls volleyball rankings
With the regular season in the books, hopes turn to WPIAL gold as the playoffs begin this week.

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Plum’s Megan Bologna scores against Kiski Area’s Brook Endress during an Oct. 20 match at Kiski Area High School. Plum won, 3-1.
Plum girls volleyball claims 16th section title in program history
October 25, 2020
The Plum girls volleyball team returned to the top last week as they clinched the program’s first section championship since 2011.

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Plum’s Logan Brooks intercepts a pass intended for Highlands’ Jrake Burford in the first half Oct 2.
Plum football writes championship chapter in program’s history books
With its 35-7 victory over Knoch on Oct. 16, the Plum football team achieved something the program hadn’t experienced in nearly four decades.

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Plum’s Reed Martin stretches out for a pass as Armstrong’s Dozick Zablocki attempts to cover in the first half Friday.
Alle-Kiski Valley high school football notebook: Plum eases to unbeaten year
October 24, 2020
Plum came into Friday’s regular-season finale against Armstrong averaging 34.7 points.

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Gateway junior Kira Pivik scored six goals during the 2020 regular season.
Gateway girls soccer navigates tough stretch of schedule to make playoffs
The Gateway girls soccer team finished its regular season with seven games in 11 days as a stretch of time off because covid issues within the school district created a stretch run more compact than normal.

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Strong finish lifts Gateway boys soccer into playoffs
The Gateway boys soccer team last week finished its mission of returning to the WPIAL playoffs for the first time since 2016.

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Plum’s Eryck Moore breaks the tackle of Armstrong’s Cole Brown in the first half Friday, Oct. 23, 2020, at Plum High School.
Quick start propels Plum past Armstrong; Mustangs finish regular season unbeaten
October 23, 2020
Plum didn’t waste any time getting on the scoreboard in Friday’s Greater Allegheny Conference game against Armstrong at Mustangs Stadium.

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WPISL playoff tournament set for Saturday, Sunday
A Western Pennsylvania Interscholastic Softball League varsity champion will be crowned this weekend as 13 teams will compete in a single-elimination tournament Saturday and Sunday.

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Knoch’s Brooke Bauer plays against Sewickley Academy’s Ashley Close during the girls WPIAL Class AA team championships Thursday, Oct. 22, 2020, at Shady Side Academy.
Knoch outlasts Sewickley Academy, wins elusive WPIAL Class AA girls tennis team title
October 22, 2020
Knoch didn’t want another second-place trophy.

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Springdale’s Cavin Kindler
A-K Valley football players to watch for Week 7
Thomas Burke

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Highlands’ Brock White rushed for 203 yards and three touchdowns last week.
A-K Valley don’t miss high school football matchups for Week 7
Class 5A northeast

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Deer Lakes’ Michael Sullivan celebrates his first goal next to Shady Side Academy’s Sam Farner on Wednesday, Oct. 14, 2020, at Deer Lakes.
Deer Lakes boys, Plum girls earn No. 2 seeds in WPIAL soccer playoffs
October 21, 2020
When the WPIAL soccer playoff brackets were announced Wednesday, not one A-K Valley soccer team found itself named a No. 1 seed.

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Knoch’s Brooke Bauer, at left, and Ally Bauer congratulate each other after winning a point during the WPIAL Class AA girls doubles finals Oct. 8, 2020, at North Allgheny High School.
Weather again halts WPIAL girls tennis playoffs
October 20, 2020
For the second consecutive day, the WPIAL girls team tennis tournament has been halted because of rainy weather.

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Deer Lakes’ Christiana Saldamarco works on setting during practice Monday, Oct. 19, 2020, at Deer Lakes High School.
Deer Lakes volleyball on verge of section title
October 19, 2020
The Deer Lakes girls volleyball team is one win away from its first section championship since 1991.

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Hampton’s Kate Hovanec makes a defensive plays against Freeport on Oct. 13, 2020, at Hampton.
North Allegheny regains top Class 4A spot in girls volleyball coaches association rankings
The WPIAL girls volleyball regular season ends later this week, and a couple of section titles and playoff berths remain up for grabs.

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Peters Township’s Marra Bruce and Kat Wang celebrate after winning the WPIAL Class AAA girls doubles title Oct. 8, 2020, at North Allegheny High School.
Rain forces WPIAL to postpone girls tennis semifinals
With rain showers in the area, WPIAL officials on Monday morning postponed the Class AAA and AA girls tennis semifinal matches.

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Kiski Area’s Eliza Miller leads Greensburg Central Corinn Brewer during the Westmoreland County XC meet Thursday, Oct. 15, 2020 at Westmoreland County Community College.
Kiski Area freshman Eliza Miller running with the elite
October 18, 2020
Eliza Miller ran a time of 19 minutes, 24.1 seconds to place first in the girls varsity race at the season-opening Kiski Cavalier Invitational cross country meet Sept. 18 at Northmoreland Park.

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Gateway head coach Don Holl during workouts Tuesday, July 21, 2020 at Gateway High School.
Despite shortened schedule Gateway football preparing for run at WPIAL title
The WPIAL last Wednesday revealed a plan to populate the football playoff brackets and deal with unbalanced records and schedules in several of the classifications among a wider announcement of postseason strategies for fall sports.

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Gateway senior Chris Snyder works on a shooting drill during practice on October 13, 2020, at Gateway’s Antimarino Stadium.
Gateway boys soccer deals with schedule crunch in quest for playoff berth
The Gateway boys soccer team found itself in a playoff battle in Section 4-4A as it hoped to qualify for the WPIAL postseason for the first time since 2016.

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Apollo-Ridge players are hoping their body of work impresses the WPIAL enough to land them a playoff berth if they wind up needing a wild-card spot to get in.
A-K Valley high school football notebook: Apollo-Ridge could be at mercy of playoff selection committee
October 17, 2020
The WPIAL on Wednesday laid out a plan to fill playoff brackets for the six football classifications as covid-19 has canceled games and created unprecedented issues for the organization.

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Riverview golfers, from left, Aidan Vespi, Anthony Tominello, Jack Migely, Dan Roupas, Dom Bovienzo and Max Catanzaro competed at a WPIAL Class AA team semifinal Oct. 13, 2020, at Beaver Valley Golf Club.
New-look roster carries Riverview boys golf to winning season
The Riverview boys golf team capped its 2020 season in the WPIAL Class AA team semifinals at Beaver Valley Golf Club. The Raiders, in the WPIAL team playoffs for the third consecutive year, placed eighth.

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Plum senior Charlotte Jones has verbally commited to swim at Division I Long Island University-Brooklyn.
Plum’s Charlotte Jones makes dream of swimming at next level come true
Charlotte Jones has one final year of swimming at Plum, and then she hopes to make her mark at the NCAA Division I level.

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Leechburg coach Randy Walters talks with his players at halftime of their game against Riverview on Friday.
Leechburg scores 76 in dominating Riverview for 400th win
October 16, 2020
Leechburg averaged 44 points in wins over Riverview in Eastern Conference matchups the past two seasons.

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Montour wraps up WPISL regular-season title
The Western Pennsylvania Interscholastic Softball League regular season concludes this weekend as the focus begins to turn to the playoff tournament.

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Burrell’s AJ Corrado returns for the 2020 season.
A-K Valley football players to watch for Week 6
October 15, 2020
Lorenzo Jenkins

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Springdale’s Demitri Fritch makes a catch as Jeannette’s James Sanders attempts to cover last week.
A-K Valley don’t miss high school football matchups for Week 6
Class 5A northeast

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Kiski Area junior Faith Andree plays the ball early in a Section 1-AAA matchup with Gateway on Oct. 13, 2020, at Kiski Area. The Cavaliers won the game, 4-1.
Winning culture carries over for Kiski Area girls soccer team
October 14, 2020
The Kiski Area girls soccer team advanced to the WPIAL Class AAA quarterfinals each of the past two seasons.

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Fox Chapel’s Lucy Ream carries the ball downfield during a game against Penn-Trafford on Sept. 15, 2020, in Harrison City.
A-K Valley girls soccer notebook: Fox Chapel wins rugged section
A 2-1 overtime victory over Norwin early in Section 2-AAAA play might turn out to be the difference maker in Fox Chapel’s section championship.

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Leechburg senior McKenna Pierce sets during practice Oct. 8, 2020, at Leechburg High School.
Leechburg volleyball building to section showdown
October 12, 2020
The Leechburg girls volleyball team has lost only one match this season.

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South Fayette’s Lilah Speca spikes against Knoch last season.
Beaver takes over top spot in Class AAA girls volleyball rankings
Two weeks remain in the 2020 WPIAL girls volleyball regular season, and numerous section races are coming down to the wire.

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Knoch’s Laura Greb is a four-time WPIAL singles champion.
Knoch girls tennis team seeking 1st WPIAL team title
October 11, 2020
After three straight WPIAL Class AA runner-up finishes, the Knoch girls tennis team hopes to break through and claim the program’s first team title.

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Gateway junior Kiyara Sawyers compets at the Division I, Section 4 cross country championship meet Oct. 7, 2020, at Northmoreland Park.
Gateway runners turn focus to postseason invitational success
The Gateway boys and girls cross country teams are in the stretch run to the WPIAL championships in two weeks, and the Gators hope to take advantage of both practices and competition to sharpen their focus.

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Members of the Apollo-Ridge offensive line warm up before their game against Shady Side Academy on Oct. 9, 2020, at Apollo-Ridge.
Experienced Apollo-Ridge football team leans on offensive line
October 10, 2020
Apollo-Ridge senior quarterback Jake Fello threw for 142 yards and a touchdown in Friday’s 42-7 Eastern Conference victory over Shady Side Academy at Owens Field.

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Plum freshman Amelia Faust runs at the Division I, Section 4 cross country championships Oct. 7, 2020, at Northmoreland Park.
Plum runners look to finish season strong at postseason invitationals
Livia Paoletti understands she doesn’t have many high school cross country races left.

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Riverview’s Dean Cecere carries the ball during a game against Jeannette on Saturday, Sept. 19, 2020, at Riverview.
Junior Dean Cecere, Riverview learn from challenging early season slate
In Riverview’s Eastern Conference football game against Imani Christian on Oct. 2 at Graham Field in Wilkinsburg, Dean Cecere broke free on runs several times and turned in career-best marks on the stat sheet.

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Apollo-Ridge players listen to the national anthem before playing Shady Side Academy on Oct. 9, 2020, at Apollo-Ridge.
No rust for Apollo-Ridge as it cruises past Shady Side Academy
October 9, 2020
A week away from game action didn’t slow Apollo-Ridge’s momentum.

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WPISL teams hope to finish regular season strong as playoffs loom
Montour and Seneca Valley swept doubleheaders Sunday to remain tied atop the Western Pennsylvania Interscholastic Softball League standings with two games to play.

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Knoch’s Ally Bauer (front) hits as sister Brooke Bauer looks on during the WPIAL Class AA girls finals Thursday, Oct. 8, 2020, at North Allegheny High School.
Knoch’s Bauer sisters, Peters Township’s defending champs win WPIAL doubles titles
October 8, 2020
Ally Bauer knew what it felt like to win a WPIAL doubles championship.

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Leechburg’s Eli Rich
A-K Valley football players to watch in Week 5
Dean Cecere

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Leechburg’s Logan Kline pulls in a pass as Springdale’s John Utiss attempts to cover in the second half on Sept 25.
A-K Valley don’t miss high school football matchups for Week 5
Class 5A northeast

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Freeport’s Kaylin Greiser battles Deer Lakes’ Ashley McAdams for a header during their game on Sept. 21, 2020, at Freeport.
A-K Valley teams jockey for position as girls soccer playoffs draw near
October 6, 2020
The section schedules in each of the four WPIAL girls soccer classifications are to conclude Oct. 20.

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Burrell freshman Tessa Mathabel (17), celebrating with classmate Leah Brockett during a win over Deer Lakes on Sept. 23, scored one of the Bucs’ three goals in Monday’s 3-0 victory over Freeport at Burrell’s Buccaneers Stadium.
Burrell bounces back from first loss, shuts out rival Freeport
October 5, 2020
The Burrell girls soccer team saw a 20-game Section 2-AA unbeaten streak come to an end Saturday with a loss at Shady Side Academy.

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Deer Lakes’ Nina Lafko (right) stands with her teammates during player introductions on Sept. 21, 2020, before their game at Freeport.
Deer Lakes soccer’s Nina Lafko dealing with second torn ACL in 12 months
To have the sport you love taken away from you for a time because of a serious injury such as a torn anterior cruciate ligament can be hard reality to grasp.

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Plum seniors Julia Vargo, at left, and Makayla Jackson set up to receive a serve in warmups before a section match with McKeesport on Sept. 17, 2020, at Plum High School.
Montour moves to No. 1 in latest Class AAA girls volleyball coaches association rankings
There is one change at the top in this week’s Western Pennsylvania Volleyball Coaches Association WPIAL girls volleyball rankings released Monday.

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Freeport sophomore Cassidy Dell looks to make a play against rival Knoch on Sept. 15, 2020, at Knoch High School.
Perennial power Freeport volleyball ‘work in progress’
October 4, 2020
The Freeport girls volleyball team on Monday begins a stretch of three games in three days and kicks off the second half of its Section 5-AAA schedule with a trip to Mars.

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Joelle Jenkins, at left, talks with twin brother, Jayson, at a Gateway home game during the 2019 season.
Gateway’s Jenkins getting her kicks on soccer, football teams
Joelle Jenkins doesn’t have a slow gear when it comes to playing soccer.

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Plum senior Reed Martin covers a receiver during a defensive session Sept. 29, 2020, at Plum High School.
Versatile Reed Martin helps Plum to unbeaten start
In Plum football’s Greater Allegheny Conference game against Mars on Sept. 25, Reed Martin never left the field.

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Leechburg quarterback Dylan Cook is pressured by Springdale’s Gage Howard in the second half of their Eastern Conference matchup Sept. 25, 2020, at Springdale’s Veterans Memorial Field.
A-K Valley football notebook: Springdale players respond to coach’s advice
October 3, 2020
Springdale football coach Seth Napierkowski emphasized to his team before Friday’s game with Greensburg Central Catholic not to take the Centurions lightly.

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Plum’s Reed Martin dives for a first down after recovering a Plum fumble on a forth down attempt in the first half at Plum High School Friday, Oct 2, 2020.
Senior Martin does a little bit of everything for undefeated Plum football
In Plum football’s Greater Allegheny Conference game against Mars on Sept. 25, Reed Martin never left the field.

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Jeannette players take the field Oct. 2, 2020, at Leechburg.
Freshman Brad Birch throws 6 TD passes as Jeannette rolls past Leechburg
October 2, 2020
Jeannette possessed the ball eight times in the first half of its Eastern Conference matchup with Leechburg at Veterans Memorial Stadium.

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Burrell’s soccer teams practice Friday, Oct. 2, 2020, on the new turf at Burrell High School.
Burrell teams take to turf at refurbished stadium
The wait is over.

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WPISL teams continue push to league playoffs
The Western Pennsylvania Interscholastic Softball League is winding toward the end of the varsity regular season, and the teams continue to battle for positioning in the team standings.

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Highlands’ Jeremiah Saunders
A-K Valley football players to watch in Week 4
October 1, 2020
Ryan Hubner

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Leechburg’s Eli Rich pulls in a touchdown pass as Springdale’s John Utiss attempts to cover in the first half last week.
A-K Valley don’t miss high school football matchups for Week 4
Class 5A northeast

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Fox Chapel’s Britta Lagerquist (4) celebrates her first goal with Lauren Rabbitt during their game against Penn-Trafford Tuesday, Sept. 15, 2020, in Harrison City.
Undefeated Fox Chapel works way through rigorous schedule
September 29, 2020
With two weeks and six games in the books, the Fox Chapel girls soccer team is making its mark in and out of Section 3-AAAA.

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Burrell’s Leah Brockett (right) scores her first goal next to Deer Lakes’ Abigail Boulos during the first half of a Section 2-AA game Sept. 23, 2020, in West Deer. Burrell won, 4-2.
A-K Valley girls soccer notebook: Burrell looking forward to homecoming
The Burrell girls soccer team has hit the road in the early part of the season, waiting to play on the new turf field at Buccaneers Stadium.

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Penn-Trafford’s Julia Hauck rises to make a hit against Connellsville on Sept. 22, 2020, at Penn-Trafford.
Volleyball coaches association releases weekly rankings, players of the week
September 28, 2020
With two weeks of section and nonsection matches in the books, WPIAL girls volleyball teams in all four classifications prepare to turn their attention to the stretch run in October that leads to the scheduled start of the WPIAL playoffs the week of Oct. 26.

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Gateway quarterback Carsen Engleka warms up before practice Sept. 23, 2020, at Gateway’s Antimarino Stadium.
With weapons galore, Gateway QB Carsen Engleka making strong return from broken arm
September 27, 2020
Carsen Engleka was making his case for playing time last year at quarterback in the Gateway offense when a bad break ended his sophomore season.

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Gateway senior Srilekha Sapram prepares to serve during her No. 1 singles match against Connellsville on Sept. 23, 2020, at the Gateway High School courts.
Gateway tennis building winning culture with more experienced lineup
With a mix of experienced and younger players this fall, the Gateway girls tennis team hopes to continue its overall development with matches that will help it both now and in the future.

