Local players ousted

HERSHEY — Altoona Area High School senior Jess Stevens and a Hollidaysburg doubles team each won a match in the PIAA Class 3A Girls Tennis Championships on Friday at the Hershey Racquet Club.

Stevens, the two-time District 6 3A singles champion, beat District 2 champion Stephanie Mazurek, a senior from Hazelton Area, 6-1, 6-0. Stevens then lost in the PIAA quarterfinals, falling to District 7 champion Maria Santilli, a senior from Norwin, 6-0, 6-0.

Hollidaysburg’s District 6 3A doubles championship team of senior Veronica Helsel and junior Jenee Delerme also went 1-1 Friday. They beat District 2 champ Sarah Tofilska and Sarah Sposito of North Pocono in the first round, 6-1, 6-2, but then lost to Fox Chapel’s Amanda Nord and Charlotte James, the District 7 champs, 6-0, 6-0, in the quarterfinals.

Other area players in Class 2A lost in the first round.

District 6 singles champ Tina Hollen, a senior from Tyrone, lost to Gwynned Mercy Academy’s Genevieve Wurtz, 6-0, 6-1, and District 5 singles champ Emily Ruhlman, a sophomore from Bedford, fell to Bethlehem Catholic’s Brenna Magliochetti, 6-0, 6-0.

District 6 doubles champ Olivia Ratchford and Elizabeth Brady of Central Cambria lost to Villa Joseph Marie’s Brooke Simonson and Gabby Persechino, 6-1, 6-0, and District 5 doubles champ Payton Whysong and Vanesa Hyde of Chestnut Ridge fell to Notre Dame-Green Pond’s Logan Lencheski and Emma Anmolsingh, 6-3, 6-0.

PSU beats OSU

WESTFIELD, Ind. — With a spot in the Big Ten Tournament Championship match on the line, the No. 15 and fifth-seeded Penn State women’s soccer team outlasted the No. 9 and top-seeded Ohio State Buckeyes, 1-0, in a double overtime Big Ten Semifinal matchup Friday afternoon at Grand Park. Sophomore Laura Freigang netted her third game-winning goal of the season at 109:18 to send Penn State to Sunday’s championship match against No. 2 seed Northwestern.

“I think that is a very good Ohio State team and I think they play with a ton of heart and a ton of energy,” head coach Erica Dambach said. “That is what I was most proud of today, was that we wanted the game a little bit more, and that certainly wasn’t the case when we were in Columbus earlier this season. We talk to the team about playing our best soccer in November and that is exactly what we are seeing from our group right now.”

Following Friday’s match, Penn State improved to 11-4-4.

SFU in final

TEANECK, N.J. — The Saint Francis women’s soccer team (10-7-2, 6-1-1 NEC) gave itself an opportunity to defend its 2016 NEC Title on Friday with a 2-1 win over CCSU (10-7, 6-2 NEC) in the NEC Semifinals hosted by Fairleigh Dickinson.

“This was a hard-fought match between two good programs,” SFU coach Brenda van Stralen said. “Give credit to CCSU because I thought they played a great game. Fortunately, we received two tremendous goals from Mariana and Gabi and it proved to be enough.”

Freshman forward Mariana Jaleca showed the poise of an upperclassmen to break a scoreless match 10 minutes into the second half. NEC Offensive Player of the Year Alyssa McGhee, a Bishop Guilfoyle graduate, set up the chance with a pass to a free Jaleca down the left side. She took her touch and curled a shot to the back post that took a slight deflection for the match’s opening goal.

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