Westmoreland high school golf preview: Zambrunos (again) lead GCC girls
Wednesday, August 14, 2019 | 5:29 PM
The name Zambruno in the Greensburg Central Catholic girls golf program is as recognizable as a golf brand emblazoned on a driver, bag, ball or article of apparel.
Titleist, Taylor Made, Mizuno … Zambruno.
The girls come from a family that knows how to play the game.
Four Zambruno sisters have been a part of the program’s recent championship-laced history. Two of them still have three years to go.
Twins Ella and Meghan Zambruno will be sophomores this season at GCC, which has won four straight WPIAL Class AA team titles and brought home a PIAA championship last season. The Centurions could challenge for a fifth district title when the season gets underway Thursday around Western Pennsylvania.
GCC coach Gerry Police said the girls have progressed quickly at the varsity level.
“They have been playing since they were 4 or 5 years old,” Police said. “They have had excellent instruction, and since they are so coachable, they utilize what they have learned.”
With sister Abby Zambruno off to play college golf at St. Francis (Pa.), it is the twins’ time to make a mark on the program. Meghan tied for third last year at the PIAA Championship in York with a two-round total of 16-over-par 160 (81-79).
She ended up sixth at the WPIAL finals at Diamond Run Golf Club (85), and Ella was 10th (91).
“Seeing my sisters compete for the individual state championship makes me want to get there this year,” Ella Zambruno said. “Last season, I had some good rounds, just not at the right time. This year I hope that I have good rounds at the right times.”
Their oldest sister, Olivia Zambruno, is one of the most decorated players in school history. She won three PIAA titles and two WPIAL championships before heading off to play at Penn State, where she will be a junior this fall.
Police said the twins blend talent with course management — a blend their sisters have developed to their advantage over the years.
“They are both excellent athletes who understand the game,” Police said. “They are willing to listen and improve their skills. They just get it. Their temperament allows them to shake off a bad shot and come back with a good one.”
Meghan Zambruno also said she became a better player with a year of varsity experience.
”I learned how to play under pressure and to finish every round strong,” she said. “I definitely felt a little pressure having known my sister, Olivia, won states three times. I am glad I did as well as I did and hope to do even better this year.”
Elsewhere in the county, the Penn-Trafford girls made the WPIAL Class AAA team finals last year and finished third behind to four-time champion North Allegheny and Upper St. Clair. Junior Lauren Barber is back for the Warriors.
Franklin Regional also was a playoff team.
While the area became quite spoiled the last few years by the exemplary play of Franklin Regional’s Palmer Jackson and Latrobe’s Brady Pevarnik, the local focus could turn to team success this year.
Jackson left for Notre Dame with a PIAA title in hand — and a slew of achievements in the junior and amateur circuits — and Pevarnik went on to play at Penn State after numerous high-end finishes in his prep career.
Latrobe and Penn-Trafford were strong teams last season as both made in the WPIAL playoffs. Both return several talented players, Latrobe in seniors Colt McCutcheon, Mario Battaglia and Jared Stein, and Penn-Trafford returns junior Alex Turowski and senior Adam Yamrick.
Turowski is Westmoreland’s top returning individual finisher after he tied for eighth at the WPIAL Class AAA tournament at famed Oakmont Country Club.
Belle Vernon also made the team finals in Class AAA and returns senior Jake Caldwell.
Franklin Regional’s Chuck Tragesser is back after a 24th-place finish in the WPIAL.
Bill Beckner Jr. is a Tribune-Review Staff Writer. You can contact Bill by email at [email protected] or via Twitter .