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Apollo-Ridge senior Klay Fitzroy warms up before a game at Freeport on Sept. 18, 2020.
Alle-Kiski Valley football notebook: Bye week at bad time for Apollo-Ridge
September 26, 2020
Apollo-Ridge will have a rare, midseason bye week coming up because Summit Academy opted out of the season.

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Riverview girls volleyball team captains for the 2020 season are, from left, seniors Katie Zatawski, Lizza Novikova and Alexis Sykes.
Riverview girls volleyball learning from early season setbacks
Lauren Dugan isn’t taking any of her volleyball practices or matches for granted this fall.

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Plum seniors Julia Vargo, at left, and Makayla Jackson set up to receive a serve in warmups before a section match with McKeesport on Sept. 17, 2020, at Plum High School.
Plum volleyball turns to extensive experience for rebound
The Plum girls volleyball team made the WPIAL Class AAAA playoffs in 2017, going 7-5 in section play.

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The Mars student section gets fired up before the team took on Plum on Sept. 25, 2020, at Mars.
Plum keeps rolling, upends No. 2 Mars
September 25, 2020
Plum averaged 42 points in Greater Allegheny Conference victories over Greensburg Salem and Indiana.

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Knoch’s Laura Greb pumps her fist after winning her fourth consectutive WPIAL Class AA tennis championship on Friday, Sept. 25, 2020, at North Allegheny High School.
Knoch’s Laura Greb claims 4th WPIAL singles title
Laura Greb is all alone in the history books of WPIAL girls tennis.

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Burrell’s Alex Arledge
A-K Valley football players to watch in Week 3
September 24, 2020
Eryck Moore

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Valley’s Domanick Simmons intercepts a pass intended for Burrell’s Ian Durci in Week 1.
A-K Valley don’t miss high school football matchups for Week 3
Class 5A northeast

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Plum senior Abby Lewis sharpens her footwork during a drill at practice on Sept. 15, 2020.
Plum girls soccer ready to stare down challengers
September 23, 2020
Plum girls soccer coach Jamie Stewart said his players understand they have bigger targets on their backs this season after making a run last year that produced a trip to the WPIAL Class AAA championship game at Highmark Stadium and the program’s first berth in the PIAA tournament.

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WPISL teams gearing up for stretch run
September 22, 2020
With four weeks of action left in the regular season, the varsity teams in the Western Pennsylvania Interscholastic Softball League are preparing for the stretch run to the playoffs.

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Freeport’s Aleah Parison celebrates after scoring past Deer Lakes goalkeeper Aby Cacurak during their game on Monday, Sept. 21, 2020, at Freeport.
Freeport starts fast, tops rival Deer Lakes in girls soccer section clash
September 21, 2020
The Freeport girls soccer team came up empty in a 4-0 loss to defending Section 2-AA champion Burrell in its season opener last Thursday.

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Top-ranked girls volleyball teams keep positions in coaches rankings
WPIAL girls volleyball competition turns to Week 2, and section races are heating up in the four classifications.

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Plum seniors Julia Vargo, at left, and Makayla Jackson set up to receive a serve in warmups before a section match with McKeesport on Sept. 17, 2020, at Plum High School.
Alle-Kiski Valley flush with volleyball prowess
September 20, 2020
When Plum girls volleyball coach Kelsey Bonk observed her team’s senior night ceremony Thursday before a match with McKeesport, she was reminded of the potential for the season with a rather experienced squad.

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Gateway runners stay dedicated to lowering times throughout season
While the PIAA and WPIAL wrangled with the decision to maintain the fall sports seasons or postpone them to 2021, the Gateway boys and girls cross country teams kept churning out miles to be ready to go when called upon.

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Gateway’s Alexis Margolis (14) competes against Armstrong Sept.26, 2019 at Gateway.
Gateway volleyball adjusts to move to Class 4A
Gateway girls volleyball coach Phil Randolph said last season ended with a framework established that can lead to a turnaround in the program’s fortunes.

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Fox Chapel’s Makayla Mulholland heads the ball next to Penn-Trafford’s Avery Hofmeister during their game Tuesday, Sept. 15, 2020, in Harrison City.
Fox Chapel girls soccer enters new section with deep, talented roster
September 19, 2020
With 11 seniors and seven returning starters leading the way for the 2020 season, the Fox Chapel girls soccer team has its sights set on big things in Section 3-AAAA and beyond.

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Riverview’s Kayona Perkins (right) was one of 12 seniors from the girls soccer team who graduated.
Low numbers force Riverview soccer teams to cancel seasons
The Riverview boys and girls varsity soccer teams were unable to overcome a numbers game that halted plans for the 2020 season, but boys coach Mickey Namey and girls coach Sean Abraham, along with athletic director Mario Rometo, are hopeful the teams and their players can return to competition in 2021.

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Plum senior Abby Lewis sharpens her footwork during a drill at practice on Sept. 15, 2020.
Plum girls soccer ready to stare down challengers
Plum girls soccer coach Jamie Stewart said his players understand they have bigger targets on their backs this season after making a run last year that produced a trip to the WPIAL Class AAA championship game at Highmark Stadium and the program’s first-ever berth in the PIAA tournament.

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Apollo-Ridge quarterback Jake Fello warms up before playing Freeport on Sept. 18, 2020, at Freeport.
Apollo-Ridge stifles Freeport in nonconference victory
September 18, 2020
On its first play from scrimmage in Friday’s nonconference matchup with Apollo-Ridge, the Freeport offense went to the air.

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Members of the Fox Chapel boys and girls cross country teams break out from the start of their time trial at the Gingerbread Man Kiski Cavalier Invitational on Sept. 18, 2020, at Northmoreland Park in Allegheny Township.
Indiana’s Beckwith, Kiski Area’s Miller claim titles at unique Kiski Cavalier Invitational
Cool and breezy morning weather gave way to comfortable afternoon temperatures as some of the WPIAL’s top runners kicked off their fall seasons Friday at the Gingerbread Man Kiski Cavalier Invitational at Northmoreland Park in Allegheny Township.

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Freeport’s Ben Lane returns for the 2020 season.
A-K Valley football players to watch in Week 2
September 17, 2020
Logan Dexter

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Deer Lakes’ Bruce Allman warms up before playing against Freeport last week.
A-K Valley don’t miss high school football matchups for Week 2
Class 5A nonconference

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Bethel Park, Plum, North Allegheny earn WPISL Week 2 sweeps
September 14, 2020
Bethel Park, Plum and North Allegheny each recorded doubleheader sweeps during Week 2 of the 2020 Western Pennsylvania Interscholastic Softball season.

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Volleyball coaches association reveals WPIAL Week 1 rankings
The Western Pennsylvania Volleyball Coaches Association on Monday released its first rankings for the 2020 season.

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Leechburg’s Braylan Lovelace finished with 128 yards and three touchdowns on 17 carries in Friday’s 55-37 victory over Greensburg Central Catholic.
A-K Valley H.S. football notebook: Leechburg’s prize? A matchup with Clairton
September 12, 2020
It was an explosive debut to the season for the Leechburg football team and a successful debut for coach Randy Walters.

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Freeport’s Garrett King work outs July 15, 2020, at Freeport Area High School.
With support of teammates, Freeport QB Garrett King ready to overcome cancer diagnosis
Garrett King was at the top of his game and eager to take over the quarterback reins for the Freeport football team.

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Freeport players take the field for their game against Deer Lakes on Sept. 11, 2020, at Freeport.
Freeport beats Deer Lakes for 10th consecutive time
September 11, 2020
Freeport’s recent dominance over Deer Lakes continues.

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Gateway junior Jenna Shuman controls the ball before a scrimmage Sept. 8 against Woodland Hills at Gateway’s Antimarino Stadium.
Gateway girls soccer aims to peak early in season
September 10, 2020
The Gateway girls soccer team came within penalty kicks of ousting No. 2 Plum in the first round of last year’s WPIAL Class AAA playoffs.

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Gateway goalkeeper Sam Alexander practices during the 2019 season.
Gateway boys soccer to rely on deep senior class in quest for playoff berth
The Gateway boys soccer team is focused on a return to the WPIAL playoffs for the first time four seasons.

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Riverview’s Mason Ochs runs to a first-place finish Sept. 24 during a meet against Knoch in Saxonburg.
Riverview runners chasing WPIAL, PIAA gold
When Mason Ochs broke the tape at the finish line at last year’s WPIAL Class A cross country championships at Cal (Pa.), he realized his dream of becoming a WPIAL champion.

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Apollo-Ridge quarterback Jacob Feilo throws a pass during a preseason practice.
A-K Valley don’t-miss high school football matchups for Week 1
Here’s a look at some don’t-miss matchups in the A-K Valley for Week 1:

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Highlands’ Chandler Thimons
A-K Valley high school football players to watch for Week 1
Dylan Cook

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Burrell’s Annie Weimer dribbles the ball during a team drill Sept. 8, 2020 at Bon Air Elementary School in Lower Burrell.
Alle-Kiski Valley girls soccer preview: Burrell back for more
September 9, 2020
The Burrell girls soccer team made program history last year with an undefeated regular season and its first section title since 2005.

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Freeport’s Garrett King during workouts Thursday, July 15, 2020 at Freeport Area High School.
Young Freeport hopes to make impression in revamped conference
September 8, 2020
Youth will be served on the Freeport football team as underclassmen will be featured at several key positions.

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WPISL opens season with varsity games, JV tournament
The Western Pennsylvania Interscholastic Softball League kicked off its season over the weekend, and in varsity league play Sunday and Monday, Baldwin, Ellwood City, Seneca Valley and Montour picked up doubleheader sweeps.

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Fox Chapel’s Justin Rice hands off to Zidane Thomas during a preseason workout.
Coach optimistic Fox Chapel can make strides in Class 5A
September 7, 2020
Tom Loughran has a keen appreciation for the competition in WPIAL Class 5A.

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Penn Hills’ Noel Roach pulls in a catch during workouts Thursday, Aug. 13, 2020 at Penn Hills High School.
Noel Roach, Penn Hills eye return to championship game
Noel Roach remembers fondly the run to WPIAL and PIAA Class 5A championship in 2018.

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Thomas Jefferson head coach Bill Cherpak watches practice on Wednesday Aug. 19, 2020, in Jefferson.
WPIAL Class 4A football breakdown: Road to title goes through Thomas Jefferson
Thomas Jefferson began its 2019 season with a dominant victory over Canon-McMillan and ended it in Hershey with a 46-7 rout of Dallas for the PIAA Class 4A title.

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Riverview’s Mike Lewis during workouts Thursday, July 15, 2020 at Riverview High School.
New Riverview coach hopes to turn around program’s fortunes
September 5, 2020
A new era has begun for Riverview football.

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Springdale’s Chris Sauko makes a play to defend a pass during workouts Thursday, Aug. 13, 2020 at Springdale High School.
Springdale hopes to start strong against rival
The last shall be first as Springdale prepares for what it expects to be a season unlike any other.

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Kiski Area High School students, Jordan Fairman, Eliza Miller, and Lizeth Sesmas, run during a cross country practice on Sept. 4, 2020.
Cross country coaches make tweaks to run meets, generate ‘enthusiasm, optimism’
With the hope of having a fall high school season and understanding meets most likely would take a form unlike any before, cross country coaches throughout the WPIAL collaborated with each other and others from across the country to develop ideas as well as generate enthusiasm and optimism.

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Apollo-Ridge’s Logan Harmon works out during practice on Aug. 17, 2020, in Spring Church.
Depth, experience to fuel Apollo-Ridge in quest for postseason
September 4, 2020
No matter where Apollo-Ridge coach John Skiba turns on the practice field, he sees a returning starter.

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Serra Catholic’s Paul Pearson goes through drills during workouts Tuesday, Aug. 18, 2020 at Serra Catholic High School.
Increased numbers, returning talent fuel Serra Catholic in quest for success
Serra Catholic battled No. 4 Neshannock in last year’s WPIAL Class 2A first round before falling, 31-17.

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Shady Side Academy football team uses mini-parachutes during workouts Monday, July 20, 2020 at Shady Side Academy.
With numbers up, Shady Side Academy grateful for chance to play this season
Shady Side Academy’s football team made headlines last year when low roster numbers and injuries conspired to cause the forfeit of a Week 5 conference game at Apollo-Ridge.

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Gateway Derrick Davis during workouts Tuesday, July 21, 2020 at Gateway High School.
Gateway keeps focus on championship opportunities
September 3, 2020
Gateway captured a WPIAL championship last year, its second district football title in three years and seventh in the storied history of the program.

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Armstrong’s Jesse Hepler during workouts Thursday, July 15, 2020 at Armstrong High School.
Armstrong hopes to improve depth throughout lineup
September 2, 2020
Armstrong went to battle with a rather young and inexperienced team last year, and coach Frank Fabian said that, compounded with a rash of injuries to key players, led to a record he and his returning players hope to improve on this fall.

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Hampton football players during workouts Thursday, July 16, 2020 at Hampton High School.
Move to Class 4A feels like perfect fit for Hampton
Dawson Dietz says it’s a perfect fit.

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Knoch’s Eli Reese during workouts Thursday, July 15, 2020 at Knoch High School.
Realignment lets Knoch reunite with familiar foes
The Knoch football team has a clear goal in mind this season.

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Plum’s Jake Miller during workouts Thursday, July 16, 2020 at Plum High School.
Plum hopes to make a splash in move to new classification
After several years of play in WPIAL Class 5A, Plum turns its attention to a new venture this season.

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Bethel Park senior outside hitter Alexa Psotka earned second-team All-WPIAL Class AAAA honors in 2019.
Bethel Park’s Psotka taking Division I volleyball talents to the beach
August 31, 2020
Alexa Psotka is looking forward to putting her feet in the sand on the Atlantic Coast in South Carolina.

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Plum’s Kaitlyn Killinger air dribbles during practice Aug. 27, 2020, at Plum High School.
Killinger, Plum girls soccer ready for repeat performance
August 30, 2020
Kaitlyn Killinger probably couldn’t have imagined a better start to her high school soccer career.

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Knoch’s Laura Greb plays during practice Wednesday, Aug. 26, 2020 at Knoch High School.
WPIAL girls tennis preview: Knoch’s Laura Greb has shot at making history
August 28, 2020
Laura Greb wants to make WPIAL tennis history.

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Avonworth quarterback Nate Harper throws during workouts Friday, July 31, 2020 Avonworth High School.
No rest for hungry Avonworth after historic run
August 26, 2020
It was a season to remember for the Avonworth football team.

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Penn-Trafford developmental hockey team players Chase Crawford, 8, and teammate Gabe Eger, 8, listen to speakers as their coach, Matthew Eger, looks on, during a rally opposed to state restrictions on indoor hockey arenas on Wednesday<ins>,</ins><ins> Aug. 26, 2020</ins> at Center Ice Arena in Delmont.
Hockey players, parents urge Pa. to change indoor sports regulations
Hockey parents and players gathered at Center Ice Arena in Delmont on Wednesday evening to call for changes to the state government mandate limiting indoor athletic events.

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Ringgold goaltender Jerry Mease loses his mask on a collision with Elizabeth Forward’s Jacob Provident, as Hunter Suarez clears the puck during their PIHL Class B semifinal Monday, March 9, 2020, at RMU Island Sports Center.
PIHL plans to delay varsity season unless indoor restrictions are changed
The Pennsylvania Interscholastic Hockey League on Wednesday sent information to officials from each league member detailing the status of its varsity, junior varsity and middle school seasons based on the state-government mandate of a 25-person limit for indoor gatherings amid the coronavirus pandemic.

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Thomas Jefferson receiver Ian Hansen catches a pass during practice on Wednesday Aug. 19, 2020, in Jefferson.
Despite graduation losses, Thomas Jefferson retains title aspirations
August 23, 2020
Editor’s note: This is the first installment of Trib HSSN’s high school football preview series. One WPIAL conference will be previewed each day through Wednesday, Sept. 9.

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Zoe Skirboll, a rising junior at Fox Chapel and a member of the Racer-X club team, verbally committed Tuesday to swim at the University of Virginia.
Fox Chapel’s Zoe Skirboll excited about decision to swim at Virginia
August 19, 2020
Zoe Skirboll was not cavalier when she made the announcement Tuesday of her verbal commitment to swim for the Virginia Cavaliers.

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The renovation project at Burrell’s Buccaneers Stadium, with new artificial field turf and track is expected to be completed in about a month.
Burrell stadium renovation project moves ahead
August 18, 2020
The renovation of Buccaneers Stadium at Burrell High School continues forward, and the project now is expected to be completed in about a month, athletic director Drake D’Angelo said Tuesday.

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Plum’s Cassidy Starr makes contact in a game during the 2019 Western Pennsylvania Interscholastic Softball League season.
Slow-pitch softball league planning ‘full bore’ for upcoming season
August 16, 2020
The Western Pennsylvania Interscholastic Softball League’s 15th fall season is scheduled to begin Labor Day weekend.

