Hempfield Volleyball Bows in PIAA Playoffs June 5, 2017
The Hempfield volleyball team's run in the PIAA Class-AAA state playoffs started with a valiant effort against North Allegheny on Tuesday night. Unfortunately, despite the Black Knights taking the District Seven champs to five games, the Tigers prevailed 3-2. The Knights' season ended with an 18-5 record.
"Prior to the game, I told the guys, 'this is the one where you'll need to have your best match,'" said head coach Mike Vogel said in a phone interview.
And many of the Knights did play up to, if not beyond their potentials. They gave the perennial state tournament contenders a great battle in the opening-round game at Greensburg.
"They're a tough team," Vogel said of No. Allegheny. "They were far more physical than our team. They're one of those teams that every few years is in the state finals."
The Knights won the opening set 25-21 and were in it for most of the second set before the Tigers registered the winning points in a 25-22 final. No. Allegheny took a 2-1 lead in games before Hempfield came back for a 25-23 victory, forcing the tiebreaker.
"We played well in that first game and won," Vogel commented. "We were in control the whole game. We had a chance at winning the second game.
"In the fifth game it was tied 6-6 but we only scored two points the rest of the way," added the coach.
The Tigers claimed the match with that 15-8 victory in the fifth game.
According to Vogel, senior Matt Sheerin was one of those players who turned in the performance of his life.
"Matt played an outstanding match," Vogel said. "The entire match was the best of his career. This was his last as a high school player. He had 37 swings and 19 kills. That's impressive for an outside hitter to hit over .400.
"It was Matt's offense, defense and serving," continued the coach. "He served 19 times for us and had three aces - the only service aces we had.
"Mason Scott ended up with 18 digs," Vogel added. "He had a phenomenal match with his defense."
Sheerin also ended up with 12 digs and Jon Lawrence finished with 10.
The Knights have been without Gavin Hanzelman, the junior who has been out with injured knees, and Shawn Weidman, the senior who suffered a concussion in the district playoffs.
"Ian Willig was filling in for Shawn," Vogel pointed out. "Every contact he had was positive. He only played a few minutes of each game. The guys that weren't given a lot of opportunities because of the players ahead of them got in and contributed."
Elliott DeLaTorre finished with five blocks. Freshman Colson Hunt distributed 16 assists.
"Elliott had six kills and led the team with five blocks." Vogel noted. "This was against a good team's big middles. He will be back next year and he'll be a force. He's only a sophomore.
"Zach Wilson was our other middle," he added. "He didn't put up the numbers, but had some incredible defensive plays.
"Ian Flood had a pretty good match," Vogel continued. "His serve kept us in many of the games. He ended up with eight kills and two blocks."
Logan Smiley finished with 15 kills. He was one of the team's top contributors for much of the year.
"We wouldn't be where we are without him," said Vogel.
Vogel described the match as "a microcosm of our season.
"It was up-and-down," he added. "You're playing well and sometimes the wheels come off. When you have two or three key injuries, that's a big deal. We hadn't had a team with multiple injuries over the years. I guess the percentages caught up with us.
"We were the fifth seed from District Three and we took the District Seven champion to five games - it shows how our district has come along," Vogel added.
"I told the kids after the match that it's understandable that they're disappointed," continued the coach. "That'll make you work harder next year. They worked through a lot of adversity. I told them that there is only going to be one team that isn't going to experience what you're going through.
"I'm proud of them for how hard they fought," he concluded.
The Knights faced a familiar foe in the District Three 6A baseball playoffs. They traveled to Penn Manor to play the Comets.
In the final two innings of that quarterfinal game, which was rescheduled for Friday May 26, the Knights outscored the Comets 5-2. But it wasn't enough to overcome a 5-1 deficit from the first five frames. The third-seeded Comets held on for a 7-6 victory, improving their record to 16-7 while sixth-seeded Hempfield's season ended with a 12-9 record. Both teams had a first-round bye in districts.
Penn Manor built a 4-0 lead after three innings. Ryan Witmer and Dylan Frey each drove in runs in the first inning. A couple of Hempfield errors helped Manor plate two more in the third.
Greg Gambler got an RBI single for the Knights in the fifth.
It got the visiting Knights' offense going as they eventually tied the game 5-5. Mark Peterson stroked a two-run double. The rallying Knights kept coming after the Comets with sophomore Justin Lichtenwalner's sacrifice fly RBI evening the score.
Penn Manor went up by two with an RBI from Grant Gale and a bases-loaded walk. Hempfield's final push was on C.J. Saylor's RBI single, driving in Gambler.
The District Three 6A softball quarterfinal game at Landisville was put on hold for 24 hours. The Black Knights got to host Chambersburg on Friday, May 26. It was a close game that the Trojans won 3-2.
It was yet another close game for a team which had lost in the Lancaster-Lebanon League semifinals by a 4-3 score 10 days prior.
"We finished the season 18-5 and four of those five losses were by a run," head coach Terry Shreiner pointed out. "The last few games were close and when you get to this point in the season, that's what you expect."
The Black Knights got both of their runs on the long ball. Sophomore second sacker Gabbi Tuner slugged solo homers in support of senior starter Kara Cook.
"Kara Cook pitched one heck of a game, holding them to five hits and not walking any," Shreiner remarked. "One of their runs came on a ball that got into the gap with our center fielder trying to make a great play.
"We had opportunities to score, but didn't," he added. "They put runs together and we didn't. For example, we had a bunt we popped up for a double play."
The Knights will say goodbye to Cook, and three other seniors, including Lexie Unangst.
"We lose four seniors - three of them everyday players," Shreiner said. "I do have seven players coming back and some kids from jayvee ball that'll slide right in. Some sophomores.
"We'll be young," he added. "We will have a lot more team speed next year, so we'll be looking to do some more small ball."
Knights' Volleyball Wins Consi-Semis May 26, 2017
Sports, especially team sports, is one of those things that has so many intangibles and variables, it is easy to say that nearly anything is possible.
A baseball team who manages only a pair of singles against the opponent's dominant pitcher and fails to score, comes back the next day and scores 15 runs against the same team.
The basketball team that lacked defense one night, plays excellent the next night.
And a volleyball team that was on the edge of having its season end, has key players injured, comes back to win a consolation match decisively and thus extends its season.
That is what happened with the Hempfield boys' volleyball team this week. The Black Knights' hopes of winning the District Three Class-AAA championship were broken up by the Central Dauphin Rams, who topped Hempfield 3-0 in Monday's district quarterfinals.
With the top five teams from the district qualifying for states, the Knights' chance for the PIAA's had not yet ended. Two days later, on the Manheim Township High School court, they defeated Daniel Boone 3-0 in a consolation semifinal match.
Meanwhile, Lower Dauphin defeated Cumberland Valley in the other consolation match, setting up the fifth-place match between the Falcons and the Knights.
"We are playing for fifth place," head coach Mike Vogel stated. "We played Lower Dauphin in the first week of the season and beat them in a tournament. If we beat them again, we make it to states.
"Just making it there with the adversity we've faced, will be a pleasant surprise," Vogel added.
The adversity was compounded with Shawn Weidman suffering a concussion in the Central Dauphin match.
"He is lost for the season," said the coach. "He had a severe concussion in the third game and was disoriented. He and another player collided on an aggressive play.
"Gavin Hanzelman is also done for the season," continued the coach. "He tried to play through the pain of the knees he injured early in the season."
The Rams topped Hempfield 25-11 in the first game of Monday's match. In the second one, the Knights made it close, falling eventually 25-23. Central Dauphin won the third 25-12.
"We went up there with a lot of confidence," said Vogel. "We just weren't ready. We did start off playing well, but that only lasted a third of the way into the first game. We were playing well, but not scoring. They took over and we couldn't do anything.
"In the second game, we put a scare into them, getting into the 20's and making them call a timeout," Vogel added.
The Knights had beaten the Rams earlier in the season at the Kohler Classic semifinals.
"We stole that match from them," Vogel recalled.
Both Weidman and Logan Smiley had seven kills in Monday's match. Smiley had a dozen assists, and Jon Lawrence added a dozen digs. Ian Flood and Elliott DeLaTorre each had two blocks.
Thursday was a match between the eighth-seeded Knights and the number four seed Indians at Township. Hempfield won 25-16, 25-22 and 25-14, getting eight kills from both Flood and Smiley. Mason Scott contributed with 17 digs, Colson Hunt distributed 14 assists and Zach Wilson added a pair of blocks.
"Mason Scott is back," Vogel said. "He makes our passing game a lot better. We are getting new people back and I had to bring in people that had minimal playing time this year.
"Colson Hunt, who now has been setting for the past four weeks, has gotten more responsibility each week," said the coach. "Cayden Musso will be setting in two rotations.
"Lawrence is back at his normal position," Vogel continued. "He's a defensive specialist. Lawrence and Scott being back in their rhythm makes us better."
BASEBALL & SOFTBALL
Due to holiday deadlines, results for the baseball and softball district second round games will appear in the June 7 edition.
Knights Top Comets in Lax 3A First Round May 22, 2017
Hempfield topped visiting Penn Manor in the first round of the District Three 3A playoffs by a 12-8 score on Tuesday. But the Knights' season came to an end two days later with a 10-9 loss at Central York. The Knights finished the year at 12-7.
Against Penn Manor, the score was tied 6-6 at the half thanks to the Comets scoring six times in the second quarter. The shots on goal were pretty even (28-27 Hempfield)
Matt Heuston and Rob Griffith each had a hat trick while Bryce Witmer, Kohl Wesner and Cameron Aksu each scored twice. Aksu and Grayson Dague each had an assist.
Goalie Tanner McAlpine snagged 11 saves.
In the loss at Central York, the Knights, out-shooting the Panthers 27-17, trailed 9-5 after three quarters.
