Norwin notebook: Graduates making impact on women’s college hardwood

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Saturday, November 26, 2022 | 11:01 AM


Norwin has produced college-level talent before in women’s basketball, but the Lady Knights’ imprint on the game is large this season.

At least six former Norwin players are contributing to college programs as various levels.

At Division III Marietta (Ohio), junior guard Olivia Gribble started the first three games of the season and was averaging 8.7 points. As a sophomore, she started 10 games and finished second on the team with 10.9 points.

Her former teammate, junior guard Jayla Wehner, is a key backcourt player at Marian, an NAIA program in Indiana. Wehner is starting at point guard. She played in 65 games over her frst two seasons and has 150 career assists.

Sophomore Mara Polczynski is a sophomore at D-III Grove City of the Presidents’ Athletic Conference. After starting all 26 games as a freshman, Polczynski had 15 points and 14 rebounds in her first two games this season for the Wolverines.

Brianna Zajicek, a freshman at Division II Illinois-Springfield, had 11 points in her college debut, and nine in her third game. Zajicek transferred from Alderson Broaddus.

Another freshman, Alyssa Laukus, was averaging 5.3 points in three games at Chatham, a Division III program. And freshman Chloe Lukondi had a 23-point game for Pitt-Greensburg.

Knights skate to victories

The Norwin hockey team improved its record to 7-1 with wins over Hampton and Westmont Hilltop.

The explosive Knights brushed aside Hampton, 11-1, as Mario Cavallaro scored a career-high five goals at Frozen Pond Arena. Alex Thomas had a five-point night of his own with two goals and three assists, while Joey Vecchio added two goals and one assist.

Against Westmont Hilltop in a 10-1 win, Cavallaro had three goals and four assists, Logan Robb had two goals, and Dom Cerilli and Cade Zeravica fueled the attack with four and three assists.

Big 5/6 honors

The Big 5/6 Conference, which acknowledges the accomplishments of teams and athletes in the WPIAL’s two largest classifications, announced its all-section teams for football and soccer.

Norwin’s first-team picks from the Class 5A Big East Conference included junior wide receiver/defensive back Jackson Pons, senior kicker/punter Joey Castle and senior defensive end Noah Vogel.

Second-team selections for Norwin were senior tackle AJ Clemens, and senior Anthony Petrullo, a defensive end.

For soccer, Norwin junior defender Owen Christopher and junior goalkeeper Anthony Scalise were named to the first team in Section 2-4A.

Junior forward Alex Brown and senior midfielder Jackson Sirianni made the second team.

Norwin sophomore midfielder Julia Bursick and senior defender Reagan Casper were first-team picks for the girls in Section 2-4A.

Norwin senior Sophia Alvarez was a first-team selection in girls volleyball Section 3-4A.

WCCA volleyball

A new event has joined the Westmoreland County Coaches Association sports rotation.

Players from 16 teams converged on Ligonier Valley for the first WCCA All-Star Girls Volleyball Match on Nov. 22.

Three Norwin girls made the West team roster. They are setter Sophia Alvarez, defensive specialist Sara Olsen and hitter Sydney Petko.

Recruiting

• One Norwin football player made a decision on his college future. Another still is deciding. Senior Christian Beck will play at Division III Hiram (Ohio). Beck is a running back and linebacker. Noah Vogel, meantime, picked up a Division II scholarship offer from Bluefield State (W.Va.). A senior, Vogel is a 6-foot-3, 230-pound tight end and defensive end.

• Norwin senior Bella Brozeski signed to continue her track and field career at IUP. Brozeski is a hurdler and key relay runner. Both of her sisters compete in the sport at the college level: Aleksandra Brozeski at Slippery Rock and Emily Brozeski at Duquesne.

Bill Beckner Jr. is a Tribune-Review Staff Writer. You can contact Bill by email at bbeckner@triblive.com or via Twitter .

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