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Bethel Park’s Emily Carter gets a hug from an opponent at the Tri-State Track Coaches Association meet Oct. 17, 2019, at Cal (Pa.).
Bethel Park’s Emily Carter commits to run at Oklahoma State
August 14, 2020
Emily Carter is heading west to continue her cross country and track and field pursuits.

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Allderdice girls soccer workouts suspended amid positive covid-19 test
The Allderdice girls soccer team will not hold conditioning workouts for two weeks after one of its players tested positive for covid-19.

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Hempfield’s Hunter Smiles (41) deflects the puck from Latrobe’s Peyton Myers (7) during a PIHL regular-season game Feb. 13, 2020, at Kirk S. Nevin Arena in Greensburg.
PIHL in a holding pattern, hoping to start season on time
The PIHL hopes to begin its 2020-21 season in early October, but league officials and teams are waiting for clarity on certain issues before going full speed ahead.

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Plum senior Max Matolcsy announced Saturday a football verbal commitment to the University of Pennsylvania in the Ivy League
Plum’s Max Matolcsy verbally commits to Penn
August 8, 2020
Max Matolcsy wanted to wait until his birthday to announce his college decision.

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Former Kiski Area football assistant coach Frank Morea discusses strategy with one of his players.
Frank Morea, pillar of Kiski Area football program, dies at age 90
August 7, 2020
Richard “Dick” Dilts and Frank Morea were opponents on the football field in high school in the mid 1940s.

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Latrobe native Mark Ackerman is the new athletic director at Eden Christian Academy.
AD job at Eden Christian leads Latrobe grad back to Western Pennsylvania
August 4, 2020
Mark Ackerman’s journey both in and out of sports the past three decades has brought him home to western Pennsylvania.

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Belle Vernon edges Summer Rams in WPSBL quarterfinals
August 3, 2020
The Summer Rams (Highlands) baseball team saw its run in the Western Pennsylvania Summer Baseball League playoffs come to an end in the quarterfinals Monday evening.

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Senior wide receiver, tight end and linebacker Max Matolcsy led Plum in both receiving and total tackles in 2019.
Plum’s Matolcsy to reveal his college choice Saturday
The college football recruiting process for Max Matolcsy is close to coming to an end.

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Summer Rams rally past Thomas Jefferson for berth in WPSBL quarterfinals
July 31, 2020
The Summer Rams (Highlands) baseball team stayed alive in the Western Pennsylvania Summer Baseball League playoffs Thursday evening with a come-from-behind 8-6 victory over Thomas Jefferson in a second-round game halted after six innings because of darkness.

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Irwin’s Ryan Scavnicky takes a lead off first in a WPSBL playoff game against Plum on Thursday, July 30, 2020.
Irwin Area wins 2, advances to WPSBL semifinals
The Irwin Area summer baseball team doubled its pleasure Thursday evening at Gateway High School, and it now is just two wins away from a Western Pennsylvania Baseball League tournament title.

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Summer Rams open WPSBL playoff tournament with victory
July 30, 2020
Playing their first game in more than two weeks, the Summer Rams (Highlands) topped Bethel Park, 9-5, on Wednesday at Gateway High School in a first-round contest in the Western Pennsylvania Summer Baseball League playoff tournament.

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Shaler Area hockey coach Cory Sakolsky leads team players in a workout drill July 27, 2020, at Shaler Middle School.
New coach Sakolsky brings experience, enthusiasm to Shaler hockey program
July 29, 2020
After two seasons away from coaching high school hockey, Cory Sakolsky is back.

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North Allegheny’s Rick Mihm competes in the boys 200-yard individual medley during the WPIAL Class AAA swimming championships Feb. 27, 2020, at Pitt’s Trees Pool.
WPIAL swimmers earn NISCA All-American laurels
July 21, 2020
Several WPIAL swimming standouts recently were honored as All-Americans by the National Interscholastic Swimming Coaches Association for times recorded during the 2019-20 season.

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The new baseball scoreboard at James E. Swartz Sr. Memorial Field in Freeport Borough is ready for this week’s Freeport International Baseball Invitational.
Minus international players, FIBI forges ahead with full schedule of baseball
July 20, 2020
For nearly four months, Freeport International Baseball Invitational officials closely monitored updates on the coronavirus pandemic.

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Riverview football coach Trevor George oversees a workout July 15, 2020, at Riverside Park in Oakmont.
New Riverview football coach Trevor George hopes to build momentum through summer workouts
July 16, 2020
When Trevor George was hired as the head coach of the Riverview football team, he hit the ground running with workout and conditioning sessions that helped him get to know better the players with whom he would be working.

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IUP’s Duane Brown, an Apollo-Ridge graduate, runs against New Haven on Sept. 7, 2019.
WPIAL grads come to grips with PSAC’s decision to suspend sports for fall semester
July 15, 2020
Michael Marisco walked the golf course as often as possible over the past couple of months.

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Carlynton athletic director Nate Milsom and Bill Cowher are all smiles as Cowher, a Carlynton grad and athletic standout at the school, is celebrated for his induction to the Pittsburgh Steelers’ Hall of Honor at a game against the Cincinnati Bengals on Sept. 30, 2020, at Heinz Field. Milsom earned his own honors recently as he was named a Certified Athletic Administrator by the National Interscholastic Athletic Administrators Association.
Carlynton’s Nathan Milsom honored by Athletic Administrator’s Association
July 8, 2020
Nathan Milsom loves to challenge himself.

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While the temperatures in early March were chilly for catcher Jordan Stancovich, he and other players on the Monroeville Gators summer baseball team are enjoying the chance to play Western Pennsylvania Baseball League games in the hot July weather.
Gateway players glad to compete in thriving summer baseball league
July 7, 2020
Born out of the cancellation of the spring high school season and the summer American Legion schedule, the Monroeville Gators, a group of players from Gateway and one from South Fayette, have mixed the fun of playing summer baseball with a focus on winning games in the Western Pennsylvania Baseball League.

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Shady Side Academy’s Ethan Salvia, left, reaches for the ball against North Catholic’s Ryan Feczko, right, during a WPIAL Class 3A first-round game Feb. 14, 2020, at Fox Chapel.
Shady Side Academy discontinues use of Indians mascot
July 1, 2020
The Shady Side Academy Indian mascot, in use since 1936, will be discontinued effective immediately, the school announced Wednesday.

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Plum’s A.J. Collins drives in a pair of runs with a base-loaded single during the fifth inning against Independent Players on Monday, June 29, 2020, at Valley High School in New Kensington.
Plum bats stay dangerous in WPBL victory
June 29, 2020
A six-run fifth inning turned out to be the difference for Plum in an 11-7 victory over the Independent Players in Western Pennsylvania Baseball League action Monday at Valley High School.

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Plum’s Denny Ayres slides into third base with an RBI triple next to Independent Players third baseman Dylan Geibel on Monday, June 29, 2020, at Valley High School in New Kensington.
Getting chance to play is great, but Plum’s WPBL team gunning for a title, too
Denny Ayres is getting ready to attend West Virginia with a mechanical and aerospace engineering course of study.

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Freeport girls basketball coach Fred Soilis talks with Sidney Shemanski during practice Thursday, Nov. 21, 2019, at Freeport Area Middle School.
Valley News Dispatch girls athlete of the year: Shemanski leaves lasting legacy at Freeport
June 28, 2020
From the time she stepped on the soccer field at Freeport in fall of 2016 to when she put on her Yellowjackets girls basketball uniform for the final time this season, Sidney Shemanski was a difference maker.

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Andre Carter officially will take over as Leechburg’s athletic director on July 1.
Leechburg’s Andre Carter takes over athletic director post at challenging time
June 26, 2020
When Andre Carter came to Leechburg in August 2018 to coach the girls basketball team, he noted player development as one of his strengths.

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Summer Rams pitcher Jett Slepak throws to the Independent Players’ Phillip Walsh (Burrell) in the second inning of a Western Pennsylvania Baseball League game June 24, 2020, at Valley High School.
Western Pa. Baseball League gives Summer Rams seniors last chance to take field together
Highlands baseball coach Jeff Campbell was heartbroken knowing his players were not going to have their high school season when schools were shut down in late March in response to the coronavirus pandemic.

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Seth Helgert scores the Summer Rams’ first run in the top of the first of a Western Pennsylvania Baseball League game against the Independent Players on June 24, 2020, at Valley High School.
Tanner Nulph, Summer Rams prevail in WPBL opener
June 24, 2020
Tanner Nulph first helped the Summer Rams at the plate in Wednesday evening’s Western Pennsylvania Baseball League game at Valley High School.

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Plum’s Denny Ayres hits a three-run double against Jeannette on Tuesday, June 23, 2020 at Buster Clarkson Field in Jeannette.
Plum comes out swinging, rolls past Jeannette in Western Pa. Baseball League opener
June 23, 2020
Plum and Jeannette didn’t let the threat of rain spoil their Western Pennsylvania Summer Baseball League opener Tuesday evening at Buster Clarkson Field in Jeannette.

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Kiski Area grad Naomee Miller is set to join the women’s swim team at Marshall University.
Kiski Area’s Miller finds swim home after being victim of budget cuts
June 13, 2020
On May 21, East Carolina’s athletic department announced it would reduce the number of athletic programs because of budget restructuring efforts in the wake of the covid-19 pandemic.

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Bundled up fans watch New Kensington High School’s Willie Thrower score a touchdown at Forbes Field in the WPIAL title game on Thanksgiving Day in 1947. The Red Raiders defeated Har-Brack, 28-0.
New Western Pa. high school QB award honors trailblazer Willie Thrower
June 8, 2020
Starting this fall, the top quarterback among schools in the WPIAL and City League will receive an award named in honor of the NFL’s first African-American signal-caller.

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Construction at Buccaneers Stadium in Burrell is shown Friday, June 5, 2020.
Renovations underway on Buccaneers Stadium in Burrell
June 7, 2020
As soon as the Burrell School Board voted unanimously in March to renovate Buccaneers Stadium with artificial turf and replace the surrounding track, anticipation began.

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Clinton Blazevich talks with his daughter, Alexis, during practice Thursday, Jan. 16, 2020, at Cheswick Christian Academy.
Cheswick Christian Academy pastor and ex-basketball coach ‘doing well’ after heart transplant
June 5, 2020
Clinton Blazevich returned to Allegheny General Hospital on Thursday for a test to see how everything is progressing with his new heart. His numbers, he said, continue to move in the right direction.

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South Park’s Stone Ellis was a cornerstone for the Eagles boys golf and tennis teams.
Senior Spotlight: Final tennis season wiped out, but South Park senior’s golf game in full swing
June 3, 2020
Editor’s note: Each day, Trib HSSN will spotlight WPIAL spring athletes whose senior years were cut short by the coronavirus pandemic.

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Jake Horigan, at left, and OLSH volleyball teammates Andrew Schnarre, Brock Saftner and Sig Saftner, celebrate after winning the 2019 OLSH Invitational. Jake Horigan, at left, with OLSH volleyball teammates Andrew Schnarre, Brock Saftner and Sig Saftner, celebrate after winning the 2019 OLSH Invitational.
Senior Spotlight: Avonworth football standout enjoyed one-year run with OLSH volleyball
June 2, 2020
Editor’s note: Each day, Trib HSSN will spotlight WPIAL spring athletes whose senior years were cut short by the coronavirus pandemic.

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Norwin senior Joey Ferragonio will play volleyball in college for Division I St. Francis (Pa.).
Senior Spotlight: Norwin outside hitter follows 5 siblings into college volleyball
May 30, 2020
Editor’s note: Each day, Trib HSSN will spotlight WPIAL spring athletes whose senior years were cut short by the coronavirus pandemic.

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Ambridge junior Kevan Rotthoff (20) competes during the North Allegheny tournament March 23, 2019, at North Allegheny.
Senior Spotlight: Ambridge libero gets jump-start into workforce
May 27, 2020
Editor’s note: Each day, Trib HSSN will spotlight WPIAL spring athletes whose senior years were cut short by the coronavirus pandemic.

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Loren Byers will join the men’s tennis at Penn State University.
Senior Spotlight: Tennis phenom hoped to make impact in lone season at Greensburg Salem
May 22, 2020
Editor’s note: Each day, Trib HSSN will spotlight WPIAL spring athletes whose senior years were cut short by the coronavirus pandemic.

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Shaler’s Steven Hoffman and Billy Dadowski were all-state performers last season.
Senior Spotlight: All-state honors were a highlight for Shaler volleyball teammates
May 21, 2020
Editor’s note: Each day, Trib HSSN will spotlight WPIAL spring athletes whose senior years were cut short by the coronavirus pandemic.

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Madison Gatto and Tyler Walmsley are Valley’s nominees for the Westmoreland County Scholar-Athlete Excellence Awards.
Valley seniors planning for careers in service of others
May 19, 2020
Editor’s note: This is the 17th in an 18-part series profiling nominees for the Westmoreland County Scholar-Athlete Excellence Awards.

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T.J. O’Brien is the new varsity girls soccer head coach at South Park.
New South Park girls soccer coach excited for opportunity at alma mater
May 18, 2020
For T.J. O’Brien, there’s no place like home.

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Despite having to perform his duties in a mostly remote role the past two months, Don Holl has settled in as Gateway’s new athletic director.
In the midst of challenges, Don Holl settling in as Gateway’s athletic director
May 17, 2020
Don Holl’s first official day as Gateway’s new athletic director was March 13.

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Baldwin’s Jimmy Dulya (17) moves the puck against Mars’ Nikolai Osborne (18) during their PIHL Class AA semifinal game March 11, 2020, at the Robert Morris Island Sports Center.
PIHL cancels remaining playoff games from 2019-20 season
In a move it hoped to avoid, the PIHL on Sunday afternoon canceled the remainder of the unplayed playoff games from the 2019-20 season.

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Juliana Crosby and Kurtis Phipps are Norwin’s nominees for the Westmoreland County Scholar-Athlete Excellence Awards.
Norwin’s Crosby, Phipps finished high school athletic careers in style
May 16, 2020
Editor’s note: This is the 14th in an 18-part series profiling nominees for the Westmoreland County Scholar-Athlete Excellence Awards.

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Obama Academy senior Sachin Thiagarajan, right, captured the 2019 City League boys tennis singles championship and competed in the PIAA tournament in Hershey. With Thiagarajan is 2019 City League runner-up Mike Varlotta from Brashear.
Senior Spotlight: Tennis success has led to teaching opportunities for City League singles champ
May 15, 2020
Editor’s note: Each day, Trib HSSN will spotlight WPIAL spring athletes whose senior years were cut short by the coronavirus pandemic.

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JJ Veshio is the new boys soccer coach at Quaker Valley.
Veshio tabbed to lead perennially powerful Quaker Valley boys soccer program
May 14, 2020
As a member of the boys soccer team at Quaker Valley from 1999-2002, J.J. Veshio was a part of successful squads that won PIAA and WPIAL championships and added a state runner-up finish under the direction of revered coach Gene Klein.

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Zac Barbato serves during Beaver County Christian’s section match at Ambridge during the 2019 season.
Senior Spotlight: Beaver County Christian volleyball standout hoped to repay leadership debt
May 12, 2020
Editor’s note: Each day, Trib HSSN will spotlight WPIAL spring athletes whose senior years were cut short by the coronavirus pandemic.

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Plum’s Kennedie Montue (21) looks for an open teammates during the Mustangs’ nonsection game against West Allegheny on Jan. 4, 2020, at Plum.
Plum’s Montue excited about joining Oakland University women’s basketball program
May 11, 2020
Kennedie Montue established a quick connection with Oakland University during her college recruiting journey.

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Allderdice senior David Missry, with coach Keith Goldman at the 2019 WPIAL Class AAA singles championships, was a favorite to take home the singles crown this year.
Senior Spotlight: Allderdice tennis standout turns attention toward career at Lehigh
May 10, 2020
Editor’s note: Each day, Trib HSSN will spotlight WPIAL spring athletes whose senior years were cut short by the coronavirus pandemic.

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Jo-Michelle Huczko and Connor Hudson are Franklin Regional’s nominees for the Westmoreland County Scholar-Athlete Excellence Award.
Franklin Regional seniors Huczko, Hudson in contention for excellence awards
May 6, 2020
Editor’s note: This is the fourth in an 18-part series profiling nominees for the Westmoreland County Scholar-Athlete Excellence Awards.

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Will Kuhns earned All-WPIAL Class AAA second-team honors after the 2019 season.
Senior Spotlight: Hempfield outside hitter turns focus to Penn State career
Editor’s note: Each day, Trib HSSN will spotlight WPIAL spring athletes whose senior years were cut short by the coronavirus pandemic.

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Chris Rose
Shady Side Academy earns national athletic trainers award
May 4, 2020
The National Athletic Trainers Association has recognized Shady Side Academy with its Safe Sports School 2nd Team Award for its athletic training program under the direction of head trainer Chris Rose and assistant Brynn Mahoney.

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Westmoreland County Scholar-Athlete Excellence Awards nominees Megan Malits and Ricky Feroce of Burrell
Burrell’s Feroce, Malits reflect on stellar careers
Editor’s note: This is the second in an 18-part series profiling nominees for the Westmoreland County Scholar-Athlete Excellence Awards.