Aksu had a hat trick with Heuston scoring twice and assisting on three more. Witmer added two goals and one assist. Dague and Brandon Gearhart each scored once.
McAlpine had seven saves.
Hempfield's next game won't be until May 25 when the fourth-seeded Knights play fifth-seeded Chambersburg in the second round of the District Three Class 6A playoffs. Both teams earned a first-round bye.
The Knights bring a 17-4 record into districts after a 4-3 loss to Solanco in the league semifinals on Tuesday. The Mares kept the Knights from returning to the league title game thanks to a strong game by Hanna Phillips, who escaped the Knights' late rally. It was part of a twin bill at Willow Street's Garrett Park. Penn Manor topped Donegal in the nightcap.
Abby Heidelbaugh hit a two-run homer for Solanco. Hempfield hurler Kara Cook helped her own cause with a sacrifice fly RBI. She and Gabi Turner each stroked RBI singles in Hempfield's final try in the seventh inning.
The Knights advanced to the semis with a 6-4 nod over Section Four champ Pequea Valley. Tied at 1-1 after two innings, Hempfield scored one in the third, four in the fourth and gave up three in the seventh.
Cook and PV's Sabrina Ryan each struck out 12 batters and Ryan gave up nine hits.
The Hempfield girls' lacrosse players can look back on its 2017 campaign and see themselves as a team that never let up steam and almost always found a way to rebound from setbacks.
"We had to do a lot of rebounding this year - that was the theme of the season," head coach Elizabeth Erb observed. "We got knocked down and got back up."
In fact, the only two losses the team suffered were the regular season finale - a non-league loss to Susquehannock - and a Lancaster-Lebanon League playoff defeat three days later.
The team rebounded and defeated Red Lion 17-12 in the opening round of the District Three Class-AAA playoffs. The Knights, seeded sixth, improved to 13-6 with the home turf victory on Monday.
The head coach was asked about the team making the most efficient use of scoring opportunities in this game.
"We definitely did," Erb replied. "We hadn't seen or heard much about what Red Lion could do. We were happy the way we played as a unit, especially coming off a loss in the league playoffs. We had to figure out a way to rebound. The girls certainly showed they could do that."
The Knights got five goals from freshman midfielder Lizzie Yurchak, who also dished out an assist.
"She has a spitfire personality on the field," said Erb. "She is tenacious and doesn't give up. She surprises you time and time again."
Seniors Paige Diminick and Kathryn Kline each recorded a hat trick while Livia Jackson and Natalie Ciepiela each scored twice. Lauren Dague had a goal and two assists. Samantha King netted one goal.
"It was very nice to see her career end on a high note," Erb said of Kline. "She is a nice attacker, who has improved over the four years."
As for other seniors, Diminick and Sammy Helgeson will be taking their skills to the NCAA with Diminick playing at St. Joseph's University and Helgeson at Penn State.
"We have a large senior class," said Erb. "We are graduating players all over the field - our goalie, defenders, midfielders and attackers. We're looking to fill holes skill-wise and for leadership.
"We have some sophomores and freshmen who played a big role in our success this year," Erb added, referring to Dague, Yurchak, Jackson, Lindsey Drukota and Hope Schoelkopf.
The look ahead to next season started with Wednesday's 15-12 loss at Exeter Township. Earlier in the year the Knights had edged the Eagles 14-13.
"It was a really well-fought game - back and forth," said Erb. "We put our best out on the field and we were unfortunately the team that didn't come up with the win."
The game was tied 7-7 at the half.
Diminick scored four times and Jackson added a hat trick. Kline scored two and assisted on another. King assisted on two goals while Dague and Yurchak each added one goal.
Kiaira Sumrall saved nine shots.
"It's not an easy position," Erb said regarding the goalies' role. "Nobody beats down your door to say 'I wanna be your goalie.' Kiaira improved her game and cared a lot about her position - how she could help her teammates."
The volleyball team got their District Three Class-AAA playoffs started on the right foot, posting a 3-0 victory at Cumberland Valley High School on Thursday evening. The opponent? Section One rival Manheim Township, fresh off its Lancaster-Lebanon League championship triumph.
It was a meeting between the eighth-seeded Knights and the ninth-seeded Streaks, ending in Hempfield (16-3) posting scores of 25-19, 25-19 and 25-15.
"I'm happy for Manheim Township winning the league title," said Hempfield head coach Mike Vogel in a phone interview. "They had a great match against Central. One day later they turned around to play us. It was an emotional letdown, I think.
"It was the luck of the schedule - having a huge match one day and a bigger one the next night," added Vogel. "It was bigger because if you lose, you're done."
As for Township winning the league championship, the Knights' quest for that title ended on Monday when Manheim Central stopped them 3-2 in the league semis.
That match was played at Lancaster Mennonite High School. The Knights opened with a 25-22 victory but saw the Barons come back for 25-13 and 25-20 victories. Responding with a 25-21 win in the fourth set, the Knights forced a tiebreaker, which went to Central, 15-10.
Logan Smiley had 11 kills, a pair of aces and 37 assists. Jon Lawrence racked up 23 digs and Elliott DeLaTorre registered five blocks.
In the district playoff match with Township, the Knights got another 11 kills from Smiley, who also had 11 assists, three blocks and one ace.
"They're a very tall and athletic team," Vogel said of the Township squad. "We were just virtually flawless. Everybody played a great match.
"Logan Smiley led the team in hitting," added the coach. "He hit over .400. In fact, we hit over .400 as a team and our serving was spot on. So, you're not beating yourself. We only had six errors out of 75 serves."
Gavin Hanzelman chipped in with eight kills while Shawn Weidman added seven more.
"Shawn Weidman can be the best offensive player on the court when he's on his game," Vogel said. "He is very good and has great form. He's an asset to the team.
"Gavin got hurt in mid-April," Vogel noted. "He is one of those kids who could be a lot better, but he has had issues with his knees."
DeLaTorre and Ian Flood each added four kills with Flood also serving two aces. Dan Hester also had a pair of aces while freshman Colson Hunt led the team with 21 assists.
"That's nearly unheard of," said Vogel, referring to Hunt's contribution in serves and assists. "He served 23 times and also led the team in assists. And Dan Hester ended up with 19 serves."
Jon Lawrence led the team with 12 digs.
"Jon played one of his best-ever matches against Township - if not his best match to date," commented the coach. "He served aggressively enough that we were taking the opponent out of their offense."
The Knights' next opponent will be Central Dauphin, the top-ranked team in the district.
"We were flawless against Township and we will need to be that way against Central Dauphin," said Vogel.
"But if we lose, we will still have a shot at states," he explained. "The four teams that lose in the second round will have their semifinals and finals for fifth place in the district."
District Three champion Hempfield headed to the state championships and faced District One foe Strath Haven in the opening round. The Panthers edged the Knights 3-1 on Tuesday, ending Hempfield's season with an overall record of 18-2.
Jake Curtin won his first set 6-3, but fell in the next two sets of number one singles. The Panthers posted straight set wins in the other two singles matches.
In doubles, sophomore Nishant Balepur and senior Matt Mieszkalski claimed a team point for the Knights, winning 6-3, 6-2.
The duo of Jake Curtin and Jack Hessinger were not only part of a District Three Class-AAA championship team, they also won the gold in district doubles. They'll begin their quest for a state doubles championship on Friday, May 26.
Carena Nottoli, Steph Laudien, Zach Thomas and David Martin-Robinson will be competing at the PIAA Class-AAA state championships along with the 4x800 relay team of Christian Groff, Dylan Roeder, Bailey Titter and Patrick Willig next week.
These Hempfield athletes qualified for states based on their times and distances in the District Three 3A track and field championships, which were held on Friday and Saturday, May 19-20, at Shippensburg University.
Nottoli, who practically owned the pole vault event during dual meets throughout the regular season, finished second at districts with a 12-foot effort. Laudien, who also competed in the 300-meter hurdles at districts, was second in the triple jump and qualified for states with a 37-10.75.
In the long jump, Robinson was third with 21-04 while Thomas tossed the discus 156-09 to take seventh. Also on Friday, Thomas competed in the shot put and finished 12th at 45-02.5
In Saturday's 4x800 relay, Groff, Titter, Roeder and Willig posted a 7:58.26 for sixth place.
In the 300-m hurdles, Nate Tadesse finished ninth at 40.95. The foursome of Groff, Roeder, Titter and Jack Mieszkalski finished 13th (3:30.59) in the 4x400.
Groff grabbed 16th place (4:38.43) in the 1,600-m.
Also notable in long distance events were the times for Nick Norton and Siena Gates, who ran on Friday. Norton's 9:44.50 in the 3200 was good for 11th place while Gates was 15th with her 11:42.90.
Freshman Ava Hostetler was eighth in the long jump on Friday, getting a 17-05.25.
Also on Friday, Darien Ressler triple jumped 42-01.25 to earn 11th-best on the day. Ethan Dionne's 12-9 pole vault earned him 10th place.
Knights Defeat McCaskey on the Track May 15, 2017
Many of the Hempfield athletes who ran, jumped or threw against McCaskey's track and field team in a home dual meet on Monday, returned to the same track on Friday and Saturday for the Lancaster-Lebanon League Championship meet.
In Monday's Section One clash, the Hempfield boys' team defeated McCaskey 82-68, improving to 4-2. The McCaskey girls' team stayed unbeaten (6-0) with a close 84-66 win.
Juniors Kara Benedict and Carena Nottoli were multiple winners for the Hempfield girls, who fell to 3-3. Benedict swept the hurdles, winning the 300's in 46.0 and the 100's in 15.6. Nottoli dashed away with the 100 in 12.4 and took the 200 in 25.6 before capturing the pole vault with an 11-foot effort.
Steph Laudien won the triple jump (36-11) and Ava Hostetler took the long jump at 17-5.
