Westmoreland high school roundup: GCC's Verenna edges Vitale for section singles title
Their familiarity was obvious as Greensburg Central Catholic girls tennis teammates exchanged powerful ground strokes and volleys during the Section 1-AA singles championship match at Greensburg Racquet Club on Tuesday afternoon.
After nearly two hours, senior Marlayna Verenna claimed the section title, outlasting junior Anna Vitale, 6-4, 7-6, with a 7-5 finish in a second-set tiebreak.
“It's such a great feeling,” said Verenna, who is 19-2 this season. “Playing against Anna was tough, but I'm glad we both placed in the top two. I think she's a great hitting partner. I play best when I hit with her. She helps me a lot.”
Trailing 4-3 in the first set, Verenna won three straight games to win the set. In the second set, Vitale battled off two match points and came back from a 5-3 deficit to force a tiebreak before Verenna pulled out the victory.
“I played pretty well. She always pushes me harder than anyone else in the section,” said Vitale (18-3).
The GCC teammates paired together last season at the WPIAL doubles tournament, where they reached the quarterfinals. They will compete next at the WPIAL Class AA singles tournament Thursday at Shady Side Academy.
“I just want to get as far as I can, see how it goes,” Verenna said. “It's definitely tough. As long as I play my best and have a good mental game, I'll be OK.”
Franklin Regional 1, Connellsville 0 — Jeremy Lucas notched a shutout in goal as No. 5 Franklin Regional (14-2, 9-2) won a Section 4-AAA victory. Justin LeDonne scored the lone goal for the Panthers, who have won six straight games.
Kiski Area 2, Hempfield 0 — Colin Joyner and Keaton Moorhead scored as Kiski Area (2-10-2, 1-8-2) earned a Section 4-AAAA win over Hempfield (4-9-1, 1-9-1).
Norwin 2, Latrobe 0 — Led by first-half goals from Carter Breen and Matt Federovich, Norwin (10-3-3, 7-2-2) tallied a Section 4-AAAA win. Kyle Krotec made two saves to secure the shutout.
Greensburg Salem 7, Armstrong 0 — Greensburg Salem (4-12, 3-9) snapped a three-game losing streak with a Section 1-AAA win.
Belle Vernon 9, Albert Gallatin 2 — Markello Apodiakos scored five times and now has 31 for the season, as Belle Vernon (11-3-1, 7-2-1) won in Section 3-AAA.
Freeport 7, Derry 0 — Freeport improved to 12-4 overall and 8-3 in Section 2-AA with a victory over Derry (2-12, 0-11).
Southmoreland 3, Washington 0 — Noah Kinter, Brett Glowacki and Sabastian Kaczmarek scored to lift Southmoreland (3-11-1, 3-7-1) to a Section 3-AA victory.
Waynesburg 9, Yough 0 — Gavin Benson scored three times in the first 10 minutes as Waynesburg (10-4, 9-2) rolled to a Section 3-AA win over Yough (1-13, 1-10).
Trinity Christian 5, Jeannette 2 — Tyler Elliot and Dylan Corob scored for Jeannette (0-14-1, 0-9-1) in a Section 2-A defeat.
Shady Side Academy 12, Jeannette 0 — Shady Side Academy (9-3, 9-2) won its third straight game with a victory over Jeannette (1-14, 0-11) in Section 1-A.
Ligonier Valley 3, Blairsville 0— Rachel Horrell had seven kills and a block, and Kirsten Smith had five kills, a block and three aces as Ligonier Valley (9-4) won a Heritage Conference match 25-17, 25-19, 25-19.
Brady Pevarnik shot 1-under-par 72 for Latrobe (420), which finished in sixth place at the WPIAL Class AAA boys golf semifinal at Linden Hall Golf Course. Fox Chapel (377), Peters Township (379) and Mt. Lebanon (406) advanced to the WPIAL championship.
• Penn-Trafford's Cade Patterson shot 68 to earn medalist honors, but the Warriors (395) finished tied for fourth place at the WPIAL Class AAA semifinal at Ponderosa Golf Course. They were four strokes short of advancing to the WPIAL championship. Central Catholic (379), Shady Side Academy (384) and Pine-Richland (391) moved on.
• In the WPIAL Class AA semifinal at River Forest Country Club, Greensburg Central Catholic (459) finished in fifth place. McGuffey (405), Cardinal Wuerl North Catholic (416) and Quaker Valley (421) advanced to the WPIAL championship.