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Sewickley Academy’s Arjan Bedi had his eyes on another top finish at the WPIAL boys singles championships this spring.
Senior Spotlight: Bedi hoped to lead Sewickley Academy tennis on one final title run
May 3, 2020
Editor’s note: Each day, Trib HSSN will spotlight WPIAL spring athletes whose senior years were cut short by the coronavirus pandemic.

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Bethel Park’s Tony Boff leaps for a serve during the 2019 WPIAL Class AAA title game against North Allegheny at Fox Chapel.
Senior Spotlight: Bethel Park’s Boff sought to expand on-court versatility
May 2, 2020
Editor’s note: Each day, Trib HSSN will spotlight WPIAL spring athletes whose senior years were cut short by the coronavirus pandemic.

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Knoch’s James Johnston pursues Highlands’ Kaeleb White during the teams’ conference game Sept. 12, 2019, at Highlands.
Knoch senior upbeat despite disappointing ending to long rehab road
May 1, 2020
James Johnston was ready.

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Indiana’s Zach Palko is all smiles after capturing the 2019 WPIAL Class AA boys singles championship at Mt. Lebanon.
Senior Spotlight: WPIAL singles champion hoped to build on success
April 28, 2020
Editor’s note: Each day, Trib HSSN will spotlight WPIAL spring athletes whose senior years were cut short by the coronavirus pandemic.

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Ambridge’s Liam Buck delivers a kill over Seton LaSalle’s Luke Manion during the 2019 WPIAL Class AA boys volleyball championship match May 23, 2019, at Fox Chapel.
Senior Spotlight: Artistry expands beyond the volleyball court for Ambridge’s Liam Buck
April 26, 2020
Editor’s note: Each day, Trib HSSN will spotlight WPIAL spring athletes whose senior years were cut short by the coronavirus pandemic.

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South Fayette’s Ryan McGuire, at left, and Freeport’s Jarrett Heilman celebrate with Pennsylvania’s winner’s trophy after sweeping Maryland at the 2020 Big 26 Baseball Classic all-star series in Harrisburg.
Big 26 Baseball Classic canceled
April 23, 2020
The Big 26 Baseball Classic, the annual summer all-star competition between rising high school juniors and seniors from Pennsylvania and Maryland, will not take place this year in response to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.

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Valley senior Michael Odrey, a WPIAL Class AA singles semifinalist and PIAA qualifier last year, hopes to continue playing tennis at the collegiate level.
Senior Spotlight: Valley tennis standout Odrey knocking off the rust
April 22, 2020
Editor’s note: Each day, Trib HSSN will spotlight WPIAL spring athletes whose senior years were cut short by the coronavirus pandemic.

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Penn Hills senior AJ Collins will suit up for the men’s soccer and baseball teams at Penn State New Kensington.
Penn Hills’ Collins preparing for a 2-sport college career
April 21, 2020
AJ Collins is seeing with double vision as he will join both the men’s soccer and baseball teams at Penn State New Kensington.

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St. Joseph catcher Dom Fellowes batted .512 last season.
St. Joseph baseball looks to build off breakout 2019 season
March 19, 2020
The St. Joseph baseball team is coming off a breakout season as it qualified for the WPIAL playoffs for the first time since 2000 and scored an upset victory in the opening round.

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St. Joseph’s Stella Swanson delivers against Springdale Tuesday, April 2, 2019, at Kotecki Memorial Park.
St. Joseph softball brings back plenty of experience
The St. Joseph softball program enjoyed a two-year run to the WPIAL playoffs in 2017 and ‘18, the first two such seasons in its history.

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North Allegheny senior Torie Buerger tied for first in the Class AAA girls 200-yard individual medley at the PIAA swimming championships March 11, 2020, at Bucknell.
PIAA finalizes Class AAA swimming and diving team standings, second-day champions and medalists
March 14, 2020
The PIAA has finalized the Class AAA swimming and diving team standings reflecting the results from Thursday’s second-day swims.

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Knoch’s Braden Zukowski was set to compete at the PIAA Class AA championships, but the event was postponed.
Class AA swimmers in limbo as coronavirus concerns put state finals on hiatus
Braden Zukowski and his Knoch swimming and diving teammates were eating breakfast about 10 minutes away from Bucknell on Thursday when they got the news the PIAA had postponed Friday and Saturday’s Class AA championship for two weeks because of the ongoing safety response to the coronavirus pandemic.

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Gateway’s Olivia Livingston smiles after her win in the girls 50 freestyle during the 2020 AAA WPIAL Swimming and Diving Championship at Trees Pool on Thursday, Feb. 27, 2020.
Gateway’s Livingston caps decorated career with pair of PIAA medals
March 13, 2020
It is often said all good things must come to an end.

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PA State Bowling Championships postponed because of coronavirus
In a joint statement, Pennsylvania regional and state bowling tournament directors Dana W. Brown and Shawn Pilyih have announced the PA State Bowling Championships, set for Friday and Saturday at North Versailles Bowl, have been postponed indefinitely as part of the safety response to the coronavirus outbreak.

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North Allegheny’s Christina Shi finished fifth and Maya Ennis took third at the PIAA Class AAA diving championships Thursday, March 12, 2020.
North Allegheny duo earns medals at PIAA Class AAA girls diving championships
March 12, 2020
North Allegheny junior Maya Ennis placed 19th two years ago in her first trip to the PIAA Class AAA diving championship at Bucknell.

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Thepool at Kinney Natatorium at Bucknell sits empty after PIAA officials canceled the remainder of Class AAA swim championships March 12, 2020.
WPIAL swimmers leave shortened PIAA Class AAA championships with mixed emotions
A range of emotions, from sadness to frustration, enveloped the faces of Class AAA swimmers and coaches, as well as family members and other spectators, when the PIAA announced Thursday that consolation and championship finals would not take place due to coronavirus concerns.

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North Allegheny’s Rick Mihm won gold in the 200 IM at the PIAA Class AAA swimming championships Wednesday, March 11, 2020.
Swimmers from North Allegheny, Fox Chapel claim Class AAA state gold
March 11, 2020
A trio of WPIAL swimmers took home PIAA Class AAA championships Wednesday on the first day of competition at Bucknell.

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Fox Chapel freshman Sophie Shao won the PIAA title in the girls Class AAA 100 butterfly on Wednesday, March 11, 2020.
Fast, focused Fox Chapel freshman swims to PIAA gold
Sophie Shao said she was calm, cool and collected in the minutes before her PIAA championship finals swim in the girls Class AAA 100-yard butterfly Wednesday evening at Bucknell.

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Norwin’s Ethan Tulenko won a pair of medals at the PIAA Class AAA swimming championships Wednesday, March 11, 2020.
Norwin’s Tulenko picks up pair of medals at PIAA swim meet
Ethan Tulenko turned a double play Wednesday at the PIAA Class AAA swimming and diving championships at Bucknell.

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Deer Lakes’ Adam Morrison competes in the boys 500 freestyle during the 2020 AA WPIAL Swimming and Diving Championship at Trees Pool on Friday, Feb. 28, 2020.
Deer Lakes’ Morrison looks to add PIAA gold to medal collection
Deer Lakes senior Adam Morrison owns two WPIAL gold medals in the Class AA boys 500-yard freestyle. He won his second straight title Feb. 28 at Pitt’s Trees Pool.

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Fox Chapel’s David Manelis competes at the PIAA Class AAA diving championships March 11, 2020, at Bucknell.
Fox Chapel’s Manelis earns bronze at PIAA Class AAA boys diving championships
Fox Chapel junior David Manelis led the WPIAL contingent with a third-place finish in the Class AAA boys diving championship Thursday at Bucknell University.

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Gateway’s Olivia Livingston is competing in the PIAA championships.
Gateway’s Livingston among WPIAL swimmers advancing to finals of PIAA swimming Day 1
Olivia Livingston is set to compete for her fourth PIAA championship in the Class AAA girls 50-yard freestyle.

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Fox Chapel’s Sophie Shao competes in the girls 100 butterfly during the 2020 AAA WPIAL Swimming and Diving Championship at Trees Pool on Thursday, Feb. 27, 2020.
Fox Chapel freshman in position to claim state swimming gold
March 9, 2020
Sophie Shao was the No. 1 seed in the 100-yard butterfly at the WPIAL Class AAA swimming championships at Pitt’s Trees Pool, and the Fox Chapel freshman turned away all challengers for her first taste of championship gold.

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Kiski Area’s Levi Hansen (left), on a life-threatening injury to his father, Joel: “(It) kind of made me see things and think about things a little differently.”
Father’s recovery from injuries motivates Kiski Area swimmer Levi Hansen
March 7, 2020
Levi Hansen had one of the swims of his life Feb. 28 at the WPIAL Class AAA championships at Pitt’s Trees Pool.

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Plum’s Joey Decheck competes in the boys 100 freestyle during the 2020 AAA WPIAL Swimming and Diving Championship at Trees Pool on Friday, Feb. 28, 2020.
Plum’s Decheck earns shot to compete with best in state
March 6, 2020
Joey Decheck swims this week at the PIAA Class AAA championships at Bucknell.

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Riverview’s Alyssa Cappa (23) competes against Brentwood Feb. 3, 2020 at Riverview High.
Riverview, Freeport girls basketball ready to knock off rust
March 5, 2020
The Riverview and Freeport girls basketball teams saw their stay in the WPIAL playoffs end with quarterfinal losses Feb. 20.

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Plum senior Vincent Cocca gets ready to release a ball during practice on March 4, 2019, at Nesbit’s Lanes in Plum.
Plum senior Cocca raring to go for regional bowling championships
March 4, 2020
Vincent Cocca knows all about bowling at the state championships.

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Fox Chapel’s Domenica Delaney (right) looks to get by Bethel Park’s Olivia Westphal during a WPIAL Class 6A quarterfinal game Feb. 21, 2020, at North Hills.
Fox Chapel, Knoch girls basketball see state playoff dreams fall short
March 2, 2020
The Knoch and Fox Chapel girls basketball teams gained rooting interests in their respective WPIAL playoff tournaments after both lost in the quarterfinal round Feb. 20 and 21, respectively.

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Burrell freshman Payton O’Toole competes in the WPIAL Class AA girls 200-yard freestyle Feb. 27, 2020, at Pitt’s Trees Pool.
Several A-K Valley swimmers earn spots in PIAA meet
March 1, 2020
The PIAA released its preliminary psych sheets Sunday morning for the state swimming and diving championships March 11-14 at Bucknell, and the Alle-Kiski Valley is well represented.

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North Allegheny’s Rick Mihm competes in the boys 500-yard freestyle during the WPIAL Class AAA swimming championship Feb. 28, 2020, at Pitt’s Trees Pool.
PIAA releases preliminary psych sheets for state swimming and diving championships
After two days of championship swims and other top performances at Pitt’s Trees Pool, WPIAL individuals and relays now are preparing for the PIAA Class AAA and AA meets March 11-14 at Bucknell.

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Belle Vernon’s Ian Shahan hugs Indiana’s Kevin Zheng after Shahan won the boys 100 freestyle during the 2020 AA WPIAL Swimming and Diving Championship at Trees Pool on Friday, Feb. 28, 2020.
Belle Vernon’s Shahan edges 100 freestyle rival to highlight WPIAL Class AA meet
February 28, 2020
Both Belle Vernon’s Ian Shahan and Neshannock’s Conner McBeth surpassed Shahan’s 100-yard freestyle WPIAL record from last year when the rivals swam neck-and-neck through Friday’s race at the WPIAL Class AA swimming championships at Pitt’s Trees Pool.

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Deer Lakes’ Adam Morrison competes in the boys 500 freestyle during the 2020 AA WPIAL Swimming and Diving Championship at Trees Pool on Friday, Feb. 28, 2020.
Deer Lakes’ Morrison stays atop 500 freestyle mountain at WPIAL meet
Adam Morrison was the hunted in the Class AA boys 500-yard freestyle at the WPIAL swimming championships Friday at Pitt’s Trees Pool.

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Fox Chapel girls place 3rd at WPIAL Class AAA swim championships
The Fox Chapel girls 200-yard medley relay kicked off the WPIAL Class AAA swimming championships Thursday with a school record and a third-place medal.

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Deer Lakes’ Adam Morrison competes in the boys 200 freestyle during the 2020 AA WPIAL Swimming and Diving Championship at Trees Pool on Thursday, Feb. 27, 2020.
Deer Lakes swimmers take second, third in hotly contested 200 free at WPIAL meet
February 27, 2020
There weren’t any floats or marching bands at Thursday’s WPIAL Class AA swimming championship meet at Pitt’s Trees Pool, but there was a sizable parade of Alle-Kiski Valley individuals and relay teams to the medal podium in the session’s six events.

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Fox Chapel’s Sophie Shao competes in the girls 100 butterfly during the 2020 AAA WPIAL Swimming and Diving Championship at Trees Pool on Thursday, Feb. 27, 2020.
Fox Chapel freshman brings home WPIAL swimming gold
Sophie Shao was full of energy and smiling from ear to ear when she came off the podium after receiving her gold medal in the WPIAL Class AAA girls 100-yard butterfly Thursday at Pitt’s Trees Pool.

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North Allegheny’s Torie Buerger competes in the girls 200 individual medley during the 2020 AAA WPIAL Swimming and Diving Championship at Trees Pool on Thursday, Feb. 27, 2020.
Buerger’s triumph helps North Allegheny girls to Day 1 lead at WPIAL Class AAA swimming championships
Butler’s Laura Goettler was going after a four-peat in the Class AAA girls 200-yard individual medley on the first day of the WPIAL swimming championships Thursday at Pitt’s Trees Pool.

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East Allegheny’s Casmere Marshall (2) pulls down a rebound against Mohawk during a WPIAL Class 3A quarterfinal game Feb. 22, 2020, at North Hills
East Allegheny, Seton LaSalle girls clinch spots in PIAA Class 3A tournament
February 26, 2020
A pair of Class 3A girls basketball teams clinched spots in the PIAA playoffs Wednesday based on results of WPIAL semifinal matchups at West Allegheny.

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Adam Morrison glides through the water during a workout Dec. 30, 2019, at Deer Lakes High School.
Deer Lakes’ Morrison leads talented A-K Valley contingent into WPIAL Class AA swim meet
Deer Lakes senior Adam Morrison has two main individual goals when he arrives at the WPIAL Class AA swimming championships Thursday and Friday at Pitt’s Trees Pool.

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Penn Hills’ Deondre Mitchell (1) puts up a shot as Laurel Highlands’ Tyvaughn Long defends during a WPIAL Class 5A boys basketball playoff game Feb. 21, 2020, at Norwin.
Six more WPIAL basketball teams clinch berths to states, two others stay alive
February 25, 2020
Eight WPIAL basketball teams from boys Class 5A and 2A and girls Class 6A and A punched tickets to this weekend’s championship games at the Petersen Events Center with semifinal victories Tuesday evening.

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Fox Chapel’s Talia Bugel is seeded second in the 100-yard backstroke and fourth in the 50 freestyle for the WPIAL Class AAA championships.
Next wave of Fox Chapel freshmen set for WPIAL swimming championships
Zoe Skirboll burst onto the high school swimming scene last year as a freshman for Fox Chapel, capturing gold medals and setting records at the WPIAL and PIAA Class AAA championships.

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Baldwin, Moon claim team titles at PA Classic gymnastic championships
February 24, 2020
Baldwin and Moon brought home team titles at the PA Classic gymnastics state championship meet Saturday at Moon High School.

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Freeport’s Harley Holloway looks for room against Belle Vernon during a WPIAL Class 4A first-round game Feb. 17, 2020, at North Hills.
Monday’s WPIAL semifinal results clinch PIAA berths for 8 teams
With their WPIAL quarterfinal victories, 24 boys and 24 girls basketball teams kept championship dreams alive.

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Freeport players watch from the bench as the final seconds of their game against Southmoreland comes to a close in the WPIAL Class 4A playoffs on Thursday, Feb. 20, 2020 at Penn-Trafford.
Quartet of Alle-Kiski Valley girls basketball teams hopeful for PIAA playoff spot
February 23, 2020
Despite losses in the WPIAL quarterfinals, Fox Chapel, Riverview, Freeport and Knoch remain alive for the PIAA girls basketball playoffs that begin March 6.

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Bethel Park’s Maddie Dzeizgowski (13) pulls down a rebound against Fox Chapel uring a WPIAL Class 6A quarterfinal game Friday, Feb. 21, 2020, at North Hills.
Bethel Park girls pull away from Fox Chapel in Class 6A quarterfinals
February 21, 2020
Bethel Park and Fox Chapel were locked in a low-scoring struggle through three quarters of Friday’s WPIAL 6A first-round game at North Hills.

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Plum’s Chloe Fabio (32) tips the ball away from Gateway’s Marina Grado (23) Jan. 13, 2020 at Gateway High.
Plum girls learn from playoff loss to Penn Hills
With 2 minutes, 4 seconds left in the third quarter of its WPIAL Class 5A first-round game against Penn Hills at Fox Chapel, the Plum girls basketball team held a four-point lead and hoped to expand it toward the program’s first playoff victory since 2002.