In the boys' meet, Hempfield won the 4x800 with Bailey Titter, Patrick Willig, Dylan Roeder and Andrew Landis posting a time of 8:52.3
Zach Thomas and Nate Tadesse were multiple winners in individual events. Tadesse won both hurdles - 42.5 in the 300 and 15.7 in the 110 high hurdles. Thomas tossed the discus 143-2 and the shot put 48-4.
Nick Norton won the 3,200 in 10:11.3. The javelin went to Chris Loose (149-6) while Darien Ressler won the triple jump at 42-6. Also coming through in field events were Ethan Dionne, who won the pole vault at 13-2, and David Martin-Robinson with his 6-1 high jump.
Both the boys' and the girls' teams finished fifth in the league championships' team standings. The boys finished with 54.5 points while the girls scored 55.
Ressler finished second (44-0.75) in the triple jump on Saturday. Christian Groff, who finished sixth (4:26.57) in the 1,600, was part of two relay teams. He joined Roeder, Titter and Willig for a second-place time of 8:10.79 in the 4x800 relay. In the 4x400 relay, it was Groff, Roeder, Titter and freshman Jack Mieszkalski teaming up to take fourth (3:31.90).
Tadesse took third in the high hurdles (15.56) and fourth in the 300's (40.56). Martin-Robinson was second (22-2) in the long jump on Friday.
In the girls' competition on Friday, Nottoli won the pole vault, clearing 12 feet while Laudien's 36-2.25 triple jump was second.
Benedict and Laudien finished third and fourth, respectively, in Saturday's 300 hurdles with times of 46.20 and 47.12. Hostetler was second (17-5) in long jump.
In the 4x100 relay, Alexa Pitts joined Nottoli, Benedict and Hostetler for a winning time of 49.32.
The foursome of Kavita Bushong, Siena Gates, Isabella Hollenback and Ella Kielmeyer took sixth (10:09.33) in the 4x800 relay.
Hempfield came up just short in Thursday nights' L-L League boys' lacrosse championship match at Conestoga Valley. The Knights, who had finished the regular season with a league record of 10-1, had reached the title game after a 13-3 victory over third-seeded Cocalico two nights earlier at Warwick.
Both the girls' and boys' championship matches were played at CV on Thursday as a doubleheader. The Township boys' defeated Hempfield 9-6 in the opener. The MT girls' team won the nightcap over Lancaster Country Day.
The Knights' 9-6 loss was closer than it appeared.
"We were ahead at halftime," head coach Jeremy Adams pointed out in a phone interview. "Manheim Township did a better job with their possession in the third quarter."
The Streaks trailed 4-3 at the half but put up four unanswered goals in the third quarter.
"They took the lead in the second half," Adams remarked. "But both teams played a much closer match than the first time (17-4 Township win). It was a well-played game between the two goalies too.
"When it came down to the end of the game, Township had made better decisions with their possessions," Adams added.
The Streaks' scoring was distributed among seven players. Hempfield got hat tricks from Matt Heuston, who also had an assist, and Kohl Wesner, who finished the season among the top-five in league scoring.
"Kohl Wesner had a very solid season," Adams said. "He is a very important offensive contributor in every game. All season long, it didn't seem to matter if we were playing one of the top teams in the state- like Manheim Township - or a team that's struggling to find its way; he finds a way to score.
"He makes a lot of good decisions," continued the coach. "He hustles really hard when the other team is trying to clear the ball and he gets possessions back for us."
Speaking of the goalies that Adams commended earlier, Tanner McAlpine had 11 saves for the Knights and Caton Johnson recorded nine for the Streaks.
Hempfield was coming off that 13-3 first-round victory in which Wesner scored four times and McAlpine was up to the challenge in the form of 13 saves.
This match was also close early on with the Knights leading 3-2 heading into the second quarter and by a 6-3 margin at intermission.
Heuston and Cameron Aksu each scored twice with Heuston also assisting three times. Robert Griffith, Jackson Shand, Cole Fuller, Dom Polidoro and Bryce Witmer each scored once.
Hempfield will head into the District Three Class-AAA playoffs as the sixth seed and will host 11th seed Penn Manor on Tuesday. The Knights topped the Comets (9-7 league) by a 12-4 margin in early April l.
"It's a must-win situation," Adams remarked. "It's good for our team and should give us the experience to build on the skill that we have. We can continue to build on a championship culture."
The Hershey Racquet Club may have been close to home for the Hershey Trojans as they prepared to face Hempfield in Wednesday's District Three 3A team championship match, but the Knights came through with a 3-1 victory with some tenacity.
Some of that tenaciousness came from Jack Hessinger, who won 6-4, 0-6, 7-6 (7). His victory made it unnecessary for the number three single match to finish.
In the doubles, Damon Deck and Ben Cooke had already won 6-0, 5-7, 6-4 and in another marathon match, Matt Mieskalski and Nishant Balepur had earned another Hempfield point, winning 2-6, 7-5, 6-1.
Hempfield was coming off a 3-0 defeat of Manheim Central in Tuesday's semis. Deck and Cooke won their match 6-2, 6-2 while Balepur and Mieszkalski were ahead 4-6, 6-3, 5-2, not needing to finish thanks to wins in the singles competition.
In singles play Rishi Pandey won 2-6, 7-5, 6-0 while Jake Curtin won 6-2, 6-2, thus making Hessinger's (6-0, 1-6, 5-3) match not necessary to complete.
The Black Knights suffered a 3-2 loss to Section One rival Penn Manor in a strange game Monday afternoon. In a pitchers' duel at Landisville, the game went into extra innings tied 1-1. Extra, extra innings that is. In inning number 10, the Comets plated two runs and managed to hold off the Hempfield comeback for a 3-2 win. With the win, the Comets managed to clinch first place in the section with a 15-1 league mark while the Knights fell to 13-3.
Kara Cook went the distance for Hempfield, striking out 11 batters and allowing only two earned runs on two hits.
Brittany Hook also pitched a great game, allowing two runs on two hits while fanning 13 Hempfield batters and walking two.
Bree Wingett and Serena Felix drove in the two Hempfield runs. Skylar Constable and Asaysha Raihl, who also stole a base, scored the two runs. Singles by Felix and Anastasia Berardi were the lone Hempfield hits.
Hempfield's 9-2 league record placed the team in third place for the regular-season standings. Hence the Black Knights faced number two seed Lancaster Country Day/Lancaster Catholic in the first round of the playoffs on Tuesday evening.
In what would be a semifinals doubleheader in Ephrata, the Knights' game was followed by Manheim Township facing Lampeter-Strasburg.
The Cougars outscored the Knights 9-4 in the second half and won 19-7. They outshot the Knights 22-16 with their goalie Emma Stover making nine saves.
Paige Diminick had a hat trick plus an assist for Hempfield. Natalie Gillisse had a pair of goals while Livia Jackson and Lizzie Yurchak each netted one.
Before closing out the regular season, the Knights suffered only their second loss in league play, falling at Conestoga Valley on Monday in a 3-2 match. The Buckskins won the first and third sets by respective scores of 25-18 and 25-20. The second and fourth sets went to the Knights (25-16 and 25-19) before CV won the tiebreaker 15-8
Matt Sheerin was tops for Hempfield with 13 kills. Zach Wilson got three aces on the night while Jon Lawrence tallied 18 digs and Logan Smiley had four blocks.
Hempfield improved to 10-2 and clinched second place in Section One after blanking McCaskey on Wednesday, 25-18, 25-15, 25-20.
Shawn Weidman stepped up and drilled 13 kills, Smiley dished out 24 assists, Sheerin collected 12 digs and Elliott DeLaTorre registered two blocks.
The league playoffs got underway on Friday with the Knights winning their first-round game at Manheim Central, beating Garden Spot 3-0 (25-21, 25-19, 25-19).
Smiley had eight kills and DeLaTorre added six more. Smiley also led the way with two aces and 19 assists while Colson Hunt racked up 14 assists. Gavin Hanzelman chipped in with two blocks and Lawrence registered 17 digs.
As it stands right now, the Knights are seeded eighth in the district and will face Manheim Township in the District Three Class-AAA playoffs first round on May 18.
Lady Knights Battle Streaks in League Play May 8, 2017
The Hempfield girls' lacrosse team traveled to Manheim Township as the two arch rivals squared off in a Lancaster-Lebanon League match on Tuesday. The Knights went into this much anticipated game with a 7-1 league record, having lost only to Lancaster Country Day by a one-goal margin three weeks earlier.
Township came in unbeaten in league play and stayed that way following a match in which Hempfield got out to an early lead and stayed close into the second half.
"We came out pretty strong in the first half and had a two goal lead," said head coach Elizabeth Erb. "It was about 11 minutes into the half until they scored a goal. It was 5-4 Manheim Township at halftime."
The Streaks came out stronger in the second half and outscored Hempfield 10-3 to win by a 15-7 score. Township improved to 10-0 in the league while Hempfield fell to 7-2.
"I definitely think our defense worked hard trying to keep them from getting good shots," she said. "We did a good job on possession early on. I think that was part of the reason for how things went in the second half - in our possession game we weren't winning as many draws."
The offense that the Streaks cranked up included a six-goal performance by Sklyar Dorenkamp.
Paige Diminick finished with four goals for Hempfield while freshman Lizzie Yurchak, and sophomores Lauren Dague and Natalie Gillisse each scored one. Kathryn Kline added an assist.
"This gave us a big push as we head to the post-season," Erb stated. "I think it proved that we can do it - how we came out strong in the first half and gave the competition a run for their money. I think the girls felt that way too - that we can do it."
The very next day, the Knights hosted Lampeter-Strasburg and came away with a 16-6 victory.
Diminick was on fire, scoring six goals and dishing out two assists. Yurchak added a hat trick to go with her assist while Samantha King and Dague each added two goals.
