Freeport girls volleyball dominance on display

Friday, October 11, 2019 | 6:32 PM

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.

The Yellowjackets, No. 3 in the latest Western Pennsylvania Volleyball Coaches Association WPIAL Class AA rankings, upped their record to 10-0 in section and 11-0 overall.

The consistency and dominance in section is reflected in the numbers. They are 70-0 in section matches from the start of 2014 to the present. The last section loss came in 2013 to Knoch when the teams finished tied for the Section 4-AA championship.

Freeport is 144-2 in section play since 2009.

The Yellowjackets host their annual tournament Saturday before putting a cap on their section slate at Apollo-Ridge on Tuesday and at home against Deer Lakes on Thursday.

The WPIAL playoff brackets are to be released Oct. 21. Freeport hopes to battle through a field that includes defending Class AA champion North Catholic and 2018 runner-up Frazier, No. 1 and No. 2 in this week’s rankings, to win its first WPIAL title since 2016 and fifth overall in the past 10 seasons.

Recovery begins

Deer Lakes girls soccer junior midfielder and team captain Nina Lafko had surgery Thursday to repair a torn ACL and meniscus in her right knee suffered Sept. 7 against East Allegheny.

Lancers head coach Frank Accetta said the estimated time for full recovery is about nine months, and he is confident she will return in full strength for her senior season.

Lafko had tests done a couple of days after the injury, and there were hopes of the injury being something like an MCL sprain that would have kept her out for about a month.

But Lafko received the news two weeks ago that the tests revealed the true extent of the damage.

“That was a big blow to the team,” said Accetta, who has moved players around in his lineup to find the right combinations in her absence.

Deer Lakes, 12-2-1 overall and 9-2 in Section 2-2A, wraps up section play Monday at Freeport (12-3, 8-3) and hosts Riverview on Wednesday before turning its attention to the WPIAL playoffs.

Mat action

One of the premier preseason wrestling tournaments — the Super 32 Challenge — is Saturday and Sunday in Greensboro, N.C., and five Alle-Kiski wrestlers will test their mettle with some of the best from throughout the country.

Competing from Kiski Area are West Virginia University commit and senior Jack Blumer (160) and sophomore Enzo Morlacci (152), Burrell juniors AJ Corrado (152) and Ian Oswalt (138) and Plum sophomore Vinnie Citrano (106).

Wrestling begins Saturday morning at 8 and is double elimination with wrestlebacks to eighth place.

Champions will receive custom championship belts, and second through eighth places will be awarded medals. The finals are expected to be Sunday at about 5 p.m.

Results from all rounds can be found on

Down to the wire

Seven Alle-Kiski Valley girls soccer teams — Fox Chapel (Class AAAA), Kiski Area (AAA), Plum (AAA), Burrell (AA), Deer Lakes (AA), Freeport (AA) and Springdale (A) — have wrapped up berths to the WPIAL playoffs, set to begin next weekend.

Two area teams — Highlands (4-8, 4-6) and Apollo-Ridge (6-8, 4-7) — still have to settle the final berth in Section 2-AA. The teams meet at 6:30 p.m. Monday at Apollo-Ridge.

A win or a tie by the Golden Rams clinches the spot and eliminates the Vikings.

A tie would give Highlands the tiebreaker advantage — four points to one. Highlands beat Apollo-Ridge 3-1 on Sept. 23. The Golden Rams wrap up section play Tuesday against Burrell.

Apollo-Ridge clinches with a win Monday. It would earn fourth outright with a Highlands loss to Burrell and a tie for fourth with a Golden Rams upset victory.

County success

The Kiski Area cross country teams are making a push for the WPIAL finals Oct. 24 at Cal (Pa.), and they fared well at Wednesday’s Westmoreland County Coaches Association meet.

The boys finished runner-up to Norwin, as Jake Folaron, sixth overall, ran a 16:58, tying him for the 10th-best time in program history. Matt Dongiovanni was seventh (16:59.20), and Antonio Giordano was 10th (17:18.10).

Dongiovanni recorded a career-best of 16:44 on Sept. 28 at the Carlisle Invitational that put him eighth on the all-time boys list.

The Cavaliers girls placed third at WCCA behind Hempfield and Greensburg Salem as several from both the boys and girls teams earned personal bests. Lizeth Sesmas led the Kiski girls in eighth overall (20:39), and Josette Plazio medalled in 15th (21:01.30).

Michael Love is a Tribune-Review Staff Writer. You can contact Michael by email at or via Twitter .

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