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Winchester Thurston freshman Maeve Kelley is the No. 1 seed for the WPIAL Class AA girls 500-yard freestyle.
Trib HSSN girls swimmer of the week: Maeve Kelley, Winchester Thurston
Maeve Kelley has made the most of her freshman swim season representing Winchester Thurston as an independent.

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Southmoreland freshman Henry Miller is the No. 2 seed in the WPIAL Class AA boys 100-yard breaststroke.
Trib HSSN boys swimmer of the week: Henry Miller, Southmoreland
For most of this winter high school sports season, Henry Miller pulled double duty, representing Southmoreland both as an independent swimmer and as a member of the wrestling team.

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Alyssa Pollice led Bishop Canevin wirth 28 points Thursday night.
Bishop Canevin girls put stop to Riverview’s run
February 20, 2020
After coming from behind to pull off a mild upset of No. 7 Burgettstown in the first round of the WPIAL Class 2A playoffs last week, the Riverview girls basketball team hoped to keep its winning ways intact Thursday against No. 2 Bishop Canevin at Hampton.

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Domenica Delaney, handling the ball in practice earlier this season, averages 11.0 points per game for Fox Chapel.
Alle-Kiski Valley basketball playoff preview capsules: Games of Feb. 21, 2020
Boys

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Seton LaSalle’s Chloe Lestitian (15) moves up court against Deer Lakes during a Class 3A WPIAL first-round game Feb. 19, 2020 at North Allegheny.
Seton LaSalle girls get revenge on Deer Lakes
February 19, 2020
For the second year in a row, the Deer Lakes and Seton LaSalle girls basketball teams met in the first round of the WPIAL Class 3A playoffs.

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Samantha Clark and her Freeport teammates face Southmoreland the WPIAL Class 4A quarterfinals Thursday.
Alle-Kiski Valley basketball playoff preview capsules: Games of Feb. 20, 2020
Today’s games

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Fox Chapel’s Elise Smith (32) pulls down a rebound Shaler on Jan. 3, 2020.
A-K Valley girls basketball notebook: Scrimmages keep Fox Chapel sharp
When the Fox Chapel girls basketball team plays No. 1 Bethel Park on Friday in the WPIAL 6A quarterfinals at North Hills, 11 days will have passed since its regular-season finale, a 49-31 victory over Armstrong on Feb. 10.

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Amoni Blackwell led Penn Hills with 15 points Tuesday night. Penn Hills’ Amoni Blackwell competes during practice for the 2019-2020 season Nov. 21, 2019.
Penn Hills girls pull away from Plum late to advance in Class 5A playoffs
February 18, 2020
The Penn Hills and Plum girls basketball teams, longstanding section rivals in the old Class AAAA, hadn’t played in more than four years until the WPIAL brought them together Tuesday for a Class 5A first-round game at Fox Chapel.

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Deer Lakes’ Makayla Blair (4) goes up for a shot against Shady Side Academy on Feb. 6, 2020 at Shady Side Academy.
A-K Valley basketball playoff preview capsules: Games of Feb. 19, 2020
Girls

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Greensburg Salem’s Mattie Mae White, the reigning girls singles champion, returns to defend her WPIBL title.
Top bowlers to compete for WPIBL individual titles
The Western Pennsylvania Interscholastic Bowling League crowned its team champions last week as the Central Catholic boys and Greensburg Salem girls took home top honors.

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Madilyn Boyer led Knoch with 15 points Monday night.
Knoch girls use defense, free-throw shooting to hold down New Castle
February 17, 2020
It wasn’t easy for the Knoch girls basketball team in its WPIAL Class 4A first-round game against New Castle on Monday at Fox Chapel.

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Plum’s Kennedie Montue (21) looks to pass against West Allegheny Jan. 4, 2020 at Plum.
A-K Valley basketball playoff preview capsules: Games for Feb. 18, 2020
Tuesday’s games

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Knoch’s Madilyn Boyer drives to the basket to score against Freeport Monday, Feb. 1, 2020, at Knoch High School.
A-K Valley girls basketball playoff capsules: Games for Monday, Feb. 17, 2020
February 16, 2020
Monday’s games

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Sydney McDonough led Riverview with 15 points Friday night.
Riverview girls rally past Burgettstown, end playoff losing streak
February 14, 2020
Despite a 10-point deficit at the end of the third quarter, the Riverview girls basketball team would not be denied its first WPIAL playoff victory since 2016.

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Plum’s Delanee White competes in the 200 IM against Gateway Feb. 13, 2020 at Plum.
Plum swimmers ‘can’t wait’ for WPIAL championships
With the WPIAL Class AAA swimming championships at Pitt’s Trees Pool fast approaching, Plum coach Shawn Haupt has double vision.

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Freeport junior Brooke Welling hopes to make her mark in freestyle events at the WPIAL Class AA swimming championships.
Trib HSSN girls swimmer of the week: Brooke Welling, Freeport
Brooke Welling ranks among the top swimmers in the girls 100-yard freestyle in WPIAL Class AA.

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Central Catholic senior John Guilinger is set to swim the 100-yard butterfly and 100 backstroke at the WPIAL Class AAA championships at Pitt’s Trees Pool.
Trib HSSN boys swimmer of the week: John Guilinger, Central Catholic
John Guilinger began his final varsity swim season at Central Catholic with both peace of mind and added energy after finalizing his decision to attend Penn State during the signing period in November.

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Deer Lakes freshman Bryce Robson and the Lancers will play top-seeded Lincoln Park in the opening round of the WPIAL Class 3A boys basketball playoffs.
A-K Valley basketball playoff capsules: Friday, Feb. 14, 2020
February 13, 2020
Friday’s games

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Central Catholic tops Hempfield to win WPIBL boys team title
February 12, 2020
Central Catholic outdueled Hempfield in the championship match to capture the Western Pennsylvania Interscholastic Bowling League boys team title Wednesday evening at Nesbit’s Lanes in Plum.

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Plum’s Mackenzie Lake (23) and Gateway’s Alexis Margolis (2) compete Jan. 13, 2020 at Gateway High.
Alle-Kiski Valley girls basketball notebook: Plum faces old foe Penn Hills
The last time the Plum and Penn Hills girls basketball teams met was Jan. 29, 2016, when the Indians stymied the Mustangs, 45-23, in Section 2-AAAA.

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Deer Lakes girls basketball coach David Petruska watches his team compete against Shady Side Academy on Feb. 6, 2020, at Shady Side Academy.
Young Deer Lakes girls basketball team hopes to continue growth in playoffs
Playoff expectations were high when the Deer Lakes girls basketball team opened camp.

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Reese Hasley and Deer Lakes got the No. 9 seed in Class 3A and will face Seton LaSalle in the first round of the WPIAL playoffs next Wednesday.
Knoch draws highest seed among A-K Valley girls basketball playoff teams
February 11, 2020
Last year at this time, Knoch girls basketball coach Chris Andreassi and the Knights faithful were still exhaling from a WPIAL Section 1-4A playoff chase that went down to the final day of the regular season.

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Freeport senior Sidney Shemanski scored a team-best 20 points in a 57-38 win over Deer Lakes on Monday.
Freeport girls honor seniors, tune up for playoffs with win over Deer Lakes
February 10, 2020
Former and most likely future section foes met Monday in a nonsection tuneup for the WPIAL girls basketball playoffs.

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Fox Chapel diver Aidan Ireland
Fox Chapel diver hopes to take next step at WPIALs, reach states
Two years ago, five members of the Fox Chapel boys diving team earned qualifying marks for the WPIAL Class AAA championships at North Allegheny.

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Burrell’s Ashley Smith lines up her throw during a match at Nesbit Lanes in Plum on Jan 8, 2020.
Bowling teams turn attention to WPIBL championship tournaments
The Western Pennsylvania Interscholastic Bowling League regular season has concluded, and the top individual bowlers and teams are shifting their focus to championship opportunities at the local, regional and state levels.

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Gateway’s Dynasty Shegog (right) competes during practice for the 2019-20 season Nov. 29, 2019.
Shegog’s buzzer-beating layup lifts Gateway over Plum for Section 2-5A title
February 7, 2020
The winner-take-all game Friday between Gateway and Plum for the girls Section 2-5A championship wasn’t the prettiest, but the Gators gladly accepted the outcome.

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Knoch senior diver Aryanna Napora has her sights set on getting back to the PIAA Class AA meet at Bucknell. She qualified for states as a freshman and sophomore but fell short last season, placing eighth in the WPIAL.
Quartet of Knoch divers hope to make ripple at WPIALs
Aryanna Napora set a goal at the beginning of her high school career to qualify for the PIAA Class AA diving championships all four years.

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Northgate’s Cooper Groll hopes to add to the eight WPIAL medals he’s won over his first two varsity seasons.
Trib HSSN Boys Swimmer of the Week: Northgate’s Cooper Groll
In his first swim of his first WPIAL Class AA championship meet at Pitt’s Trees Pool two years ago, Cooper Groll landed in the record books.

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North Allegheny junior Olivia Kisow hopes to again make waves in her third trip to the WPIAL championships.
Trib HSSN Girls Swimmer of the Week: North Allegheny’s Olivia Kisow
In her four events at last year’s WPIAL Class AAA championship meet at Pitt’s Trees Pool, Olivia Kisow stood on the medals podium after each one.

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Plum junior guard Jamie Seneca (12) looks to make a play during a Section 2-5A game at Gateway on Jan. 13, 2020.
Plum girls basketball has chance to add to school’s growing trophy collection
February 5, 2020
Last spring, the Plum softball team claimed a section championship, sharing the Section 2-5A title with Hampton.

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Harvest Baptist senior Jared Sidwell surpassed 1,000 points for his varsity career during a game against Latrobe’s Bible Baptist on Jan. 23, 2020.
Harvest Baptist’s Sidwell reaches 1,000-point milestone
Jared Sidwell is the leading scorer for the Harvest Baptist Academy boys basketball team.

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A-K Valley girls basketball notes: Knoch girls count on Lauren Cihonski at crunch time
Lauren Cihonski knew the feeling of producing clutch points to clinch a victory for the Knoch girls basketball team.

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Freeport senior Harley Holloway recorded her 1,000th career point in Tuesday’s 59-54 nonsection victory over Fox Chapel.
Holloway hits 1,000 points as Freeport tops Fox Chapel in battle of playoff-bound teams
February 4, 2020
Both the Fox Chapel and Freeport girls basketball teams suffered close section losses Monday, and opportunity presented itself Tuesday for one of them to quickly get back in the win column as the teams went head to head in nonsection play at Fox Chapel.

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Riverview’s Francesca Lio (11) puts up a shot against Brentwood’s Maura Daly (24) Feb. 3, 2020 at Riverview High.
Riverview wraps up playoff spot with dominant senior-night win over Brentwood
February 3, 2020
The Riverview girls basketball team honored its six seniors — Francesca Lio, Sydney McDonough, Annie Betler, Alivia Schultheis, Alyssa Cappa and Mikaela Collins — before Monday’s tip off with Section 2-2A rival Brentwood.

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Riverview swimmer Caitlyn Moore works on her backstoke during practice Feb. 3, 2020 at Shady Side Academy.
Riverview pair gearing up for WPIAL swim meet
As a freshman, Beth Shoop declared her independence as the only high school varsity swimmer from Riverview.

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Burrell celebrates its WPIAL AA championship trophy, the Bucs’ 14th straight, Saturday, Feb. 1, 2020. Burrell defeated Burgettstown in the final at Chartiers-Houston High School.
Burrell wrestling rolls to 14th consecutive WPIAL team championship
February 1, 2020
The Burrell wrestling team began the WPIAL Class AA tournament Wednesday with a dominant quarterfinal victory over Beth-Center.

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North Hills junior Joshua Bogniard is ranked second in the WPIAL Class AAA boys 100-yard freestyle.
Trib HSSN Boys Swimmer of the Week: North Hills’ Joshua Bogniard
January 31, 2020
Joshua Bogniard continues to make his move up the swim ranks in WPIAL Class AAA.

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Laurel Highlands sophomore Elizabeth Thomas owns the top time this season in the WPIAL Class AA girls 100-yard backstroke.
Trib HSSN Girls Swimmer of the Week: Laurel Highlands’ Elizabeth Thomas
At last year’s WPIAL Class AA swimming championships at Pitt’s Trees Pool, Elizabeth Thomas was one of two freshmen to medal in the girls 100-yard backstroke.

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Burrell’s Ian Oswalt pins Elizabeth-Forward’s Rick Prokop at 138 pounds during their Section 3-AA final match Wednesday, Jan. 22, 2020, at Elizabeth-Forward High School.
Burrell wrestling locked in on pursuit of 14th straight WPIAL team title
Over the past 14 years, teams have come and teams have gone from the WPIAL Class AA team wrestling final four.

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Burrell’s Dom Holmes works to pin Beth-Center’s Alston Csutoros at 170 pounds during their WPIAL Class AA team quarterfinal Wednesday, Jan. 29, 2020, at Burrell High School.
Burrell wrestling dominates Beth-Center, advances to WPIAL team semifinals
January 29, 2020
The Burrell wrestling team left no doubt it was ready to defend its WPIAL Class AA team championship as it kicked off this year’s tournament in dominant fashion on its home mat Wednesday.

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Freeport’s Sidney Shemanski (left) works against North Catholic’s Tess Myers during their Section 1-4A game Monday.
Freeport girls basketball making postseason push with healthy Shemanski
Sidney Shemanski appreciates the ability to be on the court with her Freeport teammates.

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A-K Valley girls basketball notebook: Deer Lakes solidifies playoff spot
Deer Lakes took a seven-point lead at halftime of Monday’s Section 3-3A matchup with Steel Valley, but a 20-1 third quarter in favor of the Lancers left no doubt in the 49-32 result.

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WPIBL regular season winding down to final two weeks
January 28, 2020
With two weeks left in the Western Pennsylvania Interscholastic Bowling League’s regular season, teams and individuals are jockeying for championship-tournament positioning with some still fighting to qualify for the postseason.

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Fox Chapel’s Domenica Delaney brings the ball upcourt at Fox Chapel Area High School.
Fox Chapel tops Shaler for key victory in WPIAL playoff chase
January 27, 2020
The Fox Chapel girls basketball team took one step closer to what it hopes is a trip to the WPIAL Class 6A playoffs with a 44-32 home victory over Shaler on Monday.

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Fox Chapel’s Leia Ross works out in the pool Monday, Jan. 27, 2020, at Fox Chapel High School.
Fox Chapel swimmers ready to take run at section title
The Fox Chapel girls swimming and diving team went undefeated in 2016-17 and captured a section championship.

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Hannah Potter makes surprise comeback for Kiski Area girls basketball
January 26, 2020
When Hannah Potter suffered a broken wrist in Kiski Area girls basketball’s opener, she and others thought her season would be lost because of the nature of the injury and the recovery time needed.

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Kiski Area senior Hannah Potter completes a drill during a preseason practice Nov. 19, 2019.
Kiski Area’s Potter returns to lineup after recovery from wrist injury
January 25, 2020
Hannah Potter is back.

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Trib HSSN girls swimmer of the week: Upper St. Clair’s Taylor Connors
January 24, 2020
Longtime followers of swimming at Upper St. Clair and throughout the WPIAL will remember the exploits of freestyler Merel Hommen.

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Junior Alex May owns several Montour boys swimming school records.
Trib HSSN boys swimmer of the week: Montour’s Alex May
Alex May was on a mission Monday as he set out to break the Montour school record in the boys 100-yard breaststroke.

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Plum gymnast Sarah Kvortek finishes her vault Jan. 23, 2020 at Jewarts Gymnastics.
Plum’s Kvortek looks forward to WPIAL gymnastics championships
Sarah Kvortek fell in love with gymnastics after being introduced to the sport during a friend’s birthday party at Gymkhana in Plum while in first grade.

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Freeport’s Grace Soilis tallied eight points to help Freeport top Burrell, 61-33, Thursday evening at Burrell.
Freeport girls run win streak to seven, top Burrell to clinch playoff spot
January 23, 2020
The Freeport girls basketball team hasn’t lost since a Jan. 2 setback at North Catholic.

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Kiski Area’s (from left) Levi Hansen, Jack Coleman and Parker Sterlitz will compete at the WCCA swimming meet at Derry.
Kiski Area freshmen to square off at WCCA swim meet
Freshmen Parker Sterlitz and Levi Hansen are no strangers to head-to-head competition as the Kiski Area teammates grew up battling each other at various club meets.

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Knoch’s Nina Shaw drives past Indiana’s Hannah Scardina (left) as Knights teammate Lauren Cihonski (42) looks on during Monday’s game. Shaw had 15 points in Knoch’s 62-43 win.
Freshmen making impact all over A-K Valley girls basketball scene
January 22, 2020
From the first game of this season, Nina Shaw was a focal point of the gameplan for the Knoch girls basketball team.

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Plum’s Kennedie Montue (21) is averaging more than 20 points this season and recently eclipsed 1,000 for her career.
A-K Valley basketball notebook: Plum’s Kennedie Montue eclipses 1,000 points
Kennedie Montue has shown a keen scoring touch the past three seasons for the Plum girls basketball team.

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Knoch rallies from early deficit to take down Indiana in section action
January 20, 2020
With just three minutes gone in Monday’s Section 1-4A matchup at Knoch, the Indiana girls basketball team held a 10-2 lead and hoped to take control.