Kline was instrumental in getting the scoring opportunities as she dished out three assists plus one goal. Livia Jackson and Natalie Ciepiela each scored once.
Kiaira Sumrall had eight saves for the Knights.
"Paige Diminick had a nice behind-the-back shot," Erb added. "It was icing on the cake for our win."
The Knights improved to 9-2 in the league, beating Conestoga Valley on Friday in the regular season finale. They poured in 20 goals, including five by Diminick and four by Gillisse, who also had two assists.
"Natalie Gillisse has a lot of spark and hustle on the defense," said Erb. "She also did a good job in the midfield, taking the draws. She stepped up and helped in an important role."
Kline had three more assists and scored a goal. Yurchak had a goal and an assist. King added one goal as did Madison Morabito. Jackson and Dague each had a pair of goals.
Sumrall needed to make only four saves in this win. The Knights outshot the Buckskins 25-8.
"It was nice having an easier win in a week like this," Erb remarked.
Susquehannock was the Knights' final opponent of the regular season. On the road Saturday, the Knights lost 19-9.
They weren't able to stop Diminick, however, as she scored five times and added an assist.
"Paige definitely had a big week for us," Erb commented. "She was a threat against everybody."
Yurchak had two goals. Gillisse and Laura Morrison each netted one. Kline added an assist.
"They're a strong program," Erb said of Susquehannock. "They're ranked number one in our district in 2A. They're polished. Their stick skills are really good. They are great in passing."
Hempfield had a strong week despite suffering only its second L-L League defeat.
The Knights opened with a 5-2 defeat of Section One rival Manheim Township on the road.
It was a close 2-0 ballgame until Hempfield scored three in the top of the sixth. The Streaks chipped away at that lead with a two run rally, which fell short.
Skylar Constable got the only extra-base hit (a double) off MT pitcher Casey Martin. Kara Cook struck out seven, walked two and allowed four hits. She also went 1-for-4 at the plate and scored a run.
Cara Mahone and Bree Wingett each drove in a run. Constable drove in two with a double. Serena Felix went 2-for-3 with a run and a RBI.
Of the seven Hempfield hits, Anastasia Berardi had three of them. She also scored two of the team's runs.
Berardi had another three-hit game against Cedar Crest in a 15-0 win on senior night. She slugged a home run and knocked in five runs. Felix drove in six more runs, going 3-for-3 with a pair of doubles. Constable and Lexi Harelson each had two hits with Constable hitting a double and scoring three runs. Cook and Mahoney also doubled.
Cook needed to only pitch three innings in this mercy rule shutout win, getting six strikeouts and allowing only one hit.
Cook, who went the distance and struck out five, gave up a two-run home run to Warwick's Amanda Herr in a 2-1 loss at home on Thursday. Due to an error, both runs on the homer were unearned. Hempfield's lone run was on a Harelson RBI, chasing home Felix. The Knights managed four hits, including a double by Cook.
Jack Hessinger got by Tom Chairs of Manheim Township in the District Three Class-AAA singles championships at Hershey on Friday. He defeated Chairs 6-4 6-2 but fell 6-3, 6-2 against Ben Clary of Palmyra in the quarterfinals.
Jake Curtain was a 7-5, 6-0 winner against Vik Patel of Wilson but was on the losing end of a 6-3, 6-1 match versus Dante Falcucci of Hershey.
Earlier in the week, Hempfield won the L-L League Team Championship on Wednesday with a classic 3-2 defeat of Manheim Central. The duo of Damon Deck and Ben Cooke claimed their doubles match with a gutsy performance, outlasting Central's Trey Martin and Trent Bury 3-6, 7-5, 6-3.
Teammates Nishant Balepur and Matt Mieszkalski won their match 6-0, 6-2.
In singles action, Curtin came up short in a 7-5, 6-4 final but Hessinger earned a key 6-2, 7-5 team point at second singles. Pandey bowed out 6-4, 6-3.
Manheim Township gave Hempfield a bit of a scare, winning the first two sets in a Section One clash on Tuesday at Landisville. The Streaks won 25-23 and 25-19 before the Knights pulled it together and won three straight - 25-22, 25-14 and 15-9.
Hempfield's Matt Sheerin led the match with 14 kills. Jon Lawrence had 21 digs while Logan Smiley distributed 28 assists. Shawn Weidman added five blocks and Zach Wilson served two aces.
Staying on their home court, the Knights improved to 9-1 in the league with a 3-0 shutout of Warwick on Thursday, winning 25-17, 25-14, 25-14.
Sheerin had eight kills. Smiley, Ian Flood and freshman Colson Hunt each had two aces. Elliott DeLaTorre put up five blocks. Smiley also recorded 17 assists and Dan Hester finished with eight digs.
In Saturday's Blue Streak Relays, the Hempfield boys finished fifth with 42 team points.
The distance medley team of Patrick Willig, Dylan Roeder, Bailey Titter and Christian Groff won with a time of 10:46.58. Taking second in the pole vault were Ethan Dionne and Chad Zeamer with a 22-7 effort.
Manheim Central had 97 points to win the boys' team competition while Palmyra (77) won the girls' competition with Hempfield (73.5) second.
In the 4x200, the Hempfield girls' won thanks to Kara Benedict, Ava Hostetler, Alexa Pitts and Carena Nottoli posting a time of 1:46.39.
Nottoli also won the pole vault (22-0) with Lauren Loperfido and was on the sprint relay winning foursome with Hostetler, Pitts and Steph Laudien (1:54.4) In the triple jump, Laudien and Trinity Sumrall's combined for a 10-2.5 effort.
In Monday's league meet at Conestoga Valley, Titter, Mieszkalski, Groff, and Roeder won the 4x400 relay in 3:30.6 plus the 4x800 relay in 8:47.8.
Roeder went on to win the 400 (53.5) and Groff won the 1,600 in 4:42.1.
Zach Thomas was a multiple winner in the discus (150-11) and shot put (44-4.5) while Dionne won the pole vault (12-0). Chris Loose took the javelin (140-11), Michael Cunningham claimed the triple jump (44-4) and David Martin the high jump at 5-11.
Hempfield improved to 3-2 as did the girls' team with its 89-61 victory.
Siena Gates was a multiple winner, claiming the 1,600 (5:41.4) and 3,200 (12:22.8) while also helping Kavita Bushong, Ella Kielmeyer and Isabella Hollenbach win the 4x800 relay (11:55.3)
Nottoli took the 100 (12.4) and the pole vault (12-0) while Laudien's 94-11 won the javelin.
After splitting the week's two games, Hempfield is 9-5 and tied for second in Section One. The Knights held off Cedar Crest 3-1 on the road Wednesday - two days after a 6-1 loss to Township at home.
Justin Lichtenwalner was the winning pitcher on Wednesday with Cole Houser coming on for the save. Lichtenwalner didn't allow a walk and scattered five hits with five strikeouts on the day.
The Knights scored three in the sixth, loading the bases on two walks and a single, setting the table for a bases-clearing triple by Tanner Seitz.
Joey Rudzinski limited the Knights to only three hits in Monday's loss.
The Knights suffered their first league loss of the year as the Streaks posted a 17-4 win on Monday.
Cameron Aksu, Kohl Wesner, Matt Heuston and Bryce Witmer each scored for Hempfield, which fell to 8-1 in the L-L League.
In Wednesday's 18-8 win at Lampeter-Strasburg, the goals and assists totals featured Wesner (5, 3) Heuston (4, 3) as well as two each by Bryce Witmer, Grayson Dague and Tyler Blew. Single goals were scored by Jackson Shand, Rob Griffith and Tyler Gearhart.
In hosting Conestoga Valley on Friday, the Knights' 18-2 win featured four goals and three assists by Wesner plus a hat trick by Heuston while Blew and Witmer each tallied two.
Dague, Shand, Griffith, Aksu, Cole Fuller and Colin Wiest each scored one as did Tanner McAlpine, who had five saves in goal. Colin Kaiser added two assists.
The Knights suffered an 8-6 non-league loss on Saturday at home. The Bayard Rustin Knights from West Chester (District One) outscored Hempfield 4-2 in the third quarter of a match that was even at the half, 3-3.
McAlpine made five saves.
Scoring for Hempfield were Wesner, who had a hat trick, plus Heuston (2, 0) and Witmer (1, 0).
Hempfield Softball Suffers First League Loss May 1, 2017
The softball team that ended the week tied for first place in the Section One standings actually opened the week with a 7-2 loss to the first-place team in Section Two. That was what happened on Monday when the Knights visited Solanco in a Section One and Two crossover game.
Hempfield came into Monday's game with a 9-0 league record. The loss dropped the Knights to 13-1 overall. They went on to win their next two games by a cumulative score of 34-11, improving their record to 15-1 (11-1 league).
Lexie Unangst slugged a triple and drove in Lexi Harelson with one of Hempfield's runs. Harelson went 2-for-2 with a double plus a walk. Kara Cook also had two hits and drove in the other Knights' run.
Hempfield scored one in the top of the third to take a 1-0 lead. But Solanco answered quickly with two in the home half of the inning. Though the Knights tied the score, the Mules came right back with a four-run fourth.
Cook suffered the loss, allowing five earned runs in six innings pitched. She struck out six and did not allow a walk.
On Wednesday the Knights hosted Ephrata in another crossover contest. Hempfield won it 15-11, stopping a seventh-inning rally by the Mountaineers.
Ephrata got on the board early and often, scoring five times in the first and three more in the second. Hempfield's batters chipped away at the lead, getting back three runs over those first two frames and adding three more in the third to make it 8-6 Mountaineers after three. It was 11-9 Hempfield after four.
What hurt Hempfield the worst was the team's fielding. The Knights committed 10 errors, making only three of the 11 runs allowed by Gabi Turner earned runs. She struck out six and walked three in her eight-hit complete game.
