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PIHL Notebook: 2013-2014 Class AAA Preview

Welcome to “PIHL Notebook” and our annual season preview. Over the next four Monday’s, we will provide thumbnail sketches of all 60 PIHL teams to make sure local high school hockey fans are ready when the puck drops on October 28.

MSA Sports Hometown Girls Volleyball Salute - WEST ALLEGHENY INDIANS

Now in their second year in Class AAA, the West Allegheny Indians look forward to competing for a playoff spot in this 2013 season.

The Indians returned 4 starters, led by all WPIAL junior setter Tara Savisky. "Tara is in my opinion the best setter in the WPIAL and a fantastic competitor", said head coach Brian Begor.

Also leading the charge Is senior Alexi Hamm who has worked very hard to develop into a quality player. Also playing key roles are seniors Jenna Reilly, Lizzie Murn, and juniors Rachel Buck and Nicole Ostrander. Sophomore Alyssa Placha continues to improve every day in the libero position and sisters Sam and Lauren Schaupp have provided some good play in serving and defensive roles.

This Week on the MSA Sports Network

The 'Stretch Run' of the 2013 high school football regular season begins with a bang this week here on the MSA Sports Network. We have a busy seventh week of the high school football season with FORTY WPIAL, District 6 and District 9 football games on Thursday, Friday and Saturday with Friday night kicking off with the expanded MSA Sports Pregame Show and concluding with the one and only WPIAL High School Football Scoreboard Show.

WPIAL Saturday's Scholastic Starz for Week Six

One game each in Class AAA, Class AA and Class A owned the Week Six Saturday spotlight in WPIAL football. Beaver and West Shamokin took a big step toward a possible postseason berth while Ambridge got a chance to celebrate its first victory of the 2013 campaign. Here are the players that helped make it happen.

Stephon McGinnis - Ambridge

WPIAL/City League Football Scores for Saturday, October 5th

If not for a couple of old school Homecoming Games, it would have been a lonely Saturday of high school football in Southwestern Pennsylvania. There were no games in the Pittsburgh City League and even with a pair of 'Saturday specials', there were only three games on the docket in the WPIAL. All three games Saturday are now in the books and can be heard archived here on the MSA Sports Network.

WPIAL CLASS AAA Parkway Conference:

Ambridge Bridgers 45 - Hopewell Vikings 13  (MSA)


WPIAL CLASS AA Midwestern Conference:

Beaver Bobcats 62 - Riverside Panthers 29  (MSA)


WPIAL CLASS A Eastern Conference:

West Shamokin Wolves 27 - Wilkinsburg Tigers 8  (MSA)

WPIAL Friday Night HighLights for Week Six

Some of these names we have seen before this year while some of them are newcomers to our kudos spotlight. These are the WPIAL football players that stood out...sometimes even in the thick fog...with victory leading performances as the second half of the regular season kicked into full gear with a taste of October Friday night football.

Miles Sanders - Woodland Hills

WPIAL/City League Football Scores for Friday, October 4th

The second half of the 2013 high school football season and the first Friday in October kicked off with weather conditions closely associated with the first Friday of September. The care free days from the ninth month of the year are a distant memory as we bear down for the second month of the season. Separation Friday preped us for the final three week Stretch Run…so with that in mind, here are all of the results for Friday, October 4th in both the WPIAL and Pittsburgh City League.

WPIAL CLASS AAAA Foothills Conference:

Altoona Mountain Lions 14 -  Hempfield Spartans 37

McKeesport Tigers 25 -  Latrobe Wildcats  0

Connellsville Falcons 15  -  Penn-Trafford Warriors  21

MSA Sports Top Ten - WPIAL Girls Volleyball

Here are the latest MSA Sports Top Ten WPIAL girls volleyball rankings for the week ending October 4th...including a NEW #1 team in Class AA. You can check out the new rankings every Friday through the regular season with daily updated girls volleyball standings and weekly matches as well all here on the home for the Hometown Volleyball Program, the MSA Sports Network.

Section record in parenthesis.

WPIAL CLASS AAA:

1)   NORTH ALLEGHENY TIGERS  (8-0)
(Last Week #1)

2)   SHALER TITANS  (9-0)
(Last Week #2)

3)   PINE-RICHLAND RAMS  (7-1)
(Last Week #3)

4)   OAKLAND CATHOLIC EAGLES  (7-1)
(Last Week #4)

Scholastic Notebook

In a year when the Pirates ended a long playoff drought, a long WPIAL football playoff drought could end for one school.

