Shady Side Academy boys, Allderdice girls claim Pittsburgh Interscholastic Fencing Association team titles

Monday, March 6, 2023 | 3:07 PM

A several-month long series of matches culminated last Friday in the Pittsburgh Interscholastic Fencing Association playoffs at Allderdice High School, and the Allderdice girls and Shady Side Academy boys claimed team championships.

The Shady Side Academy girls came into the playoffs as the top seed after finishing the regular season 9-0.

Shady Side had won the last three WPIAL titles, and seniors Emily Michaelsen and Anya Hammer had not lost a match in four seasons before Friday.

Shorthanded, Michaelsen and Hammer could only afford to lose one bout in their matches.

But the Dragons broke through. Led by seniors V Carter, Sacha Miller and Grace Walsh, Allderdice defeated Shady Side, 5-2, to claim the title.

“I’m so happy for our team,” Allderdice coach Dan Yu said. “They worked so hard for this moment. This is a David and Goliath type of upset. To win a title by beating that team is a victory for the ages.”

Allderdice, the No. 2 seed, defeated No. 3 Peters Township, 5-4, in the semifinals, while Shady Side topped No. 4 Aquinas Academy, 5-2.

Peters Township bounced back to defeat Aquinas, 5-0, in the third-place match. The playoff matches were halted as soon as one team reached five points in the best-of-nine contests.

On the boys side, No. 1 seed Shady Side Academy completed a turnaround from last year when it didn’t make the playoffs.

Sophomores Christo Kennedy and Max Kaplan, also shorthanded in matches, defeated No. 4 Peters Township, 5-2, in the semifinals, while No. 3 Fox Chapel topped No. 2 Allderdice, 5-3.

In the finals, Shady Side defeated Fox Chapel, 5-3, to claim gold.

Peters Township beat Allderdice, the defending boys champ, 5-4, in the third-place match.

Michael Love is a TribLive reporter covering sports in the Alle-Kiski Valley and the eastern suburbs of Pittsburgh. A Clearfield native and a graduate of Westminster (Pa.), he joined the Trib in 2002 after spending five years at the Clearfield Progress. He can be reached at

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