The big offensive weapon for the Knights was Sarah Hill. The junior slugged a home run and a double, finishing the day with six RBI.
The Knights had 16 hits in the game, three of which came from Cook. She went 3-for-5 with three RBI and three scored. Cook, Hill and Anastasia Berardi each doubled. Julia Rhoads went 2-for-4 with two runs and two RBI's while Serena Felix also had two hits, two runs and two RBI's. Harelson finished with three hits. Leadoff batter Bree Wingett had a RBI single. She walked twice, stole a base and scored twice. Turner, who earned her third victory, had a RBI single and scored two runs.
In Friday's 19-0 rout of McCaskey on the road, Cook went 3-for-4 with two doubles and four runs scored. She struck out 10 and walked just one in a three-hit shutout that lasted only five innings because of the 10-run mercy rule.
Skylar Constable also slugged two doubles (3-for-5) and scored twice. Harelson led the team in RBI's with four and also had a three-hit game. Wingett came through with three hits, one RBI and scored four times. Hill, with a double and a sac fly, added 3 RBI. Felix came through with three base hits and three RBI's. Turner drove in a pair and touched the plate four times.
Following only their third loss of the season - a non-league 22-9 setback at Cumberland Valley on Monday - the Knights won a tough L-L League battle with Warwick on Wednesday night. Hempfield improved to 7-1 in the league (10-3 overall) with the 18-12 win at home.
Paige Diminick scored eight of her team's goals and assisting on one more. She was coming off a six-goal performance in the loss at CV.
"Even in a game where we were getting beat, she was continuing to put the ball in the net," said head coach Elizabeth Erb. "They were unable to shut her down at Cumberland Valley too.
"I'm happy for her to have had this kind of week - not just the numbers but the hustle and the shot selection," continued the coach. "Her percentage in the Warwick game was 8-for-9. That's fantastic."
The Knights, who outshot the Warriors 31-22, took a slim 8-7 halftime lead and outscored the visitors 10-5 in the second half.
"It felt like we were going back-and-forth, goal-for-goal in the first half," Erb said. "It took us almost half of the second half to make our mark. The girls started working more as a unit toward the end. Even they realized how much better they played.
"To rebound from that tough loss on Monday was a challenge," Erb added. "CV is a good team and their offense is quick and fast - lots of inside passes. They shoot from different locations, which can be a challenge for a goalie. We also struggled with the draws. So, when possession isn't in your favor, you can't score. It was not our best day."
Senior Kathryn Kline had a hat trick plus one assist. Seniors Natalie Ciepiela and Samantha King each had two goals.
Livia Jackson got one goal and assisted on another as did Lauren Dague and Lizzie Yurchak.
Kiaira Sumrall stopped 10 Warwick shots in this high-scoring match.
Erb also gave credit to the defense for holding off Warwick's attack in the second half.
"Natalie Gillisse, Erin Mathews and Taylor Keyser are the seniors we have on defense," she remarked. "They provide strong leadership. That leadership and their experience are what you want to have back there."
In addition to Diminick's six goals against Cumberland Valley, King and Ciepiela and Natalie Gillisse each netted one goal.
Sure, Penn Manor and Hempfield had memorable post-season battles a year ago in both the L-L League and District Three playoff matches.
This year, with only seven matches remaining on Hempfield's schedule - five of which were against league rivals - the Comets landed at Landisville for a Thursday night Section One clash.
In early April the twain had met at Millersville and the Knights had prevailed 3-2 in a match that included a 32-30 Comet win in the opening set.
That one loss was the only league loss for Manor. Thursday, the Comets edged the Knights, handing Hempfield its first L-L loss in return.
In each of the first two sets, the teams needed to go the distance and then some. The Comets won 28-26 and followed with a 27-25 win.
"We had game points in both of those first two games," noted head coach Mike Vogel. "We just didn't execute. If you execute, you'll do well. It's that simple. Hats off to Penn Manor."
The kill attempts and services found Hempfield hands in the third set as the home team came back for a 25-11 win and evened things up with a 25-19 victory. The Comets regained momentum and won the tiebreaker 15-9.
"We came out quick and got a win in that third game," Vogel went on. "I really thought we had a shot at winning."
Gavin Hanzelman, Zach Wilson and Logan Smiley each poured in a dozen kills for Hempfield while Dan Hester and Ian Flood each added 10.
"Zach Wilson was nearly flawless in attacking the ball," Vogel remarked. "He had 12 kills on 14 swings."
Smiley, with 32 assists, and Flood each served up two aces while Mason Scott again led the team in digs.
The tennis team, which wrapped up the regular season with a 9-0 record in league competition, won the L-L League team semifinals on Wednesday with a 5-0 victory against Cocalico.
In a five-set format, the Knights won both doubles while Jacob Curtin, Jack Hessinger and Rishi Pandey won their singles matches.
Damon Deck and Benjamin Cooke paired up to win the first doubles 6-3, 6-0. Matthew Mieszkalski and sophomore Nishant Balepur won their doubles 6-2, 6-3.
Curtin posted a 6-3, 6-0 victory at first singles followed by Hessinger's 6-0, 6-4 win and Pandey's 6-4, 4-6, 10-8 victory.
The championship match is scheduled for Tuesday, May 2 against Manheim Central. The Barons edged Cedar Crest 3-2.
The L-L League individual championships were also taking place this past week. The Knights were represented by both Curtin and Hessinger in the Class-AAA Flight One semis, which were held at Conestoga Valley on Saturday.
As anticipated, the competition is tough at this level. Cedar Crest, which finished 8-1 on the year - just shy of tying Hempfield for first place in Section One, was represented by Jackson Muraika and Dylan Tull. They each prevailed, with Tull topping Hessinger 6-2, 6-1 and Muraika getting past Curtin 6-3, 6-2.
Curtin had a 6-0, 6-0 victory in the opening round on Thursday at CV. Hessinger trumped Tyler Trump of McCaskey 6-0, 6-0.
In Flight Two Deck advanced to the semis where he posted a 6-1, 6-2 victory.
Muraika and Tull punched their ticket for the doubles championship after topping Manheim Township's Tom Chairs and Carson Schreiber 6-0 in Saturday's semis. Trump and Tyler Coder were their victims in the quarterfinal round. Mieszkalski and Nishant Balepur were first-round and quarterfinal round winners in Flight Two doubles.
The Knights improved to 8-0 in the L-L League with a 13-2 win at Warwick on Wednesday night. Hempfield scored seven in the first half and outscored the home team 6-1 in the second half, outshooting Warwick 28-19.
Cameron Aksu found the most scoring opportunities, scoring six times. The Knights got two goals each from Jackson Shand, Kohl Wesner and Matt Heuston (1a).
Robert Griffith had three assists. Tyler Gearhart and Brandon Witmer notched one assist each while Grayson Dague netted one goal.
Tanner McAlpine got seven saves in goal.
The defending Section One champion Black Knights won three more league games this past week, including a 6-1 victory over section rival McCaskey. The wins improved the team's record to 8-4 - only one game behind Warwick and Penn Manor, who are tied for first.
The week began with a Section One and Two crossover game with Solanco. The Knights held off the Mules as they got key relief pitching from Thomas LaBarbera and Justin Lichtenwalner. The former got the victory and Lichtenwalner the save.
The Mules got an early lead, scoring four in the first.
The Knights got three back in the home half thanks to a Cole Houser triple, Nick Boulanger's sacrifice fly RBI followed by a Lichtenwalner walk and Angel Colon's RBI double. Colon later scored to make it 4-3.
Colon stroked another double and scored on a sacrifice fly to tie the score in the third. After his teammates loaded the bases, Houser clubbed a three-run double. Boulanger added a RBI double to make it 8-4.
Nick Fiore's solo home run and Mark Peterson's two-run double gave Hempfield more cushion.
The Knights overcame a 1-0 deficit in the Ephrata game on Wednesday thanks to Boulanger's two-run single in the fifth. The Knights added three more unearned runs and got one more thanks to Peterson taking one for the team and driving in a run on a bases-loaded hit by pitch.
Lichtenwalner performed well in relief again, coming on in the third and striking out four. He was the beneficiary of the Knights' comeback as he earned the victory.
Houser got a win in his first start of the year on Friday. The Knights had runs in five of the innings. Boulanger, Tanner Seitz and Greg Gambler each had multi-hit games. Seitz and Boulanger each had a sacrifice fly.
Volleyball Team Improves to 9-0 Overall April 24, 2017
Hempfield's volleyball team opened the week at McCaskey for a Lancaster-Lebanon League match. The Black Knights topped the Red Tornado 3-0 and went on to top another Section One foe on Thursday night, improving their league record to 7-0 and 9-0 overall.
"McCaskey really gave us a fight," head coach Mike Vogel said in a phone interview. "They have improved dramatically as a team."
After a 25-12 win, the Knights won the next two sets 25-19 and 25-18. Logan Smiley was an all-around leader on the court, registering two blocks and giving out 20 assists while getting 10 kills of his own. He also served up two aces. Mason Scott led the way in digs with 14.
"Mason Scott is just a phenomenal player," Vogel commented.
"Logan Smiley has transitioned from an outside hitter last year to setting in four of the six rotations we have this year," Vogel said. "It is a brand new position. It was going to be our Achilles heel this year. But he is doing very well."
Hempfield downed Cedar Crest on the road Thursday, 25-18, 25-13 and 25-5.
Smiley recorded 10 kills plus a whopping five aces. He had nine digs and 15 assists. Smiley and Shawn Weidman each notched one block.
Vogel's excitement wasn't just about beating two Section One rivals this past week; he was elated about Hempfield winning the Koller Classic at Central York on Saturday.
