By Ron Poniewasz Jr. and Corey J. Corbin
New Castle News
NEW CASTLE —
Neshannock High’s Marissa Kirkwood is enjoying the fruits of her labor — or as she refers to it, the icing on her cake.
Kirkwood, a sophomore, shot an 85 yesterday on the hilly, tree-lined Hillcrest Country Club to finish in eighth place in the WPIAL Class AA Individual Championship and advance to the PIAA Western Regional Golf Tournament on Oct. 16.
“My goal was to make it to states,” Kirkwood said. “I told myself that I wasn’t missing the cut. I worked hard all summer long and I’m happy to get there. My motto has been to survive and advance. Now, everything else is like icing on the cake.
“Overall, it was a pretty average round. Every round, you say you could save an extra shot or two. Today was definitely a day I could’ve saved some shots. My irons were off and my putting was what kept me in it. Putting had been my weak spot. I was able to get up and down to save par a couple times and I’m happy with that.”
The trip to the PIAA Western Regional Tournament, which will be held at Tom’s Run Golf Course in Blairsville, will be Kirkwood’s first as a contestant. The top-10 qualifiers from the Western Regional will advance to the PIAA Finals at Heritage Hills Golf Resort and Conference Center in York on Oct. 21 and Oct. 22.
“I played there last year during a practice round when Matt Cioffi qualified and my dad took him out,” Marissa Kirkwood said of Tom’s Run. “Every course has its ups and downs and every course is different, but it’s comparable to the New Castle Country Club, which I’m pretty comfortable with. If the greens are like New Castle’s, I should be able to put up a good number.”
With trees lining the fairways and sand traps placed strategically around the greens, Hillcrest Country Club proved to be a difficult course to navigate.
“The course was playing really tough,” said Neshannock coach Mike Kirkwood, who is also Marissa’s dad. “It’s a tight golf course. It’s tree lined and was difficult to drive on. There were a couple of holes I didn’t think she should have used her driver on, but she did and we talked about it. There were a lot of sand traps around the greens, which made it difficult to hit wedges.
“But, she played really well. She was at even par through six, but had two double bogies in a row. She had to take a playable lie a couple times, but she came back and pulled through.”
Central Valley’s Macky Fouse won the WPIAL championship with a 2-over-par 75.
Neshannock heading to the playoffs
The Neshannock High girls tennis team is playoff bound.
The Lady Lancers hung on for a 3-2 WPIAL Section 2-AA road win over Blackhawk yesterday. The win sews up a WPIAL playoff berth for Neshannock.
Meg Johntony won the lone singles match for the Lady Lancers (8-4, 8-4). The doubles teams of Gabby Giangiuli/Maria Acosta (No. 1) and the sisters duo of Erin Warvell/Anna Warvell (No. 2) also earned wins.
“Our doubles teams and Meg Johntony really came through today,” Lady Lancers coach Chuck Dess said. “They stayed composed and you could see their experience as seniors really showed.
“All the matches were hard fought.”
Following are the results:
Neshannock 3, Blackhawk 2
1. Kate Fierens (B) def. Alex Huffman 6-1, 6-2.
2. Gracyn Gabauer (B) def. Cecelia Weingart 0-6, 6-4, 7-5.
3. Meg Johntony (N) def. Alayna Turconi 1-6, 6-2, 7-6.
1. Gabby Giangiuli/Maria Acosta (N) def. Morgan McKenzie/Crista Iams 4-6, 6-3, 6-4.
2. Erin Warvell/Anna Warvell (N) def. Kara Kaniecki/Monica Patura 6-4, 6-4.
1. Arti-Anna Ribarevski/Anjuli Ribarevski (N) won 6-2.
2. Aleesha Berkley (N) won 6-3.
Asheli Freed and Doreen Clark scored two goals each to lift the Lady Warriors to a 6-0 Section 1-A home win over South Side Beaver.
Mikala Mangino and Courtney Clark added a goal apiece for Mohawk (6-4, 7-6).
Aliya Gage made five saves in goal to preserve the shutout.
The Lady Warriors led 2-0 at the half. Mohawk, which has won five of its last seven games, is in fourth place in the section. The top four teams along with ties that can’t be broken will qualify for the WPIAL Class A playoffs.
