Solidly in 2nd

Seneca Valley wrestlers fall to Kiski in WPIAL 3A team title match

February 6, 2019 Cranberry Local Sports

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Seneca Valley’s Drew Vlasnik scrambles with Kiski Area’s Jared Curcio during the 138-pound bout in the WPIAL AAA Team Wrestling Championship finals at Norwin High School on Saturday. Vlasnik claimed a major decision, but the Raiders lost, 49-17. SV’s runner-up effort sends it to Hershey for the PIAA tournament this week.

IRWIN — Seneca Valley got its rematch.

The Raiders didn’t get their result.

After dropping a competitive 39-32 dual match to unbeaten Kiski Area in December, Seneca Valley’s wrestling team met the Cavaliers again in the WPIAL Class 3A Team Championship match Saturday at Norwin High School.

“They stretched the gap on us this time,” SV coach Kevin Wildrick said.

When Kiski’s Jack Blumer (28-3) pinned Liam Volk-Klos 1:03 in their 160-pound match, the Cavaliers (16-0) clinched the team win with three matches remaining. Kiski claimed those three matches as well in posting a 49-17 triumph.

The victory marked Kiski’s third consecutive WPIAL team title. Both teams head to Hershey for state tournament duals Thursday.

“This is not an easy thing to win,” Kiski coach Chris Heater said of the WPIAL team meet. “These guys are so dedicated to getting here and winning here.

“It’s become a source of pride for the program. The younger kids stepping up to varsity for the first time want to keep it going.”

The Raiders (13-3) took a 13-12 lead five matches into the finals when 120-pounder Alejandro Herrera-Rondon pinned his opponent in just 35 seconds. But Kiski took the lead back for good when Dom Giordano pinned Ronan O’Shea in 5:26.

A major decision by Drew Vlasnik (10-1) at 138 pounds pulled SV within 21-17, but the Cavaliers won the final six bouts from there.

“They’re a great team with great wrestlers,” Wildrick said. “They were a lot more aggressive tonight than when we faced them before. They got a lot more bonus points this time.

“They went after the bonus points and took them from us.”

Wildrick admitted that the Cavaliers “can match us through our middle weights ... Not many teams can do that.”

Jason Geyer (28-7) at 132, Antonio Amelio (24-11) at 145 and Nick Montalbano (27-8) at 152 all lost their respective matches.

Besides Herrera-Rondon and Vlasnik, SV wins in the match came from Hunter Swedish in overtime at 106 and Dylan Chappell by major decision at 113.

Kiski had eight 20-plus win wrestlers in its lineup. Seneca Valley had six. A would-be seventh — Chanz Shearer (25-7) — missed Saturday’s match with an injury.

“We won the key matchups tonight, did much better in those,” Heater said. “When we faced them early in the year, two of our guys were just coming back to the lineup and we were missing one. Tonight, they were missiong one.

“Things change during the course of a season.”

The Raiders clinched their spot in the state tournament by posting a 39-36 win over Waynesburg (15-2) in the semifinals. The match was not that close.

Seneca Valley led 39-9 after Vlasnik pinned Nate Kirby in just 37 seconds. SV voluntarily forfeited the final four bouts once it had the team score clinched.

“There was no sense in going through the grind at that point and run the risk of getting somebody hurt,” Wildrick said.

Herrera-Rondon, 36-1 on the year, won the closest bout of the semifinal round when he scored an escape early in the third period for a 3-2 decision over Cole Hormet (24-6).

The semifinal match started at 195 pounds. The Raiders’ Patrick Johnson (17-6) pinned his opponent in 3:10 to begin the dual, Teammate Nick Funovits followed that up with a pin at 2:28, sending the Seneca Valley bench into a frenzy.

“It was all about getting momentum for our team,” Johnson said. “I went nuts when I saw Nick get his pin.

“It was the perfect start for us.”

Funovits agreed.

“We had to go out there and do our jobs,” he said. “We put them in a hole early. Our bench was going crazy and we looked over at theirs and their heads were sinking a little bit.”

Waynesburg never did get back in the match as Chappell, Geyer and Amelio all won by pins. Geyer won by fall in 35 seconds, just before Vlasnik’s 37-second pinfall.

But Johnson and Funovits set the tone.

“I certainly wasn’t expecting to win those first two matches with pins,” Wildrick said. “That was instant momentum and the rest of the lineup fed off that.

“That was fun. It sends us to Hershey. That’s what this is about.”

Seneca Valley will face District 6 champion Mifflin County at 6 p.m. Thursday at the Giant Center in Hershey.

Canon-McMillan defeated Waynesburg, 41-24, in the consolation match to join Kiski and SV in the state tourney.


Kiski Area 49, Seneca Valley 17

(Match started at 220 pounds)

106-Hunter Swedish (SV) dec. Antonio Giordano, 8-6 in OT; 113-Dylan Chappell (SV) major dec. Julian Jones, 13-0; 120-Alejandro Herrera-Rondon (SV) pinned Luke Lacaria, :35; 126-Dom Giordano (KA) pinned Ronon O’Shea, 5:26; 132-Darren Miller (KA) dec. Jason Geyer, 3-0; 138-Drew Vlasnik (SV) major dec. Jared Curcio, 13-4; 145-Enzo Morlaccio (KA) dec. Antonio Amelio, 3-1; 152-Cam Connor (KA) pinned Nick Montalbano, 2:59; 160-Jack Blumer (KA) pinned Liam Volk-Klos,1:03; 170-Dylan Mullen (KA) dec. Michael Adamson, 8-0; 182-Nick Delp (KA) pinned Conor Hayes, 1:01; 195-Brayden Roscosky (KA) dec. Patrick Johnson, 4-0; 220-Jack Dilts (KA) pinned Nick Funovits, 1:35; Hwt.-Stone Joseph (KA) pinned Davin Beahm, :59


Seneca Valley 39, Waynesburg 36

(Match started at 195 pounds)

106-Hunter Swedish (SV) by forfeit; 113-Dylan Chappell (SV) pinned Hunter Shriver, 2:39; 120-Alejandro Herrera-Rondon (SV) dec. Cole Homet, 3-2; 126-Colton Stoneking (W) pinned Ronan O’Shea, 3:50; 132-Jason Geyer (SV) pinned Mike Medlen, :35; 138-Drew Vlasnik (SV) pinned Nate Kirby, :37; 145-Trey Howard (W) dec. Antonio Amelio, 3-1; 152-Luca Augustine (W) by forfeit; 160-Colby Morris (W) by forfeit; 170-Caleb Stephenson (W) by forfeit; 182-Noah Tustin (W) by forfeit; 195-Patrick Johnson (SV) pinned Darnell Johnson, 3:10; 220-Nick Funovits (SV) pinned Spencer Lesinski, 2:28; Hwt.-Ryan Howard (W) dec. Davin Beahm, 4-2

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