"We were in the toughest pool and ended up winning it," Vogel said. "We lost to Dallastown and turned around and beat them in the finals. We beat some quality teams such as Central Dauphin and Central York. These are teams that are ranked in the state. They have teams from the Pittsburgh area like North Allegheny, which is number one, all the way to the Lehigh Valley area with Emmaus.
"We beat three of the ranked teams in the state," continued the coach. "There is probably more competition at this tournament than there is in the state finals."
Smiley was named the Most Valuable Player in the tournament.
TRACK & FIELD
The girls' team won 98-52 at Penn Manor on Tuesday while the boys' team lost a very close one to the Comets 76-74. Both the girls' and boys' teams are now 2-2.
The boys' 4x100 relay team of Stephen Wenzel, David Martin-Robinson, Dashawn Edwards and Nate Tadesse claimed their race in 46.4 seconds. Ethan Dionne and Martin-Robinson were multiple winners with Dionne winning the pole vault at 12-6 while Martin-Robinson won the long jump (20-11) and the high jump (6-1)
Michael Cunningham won the triple jump at 42-2.
Back on the track, Nick Norton's pace of 9:59.1 was good for first in the 3,200-meter run. Christian Groff won the 800 in 2:01.9.
Edwards finished second in the 200 (23.8) and Wenzel was second (11.4) in the 100. As close as this meet ended, Tadesse was also a close second-place finisher in the 300 hurdles with a personal best 39.2.
"Can't get any closer," head coach Curt Rogers commented. "This was a tight meet from the very beginning and continued that way all the way through. Tough loss.
"Bright spots included David Martin-Robinson finishing first in three events," he added. "Christian Groff, who is one of our 'go-to-guys,' had quite a meet."
In the girls' meet, Hempfield won two of the relays, including the 4x100 as Ava Hostetler, Alexa Pitts, Kara Benedict and Carena Nottoli posted a 50.1. The 4x400 relay went to Benedict, Trinity Sumrall, Isabella Hollenbach and Steph Laudien at 4:34.0.
Laudien, Benedict and Nottoli were multiple winners with Benedict also grabbing the 300 hurdles in 47.0 while Nottoli claimed the 100 (12.7) and 200 (26.6) meter sprints with Pitts taking second (27.2). Nottoli also won the pole vault with a 12-foot effort.
"Kara Benedict and Carena Nottoli placed in all four of their events," Rogers noted.
Laudien's other wins came in field events where she took the triple jump (36-10) and the javelin (96-6).
Ella Kielmeyer's 12:56.2 time was best in the 3,200 while Siena Gates got first (2:26.8) in the 800 as well as the 1,600 (5:43.9)
"Siena employed some race tactics to win the 800 and 1600," Rogers said "She entered the 800 with a concrete goal and communicated it to the coaches. Goal-setting and pushing yourself will help you get to the next level."
Alexa Niederer, whose 88-5 discus throw was second-best on the day, won the shot put with a distance of 30-11.75. In that event, the Knights took all three top spots with Anne Loose (29-1) and Hannah Boyd (28-6.5) taking second and third, respectively.
The Knights stayed unbeaten (7-0) in the league following their 17-3 defeat of Ephrata on Wednesday. Hempfield's 42-shot attack included eight first-quarter goals.
Kohl Wesner and Bryce Witmer each had four goals and an assist to lead the way. Matt Heuston added a hat trick and an assist while Cole Fuller scored a pair.
Coming away with one goal each were Tyler Blew, Grayson Dague, Jackson Shand and Robert Griffith, who also had an assist.
Holding off the Mountaineers' attack were Tanner McAlpine (9 saves) and Anthony Tran (2 saves).
In a non-league game at Carlisle on Saturday, the Knights came up short, dropping their overall mark to 7-3. The Thundering Herd scored five goals in the first quarter, making it hard for Hempfield to catch up.
Wesner had a pair of goals while Griffith, Blew and Shand each had one as did McAlpine, who finished with 10 saves in front of the Hempfield cage.
Kara Cook pitched a no-hitter as Hempfield blanked Garden Spot 6-0 on Friday in a Section One and Two crossover game. Cook struck out 10 Spartan batters and didn't allow a walk.
Hempfield scored one in the first and added four more in the second to give Cook more than enough offensive support. Cook herself drove in two runs.
The offensive highlights included a solo home run by Anastasia Berardi and an RBI double by Lexie Unangst while freshman Asaysha Raihl went 3-for-3 with two RBI and two more scored.
The victory improved Hempfield's record to 9-0 in the league and 13-0 overall. Garden Spot fell to 6-3, 7-3.
In their prior crossover contest, the Knights blanked Lebanon 20-0, getting not only another no-hit performance, but a memorable day at the plate from Gabi Turner. The sophomore struck out eight and didn't issue a walk in her no-no. She also doubled and homered, going 3-for-3 with three RBI's. The offensive highlights also included a three-hit game (all doubles) from Raihl, who drove in four runs. Cook also had a three-hit game, driving in two and scoring three times.
Brandy Troutman had a hit and two RBI's. Bree Wingett and Sarah Hill each drove in two runs out of the top two spots in the batting order. Skylar Constable scored four runs and drove in two more in a two-hit afternoon. Lexi Harelson doubled and drove in two more.
Though not a shutout, the Knights downed Conestoga Valley 10-1 on Monday. Their victories against CV and Garden Spot were against the top teams in Section Two.
Cook allowed a run on three hits while striking out nine. She also went 2-for-3 with two runs.
Unangst and Serena Felix each had one double and a home run. Felix finished with five RBI's while Unangst drove in three. Wingett scored two runs.
In an L-L League game that got away from them, the Knights lost 3-2 to Lampeter-Strasburg on the road this past Friday.
The Knights were ahead 2-1 heading into the bottom of the sixth with starter Tanner Seitz having struck out three and allowed only one run over five innings. The Pioneers got a rally going and pushed two runs across in the home half of the sixth against reliever C.J. Saylor.
Kris Pirozzi went the distance for the Pioneers, recording eight strikeouts in a four-hitter.
The loss dropped Hempfield's league mark to 5-4 (8-5 overall) and into second place in Section One.
Two days prior to this loss, the Knights were home against Donegal in another crossover. The Indians banged out 12 hits in a 4-1 victory. Kyle Hess got the win for Donegal.
Hempfield opened the week with a 13-2 victory over Conestoga Valley. Seitz got the win in this one, going five strong innings. He struck out six batters until the game was called in the sixth due to the 10-run mercy rule.
Nick Fiore hit a solo home run in the second inning. Angel Colon also hit one over the fence in the same frame.
The Knights got RBI's from Justin Lichtenwalner, Cole Houser, and Nick Boulanger as well. Colon drove in a run in addition to his homer. They all had multi-hit games.
Scoring 19 goals at Ephrata showed Hempfield's strength as the Knights downed the Mountaineers 19-5 Wednesday.
Hempfield used its scoring opportunities efficiently, scoring those 19 goals on 26 shots. Leading the way were Lizzie Yurchak, Paige Diminick and Samantha King.
Yurchak poured in four goals and assisted on two more while Diminick added three goals and three assists. King also had a hat trick.
The Knights got two goals and three assists from Livia Jackson while Kathryn Kline had four assists and two goals. Lauren Dague also had two goals while Natalie Ciepiela, Natalie Gillisse and Paige Basler each netted one goal.
Kiaira Sumrall was steady in goal, making four saves.
Knights Battle Warriors in Pitchers Duel April 17, 2017
Hempfield hurler Tanner Seitz pitched a shutout into the fifth inning of Monday's home game against Warwick. The Warriors broke the scoreless tie in the top of the fifth thanks to back-to-back two-out hits by Nate Hess and Justin Byler, plating a pair of runs.
The Knights committed a two-out error which opened up the flood gates. Hess doubled and Byler singled to drive him and Bryce Zimmerman, who had reached on that error.
The Knights got one back in the home half of the fifth inning - also aided by an error. Seitz singled and his courtesy runner Owen Snyder eventually scored on a Warwick error. But that would be the only scoring in this pitchers' duel. Warwick's Zach Peters went on to pitch a complete game five-hitter. He struck out six and walked one in the 2-1 victory.
Sophomore C.J. Saylor relieved Seitz in the fifth inning and got the final out. He went on to pitch two scoreless innings in relief. Each pitcher recorded three strikeouts.
Two days later, the offense had a different story for Hempfield in another League game at Landisville. The Knights improved to 7-1 (4-1 in league) with an 11-2 defeat of Penn Manor.
The Comets got an early lead against Justin Lichtenwalner. However, the sophomore starter settled down and pitched a complete game, scattering seven hits. One of the two first-inning runs was unearned. Lichtenwalner had five strikeouts and did not allow a walk.
Hempfield cut that lead in half in the third inning on a Cole Houser single, which scored T.J. Biondolillo. But it was the fifth inning that helped Hempfield put the game away. The Knights scored eight runs and added two more in the sixth. Angel Colon stroked an RBI single with the bases loaded and Greg Gambler drew a bases-loaded walk to make it 3-2 Knights. Two batters and two more runs later, Seitz singled for two more runs and the rally continued.
In their third league game in a four-day stretch, the Knights hosted Elizabethtown, who came into Thursday's game as the top team in Section Two. The Bears recorded 15 hits in a 7-5 win, improving their league mark to 6-0 while Hempfield fell to 4-2.
The loss was a heartbreaking one for the Knights, who rallied from a 5-1 deficit to even the score in their final at-bat. That rally was ignited by a Seitz lead-off triple. After Peterson's RBI single, the Knights cut the deficit to 5-3 when Lichtenwalner, who had scored a third-inning run, got the second triple of the inning.
The Bears loaded the bases and yielded two more runs on a fielding error.
Hempfield opened the week on the road, improving its L-L League record to 5-0 with a decisive 16-2 defeat of Lancaster Country Day/Lancaster Catholic.