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Cheswick Christian coach Clinton Blazevich works with his team Thursday, Jan. 16, 2020, at Cheswick Christian Academy.
Cheswick Christian girls playing inspired basketball
Veteran experience, team balance and ongoing inspiration from its former coach are just a few things, first-year Cheswick Christian Academy girls basketball coach Jacque Willis said, that have contributed to the team’s strong performance.

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Penn State names former Purdue standout Stubblefield new wide receivers coach
January 19, 2020
Taylor Stubblefield set Big Ten and national records as a wide receiver at Purdue, and he now hopes to lift Penn State’s receiving corps to similar lofty heights.

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Gateway’s Alexis Margolis, at left, guards Plum’s Mackenzie Lake during a Section 2-5A matchup Jan. 13, 2020, at Gateway’s Furrie Sports Complex.
Gateway girls refocus for 2nd half of section play
January 18, 2020
After a 14-point loss to Section 2-5A rival Plum on Jan. 13 at Furrie Sports Complex, Gateway girls basketball team members held a players-only meeting to share their thoughts about the game and the overall state of the season heading into the second half of section play.

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Apollo-Ridge coach Mike Monstrola talks strategy with his team in a timeout during a section matchup with Burrell on Jan. 16, 2020.
Apollo-Ridge rolls past Burrell for fourth straight victory
January 16, 2020
The Apollo-Ridge girls basketball team is about to embark on a crucial stretch of Section 1-4A games with matchups against North Catholic, Indiana, Knoch and Freeport.

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Moon senior Nicholas Settembrine is a WPIAL favorite this year in the Class AAA boys 100-yard backstroke.
Trib HSSN boys swimmer of the week: Moon’s Nicholas Settembrine
Nicholas Settembrine collected four medals — two individual and two in relays — at last year’s WPIAL Class AAA championships at Pitt’s Trees Pool.

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Thomas Jefferson’s Hallie Findlan won WPIALtop-five medals last year in both the 50- and 100-yard freestyles.
Trib HSSN girls swimmer of the week: Thomas Jefferson’s Hallie Findlan
Thomas Jefferson junior Hallie Findlan owns the top time in the Class AA girls 50-yard freestyle, according to the qualifying lists recently posted at WPIAL.org.

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Fox Chapel’s Ellie Schwartzman is pressured by North Allegheny’s Paige Morningstar during their game Friday, Dec. 20, 2019, at North Allegheny High School.
A-K Valley girls basketball notebook: Big game with Butler up next for Fox Chapel
January 15, 2020
The Fox Chapel girls basketball team opens the second half of Section 1-6A play Thursday at Butler in a game head coach Marty Matvey called crucial for its chances at a WPIAL playoff spot.

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Riverview’s Alyssa Cappa shoots a three-pointer against Springdale Monday, Jan. 13, 2020, in Oakmont.
Improving Riverview girls excited to tackle second half of section schedule
With a collection of experienced varsity players returning for this season, Riverview girls basketball coach Keith Stitt voiced an optimistic tone throughout preseason practices and scrimmages.

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Plum freshman Dannika Susko tallied six points to help the Mustangs top Gateway in a Section 2-5A battle for first place Jan. 13, 2019, at Gateway’s Furrie Sports Complex.
Plum limits section rival Gateway to win battle for first place
January 14, 2020
The Plum girls basketball team got defensive Monday against rival Gateway in a battle for first place in Section 2-5A.

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Knoch senior Braden Zukowski listens to instruction from his Racer-X club coaches during a practice Dec. 30, 2019, at Deer Lakes High School.
Knoch swimmer Braden Zukowski takes nothing for granted in WPIAL title quest
January 13, 2020
Knoch’s Braden Zukowski finished third overall in the boys 100-yard breaststroke at last year’s WPIAL Class AA championships at Pitt’s Trees Pool.

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Burrell’s Lydia Flanagan lines up a throw during a match Jan 8, 2020, at Nesbit’s Lanes in Plum.
A-K Valley high school bowlers score big
January 10, 2020
Kristin Womeldorf capped 2019 with one of the highest girls averages in all of the Western Pennsylvania Interscholastic Bowling League.

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Former McKeesport, UConn, WNBA and olympian basketball star Swin Cash accepts the Chuck Cooper Leadership, Diversity and Community Service Award at the 5th Annual Chuck Cooper Foundation Awards luncheon Uptown Wednesday, Feb. 18, 2015.
McKeesport’s Swin Cash named finalist for Women’s Basketball Hall of Fame
Former McKeesport basketball standout Swin Cash-Canal, who went on to star in college at Connecticut, in the WNBA and for Team USA in the Olympics, is one of 12 finalists for induction into the Women’s Basketball Hall of Fame.

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Kiski Area’s Jared Curcio controls Burrell’s Ricky Feroce during their 195-pound bout Jan. 9, 2020, at Kiski Area.
Kiski Area tops Burrell in annual mat battle between neighboring rivals
Kiski Area senior Jared Curcio understands the rivalry.

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South Fayette swimmer Abbie Duncan signs a letter of intent to Ohio. She was joined by her parents, Gina and Eric, in front, and in back, Tom Donati, coach of the Mt. Lebanon Aqua Club.
Trib HSSN girls swimmer of the week: South Fayette’s Abbie Duncan
January 9, 2020
Abbie Duncan sees the potential for a memorable final season with the South Fayette swim team.

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Indiana’s Isaac Griffith is a member of the 2019-20 swim team.
Trib HSSN boys swimmer of the week: Indiana’s Isaac Griffith
Isaac Griffith finished all alone at the top in the boys 100-yard butterfly at the West Allegheny Invitational on Dec. 28.

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Plum’s Logan Schlegel (14) scored two first period goals against Shaler on October 1, 2019, at Alpha Ice Center in Harmarville.
Players selected for PIHL all-star games
The players selected for the PIHL all-star games Jan. 26 at the Robert Morris University’s Island Sports Center have been released.

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Neveah Ewing (left) leads Knoch into a game with Freeport that will determine first place in Section 1-4A at the halfway point.
A-K Valley girls basketball notebook: Knoch, Freeport set for key section game
January 8, 2020
The Knoch and Freeport girls basketball teams took care of business in their respective Section 1-4A games Monday evening.

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Plum’s Kennedie Montue looks to pass against West Allegheny Jan. 4, 2020 at Plum.
Prolific Plum playmaker Kennedie Montue growing her game
Kennedie Montue has not slowed down in the new year.

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Deer Lakes rolls to section win over East Allegheny
January 6, 2020
The Deer Lakes girls basketball team plays three Section 3-3A games this week, and the Lancers got off to a good start Monday with a 62-41 victory over East Allegheny.

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Freeport sophomore Lexi Schrecongost is one of the top swimmers in the WPIAL in the 100-yard breaststroke.
Freeport swimmer Lexi Schrecongost on track for impressive second act
Lexi Schrecongost is hoping for an encore and more after a freshman swimming season that saw her earn four WPIAL medals, including an individual bronze in the girls Class AA 100-yard breaststroke.

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WPIAL athletes shine at 1st Tri-State Coaches indoor meet
January 5, 2020
Temperatures outside were cold Saturday, but inside at the Edinboro’s Sports and Recreation Center, competition quickly heated up as some of the top track and field athletes in the region gathered for the season’s first Tri-State Track Coaches Association meet.

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Gateway’s Evan Whiteside competes at the North Hills Duals on Dec. 14, 2019.
Gateway’s Whiteside ready to earn trip to state tournament
January 4, 2020
Evan Whiteside has designs on competing at the PIAA wrestling championships in March.

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Trib HSSN’s girls swimmer of the week: Mt. Lebanon’s Maddie Dorish
January 3, 2020
Maddie Dorish has picked up where she left off last March for the Mt. Lebanon girls swim team.

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North Allegheny senior Josh Galecki is one of the top WPIAL swimmers in the 100-yard freestyle and 200 free in boys Class AAA.
Trib HSSN’s boys swimmer of the week: North Allegheny’s Josh Galecki
Josh Galecki knows the feeling of winning gold in relay events at both the WPIAL and PIAA swimming championships.

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Freeport coach Fred Soilis gives his team instructions at the start of the second half of a Section 1-4A game Jan. 2, 2019, at North Catholic. The Trojanettes defeated the Yellowjackets, 61-42.
North Catholic tops Freeport in matchup of section leaders
January 2, 2020
Despite facing a 21-point deficit after three quarters of Thursday’s Section 1-4A contest at North Catholic, the Freeport girls basketball team didn’t wave the white flag.

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A-K Valley girls basketball notebook: Deer Lakes leaning on defense
January 1, 2020
The defense is not resting for the Deer Lakes girls basketball team.

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Knoch sophomore Madilyn Boyer brings the ball up the court during practice Jan. 1, 2020, at Knoch Middle School.
Knoch girls basketball team refuses to get complacent
The Knoch girls basketball team found itself in a dogfight last season for a spot in the WPIAL Class 4A playoffs.

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Burrell’s Austin Mele hoists the WPIAL AA championship trophy after defeating Freedom, 54-21, in the WPIAL Class AA championship match Saturday, Feb. 2, 2019 at Chartiers-Houston High School.
Top 10 A-K Valley sports moments of 2019
December 30, 2019
As the sun sets on another year in local sports, it’s time to look back on the best stories of 2019 in the Alle-Kiski Valley.

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Deer Lakes boys basketball tournament to begin Saturday after postponement
December 28, 2019
The Deer Lakes boys basketball tournament will begin Saturday evening after Friday’s first-day doubleheader was postponed because of water leakage in the high school gymnasium.

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Mt. Pleasant senior Heather Gardner
Trib HSSN girls swimmer of the week: Mt. Pleasant’s Heather Gardner
Heather Gardner put pen to paper last month on the first day of the National Letter of Intent signing period for swimming and finalized her commitment to Division I Liberty University in Lynchburg, Va.

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Belle Vernon junior Ian Shahan
Trib HSSN boys swimmer of the week: Belle Vernon’s Ian Shahan
Ian Shahan entered the 2019-20 high school swimming season as the hunted.

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Fox Chapel girls pull away to beat Knoch in Shady Side tournament
December 27, 2019
A jumper from Knoch senior forward Lauren Cihonski 40 seconds into Friday’s matchup with Fox Chapel at the Shady Side Academy Tournament gave the Knights a two-point lead.

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Marty Matvey is in his first season as the Fox Chapel girls basketball coach.
Fox Chapel girls showing glimpses of potential
In the latter stages of the third quarter of a at WPIAL power North Allegheny on Dec. 20, the Fox Chapel girls basketball team led the Class 6A No. 2 Tigers, 31-25, and had designs on finishing off a key early-season Section 1 victory.

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Marty Matvey is in his first season as the Fox Chapel girls basketball coach.
Fox Chapel girls showing glimpses of potential
December 25, 2019
In the latter stages of the third quarter of Friday’s game at WPIAL power North Allegheny, the Fox Chapel girls basketball team led the Class 6A No. 2 Tigers, 31-25, and had designs on finishing off a key early-season Section 1 victory.

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A-K Valley girls basketball notebook: Springdale sheds long losing streak
Two years ago Friday, the Springdale girls basketball team defeated Yough, 47-28, in the consolation game of the Valley Tournament. The team then experienced a losing streak that extended through the first six games of this season.

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Highlands junior Rachel Blackburn competes in the girls 100 breaststroke during the AA WPIAL Swimming/Diving Championship on Friday, March 1, 2019, at the University of Pittsburgh’s Trees Pool.
Highlands swimmer Rachel Blackburn in position to battle it out with WPIAL’s best
December 23, 2019
A youthful group led the Class AA girls 100-yard breaststroke at last year’s WPIAL swimming championships at Pitt’s Trees Pool.

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Kendall Craig set a pool record in the 200 IM for Seneca Valley.
Trib HSSN girls swimmer of the week for Dec. 19, 2019: Seneca Valley’s Kendall Craig
December 19, 2019
Kendall Craig set a new Seneca Valley pool record Tuesday in the girls 200-yard individual medley.

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Upper St. Clair swimmer Josh Matheny committed to Indiana University.
Trib HSSN boys swimmer of the week for Dec. 19, 2019: Upper St. Clair’s Josh Matheny
No record is safe when Josh Matheny is going after it.

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Freeport’s Samantha Clark (12) attempts to move the ball up court during a Section 1-4A game against Highlands on Monday, Dec. 16, 2019, at Highlands High School.
Freeport girls navigating rocky road during season’s opening weeks
December 18, 2019
The Freeport girls basketball team is 2-0 in Section 1-4A and the Yellowjackets hope to remain unblemished Thursday when they face rival Burrell.

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Alle-Kiski Valley girls basketball notebook: Kiski Area loses Hannah Potter to broken wrist
Hannah Potter hoped to have a standout senior season for the Kiski Area girls basketball team and build off of a strong junior campaign which saw her lead a young Cavaliers squad with an average of 14.9 points a game.

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Freeport’s Harley Holloway (5) moves the ball up court against the defense of Highlands’ Skyler Summers (3) during a Section 1-4A girls basketball game on Monday, Dec. 16, 2019, at Highlands.
Freeport girls step up on defense, surge past Highlands
December 16, 2019
Late in the first quarter of Monday’s Section 1-4A girls basketball matchup between Freeport and Highlands, the Yellowjackets and Golden Rams were tied at eight.

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Fox Chapel junior David Manelis prepares to execute a diving during a practice session Monday, Dec. 16, 2019, at Fox Chapel High School.
Confidence, repertoire grow for Fox Chapel diver David Manelis
David Manelis was in contention for gold at last year’s PIAA Class AAA boys diving championships at Bucknell.

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Plum’s Nick McMasters competes during practice Nov. 19, 2019.
Plum, Kiski Area hockey to raise money for Brian Shaw Memorial Fund
December 15, 2019
The Plum and Kiski Area hockey teams do not play each other during the PIHL regular season as the Mustangs and Cavaliers are in different classifications.

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Gateway to honor hockey alumni
The tradition that is ice hockey at Gateway High School again will be celebrated as three former players will be inducted into the Gateway Hockey Alumni Honor Roll during the annual alumni winter event Dec. 26 at Center Ice Arena in Delmont.

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Senior Nick Delmastro lines up a shot during practice Dec. 11, 2019, at Plum High School.
Plum takes aim with revamped rifle roster
The Plum rifle team was an experienced group last season with seven seniors helping to form the squad’s core.

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Apollo-Ridge’s Logan Harmon (44) tries to tackle New Brighton’s Nyasanu Greene in the second half of a game Friday, Nov. 1, 2019, at Apollo Ridge’s Owens Field.
Valley News Dispatch Defensive Player of the Year: Apollo-Ridge’s Logan Harmon
December 14, 2019
Logan Harmon is in the early stages of his second varsity wrestling season.

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Freeport’s Julia Cummings lines up a throw at the Wild Life Lodge Lanes in Lower Burrell Wednesday Dec 11, 2019.
From a 298 game to a 660 series, Freeport bowlers put up big numbers to start season
December 13, 2019
Mark Livingston came close to perfection in his first game of the high school bowling season.

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Freeport girls basketball coach Fred Soilis works with his team during a recent practice.
A-K Valley girls basketball notebook: Freeport looks to repeat fast start
December 11, 2019
Last season, the Freeport girls basketball team went 1-1 at the season-opening Southmoreland tournament before winning six straight to head into the new year 7-1 en route to an 18-4 regular season and a runner-up finish in Section 1-4A.

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Deer Lakes’ Makayla Blair makes successful return from hoops hiatus
Makayla Blair scored a game-best 18 points and pulled down 10 rebounds Monday in the Deer Lakes’ girls basketball team’s 57-41 victory over Burrell.

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Deer Lakes Nikki Flemming (10) and Burrell’s Addy Landowski (50) goes for a rebound during a nonsection girls basketball game Dec. 9, 2019, at Deer Lakes.
Deer Lakes girls break into win column with double-digit triumph
December 9, 2019
Something had to give Monday between the Deer Lakes and Burrell girls basketball teams after both had suffered a pair of losses in tip-off tournaments over the weekend.

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Deer Lakes junior Adam Morrison (right) and other competitors begin their heat in the boys 500 freestyle during the AA WPIAL Swimming/Diving Championship on Friday, March 1, 2019, at the University of Pittsburgh’s Trees Pool.
Deer Lakes’ Morrison leads strong cast of returning A-K Valley swimmers, divers
December 8, 2019
Adam Morrison is the hunted.

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Johnny Crise had 13 points, 12 rebounds, seven assists and five blocked shots in Highlands’ win over Gateway.
Highlands boys basketball storms past Gateway
December 7, 2019
For the second time in as many nights, the Highlands boys basketball team defended its home court in dominating fashion.