“This puts us in a good spot,” Lady Warriors coach Lisa Kwolek said. “We’re playing well as a team right now.”
Neshannock blanks foe
The Lady Lancers shut down Freedom in a 2-0 Section 1-A road victory.
Kelly Cournan and Annie Litrenta scored the goals for Neshannock (6-1-2, 7-1-3). Natalie Sheen added an assist.
Madison McHale recorded six saves to earn the shutout.
The Lady Lancers led 1-0 at the half.
Dugan paces ’Canes
Ryan Dugan shot a 39 for New Castle in a 191-214 Section 5, Division 3 loss to Montour on the back nine at Sylvan Heights.
Gino Quahliero was next with a 41 for the Red Hurricane (3-8, 3-8) and Nick Malizia added a 42. Robert Natale contributed a 43 and Kyle Smith notched a 49.
Nick Peluso shot a 37 to lead Laurel to a 215-238 Section 5, Division 2 win over Riverside on the front nine at Connoquenessing Country Club.
Evan Long followed with a 43 for the Spartans (11-0, 12-0) and Colton Brown contributed a 44. Nolan Firmi posted a 45 and Tucker Skerbetz added a 46.
The Lady Warriors dropped a 25-12, 25-4, 25-12 Section 1-AA road decision to Hopewell.
Maria Fleck slammed nine kills for Mohawk (2-6, 4-6) and Malea Tress contributed eight assists.
Mohawk lost the JV match, 25-18, 25-20.
Riah Yost delivered four kills for the Lady Warriors and Ashley McConnell contributed five assists.
The Lady Greyhounds rolled to a 25-9, 25-18, 17-25, 25-16 nonregion home win over Laurel.
Cassidy Marett collected 17 points, 19 assists and 13 digs to lead Wilmington (8-0), while Katherine Clark recorded 15 points and 12 digs.
Tessa Sikora supplied five points, 17 kills and three blocks. Alana Romeo registered eight points and five digs, while Stephanie Parker provided eight points, 11 digs and four kills.
Jamie Thompson tallied four points and seven digs. Madeline Whiting slammed four kills.
Mackenzie Mraz paced Laurel (7-4) with 13 points, eight kills and four aces. Rachael Baker was next with 11 points and three aces.
Laurel won the JV match, 22-25, 25-23, 15-11.
Stephanie Telesz tallied eight points and four aces for the Lady Spartans and Kristan Fedrizzi notched eight markers. Shelby Miles added nine kills.
Alana Romeo recorded 11 points, nine digs and nine assists for the Lady Greyhounds and Rachel Vernon served up eight points with five digs and five kills.
Amanda Lewis was next with seven digs and five kills, and Julia Strobel chipped in four markers, seven digs and five assists.
The Lady Wildcats rolled to a 25-11, 25-13, 25-11 nonsection home victory over New Castle.
Christina Rapone led Shenango (10-0) with 20 assists, while Nicole Watkins added 12 kills.
Jade Esposito finished with seven digs and Shelby McCart tacked on six aces for the Lady Wildcats.
Shenango also won the JV match 25-7, 25-10.
Valentina Vincent had eight digs and Sarah Herb handed out six assists. Taylor Wakeling scored four aces and Caitlyn Schnell posted six kills.
‘Hounds in first
Wilmington pulled into a first-place tie with Grove City by edging visiting Slippery Rock, 2-1.
Buddy Wynder scored the game-winner with 20 seconds left from 30 yards out off a centering pass from Andrew Sciuto.
“He saw the goalie out a little and ripped a nice shot over his head to score,” Wilmington coach Christian Davoli said. “It was deep in our zone. It went from a scoring opportunity for them to one for us.”
Ryan DiLullo pulled the Greyhounds into a 1-1 tie with the Rockets in the second half off an assist from Travis Brumbaugh.
Derek Nichols had six saves in net for Wilmington (3-1, 6-2), which has allowed just five goals in eight games.
“We’re doing an awesome job on defense,” Davoli said. “The goals were random mistakes. Our defense and goalie always seem to be on the same page.”