ShareThis Page

Woodland Hills wins WPIAL team rifle title in dominant fashion

| Tuesday, Feb. 11, 2014, 7:09 p.m.

Shooting the best team score in the history of the WPIAL rifle championships wasn't too lofty of a goal for senior Laura Valenti and her Woodland Hills teammates.

The Wolverines shot 800-74x at Dormont-Mt. Lebanon Sportsmen's Club Tuesday during the team event to edge Hempfield (799-64x) and Bethel Park (799-60x).

The score — 800 indicates that eight shooters tallied perfect scores, 74 the total number of bull's eyes — eclipsed the event's previous best of 800-65x, which Woodland Hills shot while winning gold in 2012.

Further, if counting all 10 shooters and not excluding the normal two, Woodland Hills shot 1000-90x; the previous 10-shooter best was Woodland Hills' 1000-70x in 2012.

“I think we always had it in us,” Valenti said. “All year we were pushing closer and closer to these high scores. Shooting 1000 meant that we're here, and we're ready to shoot.”

Nobody shot less than 100-8x for Woodland Hills, which went 12-0 and captured the Section 2 title this season.

Valenti was one of three Woodland Hills shooters to record a perfect 100-10x. Becca DeVito and Seamus McGuigan were the others.

Woodland Hills won its fourth WPIAL rifle title, adding to others in 1992, 1998 and 2012.

“I tell them to have pride in their performance, and boy, they can be proud of this performance,” Woodland Hills coach Matt Rodrigues said. “It's a heck of a showing in a big match.”

Miranda Johnston, who along with Valenti is one of Woodland Hills' two senior captains, said the team set its goal to become WPIAL champs after finishing second to Hempfield last season.

After a season spent racking up 800s, Woodland Hills achieved its ultimate goal in dramatic fashion.

“We've had a very successful season, and we said we're going to shoot just like we did every other match because it's worked for us,” Johnston said. “Everybody came in clear-headed, calm. We tried to keep the nerves out. Everybody seemed really focused and excited.”

Sonny Breeger, Mike Krivi, Nick Fisher and Maria Brucker shot 100-9x; Johnston, Jake Klimko and Miguel Breight 100-8x.

Dena Simonelli shot 100-10x for Avella, which finished fifth at 797-50x.

Bethel Park got a 100-9x from Becca Kinzel. Kevin McCosby shot 100-9x to lead McGuffey, the Section 1 champ.

The Highlanders finished fourth at 797-55x. Butler was last at 795-53x.

Other perfect scores were turned in by Hempfield's Keegan Miller and Alex Thomas, but the second-place Spartans, who went 12-0 and won Section 3, couldn't match Woodland Hills' dominance.

Nobody in the history of the event could.

“I knew that Woodland Hills was on top of its game,” Hempfield coach Tom Miller said. “They've shot some big scores all season. Obviously from the scores they shot (Tuesday), they earned that title.”

The WPIAL individual rifle championships will be held Thursday at Dormont-Mt. Lebanon Sportsmen's Club.

Jason Mackey is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. Reach him at or via Twitter @Mackey_Trib.

TribLIVE commenting policy

You are solely responsible for your comments and by using you agree to our Terms of Service.

We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.

While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.

We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers

We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.

We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.

We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.

We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.