The Knights had 28-9 advantage in shots on goal. They scored six in the first quarter and three more before halftime for a 9-1 lead at intermission.
Tanner McAlpine made seven saves for the Knights.
"Tanner has had starts every year," said head coach Jeremy Adams. "He was sharing starting duties with Cole Simmons in previous years. This year he has been doing well," Adams added. "He has played some great games."
Offensively, the Knights were led by Matt Heuston, who scored five goals and assisted twice. Kohl Wesner had a hat trick and one assist.
The scoring responsibility was also shared by Cameron Aksu, Robert Griffith, Jackson Shand and Grayson Dague with two goals each. Cole Fuller, Bryce Witmer and Tyler Blew each netted one goal. Fuller, Witmer and Jonathan Morrow each chipped in with an assist.
"We share the ball well," Adams said. "We have a lot of young, but very talented players on offense."
With five saves in goal, McAlpine had a shutout in the Knights' next contest - a Thursday evening clash with league rival Cedar Crest. McAlpine and the Knights blanked the Falcons 15-0.
Wesner had five goals plus an assist while Heuston poured in four more.
"Kohl Wesner has been having a nice sophomore season," Adams said. "He played the role of a left-handed attacker in a man-up situation. This year he has been making an impact on the offense in every game.
"Heuston is our biggest scoring threat in the midfield," added the coach. "He runs the field well and passes well."
Blew (1a) and Witmer each scored twice. Griffith had a goal and two assists while Dague had one of each.
The Knights wrapped it up with a non-league Saturday day game at Germantown Academy. The Patriots won a close one, handing the Knights (6-2) their first loss of the season in a 7-5 final.
"Germantown is a tough team playing in the toughest league in the state," said Adams. "We could have won that game if we had taken care of the ball better."
Hempfield got a hat trick from Witmer plus one goal each by Wesner and Heuston.
"Tanner McAlpine, with nine saves, played a fantastic game," Adams remarked. "He kept us in the game."
The boys' track and field team improved to 2-1 by beating Section One rival Manheim Township 83-67 on Monday. The Knights won two of the relay events and took first in five other running events plus three field events.
The 4x800 relay team of Patrick Willig, Bailey Titter, Dylan Roeder and Christian Groff combined for a winning time of 8:30.0. Groff also went on to take second in the 800 with a personal best and L-L League qualifying time of 2:01.7. Roeder took first in the 400 in 53.1 seconds.
Nick Norton kept a pace of 10:28.0 to win the 3200 and was second (4:44.8) in the 1,600.
"The distance runners had a good day," said head coach Curt Rogers. "The other winning relay was the 4x400 where Titter and Roeder joined Nate Tadesse and Jack Mieszkalski. Tadesse captured the 300 hurdles in 42.1 - good for a league qualifier. Racing to a first in the 100 was Stephen Wenzel (11.4).
"The sprinters gave it their all," said Rogers. "Stephen Wenzel also had a close third in the 200. He fought for the line in the 100 and finished first. Nice efforts."
Ethan Dionne's 12-7 pole vault effort and Michael Cunningham's 42-11.75 triple jump were both good for first place as well as league qualifying measures. David Martin-Robinson, whose 6-foot high jump was good for second, won the long jump (20-0.25) while Zach Thomas finished second (44-9) in the shot put and discus (138-11).
"The jumpers took advantage of the nice weather and battled for some crucial team points," said Rogers. "This team is comprised of athletes from all four classes. Underclassmen need to realize that they're just as important to the team as upperclassmen. There are some good things happening."
The Township girls' team edged Hempfield 79-71. The Knights fell to 1-2 on the year.
The Knights got first in the 4x100 relay thanks to Megan Grube, Alex Pitts, Kara Benedict and Carena Nottoli with a time of 50.2 seconds.
Benedict's speed got her a first-place time of 48.0 seconds in the 300 hurdles as well as first in the 100 hurdles (17.0). Grube took second (61.1) in the 400 as well as the 200, getting a league- and district-qualifying time of 26.1.
In the field events, the Knights were impressive, particularly with Nottoli's 12-4 school record pole vault effort.
"She did it again," said Rogers. "She broke her own outdoor school record. Plus, she anchored the winning 4x100 relay."
Steph Laudien won both the javelin (93-3) and the triple jump (36-4.5), Alexa Neiderer took the shot put (30-10), Anne Loose won the discus (85-0), and Ava Hostetler came through in the long jump (15-8.75).
Kara Cook slugged two home runs and two doubles in leading Hempfield's 17-hit attack against Governor Mifflin on Saturday. The Knights topped the Mustangs 13-4 with Cook driving in five of those runs.
Freshman Asaysha had a three-hit game, including two doubles. She came around to score twice. Lexie Unangst (2-for-2, 1 run) and Lexie Harelson also doubled for the Knights, who scored two in the first inning and four more in the second. The Mustangs, who had charged out of the gate with two in the top of the first, cut Hempfield's lead to 6-4 with a two run third. But that was as close as they got.
Gabi Turner went the distance for the Knights, striking out seven and allowing only three earned runs on eight hits.
Thursday's league game at Elizabethtown was a day of big innings. The Bears got five in the home half of the first inning. The momentum shifted back-and-forth over the following two frames as each team scored two runs. With the Bears ahead 7-2 after four, the Knights got six in the fifth and four more in the sixth on their way to a 14-7 win.
Turner was not only the winning pitcher, she hit a home run and drove in four of the Knights' runs.
Anastasia Berardi was 3-for-4 with a triple, two runs and two RBIs. Freshman Skylar Constable also tripled and drove in two. Serena Feli was 2-for-4 with two runs.
Unlike their high-scoring games, the Knights played a big Section One game on Wednesday at Penn Manor, defeating the Comets and their fireball throwing ace Brittany Hook 3-1.
After each team scored a run in the first inning, the Knights (9-0 overall) took a 2-1 lead in the fourth and gave starter Kara Cook an insurance run in the sixth. Cook struck out 10 in this three-hitter.
All three Hempfield runs came on solo homers. Felix, Raihl and Berardi each jumped on a Hook pitch they liked. Raihl and Berardi each had two hits.
It was Penn Manor's first loss of the year.
Victories over Conestoga Valley and Warwick helped Hempfield up its record to 7-0 on the year. Tuesday's 3-1 win at Warwick and Thursday's 3-0 defeat of CV improved the Knight's league mark to 5-0.
The Warriors, after a 25-14 loss in the first set, came back to top Hempfield 27-25 in a gutsy effort. But the Knights won the final two sets by the same score - 25-12.
Shawn Weidman registered 12 kills and two blocks. Logan Smiley also had a pair of blocks and matched Mason Scott for the top total in service aces (four each). Scott also racked up 18 digs.
The Buckskins got close a couple of times, but couldn't stop the Knights on Thursday night. Hempfield won 25-14, 25-20 and 25-23.
Smiley had 21 assists and two blocks. Scott added 18 digs while Shawn Weidman registered two blocks. Ian Flood led the way with nine kills and served up three aces.
Hempfield suffered a tough 8-7 loss at home on Monday at the hands of Lancaster Country Day/Lancaster Catholic. Though Hempfield out-shot the opposition 15-11 and went into halftime trailing only by a 6-5 margin, the equalizer just wasn't there down the stretch.
Lizzie Yurchak scored four goals on the day. Sammy Helgeson added two goals and two assists, Livia Jackson netted one goal and Kiaira Sumrall recorded three saves.
On Saturday the Knights dropped an 18-5 result against Governor Mifflin but picked up a 16-5 win over Lower Dauphin. Paige Diminick finished with eight goals on the day and Kline added four, all against LD.
Knights Top Comets in League Volleyball Play April 10, 2017
The roster for the Hempfield boys' volleyball team may be without some of last year's cast. Senior leaders like Tyler Buterbaugh, Ethan Williams and Nick Oleksa helped forge a path to the state championship.
Other leaders have stepped into to such roles and helped Hempfield get out to a 5-0 start, which includes a 3-0 record in the Lancaster-Lebanon League.
"The kids are finding out how good they really were - how good their legacy was," said head coach Mike Vogel regarding those 2016 graduates. "But we have a lot of kids with experience even though everybody is playing different positions.
"We have a new middle in Zach Wilson and Mason Scott is our new libero," the coach explained. "Ian Flood moved to the outside position."
Regardless of where the Knights are playing, they're posting victories, including a couple of intense games that had 30-plus points scored this past week.
The Tuesday match with league rival Penn Manor was the only match Black Knights did not win by a 3-0 score in this strong start. The Knights and Comets played an intense match in Millersville with Hempfield coming back from a 2-1 deficit to win the fourth set and the tiebreaker.
The first set was a classic battle between two teams whose rivalry carried well into the post-season, including the District Three Class-AAA title match. On Tuesday, Hempfield's attempts to come back against the home team worked well enough to have the set go beyond 25 points. The Comets prevailed 32-30, only to have Hempfield even it up with a 25-20 victory in the second set.
"Those first two games set the tone for the match," Vogel said. "When you have one like that 32-30 game, it means nobody made two mistakes in a row, until the end of course."
The third set was another close one with Manor posting a 25-22 win. The Knights, with their perfect record on the line, came back for a 25-21 triumph and went on to win the deciding set 15-9.
"They were up 2-1 in games and they were beating us 19-15 in the fourth game," Vogel recalled. "Next thing you know, we come back and beat them.
"I think that if you come from behind and win that fourth game to force the fifth, you're elated and ready to win game five," he said. "The other side of the coin is that your opponent is disappointed. So you ride the momentum."
As expected, for a match that was high in scoring, the numbers for each team's leaders were also high.
The match-leading total in assists went to Manor's Reuben Kemrer with 48. The Knights' Logan Smiley racked up 44.
Scott finished with a game-high 22 digs. Teammate Matt Sheerin served up three aces while Gavin Hanzelman led the team with 13 kills and topped everyone with five blocks.
