Norwin notebook: Strong volleyball season ends in WPIAL quarterfinals

Saturday, May 28, 2022 | 11:01 AM

Norwin had a strong regular season but bowed out early in the WPIAL Class 3A boys volleyball playoffs.

The No. 5-seeded Knights dropped a 3-1 decision to No. 4 Shaler in the quarterfinals.

Norwin coach Mike Palaschak said he expected the match to be close, and it was. The Knights held an early 8-2 lead in Game 4, but the Titans chipped away and caught them 19-19 and then put the match away.

Shaler won 25-22, 25-27, 25-20, 25-21.

“I truly felt it would go five games, but we fell apart in the fourth game,” Palaschak said. “It was a battle of our ball control and their power, and power won out. Our young guys have to learn from this.”

Shaler coach Paul Stadelman was pleased to see his team work together down the stretch.

“We did a good job elevating our game defensively,” Stadelman said. “We played well as a team. We met Norwin’s challenge. We had 84 digs. That’s the most this season.

“Norwin is a good team. We didn’t know much about them because we had never seen them.”

Baseball falls

Norwin baseball took a 2-0 lead in the fourth inning, but Central Catholic racked up five runs in the sixth to defeat the Knights, 5-2, in the WPIAL Class 6A semifinals at Plum.

The Knights finished the season 10-9. Only the WPIAL champion and runner-up advance to the PIAA playoffs in Class 6A.

Jake Whalen had two hits, EJ Dunn had a double and Chris Slatt knocked in a run with a sacrifice fly. Tyler Cupp added an RBI single in the loss.

Norwin has made the WPIAL playoffs 13 straight times.

Softball season ends

The Norwin softball team saw its season come to a close in heartbreaking fashion as the Lady Knights fell to top-seeded Hempfield, 5-4, in the WPIAL Class 6A quarterfinals.

Norwin, the No. 8 seed, finished with a record of 6-10.

Norwin rallied from deficits of 2-0, 3-2 and 4-3 to tie it, but could not overtake the Spartans, who intentionally walked Mallory Wensel three times and Emma Novotnak once, loading the bases on three occasions with two outs.

Wensel and Novotnak homered in the loss.

“That was a championship-level game,” Norwin coach Brian Mesich said. “Every aspect of softball came into play. It hurts to lose that way. You have to hit when it’s time to hit and field when it’s time to field.”

Sophomore Bailey Snowberger was 3 for 4, senior Angelina Pepe, who took the tough-luck loss, doubled and Novotnak finished 2 for 3 for Norwin.

It’s a trap

The Norwin trap team, in its fourth year and 42 shooters strong, received a grant from the National Rifle Association. The $6,000 grant will help cover the cost of guns, ammunition and safety equipment for the clay target shooting program.

College scene

Checking in on Norwin athletes competing at the college level.

Women’s track and field

Waynesburg: Freshman Megan Barry continued her upswing in her debut season. She finished fifth in the javelin at the Mount Union Last Chance Meet. Her top throw was 103 feet, 7 inches.

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


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