Seneca Valley, Hempfield send five wrestlers to WPIAL semifinals

Friday, March 1, 2019 | 10:45 PM

Seneca Valley and Hempfield shared a high five Friday on the opening day of the WPIAL Class AAA individual wrestling championships.

Both the Raiders and Spartans left the first day of the two-day tournament at Canon-McMillan with five wrestlers in the semifinals, the most of any school. Kiski Area and Canon-McMillan had four apiece.

Alejandro Herrera-Rondon, a WPIAL runner-up and PIAA champion last season, led Seneca Valley’s pack of semifinalists by winning a pair of matches at 113 pounds. He was joined by Dylan Chappell (106 pounds), Jason Geyer (132), Drew Vlasnik (138) and Antonio Amelio (145).

The Hempfield quintet of semifinalists included Kyle Burkholder (113 pounds), Ethan Berginc (120), Ty Linsenbigler (138), Dillon Ferretti (220) and Isaiah Vance (285). Burkholder, Linsenbigler and Vance all placed third in their weight classes last season.

Berginc, the seventh seed, upset No. 2 Cole Homet of Waynesburg in the quarterfinals, in the biggest upset of the first day.

All six returning WPIAL champions who wrestled Friday also sailed through to the semifinals: Norwin’s Kurtis Phipps at 120, Franklin Regional’s Colton Camacho at 126, North Hills’ Sam Hillegas at 132, Kiski Area’s Cam Connor at 152, Kiski Area’s Jack Blumer at 160 and Belle Vernon’s Scott Joll at 182. Phipps and Hillegas are seeking their third titles. Shaler’s Ryan Sullivan, a returning WPIAL and PIAA champion, is out for the postseason after breaking his hand at last week’s Section 3-AAA tournament.

In addition to Berginc’s win over Homet, five No. 6 seeds toppled No. 3 seeds in the quarterfinals: Norwin’s John Altieri over Chartiers Valley’s Zachary Macy at 132 pounds, Vlasnik over Franklin Regional’s Mason Spears at 138, Latrobe’s Jack Pletcher over Greensburg Salem’s Ian Ewing at 145, Pine-Richland’s Cole Spencer over Seneca Valley’s Nick Montalbano at 152, and Bethel Park’s Luke Montgomery over Kiski Area’s Brayden Roscosky at 195.

The tournament resumes at 10 a.m. Saturday with second-round consolation matches, with the semifinals scheduled for 11:30 a.m. The consolation and championship finals take place at 5 p.m. The top four finishers advance to the PIAA championships March 7-9 in Hershey.

Doug Gulasy is a Tribune-Review Staff Writer. You can contact Doug at 412-388-5830, or via Twitter .

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