Alle-Kiski Valley high school sports lookahead: The week of April 3
In its quest to repeat as a section champion, Deer Lakes softball (1-0) will open its Section 1-3A schedule with a stiff test at 3:30 p.m., as the Lancers visit South Allegheny (1-0), a 2016 WPIAL playoff qualifier that finished last regular season with an 11-3 record.
Section softball action begins for many of the Alle-Kiski Valley programs, and one game of local interest is Freeport (3-0) at Valley (0-0) in Section 1-3A.
A baseball game with local bragging rights on the line begins at 4 p.m. when Highlands (0-1) hosts Freeport (3-1) in Section 1-4A.
Riverview baseball (0-2), which ripped through its nonsection schedule a season ago, will see how its Class 2A roster stacks up against Class 3A Valley (2-2) at 3:30 p.m.
Other baseball teams in action are St. Joseph (2-0), which will host Quigley (0-1) at 3:45 p.m., and Leechburg (0-1), which will host the Kiski School at 3:45 p.m.
Kiski Area softball (0-1, 0-1) heads to Woodland Hills (0-2, 0-2) for a 4 p.m. Section 1-5A matchup that might boost the Cavaliers' confidence after a two-win season in 2016. The Wolverines finished 1-17 a season ago.
Burrell softball (1-1, 0-0), which split a section title with Deer Lakes in 2016, gets its first crack at a tough South Allegheny (1-0), squad in Section 1-3A at 4 p.m. The Lancers will host nearby rival Valley (0-0) at 4 p.m.
A busy day for Alle-Kiski baseball teams includes a showdown between Class A Leechburg (0-1) and Class 3A Valley (2-2) at 3:30 p.m.
St. Joseph softball (1-0, 1-0) and Riverview (1-1, 1-1) pick up where they left off as Section 3-A foes with a 3:45 p.m. game in Oakmont. The Raiders edged the Spartans for their section's final playoff spot last year.
Just down the river, Springdale softball (0-1) will host Greensburg Central Catholic at 3:45 p.m.
And in baseball, St. Joseph (2-0) will head to Eden Christian (0-2) for its Section 1-A opener at 4 p.m.
The WPIAL's six-class alignment created intriguing competition between previously unfamiliar teams, and a Section 1-5A that included Kiski Area (0-3) and Mars (1-2) presented the potential for new tension. The Cavaliers went 11-7 in Class AAAA last regular season, and the Planets finished 12-5 on their way to a section title in Class AAA. They'll square off at 3:45 p.m. at Mars.
Valley baseball (2-2) will look to build confidence in Section 1-3A when it hosts Shady Side Academy (0-3), a 2016 section champion in Class AA, at 3:30 p.m.
And Springdale baseball (0-1), which went 8-11 in the 2016 regular season, heads to Union (1-0) for a Section 1-A game at 4 p.m. against a defending Class A section champ.
Stakes almost surely will be high when Deer Lakes softball (1-0) hosts Burrell in Section 1-3A action at 4 p.m. They shared a section championship last year.
In track and field, Kiski Area will challenge many of Westmoreland County's proud programs at the Lady Spartan/Wildcat Invitational at Latrobe.
Burrell senior sprinter Nikki Scherer and senior thrower Lizzie Weimer's preparation for more PIAA competition continues at the TSTCA Outdoor Championships at West Mifflin. The Bucs and Highlands are slated to attend the meet, which will include a number of sizable WPIAL teams, including Baldwin, Bethel Park, Canon-McMillan, McKeesport, Moon, Penn Hills, Central Catholic and Upper St. Clair.