Norwin notebook: Pair of Knights swimmers make states

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Saturday, March 11, 2023 | 11:01 AM


A pair of Norwin swimmers earned spots in the PIAA Class 3A championships, scheduled for March 15-18 at Bucknell University.

Nathan Kostrobala and Anna Little qualified for the state meet with strong finishes at the WPIAL championships earlier this month at Pitt.

Kostrobala will compete for a state medal in the 100-yard butterfly, Little in the 100-yard breaststroke.

Kostrobala finished fifth at the WPIAL meet with a time of 51.91 seconds, and Little finished sixth in the 100 breast in a time of 1 minute, 5.97 seconds.

She also improved by 2.65 seconds in the 200-yard individual medley, where she took eighth in 2 minutes, 10.71 seconds.

Nicholas Cormas, meantime, took sixth in the 50-yard freestyle in 21.79 seconds.

Road trip

The Norwin girls basketball team had a long road trip in the first round of the PIAA Class 6A playoffs.

The Lady Knights (21-4), the No. 3 seed out of the WPIAL, were scheduled to play at Central Dauphin (20-5) in Harrisburg on March 10 — a three-plus-hour trek across the state.

Central Dauphin is 190 miles from Norwin via the Turnpike.

Knights play on

A PIHL Class A Penguin Cup title defense is all that matters to Norwin.

Even if it takes a little extra to get there.

The Knights hockey team won its third straight one-goal game, this time in the quarterfinals, to keep another playoff run going. Alex Thomas scored with 2:39 left in overtime to lift the Knights to a 3-2 win over McDowell.

Thomas had two goals, Dominik Costantino added one, and Logan Robb contributed two assists as Norwin moved into the semifinals.

Since Jan. 10, the Knights have played in four overtime games and won three of them.

They edged West Allegheny, 6-5, in the play-in round, which followed a 6-5 overtime victory against Shaler in the last regular season game.

The Knights edged Freeport, 3-2, in a shootout, and lost to Kiski, 4-3, in OT.

Phipps in nationals

It’s better to be at-large than not at all.

Bucknell wrestler Kurt Phipps, a Norwin alum, was selected to compete in the NCAA Wrestling Championship on March 16-18 in Tulsa Okla.

He was one of four at-large picks in the 133-pound weight class.

Phipps finished seventh in the Eastern Intercollegiate Wrestling Association Championships and is 31-11 on the season. He is ranked No. 15 in the country at 133.

His brother, Drew, who competed at Bucknell, is a two-time NCAA qualifier.

Dollman wins title

Girls’ wrestling is seeing an uptick in interest and structure as the sport forges forward, and Norwin is part of the initiative.

Knights freshman Josephine Dollman not only competed in the inaugural MyHouse Western Regional girls championships at Kiski Area, but she also brought home a championship.

Dollman won the 136-pound title when she pinned Saegertown’s Kacie Mook in 2 minutes, 39 seconds.

“I think it’s amazing how much growth girls wrestling has made,” Dollman said. “I only have a few days until states, so I’m a little nervous. But I have faith with how long I have been here and how many girls I’ve wrestled that I will do good.”

The event field consisted of 112 female wrestlers from 48 schools.

“She pinned her way through the tournament,” Norwin coach Kyle Martin said. “She is developing into an all-around great wrestler. Even more exciting is that she is only a freshman.”

The top five placewinners in each class advanced to the state championships March 12 at Central Dauphin High School.

Sidun wins again

Norwin’s Landon Sidun won his second straight title — and fourth overall — at the Pennsylvania Junior High Wrestling Championships at the Cambria County War Memorial in Johnstown.

Sidun pinned every one of his opponents, all in the first period, to take the title at 117 pounds.

Coleton Klipa added a fourth-place finish at 89 pounds for Norwin, while Cash Mitchell took eighth in the 82-pound bracket.

First-year participant Octavia Walker took second in the girls’ division, at 165.

Nate Gulibon (96) and Nate Klingensmith (103) also had top-12 finishes.

Gulibon won five straight in the consolation bracket.

“I cannot say enough about how excited we are for this group moving forward,” Norwin varsity coach Kyle Martin said. “They are all tough, hard-nosed athletes with great parents. I am excited to get them up to the high school along with coach (John) Sidun joining the staff.”

Recruiting

Norwin softball player Alyssa McCormick signed a letter of intent to play at Division II Fairmont State. The outfielder and pitcher transferred from Thomas Jefferson last year.

• Norwin junior football player Jackson Pons added an offer to play at Fordham.

College scene

Updates on Norwin graduates competing at the college level:

Baseball

Westmoreland County Community College: Sophomore designated hitter Ronnue Howard had two hits, but the Wolfpack lost to Finger Lakes Community College, 8-3.

Softball

Saint Vincent: With wins over Rivier (6-3) and Concordia-Moorhead (5-1), the Bearcats opened the season 2-0. In the first game, SVC trailed 3-0 before rallying for the victory. Junior Alex Dillner went 2 for 3 with an RBI. In Game 2, Dillner homered and drove in two.

Women’s basketball

Illinois-Springfield: Guard Brianna Zajicek was named to the Great Lakes Valley Conference All-Freshman Team. Zajicek averaged 12.8 points, the top average for a freshman, and also contributed 39 steals.

Marietta: Junior guard Olivia Gribble was an All-Ohio Athletic Conference honorable mention selection. Gribble was leading the team in scoring at 9.5 points per game and had made 47 3-pointers, which put her third in the conference in that category, heading into the postseason.

Gribble had 10 points as the Pioneers rallied past Eastern Connecticut State, 61-57, in the first round of the NCAA Division III Tournament in Ithaca, N.Y. She played 26 minutes off the bench in a 44-42 win over Ithaca in the second round as the team earned its first Sweet 16 appearance.

Bill Beckner Jr. is a TribLive reporter covering local sports in Westmoreland County. He can be reached at bbeckner@triblive.com.

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