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Deer Lakes’ Reese Hasley drives past Freeport’s Sidney Shemanski last season.
Starting 5: A guide to the A-K Valley girls high school basketball season
December 5, 2019
STORYLINES

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Burrell’s Allison Vescio works against Deer Lakes’ Elora O’Rourke during their game Monday, Sept. 9, 2019, at Burrell High School.
Burrell’s Allie Vescio named Valley News Dispatch Girls Soccer Player of the Year
November 30, 2019
Valley News Dispatch Girls Soccer Player of the Year

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Riverview’s Alyssa Cappa looks for a shot during a recent scrimmage against St. Joseph on Tuesday, Nov. 26, 2019.
Playoff near-misses motivate Riverview girls
November 29, 2019
The Riverview girls basketball team suffered heartbreak two seasons ago with a buzzer-beating, one-point loss to Serra Catholic in the first round of the WPIAL Class A playoffs.

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Riverview senior Thanny Black led the team in scoring (13.5 points per game) last season. He also averaged 7.1 rebounds.
With struggles behind them, Riverview boys again thinking playoffs
The Riverview boys basketball team last earned a trip to the WPIAL playoffs in 2015.

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Plum’s Logan Schlegel competes during practice Nov. 19, 2019.
Schlegel leads Plum hockey team back to playoff contention
November 21, 2019
The Plum hockey team edged Hampton in a PIHL Class AA contest Nov. 11 for its fourth win in its opening six games.

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Deer Lakes’ Reese Hasley (left) talks with coach Dave Petruska next to Cameron Simurda during practice Tuesday, Nov. 19, 2019, at Deer Lakes High School.
Opportunity knocks for underclassmen on Deer Lakes girls roster
Reese Hasley is confident and focused forward.

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Deer Lakes’ Jack Hollibaugh works out during practice Tuesday, Nov. 19, 2019, at Deer Lakes High School.
After a season to remember, Deer Lakes boys trying to plan an encore
The Deer Lakes boys basketball team made history last year during its school-record run to and through the postseason.

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Madison Marks, Morgan Gamble, Rylee Eaton and Emily Bonelli are returning starters for the 2019 Apollo-Ridge girls basketball team.
With new coach, veteran roster, Apollo-Ridge girls eye return trip to playoffs
November 18, 2019
Mike Monstrola served as a coach for the Apollo-Ridge junior high boys basketball program last year, but he often made it a point to take in games involving the Vikings boys and girls varsity teams.

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Apollo-Ridge basketball coach Greg Fox prepares his team at practice on Nov. 14, 2019.
Apollo-Ridge boys basketball looks to take one more step forward
The Apollo-Ridge boys basketball team made a leap back to prominence last year, improving by seven wins, both overall and in section play, from the year before.

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Freeport’s Lauren Lampus (14) competes against North Catholic during PIAA 2A semifinal gamr Nov. 12, 2019 at North Allegheny.
Freeport, Knoch volleyball teams reflect on PIAA runs
November 16, 2019
Only 16 high school girls volleyball teams were left standing last Tuesday as the four classifications moved to the semifinal round of the PIAA playoffs.

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North Catholic’s Dominique Felix (11) hits against Freeport during a PIAA Class AA semifinal.
PIAA Class AA volleyball finals primer: North Catholic vs. North Penn-Liberty
November 15, 2019
North Penn-Liberty (22-0) vs. North Catholic (22-1)

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North Allegheny’s Abby Miller sets a ball against Shaler.
PIAA Class AAAA volleyball finals primer: North Allegheny vs. Bishop Shanahan
Bishop Shanahan (23-0) vs. North Allegheny (22-1)

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Fox Chapel’s Christian Fitch keeps pace with the leaders during the WPIAL Class AAA boys cross country race on Oct. 24, 2019, at California University. Fitch finished the race fourth.
Fox Chapel’s Fitch, Sisson named A-K Valley cross country runners of year
November 14, 2019
Fox Chapel seniors Christian Fitch and Grace Sisson were selected as the Alle-Kiski cross country runners of the year as a part of the 2019 All-Star teams.

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Kiski Area’s Nick Delp signed a national letter of intent with Bucknell on Wednesday.
Kiski Area wrestlers, other A-K Valley athletes sign letters of intent
November 13, 2019
Last year at this time, Nick Delp saw Kiski Area graduates Cam Connor and Darren Miller sign Division I National Letters of Intent to wrestle at Penn and Bucknell, respectively.

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North Allegheny’s Paige Morningstar records a kill during the WPIAL Class AAAA championship match.
North Allegheny keeps hopes of PIAA volleyball 3-peat alive
November 12, 2019
The North Allegheny girls volleyball team captured PIAA gold the past two seasons, and the Tigers will go after their third consecutive crown and sixth in program history after defeating Landisville Hempfield 3-1 in a Class AAAA semifinal match Tuesday at Altoona High School.

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Knoch’s Rory McCune (right) blocks a shot against Palmyra during the Knights’ PIAA Class AAA semifinal.
Palmyra ends Knoch’s volleyball season in state semifinals
Things started well for the Knoch girls volleyball team in Tuesday’s PIAA Class AAA semifinal against Palmyra at Altoona High School.

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Freeport’s Mackensey Jack blocks a shot by Brookville’s Maggie Mackins during a PIAA Class AA first-round match.
Freeport volleyball set for high-stakes rematch with North Catholic
November 11, 2019
As the Freeport girls volleyball team was taking care of Beaver on Saturday in a PIAA Class AA quarterfinal at Shaler, North Catholic and defending PIAA champion Bald Eagle Area squared off for another spot in the state semifinals.

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Freeport starting pitcher Jarrett Heilman went 9-2 with a 0.67 ERA last season.
Standout Freeport pitcher Jarrett Heilman gives verbal commitment to Mercyhurst
Jarrett Heilman is busy preparing for his final high school baseball season with a Freeport, which returns numerous starters and key contributors from last spring’s run to a Section 1-3A title and the PIAA playoffs.

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Knoch’s Ally Albert returns serve against Franklin Regional during a PIAA Class AAA quarterfinal Saturday at Shaler Area High School.
Knoch volleyball sweeps Franklin Regional to move into state semifinals
November 9, 2019
The Knoch girls volleyball team swept Franklin Regional when the teams met in the WPIAL Class AAA semifinals last week.

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Freeport celebrates after scoring against Beaver during a PIAA Class AA quarterfinal game Nov. 9, 2019, at Shaler Area High School.
Freeport volleyball sweeps Beaver, moves into PIAA semifinals
The Freeport girls volleyball team is returning to a familiar place.

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Knoch’s Rory McCune and Hannah Rowe block the shot of South Fayette’s Lauren Saulle during PIAA Class AAA first-round action Tuesday.
Knoch block party frustrates volleyball foes
November 8, 2019
In last week’s WPIAL Class AAA semifinal victory over Franklin Regional, Knoch girls volleyball players recorded more than two dozen blocks, with four players leading the way with six apiece.

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Freeport senior Lauren Lampus had the match-ending kill in a PIAA first-round matchup with Brookville on Tuesday.
Freeport refocuses, gets set for PIAA volleyball quarterfinals
After two emotional and physically draining five-set matches to cap the WPIAL playoffs, senior outside hitter Lauren Lampus and the other Freeport girls volleyball team members were happy to take care of business in straightforward fashion Tuesday in the first round of the PIAA tournament.

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Shady Side Academy goalkeeper Thea Conomikes celebrates with Kate Nury (right) and Marnie McCormick after defeating The Ellis School in the WPIAL Class A field hockey final Tuesday, Oct. 29, 2019, at Fox Chapel High School. SSA won, 1-0.
WPIAL releases field hockey all-star lists
November 7, 2019
The WPIAL wrapped up the 2019 field hockey season Thursday with the release of its Division I and II all-star lists.

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Plum’s Abby Lewis moves the ball upfield during the girls WPIAL Class AAA championship game against Mars on Saturday, Nov. 2, 2019, at Highmark Stadium.
Plum pleased with progress after historic girls soccer season
November 6, 2019
When Plum girls soccer team members gathered for summer workouts and then came together for official preseason practices in August, a buzz surrounded the talented but youthful group.

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Plum’s Makayla Jackson (27) competes against Norwin on Sept. 3, 2019, at Norwin.
Plum’s Jackson gives verbal commitment to Pitt volleyball
November 5, 2019
For Plum’s Makayla Jackson, Pitt is it.

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Knoch’s Kenzie Kerkan with a dig against Thomas Jefferson during the girls class 3-A WPIAL Volleyball Championships Saturday, Nov. 2, 2019 at Fox Chapel Area High School.
WPIAL volleyball champs Freeport, Knoch eager to begin PIAA title quests
November 4, 2019
Shaler Area will be a volleyball hotspot Tuesday as WPIAL champions Freeport and Knoch open the PIAA playoffs with back-to-back matchups.

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Plum’s Gina Proviano (right) competes against Gateway’s Jenna Shuman during a WPIAL Class AAA first-round game October 21, 2019 at Plum High.
First PIAA-playoff appearance is ‘great opportunity’ for Plum girls soccer
The Plum girls soccer team fell short Saturday in its quest for a WPIAL Class AAA championship in its first title-game appearance.

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Riverview’s Mason Ochs runs to the finish line during the WPIAL Class A championship race Thursday, Oct. 24, 2019, at California University.
Future bright for Riverview boys cross country team
November 3, 2019
Riverview junior Mason Ochs finished eighth in the Class A boys race at Saturday’s PIAA cross country championships after taking second at WPIALs.

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Knoch’s Rory McCune and Hannah Rowe blocks the shot of Thomas Jefferson’s Abigail Chalovich during the girls class 3-A WPIAL Volleyball Championships Saturday, Nov. 2, 2019 at Fox Chapel Area High School.
Knoch, Freeport volleyball teams seek repeat of 2017 PIAA titles
In 2017, the Knoch and Freeport volleyball teams played the final three matches of their PIAA championship runs in the same location.

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Kiski Area’s Lebryn Smith is taken down during a WPIAL Class 5A opening-round playoff game against Bethel Park on Friday.
A-K Valley football teams fall short in 1st round of WPIAL playoffs
November 2, 2019
When sophomore Cody Dykes connected on a 33-yard field goal early in the second quarter of Friday’s WPIAL Class 5A first-round game at Bethel Park, the Kiski Area football team held a 10-point lead.

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Kiski’s Luke Lander carries the ball during the WPIAL Class 5A opening-round playoff game against Bethel Park on Friday, Nov. 1, 2019, at Bethel Park.
Bethel Park scores 28 unanswered in playoff defeat of Kiski Area
November 1, 2019
With 10 minutes left until halftime of Friday’s WPIAL Class 5A first-round matchup at Bethel Park, Kiski Area led the Black Hawks by 10 points and appeared ready to take full control.

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Plum’s Justin Mascilli runs to a first-place finish at a dual meet with Avonworth on Oct. 10, 2019 at Boyce Park in Plum.
Plum’s Justin Mascilli misses spot at state cross country meet by narrowest of margins
Plum senior Justin Mascilli placed 27th in the boys Class AAA race at the WPIAL cross country championships Oct. 24 at Cal (Pa.).

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Freeport’s Macensey Jack blocks the shot of Avonworth’s Lexie Auth during WPIAL AA volleyball semifinal action at North Allegheny High School.
Freeport hungry for WPIAL girls volleyball title
The Freeport girls volleyball team celebrated Thursday’s come-from-behind 3-2 victory over Avonworth in the WPIAL Class AA semifinals at North Allegheny with a trip to Chick-fil-A.

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Plum’s Emily Kirkpatrick (right) has a team-leading 11 assists this season.
Mars is last obstacle in way of Plum girls soccer’s first WPIAL title
Earlier this season, the Plum girls soccer team ventured to Highmark Stadium for a matchup with section rival Oakland Catholic.

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Knoch’s Hannah Rowe celebrates a kill during the Knights’ WPIAL Class 3A semifinal against Franklin Regional on Wednesday, Oct. 30, 2019, at North Allegheny High School.
Knoch, Thomas Jefferson to collide in WPIAL girls volleyball title match
Knoch and Thomas Jefferson were the top two ranked girls volleyball teams in WPIAL Class AAA throughout the season, and they were rewarded with the top two seeds in the playoff bracket.

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Avonworth’s Shasha Kosko spikes on Freeport’s Isabella Russo during WPIAL AA volleyball semifinal action at North Allegheny High School.
Freeport rallies to knock off Avonworth in WPIAL volleyball playoffs
October 31, 2019
The Freeport girls volleyball team hadn’t faced adversity this season like it did Thursday in a WPIAL Class AA semifinal match against Avonworth at North Allegheny.

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Fox Chapel’s Charlotte James will vie for her first PIAA singles title this weekend.
Fox Chapel and Knoch tennis players set their sights on PIAA titles
After helping Fox Chapel win its first PIAA Class AAA team tennis title since 2004, No. 1 singles player Charlotte James will turn her attention to the state singles tournament in Hershey this weekend. After winning doubles titles as a freshman and a sophomore with teammate Amanda Nord, the 2019 WPIAL singles champion has experience as well.

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Fox Chapel’s Grace Sisson heads to states after finishing fifth at WPIALs.
A-K Valley runners on quest for medals at PIAA cross country meet
A contingent of Alle-Kiski Valley cross country teams and individuals hope to build on performances from WPIALs as they run against the state’s best Saturday at the PIAA championships in Hershey.

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Knoch’s Hannah Rowe celebrates a kill during the Knights’ WPIAL Class 3A semifinal against Franklin Regional Wednesday, Oct. 30, 2019, at North Allegheny High School.
Knoch girls volleyball tops Franklin Regional, reaches WPIAL finals
October 30, 2019
The Knoch girls volleyball team will play for a third straight WPIAL Class AAA championship.

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Freeport senior Tori Radvan warms up for a WPIAL Class AA quarterfinal match against Hopewell on Oct. 29, 2019, at North Hills.
Knee injury behind her, Freeport senior ready for ‘high-pressure situations’ in WPIAL volleyball playoffs
Tori Radvan ended her sophomore volleyball season on the court at Johnstown’s Richland High School celebrating a state championship with her Freeport teammates.

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Peyton McCann is a top player for the Kiski Area football team in 2019.
A-K Valley football players to watch in the first week of WPIAL playoffs
Ryan Creehan

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Freeport’s Sidney Shemanski (22) celebrates her first goal with Emma Check (13) and Akina Boynton during their game against Apollo-Ridge Monday, Sept. 30, 2019, at Freeport Area High School.
                                Freeport’s Sidney Shemanski (22) celebrates her goal with Emma Check (13) and Akina Boynton during their game against Apollo-Ridge earlier this season. The Yellowjackets play South Park in the third-place consolation game of the WPIAL Class AA girls soccer playoffs.
A-K Valley girls soccer capsule for Oct. 30
October 29, 2019
WPIAL

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Knoch girls volleyball digs deep, overcomes injuries to advance in WPIAL playoffs
Having two all-state volleyball players missing from a rotation might derail any number of teams, but the Knoch girls squad has used its depth and veteran leadership to stay in the WPIAL playoff mix.

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Senior Samantha Clark and the rest of the Freeport girls volleyball team raced past Hopewell in a 3-0 WPIAL Class AA quarterfinal victory on Oct. 29, 2019, at North Hills.
Freeport sweeps past Hopewell to earn spot in WPIAL semifinals
The Freeport girls volleyball team keeps on rolling.

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Freeport’s Sidney Shemanski battles Yough’s Amber Biros for a header during their WPIAL Class 2A semifinal Monday, Oct. 28, 2019, at Mars Area High School.
Freshman McKenzie Pritts scores twice, Yough blanks Freeport to reach WPIAL title game
October 28, 2019
The Yough girls soccer team recorded only two shots on goal over the first 43 minutes of its WPIAL Class AA semifinal against Freeport on Monday at Mars.

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Sidney Shemanski (22), Akina Boynton (center), Emma Check (13) and the rest of the Freeport girls soccer team are one win away from a trip to the PIAA Class AA title game at Highmark Stadium.
Surprising Freeport girls ‘want it all’ entering WPIAL soccer semifinals
October 27, 2019
Akina Boynton scored 11 goals during the regular season to help the Freeport girls soccer team to a 14-4 overall record, a runner-up finish in Section 2-AA and the No. 8 seed for the WPIAL playoffs.

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A-K Valley girls soccer preview capsules: Games of Monday, Oct. 28, 2019
Monday’s games

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Kiski Area players celebrate after defeating Mars on Oct. 18, 2019, at Mars.
A-K Valley football notebook: Late-season surge gets Kiski Area in playoffs
October 26, 2019
A series of playoff scenarios were on the table in the Class 5A Northern Conference entering Friday’s Week 9 games.

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Leechburg holds off Springdale in ’emotional’ victory
Last year, Leechburg defeated Springdale to cap its first non-losing season since 1991.

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Fox Chapel’s Charlotte James returns a volley during her WPIAL Class AAA championship match against Baldwin’s Bethany Yauch Thursday, Sept. 19, 2019, at Shady Side Academy.
PIAA girls tennis roundup: Fox Chapel, Knoch, Sewickley Academy advance to semifinals
October 25, 2019
The Fox Chapel girls tennis team remained alive for a PIAA championship Friday with a 3-2 victory over District 1 champion Unionville at Hershey Racquet Club.

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Mt. Lebanon’s Patrick Anderson crosses the finish line to win the WPIAL Class AAA boys championship race Thursday, Oct. 24, 2019, at Cal U (Pa.).
Mt. Lebanon’s Patrick Anderson betters own course record, captures first WPIAL title
October 24, 2019
Patrick Anderson started this season by setting a course record at the Marty Uher Invitational on the Roadman Park course at Cal (Pa.).

