Smithco looking for another title; GCC trio hoping to challenge
Monday, September 30, 2019 | 9:18 PM
One of the top storylines of the high school golf postseason is North Catholic senior Maddie Smithco trying to become a three-time PIAA champion, equaling a feat Greensburg Central Catholic grad Olivia Zambruno achieved from 2014-16.
There are a few other players in the WPIAL field who wouldn’t mind equaling the achievements of Olivia Zambruno, who is now a junior at Penn State — namely, her younger sisters, sophomores Ella and Meghan Zambruno.
Since 2013, a Zambruno has earned WPIAL and PIAA honors. Olivia was the most dominant.
Abby Zambruno graduated in 2019 after leading Greensburg Central Catholic to WPIAL and PIAA team titles.
Now it’s Meghan’s and Ella’s time to shine. The twins teamed up with Abby to help Greensburg Central Catholic win a state title. Abby is now playing from Saint Francis (Pa.).
But trying to beat Smithco at the WPIAL Class AA Championship on Wednesday at Diamond Run Golf Club in Sewickley will be a challenge.
Meghan finished sixth in last year’s WPIAL tournament, shooting an 85. She was two shots behind Abby. Smithco shot a 74.
“I definitely have to learn to putt better,” Meghan Zambruno said while practicing at Totteridge Golf Club in Hannastown on Monday. “The greens are going to be tougher the rest of the way. It’s a difficult course and you have to play better.
“It helps that I’ve played Diamond Run before. It’s a super-hard course and I know where the tough holes are.”
Ella Zambruno wasn’t as fortunate. She shot a 91 and tied for eighth but lost in a playoff and finished as an alternate.
“I’m glad I got that close,” Ella Zambruno said. “I was a freshman and I didn’t know what to expect. I’m looking forward to the tournament this year.”
The twins also said trying to live up to their sisters’ success puts some pressure on them, but they said they just try to play their games.
Greensburg Central Catholic has a third player in the tournament, junior Angelika Dewicki.
This is her first WPIAL tournament and she’s excited about the opportunity.
“Meghan and Ella told me what to expect at Diamond Run,” Dewicki said. “They told me it’s difficult, so I played there over the weekend and mapped things out on a notebook. The greens are definitely difficult, but I’m looking forward to the challenge.”
The Class AAA tournament is also Wednesday at Diamond Run, but there will be a new champion as North Allegheny’s Caroline Wrigley has graduated.
Mount Lebanon sophomore Lindsey Powanda, who finished second in 2018, is one of the favorites along with Hampton junior Arianna Erka, South Fayette sophomore Caroline McConnell, North Allegheny senior Isabella Walter and Peters Township junior Ella Roberts.
Powanda shot a 75 and was four shots behind Wrigley.
The GCC girls are excited about defending the WPIAL and PIAA team titles. The WPIAL team championship is Oct. 10 at Cedarbrook Golf Course in Smithton.
“Even though we basically have a new team, we’re capable of playing good,” Meghan Zambruno said. “There’s going to be some good teams.”
Paul Schofield is a Tribune-Review Staff Writer. You can contact Paul by email at firstname.lastname@example.org or via Twitter .
More Golf• Plum teen enjoying winning summer on links
• ‘Hidden gem’ Longue Vue Club gears up to co-host U.S. Amateur
• Penn-Trafford notebook: Alex Turowski wins at Diamond Run
• Hampton grad competes at U.S. Open qualifier, NCAA tournament in golf season to remember
• Shady Side Academy’s Warden captures WPGA Junior title in a playoff