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Water Polo Game Summaries

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2021-2022 Game Summaries

NA Boys Take Fourth Place At State Championship

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The North Allegheny boys’ water polo team traveled to North Penn High School for the state championship tournament this weekend and came away with a fourth-place showing. It’s the best finish for North Allegheny since a third-place effort in 2018.

Seeded third, the Western Conference champions opened the tournament on Friday with an 18-3 thrashing of Hazelton. NA jumped out to a 12-2 lead at the half and controlled the game throughout. Junior captain Keller Sens paced the offense with an eight-goal outburst, while fellow junior Sean McClellan added four goals, three assists and three steals. Junior Ben Gavran netted a pair of goals and added three assists. Also touching the scoresheet with goals were Yi-Fei Zhao, Ethan Berty, Camden Wright and Asher Jones. In net, junior Eliot Maravich made 12 saves to earn the victory.

On Saturday morning, the Tigers rallied from a five-goal deficit in the second half but the comeback bid fell narrowly short to La Salle College, 9-7. Junior captain Justin Morrison scored a pair of goals, along with Sens and McClellan, who also netted two goals each. Gavran added a marker and two assists, while Maravich made five saves in between the pipes.

In the third-place consolation match on Saturday evening, North Allegheny dropped a 10-4 decision to Governor Mifflin. Sens led with two goals, with Wright and Jones chipping in with one goal each. Maravich made 16 stops in the contest.

At the conclusion of the tournament, several North Allegheny standouts were named to the all-state team. With a terrific all-around performance throughout the season, McClellan earned first-team all-state laurels. Taking second-team accolades were Jones and Sens. Berty was named to the third-team all-state squad and Gavran was an all-state honorable mention.

North Allegheny concludes the season an impressive 18-5 record and a second straight Western Conference title. Congratulations to the coaching staff and entire team for a memorable season.

NA Takes 4th Place At State Finals

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Fresh off winning their second consecutive Western Conference championship, the North Allegheny girls’ water polo team took fourth place at the state championship this weekend. It’s the highest finish for the Lady Tigers since taking fourth place at the state tournament in 2014.

Seeded third out of eight teams who qualified for the state championship event, NA opened the tournament on Friday night against Governor Mifflin. Tied 9-9 after three quarters, the Tigers pulled away from the Mustangs down the home stretch by outscoring their opponent in the final stanza, 6-3, for a 15-12 victory. Junior Rebecca Melanson and senior captain Anna Kegel led the way with seven goals apiece. Melanson facilitated the offense as well with four assists, while Kegel paced the defense with four steals. Senior captain Emma Donnelly also chipped in with a goal, and sophomore goalie Izzy Trunzo made 12 saves to earn the win.

After winning their opener, the Lady Tigers fell in a heartbreaker on Saturday morning to Wilson, 16-14, in double overtime. Melanson led the offense with six goals, and Kegel fired five markers into the back of the net. Donnelly contributed a pair of goals and senior Jamie Palone added one. Melanson had a fine all-around effort and tallied a team-high four assists and six steals. Senior Natalie Marquiss added four steals on defense. In net, Trunzo faced a barrage of shots from the Bulldogs and made 17 saves.

Exhausted from a hard-fought game with Wilson, North Allegheny dropped a 17-4 decision to Cumberland Valley in the third-place consolation matchup on Saturday night. Donnelly tallied a pair of markers, with Marquiss and Melanson scoring one each. Trunzo made seven stops in between the pipes.

Five Tigers earned All-State honors following the state tournament. With a team-leading 133 goals on the season, combined with 23 assists and 45 steals, Kegel earned first-team all-state laurels along with Melanson, who also surpassed the century mark with 101 goals. Melanson also posted a team-high 96 assists and 84 steals on the campaign.

Earning second-team all-state accolades were Donnelly and Marquiss. Donnelly totaled 37 goals, 18 assists and 16 steals. Marquiss posted 11 goals, 31 assists and 41 steals.

All-state honorable mention recognition went to Trunzo with 240 saves in 2021.

Congratulations to head coach Damir Matanovic and the entire North Allegheny girls’ water polo team for posting an incredible 18-5 record, a second consecutive Western Conference crown and fourth-place showing at the state tournament.

NA Concludes Regular Season At Erie Challenge

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The North Allegheny water polo team participated in its final regular season tune-up ahead of the Western Conference Championships at the Erie Challenge on Saturday. The NA Boys won two of their three games and the Lady Tigers went 1-1 at the tournament.

The NA Boys opened the tournament with a tough contest against LaSalle College High School. The Tigers led 6-3 after one quarter but ultimately couldn’t navigate past the Explorers, dropping an 11-8 decision. Junior Ben Gavran paced the offense and defense with a team-leading three goals and three steals. Junior Justin Morrison netted a pair of goals, while Keller Sens, Sean McClellan and Asher Jones all tallied markers. In net, junior goalie Eliot Maravich made seven saves.

The Tigers bounced back big in the following contest by punishing Pennridge, 15-4. Eleven different players scored for NA, led once again by Gavran with a hat trick. McClellan and Jones posted two goals each, while Sens, Morrison, Jonathan Mowry, Ethan Berty, Camden Wright, Andy Georgiev, Nico Jacobs-Alarcon and Colton McCartney all scored one goal apiece. Maravich made seven saves to earn the win.

The NA Boys rounded out the tournament with a thrilling 8-7 victory against Wilson. Sens led the way on offense with three goals, followed by Berty with two markers. McClellan, Jones and Gavran each scored goals. McClellan added three assists and Gavran posted a team-best five steals. In between the pipes, Maravich made seven saves for NA.