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Knoch’s Sammy Jo Barnes runs to a fourth place finish during the WPIAL Class AA championship race Thursday, Oct. 24, 2019, at California University.
Knoch girls cross country team makes leap forward at WPIAL meet
Sammy Jo Barnes qualified for the PIAA cross country championships individually the past two seasons.

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Leechburg running back Jake Blumer at a 7-on-7 game Wednesday, July 24, 2019, at Freeport High School.
A-K Valley football players to watch in Week 9
October 23, 2019
Jake Blumer

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Fox Chapel’s Lorenzo Jenkins (1) makes a touchdown catch behind Kiski Area’s Kenny Blake (1) on Sept. 13 at Fox Chapel.
A-K Valley don’t-miss football matchups for Week 9
Class 5A Northern

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A-K Valley WPIAL girls soccer capsules: Games of Oct. 24, 2019
Girls soccer

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Riverview’s Mason Ochs crosses the finish line to win a country meet against Knoch Tuesday, Sept. 24, 2019, in Saxonburg.
Riverview ready to take a run at WPIAL cross country favorites
October 22, 2019
The Riverview boys cross country team finished runner-up to Winchester Thurston in Class A at WPIALs each of the past three seasons.

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Burrell’s Allison Vescio (17) celebrates her first goal with her teammates during their WPIAL Class AA first-round playoff game against Mt. Pleasant.
Burrell girls soccer continues dominance with easy win over Mt. Pleasant
October 21, 2019
The Burrell girls soccer team’s dominance in the regular season extended to Monday’s WPIAL Class AA first-round game against Mt. Pleasant at Kiski Area.

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Maddie Clark helps run the Freeport offense against East Allegheny on Sept. 12, 2019.
WPIAL unveils girls volleyball playoff brackets
North Allegheny, Knoch, North Catholic and Bishop Canevin earned top seeds in their respective classifications as the WPIAL released girls volleyball playoff brackets Monday.

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Plum defeated Montour, 5-0, in the Western Pennsylvania Fall Baseball League varsity championship game Oct. 20, 2019 at Norwin.
Plum tops Montour to claim fall baseball league title
Plum shut out Montour, 5-0, Sunday afternoon at Norwin to capture the Western Pennsylvania Fall Baseball League’s varsity title.

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Coaches association releases final WPIAL girls volleyball rankings
The WPIAL girls volleyball regular season has concluded, and the playoff pairings will be released early Monday afternoon.

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Senior Allison Vescio leads the Burrell girls soccer team into the WPIAL playoffs.
Unbeaten Burrell ready for obstacles in WPIAL Class AA girls soccer playoffs
October 20, 2019
Burrell capped its regular season last Tuesday with a 5-1 victory over playoff-bound Highlands.

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Burrell’s Danica Johnson (right) and Deer Lakes’ Ashley McAdams vie for a loose ball. The Buccaneers and Lancers will play WPIAL playoff games Monday.
A-K Valley girls soccer playoff capsules: Games for Monday, Oct. 21, 2019
Monday’s games

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Apollo-Ridge quarterback Jacob Fello looks to pass against Valley on October 4, 2019 at Valley High.
Alle-Kiski Valley football notebook: No place like home for Apollo-Ridge
October 19, 2019
Apollo-Ridge could have clinched a home first-round playoff game last week against Steel Valley, but the Vikings were upset by the Ironmen.

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Brock White and Highlands were eliminated from WPIAL playoff contention despite a victory against New Castle.
Highlands logs senior-night overtime win vs. New Castle
When New Castle traveled to Highlands’ Golden Rams Stadium two years ago, the Red Hurricanes escaped with a 48-47 victory in two overtimes.

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Plum’s Justin Mascilli runs to a first-place finish at a nonsection dual meet with Avonworth on Oct. 10, 2019, at Boyce Park in Plum.
Plum’s Mascilli, Valotta seek big jump at WPIAL championship meet
October 18, 2019
Justin Mascilli finished 51st in the boys Class AAA race at last year’s WPIAL cross country championships on the Roadman Park course at Cal (Pa.).

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Highlands’ Johnny Crise - Trib HSSN preseason Kennywood Top 25 football team
A-K Valley football players to watch in Week 8
October 16, 2019
Johnny Crise

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Deer Lakes’ Aris Hasley slips the tackle of Burrell’s Jake Henderson on Friday, Sept. 27, 2019.
A-K Valley don’t-miss football matchups for Week 8
Class 5A Northern

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Deer Lakes’ Gabby Weber works against Highlands’ Jessica Cekada during their game Monday, Oct. 7, 2019, at Highlands.
Eight teams from A-K Valley join girls soccer championship chase
October 15, 2019
Highlands was the final girls soccer team from the Alle-Kiski Valley invited to the WPIAL playoff party as the Golden Rams clinched a spot out of Section 2-AA with Monday night’s 2-1 overtime victory over Apollo-Ridge.

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WPIAL girls soccer rankings through Oct. 14, 2019
Here’s a look at this week’s girls soccer rankings:

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Highlands tops Apollo-Ridge in overtime, clinches playoff spot
The Highlands girls soccer team came within two points of a WPIAL playoff spot last year.

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Plum’s Livia Paoletti took eighth at the section meet.
Confidence high for Plum girls cross country team
October 14, 2019
The Plum girls cross country team already was having a productive season when it arrived at the Division I, Section 4 championship meet Oct. 2 at Northmoreland Park.

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Freeport players celebrate after scoring a point against East Allegheny on Sept. 12, 2019.
Coaches association releases Week 7 WPIAL girls volleyball rankings
As the WPIAL girls volleyball regular season enters its final week, additional section champions will be crowned, and the final tickets to the WPIAL playoffs will be punched.

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Valley’s Casey Gatto competes during practice Oct. 11, 2019.
Valley girls tennis ready for challenge in WPIAL team tournament
October 13, 2019
The WPIAL Class AA team tournament is new for all seven members of the Valley girls tennis team, as the last time the Vikings advanced to the playoffs was 2015.

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Springdale looks to keep slim playoff hopes alive
October 12, 2019
The mission is simple for the Springdale football team in its approach to staying alive in the chase for the playoffs in WPIAL Class A.

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Springdale’s Cavin Kidler (1) looks for some running room against Riverview October 11, 2019 at Riverside Park.
Springdale dominates Eastern Conference rival Riverview
October 11, 2019
The Riverview football team turned on the lights Friday at Riverside Park for its annual night game.

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Freeport volleyball coach Tom Phillips talks with Tori Radvan (13) before their game against East Allegheny September 12, 2019.
Freeport girls volleyball dominance on display
The Freeport girls volleyball team wrapped up its 15th consecutive section championship Thursday with a convincing three-game sweep of Section 5-AA foe Burrell.

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The Gateway Sports Hall of Fame’s Class of 2019 features individual inductees, from left, Katrina Streiner, Russ Gratton, Crista Coles, Matt Houy and Gregg Nemec. Also enshrined was Paul Krusey.
Athletic greats celebrated with induction to Gateway Sports Hall of Fame
Katrina Streiner made her mark in swimming over four years of competition at Gateway.

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Burrell’s Bella Glaister (3) battles for possession against Freeport’s Emma Check (13) during a Section 2-AA girls soccer match Oct. 9, 2019, at Burrell’s Buccaneers Stadium.
Burrell girls soccer races past rival Freeport, moves to cusp of section title
October 9, 2019
Burrell junior Jordyn Kowalkowski said she expected another close game with Freeport on Wednesday as the first Section 2-AA matchup between the rivals Sept. 18 went down to the wire.

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Fox Chapel’s Scott Bitar watches his tee shot on Hole 13 during the WPIAL Class AAA boys golf championship Tuesday, Oct. 1, 2019, at Fox Chapel Golf Club.
Fox Chapel boys, girls golf teams set for WPIAL team championship
The Fox Chapel boys and girls golf teams will play for WPIAL championships Thursday at Cedarbrook Golf Course in Rostraver.

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Springdale’s Demitri Fritch catches a pass between 7-on-7 games Wednesday, July 24, 2019, at Freeport High School.
A-K Valley football players to watch in Week 7
Klay Fitzroy

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Fox Chapel’s Sam Brown (2) looks for some running room against North Hills on August 30 at North Hills.
A-K Valley don’t-miss football matchups for Week 7
Class 5A Big East

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Kaylee Uribe had a goal in Fox Chapel’s key section victory over Pine-Richland last week.
Fox Chapel ready for anything as girls soccer playoffs approach
October 8, 2019
The Fox Chapel girls soccer team was less than two minutes away from going to overtime Monday with Class AAAA No. 1 North Allegheny in a Section 1 contest.

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Fox Chapel’s Charlotte James returns a volley during her WPIAL Class AAA championship match against Baldwin’s Bethany Yauch Thursday, Sept. 19, 2019, at Shady Side Academy.
Fox Chapel girls hunting WPIAL team tennis title
The Fox Chapel girls tennis team lost just once in 12 regular-season matches.

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WPIAL girls soccer rankings through Oct. 7
Here’s a look at this week’s WPIAL girls soccer rankings:

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Knoch’s Laura Greb returns a volley during her WPIAL Class AA championship match against teammate Brooke Bauer Thursday, Sept. 19, 2019, at Shady Side Academy.
Knoch, Valley tennis teams set for WPIAL team tournament
October 7, 2019
After several weeks of dual matches and individual players and doubles teams going for WPIAL gold, the Knoch and Valley girls tennis teams turn their attention Tuesday to the WPIAL Class AA team tournament.

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Coaches association releases Week 6 WPIAL girls volleyball rankings
The plots thicken for the girls volleyball teams in the WPIAL as two weeks remain in the regular season and section races from Class A to Class AAAA.

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Burrell’s Danica Johnson (right) competes against Deer Lakes’ Ashley McAdams last week. Both teams are seeking section titles as the season enters its final stretch.
A-K Valley girls soccer teams jockeying for playoff position
October 6, 2019
Seven seconds.

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Fox Chapel’s Nina Busch watches her putt miss the cup on the second playoff hole during the WPIAL Class AAA girls golf championship Wednesday, Oct. 2, 2019, at Diamond Run Golf Club.
Fox Chapel girls golf carries unbeaten record into playoffs
The Fox Chapel girls golf team produced a 15-0 record in the regular season and defended its Section 4-AAA championship.

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Apollo-Ridge’s Logan Harmon (44) scored two first-half touchdowns against Valley October 4, 2019 at Valley High.
Apollo-Ridge’s Logan Harmon has night to remember
October 5, 2019
Not too many WPIAL running backs have had the type of game Apollo-Ridge junior Logan Harmon did Friday at conference rival Valley.

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Apollo-Ridge’s Logan Harmon (44) scored two first-half touchdowns against Valley October 4, 2019 at Valley High.
Apollo-Ridge dodges Valley upset bid, clinches playoff spot
October 4, 2019
It was a night of highs and lows for Apollo-Ridge’s Logan Harmon during Friday’s Allegheny Conference game at Valley.

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Freeport graduate Courtney Grubbs is a leader as a sophomore for Thiel College women’s volleyball team.
Alle-Kiski Valley campus clippings: Grubbs sets up pair of wins for Thiel volleyball
October 3, 2019
With two wins in its past three matches, the Thiel women’s volleyball team hopes to recover from a 1-14 start.

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Highlands’ volleyball team celebrates after scoring against Carrick October 2, 2019 at Highlands.
Alle-Kiski Valley notebook: ‘Competitive’ start for Highlands volleyball reboot
When the Highlands girls volleyball program returned last month after a three-year hiatus, 68 players came to tryouts.

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Burrell’s Kaitlyn Postupack (10) competes against Deer Lakes October 2, 2019 at Deer Lakes.
Burrell blanks Deer Lakes, maintains hold on section lead
October 2, 2019
The Burrell girls soccer team broke through 12 minutes into the first half of Wednesday’s Section 2-AA clash with rival Deer Lakes.

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Riverview’s Dean Cecere is competing for the 2019 Raiders.
A-K Valley football players to watch in Week 6
Josh Boak

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Springdale’s Christian Vokes covers Jeannette’s Stephan Twichell Friday, Sept. 20, 2019.
A-K Valley don’t-miss high school football matchups for Week 6
Class 4A Northwest 8

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Deer Lakes’ Lily Litrun pressures Burrell’s Megan Malits during their game on Sept. 9, 2019, at Burrell.
Title implications heighten Burrell-Deer Lakes girls soccer clash
October 1, 2019
It’s been three weeks and two days since the first meeting between the Burrell and Deer Lakes girls soccer teams.

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WPIAL girls soccer rankings through Sept. 30, 2019
Class AAAA

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Kiski Area’s Jake Folaron competes at the Kiski Area Cross Country Invitational on Sept. 13, 2019, at Northmoreland Park.
Section 4 cross country teams to face off at Northmoreland Park
Cross country titles will be on the line Wednesday afternoon when the Division I, Section 4 teams gather at Northmoreland Park.

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Erin Drahnak sinks a putt on the 15th green while competing in the girls section 4-AAA golf qualifier at Hiland Golf Course in Butler on Wednesday, Sept. 18, 2019.
Fox Chapel duo among girls golfers set for WPIAL Class AAA championships
September 30, 2019
Fox Chapel’s Nina Busch and Erin Drahnak cut their teeth as freshmen in a deep field at last year’s WPIAL Class AAA girls individual golf championship at Diamond Run Golf Club.

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Fox Chapel’s Catherine Petrovich comes to the net during a section doubles finals match Sept. 26, 2019 at Fox Chapel.
Doubles teams gear up for WPIAL tournament
During the Knoch girls tennis team’s quest for a Section 3-AA championship this fall, senior Libby Conlon and freshman Ally Bauer find themselves on different courts for matches.

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Leaders hold on to top spots in volleyball coaches association WPIAL rankings
For the fourth consecutive week, North Allegheny (Class AAAA), Knoch (Class AAA), North Catholic (Class AA) and Bishop Canevin (Class A) own the top spots in their respective Western Pennsylvania Volleyball Coaches Association rankings.

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Plum sophomore Marissa Liberto has seven goals this season.
Plum girls soccer prepares for showdown with Oakland Catholic
September 29, 2019
The Plum girls soccer team last captured a section championship in 2016 when it tied Fox Chapel for the top spot of Section 3-AAAA.

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Kiski Area’s Kenneth Blake (1) runs past Hampton’s Josh Andersson (33) Sept. 27, 2019 at Hampton.
Alle-Kiski Valley football notebook: Kiski Area ‘excited’ about milestone win
September 28, 2019
With wins over Allderdice in Week Zero and Fox Chapel on Sept. 13, the Kiski Area football team put itself in position for the 300th win in program history.

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Montour knocks off previously unbeaten Knoch in OT
September 27, 2019
Knoch hoped to add a victory to Friday night’s homecoming festivities at Knights Stadium, but Gannon Kadlecik and his Montour teammates had other ideas.

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Plum slow-pitch softball player Lorna Shebeck competes during practice Sept. 26, 2019.
Plum slow-pitch softball searching for 3rd straight league championship
The Plum varsity girls slow-pitch softball team saw its 36-game winning streak snapped Sept. 5 with a 16-2 loss at North Hills.

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Penn State’s Beaver Stadium will host a high school football game between State College and Cumberland Valley on Oct. 26.
Penn State’s Beaver Stadium to host high school game
September 25, 2019
The Penn State football team will play at Michigan State on Oct. 26, but Beaver Stadium, the home of the Nittany Lions, will not lie dormant that day.

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Highlands’ Kaeleb White and the Golden Rams host winless Ambridge.
A-K Valley don’t-miss football games for Week 5
Class 5A Big East

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Fox Chapel’s Justin Rice
A-K Valley football players to watch in Week 5
Kenny Blake

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Deer Lakes’ Lily Litrun pressures Burrell’s Megan Malits during their game on Sept. 9, 2019, at Burrell.
Big goal boosts Deer Lakes in section title quest
September 24, 2019
Overtime loomed for the Deer Lakes and Freeport girls soccer teams Monday as their key Section 2-AA matchup wound down to the final minute of regulation tied 1-1.

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Leechburg junior Cole Villa competed in last year’s WPIAL Class AA championship.
5 from Alle-Kiski Valley to tee it up at WPIAL finals
At last year’s WPIAL Class AA boys individual golf championship at Sewickley’s Allegheny Country Club, Marcus Pinchok finished among a group one shot away from advancing to the PIAA Western Regional.

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WPIAL girls soccer rankings through Sept. 23, 2019
Here’s a look at this week’s WPIAL girls soccer rankings:

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Alle-Kiski Valley notebook: Section 5-AA volleyball serves up big games
September 23, 2019
The WPIAL girls volleyball schedule contains several key matchups Tuesday, and one resides in Section 5-AA, where Deer Lakes will host Freeport at 7:30 p.m.

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Coaches association releases latest WPIAL girls volleyball rankings
The Western Pennsylvania Volleyball Coaches Association released its Top 10 girls’ rankings for each of the four WPIAL classifications Monday, and the top teams in each poll maintain their positions as the fourth week of section play begins.

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