Pine Creek Journal notebook: Doubles teams make run to WPIAL tournament
Sunday, April 30, 2023 | 11:01 AM
Both of Pine-Richland’s boys tennis doubles teams qualified for the WPIAL tournament April 25-26, and they even crossed paths along the way.
Ryan Moore and Udi Alkokar and Nathan Bang and Ian Hurt met in the Section 2-6A consolation match with Bang and Hurt coming away with a three-set win, 6-3, 4-6, 6-3.
Prior to the consolation match, Moore and Alkokar went on quite a run as the 14th-seeded team in the tournament.
They upset third-seeded Michael deVyver and Mark Evelsizer of Seneca Valley, 10-7, in the first round and defeated the six seed, Butler’s Andrew Bocci and Benjamin Busler, in the quarterfinals.
In the semifinals, they fell to North Allegheny’s Srivatsav Thirumala and Adhav Ramadas, 6-1, 6-2.
Bang and Hurt were seeded fourth and took care of No. 13 Jackson Morgus and Thomas Sheptak, 10-6, in the first round and No. 5 Alexander Stern and Aarav Surapaneni, 10-6, in the quarters.
They fell to eventual section champion and top-seeded Evan Kaufman and Matthew Kamp of North Allegheny, 6-0, 6-1, in the semis.
Both Pine-Richland teams lost in the first round at WPIALs
Moore and Alkokar were seeded 16th and lost to the eventual champs Adam Memije and Zidaan Hassan of Gateway, 10-0, in the first round. Bang and Hurt received the No. 14 seed and lost, 10-1, to the team that finished in third place, Ronan Gibbons and Ari Plutko of Upper St. Clair.
Pine-Richland earned a spot in the WPIAL team playoffs for the 17th consecutive season and, as the 10th seed, were scheduled to visit seventh-seeded Mt. Lebanon on May 1.
Softball wins a pair
The Pine-Richland softball team kept itself in contention for a playoff spot with wins over Butler and Baldwin.
The Rams topped the Golden Tornado, 7-4, on April 19. Calle Henne played a big role with a pair of doubles, a homer and three RBIs. Marissa DeLuca also doubled and plated a pair.
Two days later they beat the Highlanders, 12-8. Henne had another big day with a home run, Abby Laurent added two doubles, and Mackenzie Gillis doubled and plated three.
Pine-Richland was 4-7 in section play through April 26. Making the playoffs will likely come down to the important section games against Mt. Lebanon and Canon McMillan. The Rams were scheduled to travel to play the Blue Devils May 3 and host the Big Macs on May 8.
Pine-Richland lost close games to both opponents in the first round of section play and both were high-scoring affairs. They lost 15-13 to Mt. Lebanon and 20-15 to Canon McMillan.
The three teams are fighting the final two available playoff spots, fifth and sixth in the lone section in Class 6A.
Voit, Sarnia advance
Pine native Ty Voit continued to be a major contributor for the Sarnia Sting in the second round of the Ontario Hockey League’s Robertson Cup playoffs in a four-game sweep of Saginaw.
Voit had a goal and three assists in the series and scored a point in three of the four games.
For the playoffs, he has a pair of goals and nine assists.
The Sting were set to begin their semifinal series with the London Knights on April 28.
Jerin Steele is a freelance writer
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