The Lady Tigers earned a 12-9 triumph over Pennridge in their first effort of the tournament. NA built an 8-3 lead by intermission and staved off a Pennridge rally in the second half. Junior Rebecca Melanson spearheaded the victory with five goals, three assists and three steals. Senior captains Anna Kegel and Emma Donnelly each posted two goals and three assists. Sophomore Carissa Jones also netted two goals and senior Jamie Palone added a marker. Kegel and senior Natalie Marquiss led the defense with four steals each. Sophomore goalie Izzie Trunzo made 11 saves to earn the victory.

In the nightcap, North Allegheny fell behind Wilson 5-1 in the early stages of the second quarter and put together a furious rally in the second half. The Tigers cut the deficit to two but the Bulldogs prevailed, 14-11. Melanson sparked the comeback bid with seven goals and five steals. Kegel tallied four goals and Marquiss helped facilitate the offense with four assists. Trunzo stopped four shots in net.

On the season, the NA Boys improve to 17-3 on the season, while the Lady Tigers also sit at 17-3 on the campaign. Both teams have already locked up the No. 1 seed entering the Western Conference Championships next weekend.

Tigers Deny Trojans For Road Sweep

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The North Allegheny water polo team ventured to Erie on Thursday night for a matchup with the McDowell Trojans and both NA squads came away with 13-7 victories.

The Lady Tigers opened the night with and faced a Trojans team that hung tough in the first half. NA led 5-4 at halftime but blew the game open by outscoring McDowell, 4-0, in the third quarter. The Tigers maintained the lead from that point on and coasted to the win. Senior captain Anna Kegel sparked the attack with a team-leading seven goals, while adding an assist and two steals. Junior Rebecca Melanson and seniors Natalie Marquiss and Jamie Palone all netted two goals each. Melanson facilitated the offense with a team-best five assists and Marquiss led the defense with four steals. In net, sophomore goalie Izzie Trunzo made 11 saves, 10 of which game in the first half before the NA defense put the clamps down on McDowell in the second half.

After earning a narrow one-goal victory on Tuesday night against Cathedral Prep, the NA Boys wasted little time with McDowell on Thursday. The Tigers raced to a 7-1 lead by intermission and stretched the advantage to 10-2 by the end of the third quarter. Six different players scored on offense, including juniors Sean McClellan and Justin Morrison, who each tallied a hat trick. Sophomore Camden Wright and juniors Keller Sens and Asher Jones all posted two goals each. Following an eight-steal performance against Cathedral Prep, junior Ben Gavran once again paced the defense with four steals. Junior goalie Eliot Maravich made 10 saves to earn the victory, including six in the second quarter.

The NA Boys improve to 15-2 overall and the Lady Tigers jump to 16-2 on the season following Thursday’s wins. The North Allegheny water polo team has Homecoming weekend off before jumping back in the pool for the Erie Challenge on Saturday, Oct. 16.

Tigers Vanquish Villa Maria, Cathedral Prep

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North Allegheny water polo earned a sweep over a pair of foes from Erie on Tuesday night at NASH. The NA Girls rolled to a 13-4 win over Villa Maria and the NA Boys staved off a late rally from Cathedral Prep for an 8-7 victory.

In the opener, the Lady Tigers jumped out to a 12-1 lead by the end of the three quarters to win in a rout. Senior captain Anna Kegel spearheaded the blowout offensively with a goal just 20 seconds into the game and tallied seven markers on the night. Sophomore Katyusha Peregoncev netted a pair of goals in the second half to help NA pull away for the 13-4 win. Other Tigers with single goals included Rebecca Melanson, Sharon Li, Natalie Marquiss and Emma Donnelly. In net, sophomore Izzie Trunzo was impressive with 15 saves on her way to Wright Automotive Player of the Game honors. Villa Maria senior Molly Fehr scored all four goals for the Victors in a losing effort.

In the night cap, the NA Boys team won an exciting contest by fending off Cathedral Prep. The Ramplers scored the first goal with 2:07 to play in the first period on a marker by Mitchell Bradford, but back-to-back goals by junior Asher Jones in the final 16 seconds of the half gave NA a 2-1 lead. From that point on, North Allegheny held the advantage for the remainder of the night but was constantly threatened by Cathedral Prep.

Ben Gavran, Justin Morrison and Keller Sens all scored in the second quarter to help NA build a 5-2 lead. Gavran played a pivotal role on defense with a team-high eight steals and was named the Wright Automotive Player of the Game.

Gavran’s defense would be important in the second half as Cathedral Prep began to chip away. Even though Sens scored his second of the night in the third period, the Ramblers sandwiched goals from Hugh Wegley and Connor Mortiz around the Sens marker to trim the deficit to 6-4.

After a Sean McClellen goal with 3:52 left in the fourth quarter, Bradford and Moritz scored back-to-back to cut the NA lead to 7-6 with 2:06 to play. It appeared Ethan Berty’s goal with just 34 seconds remaining might put the game away for NA, but a third goal by Mortiz with 19 seconds remaining cut the score to 8-7, Tigers. In the waning seconds, Aidan Levis had a chance to tie the game at the buzzer but his final shot hit the left post and bounced away as NA escaped with the one-goal victory.

Following Tuesday’s results, the NA Boys improve to 14-2 overall and the Lady Tigers leap to 15-2 on the season. North Allegheny will visit McDowell on Thursday night.