New-look roster carries Riverview boys golf to winning season

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Saturday, October 17, 2020 | 11:01 AM


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.

“We left a lot of shots out there (on the course),” Riverview coach Hal Biehl said.

Biehl said that while his team didn’t advance to the final, he was proud of the way the grouping of three seniors, two sophomores and one junior competed throughout the season.

The Raiders finished second to Burrell in Section 1-AA play with an 8-2 record.

The top three finishing teams from the semifinal – Quaker Valley, Neshannock and Ellwood City – advanced to the Oct. 15 finals at Cedarbrook Golf Club.

Riverview’s semifinal lineup featured seniors Dom Bovienzo, Jack Migely and Anthony Tominello, junior Aidan Vespi and sophomores Dan Roupas and Max Catanzaro.

Bovienzo was the Raiders’ only varsity holdover from last season, but Biehl said the others came in this year knowing what to expect and what they wanted to accomplish after previously playing JV matches.

“Their goal at the start of the season was to make the WPIAL playoffs again,” Biehl said. “In their eyes, they took a small step back because they wanted to win the section again like last year, but in competition, they didn’t flinch. They worked hard on their games in the summer and during the season.”

Riverview, which concluded its season 8-3 overall, stepped away from section play for its annual match against Plum.

Biehl said the matchup with the Mustangs, played this year at Willowbrook Country Club, always is beneficial.

“I think we were competitive in that match, but playing a larger school like Plum is always a challenge,” Biehl said. “We’ve played them a number of years at Oakmont Country Club. I think there was a scheduling conflict for this season, but it’s always nice to be able to compete against them.”

Riverview did get to play Oakmont this season. The Raiders hosted Jeannette there and scored a win on the famed course.

“It was nice to see the kids rise up and take advantage of the opportunity to play on such a historic course. It was fantastic for them and such an honor,” Biehl said.

Bovienzo, Biehl said, was the only Riverview golfer to have played in a high school match at Oakmont before this season.

“They don’t grant the opportunity to play there to too many high school teams,” Biehl said. “They’ve been great to us. Every year, when we get our schedule, we forward it to the pro’s office and ask if it is possible. They take a look at dates and let us know when we can play.”

Biehl said his golfers handled the Oakmont course well.

“They tried to keep the pressure low, knowing that they needed to just hit the fairways, hit the greens and putt,” Biehl said.

Biehl said while the focus has been on this year’s squad and what they were able to accomplish, he also is taking a look to next year. Biehl hopes Vespi, Roupas and Catanzaro will be joined by three or four freshmen as the Raiders hope to return to the team playoffs in 2021.

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

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