Avella in the WPIAL playoffs. It’s likely to happen.

Avella takes a 4-0 record (5-0 overall) into Friday night’s game against Frazier. No matter what happens Friday night and in the final three games, Avella stands an excellent chance to make the playoffs. The last time the Eagles were in the playoffs was 1976.

Avella’s playoff drought is the current longest in the WPIAL. The next-longest playoff drought belongs to Southmoreland, which hasn’t been to the playoffs since 1979.

Fox Chapel and Sewickley Academy Duo Win WPIAL Girls Doubles Tennis Gold

For the first time in ten years, there was a repeat WPIAL champion in girls doubles tennis. Amy Cheng and Jappman Monga of Sewickley Academy captured district gold for the second consecutive season, marking the first repeat duo winners since Patty Kaczmarek and Meghan Stubblebine of Bishop Canevin in 2003. A pair of sophomores may have the chance to match consecutive crowns next fall after sophomores Laurel Shymansky and Lacey Cohen of Fox Chapel upset top-seed Maddy Adams and Anna Li of North Allegheny in the Class AAA Girls Doubles Finals Thursday afternoon.

WPIAL CLASS AAA GIRLS DOUBLES TENNIS CHAMPIONSHIP:

Laurel Shymansky and Lacey Cohen (Fox Chapel) over Maddy Adams and Anna Li (North Allegheny) 7-5, 6-4

Hometown Volleyball Match Recap: Bethel Park Black Hawks 3 - WEST ALLEGHENY INDIANS 1

At West Allegheny High School the Bethel Park Blackhawks win a AAA Section 5 match over the West Allegheny Indians by a 3-1 match score.

It was Dig Pink Nite at West A. The girls all wore tye dye warm ups with the statement "two teams, one cause" as the night was a way to raise funds for fighting breast cancer. Youth cheerleaders were in attendance and formed a gauntlet for the Indians as they were announced to the crowd, there were raffles, and bake sales and the whole West Allegheny community supported the cause.

Hometown Volleyball Match Recap: Knoch Knights 3 - FREEPORT YELLOWJACKETS 2

The Freeport Yellowjackets' Girls' Volleyball team had been running roughshod over all of its competition going into the return match with the Knoch Knights.  

The two squads met back on September 10, and the Yellowjackets embarrassed the Knights, 3-0, on Knoch's own home court.  

The Knights had quite a bit of time to think about revenge since then, and they jumped on the unbeaten Yellowjackets in Game 1, winning 25-21, on huge kills from Celina Sanks and Mary Zellhart. The Jackets pulled to within one at 22-21, but could get no further than that.  

District College Football Preview for Saturday, October 5th

As the calendar turned to October, Week 6 of the college football season brings Crossover Week in the PSAC as East meets West. Conference play heads up in the NEC and PAC with three games right here on the Network.

Here are previews of ALL the games, recaps will be posted Sunday morning.

Slippery Rock (3-1) at Kutztown (0-4)   1:05pm on WLER 97.7-FM and msasports.net
Slippery Rock defeated Mercyhurst 58-34 last week to get back on the winning track.

WR John Schademan had 229 receiving yards, a single game record in the win. Schademan has over 100 yards in all four games this season. The senior is fourth in the conference with seven touchdowns. 

Chicks Picks - Week Six

Welcome to Week 6. Pittsburghers had plenty to celebrate this week, Chick’s Picks included.  The Pirates recorded their first playoff victory in 21 years, and Chick’s Picks played a key part in it.

Earlier this week, a member of the Pirates staff contacted Chick’s Picks about making a special guest appearance during the game.  Chick’s Picks was thrilled to learn that she was being invited to join Sauerkraut Saul, Cheese Chester, Jalepeno Hannah, and Oliver Onion in the world-famous Pierogy Race.

MSA Sports Big Game Hunting - Week Six

Week six just like that and while everyone in town is thinking about baseball we need to focus on the stretch run as it is just around the corner for the WPIAL football season. It is time to start jockeying for position, wins for your team and for teams your team has already beaten become bigger and bigger now as you hope to convince the playoff seeding committee of your team’s worthiness. Take care of your business and it will matter not what others think or believe about your team. That is the best thing about high school football, we play it out, win and your ranking has no bearing whatsoever on your chance at the crown.

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