Westmoreland high school notebook: Norwin’s Guzzie hits hole-in-one at WPIALs

Sunday, September 24, 2023 | 7:50 PM

Norwin sophomore Lia Guzzie did not qualify for the WPIAL girls golf finals, but she made a lasting memory at the Section 3-3A Tournament.

Guzzie had carded four straight fives on the back nine last Tuesday at Indiana Country Club and must have grown tired of the monotony.

She decided to change things up. Instead of another five, she made a one.

Guzzie sank a hole-in-one on the par-3 17th to finish in a flurry. She made the 120-yard hole over a lake look easy with her first career ace.

“I came up to 17 and wasn’t sure whether I should use my 8- or 9-iron,” she said. “I decided to use my 8-iron because there was a lake in front of the hole. When I first hit my ball I thought I hit it too far. I was surprised to see my ball land on the green and go straight in the hole. I have never been really close to a hole-in-one before, so this was a great way to end my round.”

Guzzie shot 45 on the back nine and carded a 102, 10 shots out of qualifying.

Her teammate, Adelena Robb, did advance with a 92. She had a 44 on the back nine.

Norwin coach Sonny Bruni said he was thrilled for Guzzie.

“It’s quite a feat,” he said. “I’ve been playing all my life and only have one (hole-in-one). Unfortunately, I did not witness it as I was scoring another group, but there were two other competitors and the scorer.

“She is a great competitor. Everyone was amazed. All of her teammates congratulated her as other competitors did the same.”

The moment carried unique meaning for Guzzie.

“I still have my hole-in-one ball, and I’m keeping it as a fun memory,” she said. “This was a special moment for me because my grandfather passed away last week, and I was happy to know I am still making him proud.”

Tee time

The WPIAL individual golf postseason continues this week with the start of the district finals.

Each tournament is 36 holes and split into two 18-hole rounds over two days a week apart.

The top 36 boys advance to the final round in 3A and 2A, whereas all of the girls make the cut in both classifications.

The boys Class 3A first round is set for Monday at Latrobe Country Club, with the final round Oct. 2 at Valley Brook Country Club.

Area players in the tournament are Nick Turowski and David Newsom of Penn-Trafford, Jack Sacriponte and Parker Berk of Latrobe, Adam Hess and Caden Biondi of Hempfield, Alex Graham of Norwin and Dylan Mauser, Colin Holt and Liam Copeland of Franklin Regional.

Turowski was the Section 1 champion.

The boys Class 2A first round will be Monday at Willowbrook Country Club. The final round will be Oct. 2 at Butler Country Club.

Locals in the field include Seth Tomalski, Jordan Mocello and Rogan Maloney of Belle Vernon; John Bellisimo, Jake Kratzenburg (Section 2 champion), Braden Riley, Mike Mullaney, Brandon Plunko and Braden Marker of Greensburg Central Catholic; Will Morford and Tyler Jones of Ligonier Valley; Mike Kingerski and Noah Outley of Greensburg Salem; and Ryan Karfelt of Mt. Pleasant.

The girls 3A and 2A championships will be Tuesday (first round) and Oct. 4 at Diamond Run Golf Club.

The field features Antolena D’Amico of Penn-Trafford, Ali Boyle and Gianna Johnson of Franklin Regional and Adelena Robb of Norwin. D’Amico won the Section 3 title.

The 2A tournament includes Section 1 winner Kennedy Kelly and runner-up Alayna Stawovy of Greensburg Central Catholic.

Bell curve

With more local girls soccer players opting out of high school season to play club or for other reasons, Latrobe junior Lauren Bell also went that route.

Bell, who played soccer until last year, decided not to play this season so she could focus on swimming, where she has Division I college interest.

Bell competes in the 50- and 100- yard freestyles and 100 butterfly. Last year, she took third in the WPIAL 100 free and fifth the butterfly and qualified for the PIAA meet in both events.

Bernadowski commits

Franklin Regional’s Max Bernadowski will play Division II baseball in the Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference.

Bernadowski, a senior pitcher and shortstop, announced a verbal commitment to Slippery Rock.

He was a first-team all-section selection last season.

Amazing Grace

Erin Grace, a junior middle hitter at Greensburg Central Catholic, was named a Western Pennsylvania Volleyball Coaches Association Class A player of the week.

Her team held on to the No. 5 ranking in Class A, and a number of other local teams also are listed in the top-10 polls.

Penn-Trafford dropped one spot to No. 5 in 4A, Latrobe stayed at No. 10 in 3A and Southmoreland vaulted from the unranked to No. 8 in 2A.

Bill Beckner Jr. is a TribLive reporter covering local sports in Westmoreland County. He can be reached at bbeckner@triblive.com.

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