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High School Golf

Sewickley Academy girls to be challenged by Central Valley

| Monday, Aug. 22, 2016, 1:36 p.m.

Opportunities for growth will be available in abundance for the Sewickley Academy girls golf team. PIAA realignment due to enrollment created an opportunity for the Panthers to be challenged before the postseason.

Central Valley, which won the Class AA crowns in 2013-14 and Class AAA title in 2015, will join Sewickley Academy in Section 2-AA this season.

The Panthers, who finished second in the WPIAL and third in the PIAA, have high hopes.

“In the past, we've had some undefeated seasons,” senior Natalie Wei said. “I don't know if that is a realistic goal for us, but it's something we want to keep in mind.”

Sewickley Academy, which last won WPIALs in 2014, returns its top golfer from last season, sophomore Tatum McKelvey.

Panthers coach Nancy Means said McKelvey has improved. Missing the WPIAL individual tournament was a motivator.

“She shoots even par and under par,” Means said. “She's come down about 10 strokes from last year. This year she's reined her game in and competed a lot locally and down in Florida. It's made a big difference in her game. I would say her golf IQ is more mature than it was last year in terms of club selection and golf course management.”

Sewickley Academy returns junior Brianna Milo, who will move to No. 3 spot. Sophomore Lexi Boschetti and freshman Zoe Luther will complete the top five.

A goal will be having a player qualify for the WPIAL individual championships. The Panthers didn't have a qualifier last year.

Sewickley Academy opened the season on a positive note, helping the West team win the Ryder Cup Style Milton S. Kuhn Jr. Trophy. The Panthers teamed with Peters Township to beat the East team, consisting of Central Dauphin and State College, 33.5-10.5.

“A lot of us went there nervous, and it was a fun thing,” Wei said. “We loosened up and played a lot better than expected. ”

Josh Rizzo is a freelance writer.

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