North Journal notebook: North Allegheny tennis earns playoff berth

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Saturday, October 10, 2020 | 11:01 AM


North Allegheny girls tennis capped off section play last week by sweeping North Hills, gaining momentum ahead of the WPIAL Class AAA playoffs.

The Tigers finished the regular season 6-6 overall and 6-1 in Section 2.

The playoffs were slated to begin Monday, after deadline for this edition.

“Playoffs are always a step up from the regular season,” coach Michelle Weniger said. “North Allegheny has been really fortunate to make it into the playoffs for a number of years.

“The playoffs are a whole different ball game. The excitement and competitiveness, you can just feel it.”

The Tigers’ singles lineup features senior captain Jenny Zhu, sophomore Emily Wincko and junior Claire Zheng. Senior captain Claire Shao is paired with sophomore Abbey Swirsding at first doubles, and sophomore Rebecca Kolano and freshman Siya Jain play at second doubles.

Each earned 6-0, 6-0 victories over North Hills last week.

North Allegheny’s lone section loss was a 4-1 defeat at Pine-Richland on Sept. 23. Wincko won 6-2, 6-2 for NA. Both doubles matches went three sets.

“Some of the lines could have gone either way,” Weniger said. “That was a tough loss for us. Pine-Richland is always a great team and are great competitors and our rival in the section.”

Zhu was the Section 2 singles runner-up after falling to Pine-Richland’s Elaine Qian in the final. Zhu and Wincko competed in the WPIAL singles tournament, both falling in the first round.

Zhu and Wincko paired to finish third at the section doubles tournament and lost in the opening round at WPIAL doubles.

“That experience is invaluable,” Weniger said. “Every time you step on the court it’s a match you have to remember regardless if you win or lose. What a great feat that was for them to make it to WPIALs. It takes a lot of hard matches to get there. I was very, very proud of them and their efforts.”

NA football ranked nationally

Two WPIAL football teams are earning national attention.

North Allegheny and Pine-Richland were among four Pennsylvania schools receiving spots in the Top 100 rankings High School Football America released Oct. 4. North Allegheny was ranked 35th and Pine-Richland 85th in the first list for this season.

Also included was St. Joseph’s Prep of Philadelphia at sixth overall and suburban Harrisburg’s Central Dauphin at 65th.

As PIAA Class 6A teams, North Allegheny, St. Joseph’s Prep and Central Dauphin could run into one another in the state playoffs this fall. St. Joseph’s Prep is a two-time defending PIAA champion and Central Dauphin was runner-up last season.

North Allegheny, 3-0 overall and 2-0 in Class 6A play entering Week 5, defeated Mt. Lebanon, 14-11, in Week 4.

Steinmetz at WPIALs

North Allegheny senior Adam Steinmetz finished 17th at the WPIAL Class AAA boys golf championships Oct. 6 at South Hills Country Club.

He shot 9-over-par 80.

Moon’s Justin Scally won the event with a 2-under 69. The top 10 finishers advanced to the PIAA championships.

Bill Hartlep is the sports editor of the Tribune-Review. You can contact Bill at bhartlep@tribweb.com or via Twitter @TribHSInsider.

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