Westmoreland high school notebook: Local soccer teams punch tickets

Sunday, October 17, 2021 | 6:37 PM

The local WPIAL soccer playoff field is set.

The top four teams in each girls and boys section qualify.

Area girls qualifiers are Latrobe, Norwin and Penn-Trafford in Class 4A; Belle Vernon, Franklin Regional and Kiski Area in 3A; Burrell, Mt. Pleasant, Southmoreland and Yough in 2A; and Greensburg Central Catholic in Class A.

Boys playoff teams locally are Norwin and Penn-Trafford in 4A; Belle Vernon, Franklin Regional and Kiski Area in 3A; Burrell, Mt. Pleasant and Yough in 2A; and Greensburg Central Catholic and Jeannette in Class A.

The WPIAL will release playoff brackets Wednesday, and the tournaments could start by the weekend.

Section champions will have an inside track to the best playoff seeds and home games in the first two rounds.

At least two girls teams from Westmoreland will go into the postseason as section champs.

Latrobe is a section winner for the first time since 1992, and Franklin Regional won its first section title since 2016.

Mt. Pleasant also is chasing its first section crown since ’16.

The Vikings can clinch with a win over Yough on Tuesday night.

Southmoreland still can tie Mt. Pleasant atop Section 3-2A if the Vikings lose or tie.

GCC needs to win its final regular-season game Monday at home against Apollo-Ridge to secure a co-section title with Springdale.

Local boys section winners include Norwin, Franklin Regional and Greensburg Central Catholic.

Wildcats surge on

Latrobe’s girls tennis team is on the path to a repeat.

The top-seeded Wildcats (10-0) returned to the WPIAL Class 3A quarterfinals for the third straight season and took care of No. 9 Mt. Lebanon, 3-2, to continue their march toward a second straight championship.

They will meet No. 5 Fox Chapel in the semifinals at 3 p.m. Monday at Franklin Regional.

Wildcats winners in the quarterfinal were Jenna Bell and Carolina Walters in singles and Maya Jain and Emily Pierce in doubles.

Net worth

With one week left in the WPIAL girls volleyball regular season, five county teams are headed to the playoffs.

They are Latrobe and Penn-Trafford in 4A, Franklin Regional in 3A, Southmoreland in 2A and Greensburg Central Catholic in A.

Trojans take bronze

Derry put together another impressive season in boys golf as it finished third out of six teams in WPIAL 2A, its best finish in three straight trips to the finals.

Junior Hunter Jurica was the individual medalist with a 2-over-par 74 on Cedarbrook’s Gold Course.

Derry shot 428 to finish 23 shots behind champion North Catholic and 19 back of Quaker Valley, the runner-up.

Junior Ashton Beighley added an 81.

“We just needed a couple kids to play a little better than they did,” Derry coach Tracey Smeltzer said. “I think the leaves got us a couple times out there. We were looking for balls. But that’s golf. You’ll have days when everything is going well, and days when you can’t make a putt. I am proud of our kids.”

Perhaps the most impressive feat for Derry, one that gives the Trojans a we-belong-here sense, was their first-place semifinal finish in a field that included North Catholic and eight-time defending champion Sewickley Academy.

No breakfast ball for Hempfield

Coach Katie Miller Gee can call year No. 1 of the Hempfield girls golf program a success.

In their first year as an official WPIAL team, the Spartans reached the Class 3A district finals and finished eighth out of nine teams last Thursday at Cedarbrook.

“I couldn’t be more proud of them for getting here,” said Miller Gee, a WPIAL Hall of Fame inductee and former Hempfield standout. “It’s an honor to be here. We’re going to need to bring in some new players, so if you know any eighth graders interested in golf, let me know.”

Three of the five girls who started in the championship round will graduate: multiyear standout Raina Jones, Seneca Wagner and Ava Grew.

Two freshmen will be back in Milana Yannascoli and Mayah Iezzi.


Franklin Regional baseball player Kyle Morgan will continue his playing career at Penn State Greater Allegheny. He is a left-handed pitcher and outfielder.

Bill Beckner Jr. is a Tribune-Review Staff Writer. You can contact Bill by email at bbeckner@triblive.com or via Twitter .

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