Trib HSSN May Madness: Christa Harmotto, Hopewell vs. Amanda Palenchar, Derry

Monday, May 25, 2020 | 9:56 AM

Over the course of the next month and a half, May Madness will determine who you fans believe is the WPIAL Athlete of the Century.

HSSN has put together two 32-player brackets, one for the boys and one for the girls of WPIAL alums. Outside of a few exceptions, the field is made up of former district players who excelled in more than one sport.

Each weekday, May Madness will have one matchup each on the boys and girls bracket with a little background info on each athlete found in a daily tale of the tape.

Starting at 9 a.m. Monday and running through 9 a.m. Tuesday, you can vote on the HSSN twitter page on the two athletes featured in this second round matchup.

Check the HSSN website at noon Tuesday for the matchup’s final results.

Here is the contest for the girls; Round 2, Day 1:

Christa Harmotto vs. Amanda Palenchar is a west vs. east matchup of two volleyball players, one who dominated the sport while the other starred in track.

Christa Harmotto Dietzen — Hopewell Class of 2005

(Volleyball, basketball)

• Defeated Brianna Schwartz of Shaler in the first round, 53 percent to 47 percent.

• 2005 Pittsburgh Tribune-Review female athlete of the year.

• 2004 Gatorade Pennsylvania girls volleyball player of the year.

• She was first-team all-state in volleyball in 2003 and ‘04.

• Recorded a school record .595 hitting percentage along with 448 kills, 376 digs and 172 blocks her senior season and recorded a school record 186 blocks her junior season.

• Harmotto helped Hopewell win three straight WPIAL championships in 2002, ‘03 and ‘04 as well as a PIAA title her senior year in 2004.

• Played for the Hopewell basketball team for two years.

• She was inducted into the WPIAL Hall of Fame in 2013.

• Harmotto played volleyball in college at Penn State.

Amanda Palenchar — Derry Class of 2008

(Track and field, volleyball, diving)

• Defeated Meghan Schnur of Butler in the first round, 59 percent to 41 percent.

• 2008 Tribune-Review female athlete of the year.

• Earned all-state honors her senior season in both the pole vault and diving events.

• She won WPIAL track and field gold when she finished first in the 2008 Class AAA pole vault by clearing 11 feet, 3 inches. She finished fifth in the same event at the PIAA championships with a high mark of 11-6.

• Palenchar won the 2008 WPIAL girls Class AA diving championship by scoring 442 points, 54 points ahead of the district runner-up.

• She finished in fourth place as a sophomore and third place as a junior in the WPIAL diving championships.

• She helped the Derry volleyball team make the playoffs, reach the WPIAL semifinals and earn a berth in the PIAA playoffs.

• Palenchar was on the track and field team in college at Penn State.

Check out updated brackets here.

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