Hempfield headed to Manheim Township on Thursday for another Section One battle. The Knights defeated the Streaks 3-0, posting scores of 25-18, 25-15 and 25-16.
It was Ian Flood serving up the aces for Hempfield with three. Hanzelman's 10 kills were tops on the team as were the two blocks he registered. Mason Scott tallied 18 digs and Smiley dished out 35 assists.
In a non-league match against Pennridge on Friday, the Knights coasted to wins by 25-18 and 25-9 margins. But the Rams surprised the Knights with a tenacious effort in the third set. Hempfield needed several extra services to post the 3-0 victory, finally defeating Pennridge 33-31.
"We could've cracked, but we didn't," Vogel said. "The one bad thing to come out of it was that Matt Sheerin hurt his ankle on the final point of the game. We don't know yet how long he'll be out."
The boys' lacrosse team has kept pace with the other first-place team in the L-L League. Both Hempfield and Manheim Township are 4-0 with the Knights' lone loss coming in the season opener to non-league opponent Wilson.
It was a packed week for Hempfield as they faced three league rivals. After hosting Elizabethtown on Monday, they were at Cocalico the following afternoon. In both of those games, Hempfield's offense put up 14 goals.
Friday found the Knights back home against Penn Manor. They topped the Comets 12-4 with four goals from Kohl Wesner, who also assisted on a goal, and a hat trick by Cameron Aksu. The team scored multiple goals in each of the four quarters, including four in the opening period, while out-shooting the Comets 34-24.
Matt Heuston came through with two goals while Bryce Witmer, Robert Griffth and Grayson Dague each had one goal. Cole Fuller, Dague and Witmer each notched an assist.
On the defensive end, Tanner McAlpine grabbed eight saves in the victory, and had a total of 23 saves over the two games earlier in the week.
Wesner had four goals in each of those games, including a four-goal, two-assist game against Cocalico.
Aksu also had four goals and two assists in that game as the Knights outscored the Eagles 6-2 in the first quarter as well as the third. They outshot the Eagles 25-19.
Witmer tallied two goals while Heuston and Griffith each dealt one assist and one goal.
Also scoring one each were Colin Wiest and Dylan Kostelich.
The E-town game not only had Wesner scoring four goals but also Heuston, who had an assist. Aksu came away with a hat trick.
Griffith was busy giving out four assists and scored two goals. Dague added one goal and Witmer and Mark Himmelsbah each dished out one assist.
The runs kept coming and the Hempfield softball team added three L-L League wins and improved to 5-0 overall. The Knights blew away their opponents by scores of 16-1, 15-0 and 18-1.
The team put up six runs in the third inning and six more in the fourth in the 18-1 win at Cedar Crest on Friday. The 16-hit attack included two doubles by senior Serena Felix, who went 3-for-4 with four RBI and one run scored.
Gabi Turner was an all-around star of the game. She not only pitched the team to victory, recording two strikeouts in the four innings of a mercy-rule shortened game, she also got the most out of her times at the plate. Turner came through with runners in scoring position, driving in six runs on four hits, including two triples and a double. She also scored two runs.
Lexie Unangst slugged a triple and drove in two more. Bree Wingett, Asaysha Raihl, and Skylar Constable each scored two runs. Constable also doubled as did Lexi Harelson, who also knocked in a run.
The Knights beat Manheim Township 15-0 at home on Wednesday, stroking 14 hits. Wingett had a tremendous day at the plate, going 2-for-2 with a walk, a double and a triple, driving in three runs and scoring all three times she was on base.
Unangst went 3-for-3 with a double, two runs and two RBI. Turner and Raihl each had two base hits, with the latter scoring three runs and Tuner driving in two and scoring one herself.
Out of the number nine hole, Kara Cook went 2-for-3 with two runs batted in. Felix also had a double and an RBI.
Hempfield scored six runs in the first and third frames. Cook only needed to face 15 batters. She allowed three hits and struck out two.
Getting out of the gate with an even bigger offensive burst (11 runs in the first inning), the Knights topped the Red Tornado 16-1 on Monday. Hempfield added another run in the second and four more in the fourth.
Wingett had four RBI and scored three more. Her 4-for-4 day included a triple. Turner, who had three hits and two runs, got a double and a RBI. Cook had a pair of doubles on her two-hit, two RBI afternoon.
Turner got the win with Raihl pitching two innings in relief and striking out three.
Raihl also had two hits and two runs plus a RBI. Felix drove in a pair and Anastasia Berardi went 2-for-2 with a double, a run and two RBI's.
The girls' lacrosse team doubled up Cocalico on Tuesday with a 22-11 score. The victory improved the Knights' league mark to 2-0 (4-0 overall).
Hempfield held a 10-5 lead at intermission on its home turf and outscored the Eagles 12-6 in the second half.
Lizzie Yurchak and Paige Diminick each scored four goals with Diminick also contributing three assists.
The Knights got hat tricks from Lindsey Durkota (3a) and Sammy Helgeson (5a). Hempfield, who out-shot Cocalico 29-15, got two goals each from Livia Jackson, Natalie Gillisse and Samantha King. Lauren Dague scored one as did Natalie Ciepiela.
Kiaira Sumrall grabbed three saves in goal.
The boys' track team evened its record at 1-1 with a 98-52 victory over Warwick on Monday. The team's victory was helped along by the relay squad that claimed the 4x800 event. Bailey Titter, Patrick Willig Brady Lausch and Christian Groff combined for a winning time of 8:24.2.
Doing his own 800-meter run, Titter claimed first in 2:05.8 while Groff won the 1,600 in 4:44.2.
Max Lessans was the 3,200 winner (10:31.8).
Stephen Wenzel sprinted to a first-place finish in the 100-meter dash at 11.4 seconds.
In the hurdles, it was another sweep by Nate Tadesse who won the high hurdles in 15.8 seconds and the 300-m hurdles in 41.7.
David Martin-Robinson was a two-event winner in the field events, clearing 6-0 in the high jump and going 20-3.5 in the long.
The discus toss by Zach Thomas went 136-02 while Ethan Dionne's 13-01 pole vault effort was also good for first.
The Hempfield girls put up a 96-54 win, evening their record at 1-1 as well.
Kara Benedict and Siena Gates each had two victories on the track. Gates won the 1,600 in 5:39.6 and the 3,200 at a 12:26.1 pace. Benedict took both hurdle events with a 16.5 time in the high hurdles and 47.8 in the 300.
The 400 went to freshman Megan Grube with a time of 60.9.
The Knights claimed all but one of the field events. Alexa Neiderer took the shot put (19-05) and the discus (84-05) while Steph Laudien was tops in the javelin with a 91-11 throw and got the victory in the triple jump (34-01).
Ava Hostetter's 16-04 long jump was the best in that event and Carena Nottoli's 11-06 pole vault was first.
Hempfield improved to 6-0 on the year after defeating Section One rivals McCaskey, Manheim Township and Cedar Crest this past week.
The Knights scored a total of 32 runs on the road in the first two games of the week and edged Cedar Crest 5-4 in extra-inning walk-off fashion on Friday. Justin Lichtenwalner, who came on in relief in the seventh inning of that game, got the win. Starter Eric Sipling had two strikeouts in three innings of work. Sophomore C.J. Saylor added three innings of middle relief.
The Knights are in sole possession of first place in Section One.
Knights' Lax Battle District 3 Champ Wilson April 3, 2017
The schedule was not that kind to the Hempfield boys' lacrosse team.
Yes, it's early in the season to be looking back and bemoaning a less-than-stellar record and blaming the schedule. But because it's early, let's focus on the season opener.
The Black Knights went up against District Three champ Wilson on Tuesday. The Hempfield team was without its standout scorer Colby Smith, whom they lost to a serious injury in the preseason.
But the Bulldogs, despite a 10-6 lead in the second half, had to scramble to eke out a 12-11 victory over Hempfield in this non-league match.
Trailing by two goals entering the fourth quarter, the Knights outscored the Bulldogs 3-2. Sophomore Cameron Aksu stepped in and scored four goals and dished out one assist for the Knights. Another sophomore Matt Heuston notched a hat trick while Kohl Wesner added a pair of goals.
Hempfield also got one goal each from Tyler Gearhart and Robert Griffith.
Senior starting goalie Tanner McAlpine was back in the lineup and recorded 12 saves against the defending district champs, who totaled 24 shots on goal.
The very next night, the Knights were at New Holland to face Garden Spot in a Lancaster-Lebanon League clash. The offense got off to a strong start with seven goals in the first quarter en route to a 15-2 defeat of the Spartans.
Tack on another four goals for Aksu while Heuston, Conor Kaiser and Dylan Kostelich each tallied two. For Jackson Shand it was a goal and an assist on the day - the same as Wesner's output. Bryce Witmer had a goal while Jake Skundrich and Cole Fuller each dished out an assist.
Hempfield outshot Garden Spot 27-5. Anthony Tran (2 saves) and Bradley Green (1 save) shared goalkeeping duties as the Knights improved to 1-1 overall.
The Hempfield girls' lacrosse team played Wilson in its season opener and finished the wild game with a one-goal difference. The Saturday match at Hempfield found the girls' team on the winning side of a 19-18 final.
Hempfield came on strong in the second half after trailing 7-6 at intermission. The Black Knights out-shot the Bulldogs 28-24 with Paige Diminick scoring seven goals and assisting on two more.
But the momentum for goal scoring swung back-and-forth. The Bulldogs came back from a deficit themselves to even the score before the deciding goal found the Wilson net.
"We had to wait until the final couple minutes to win that one," said head coach Elizabeth Erb. "Wilson turned on the afterburners in the second half. We had a six-goal lead and let that get away. We let them even the score and had to score in the final two minutes to win it."
Senior Sam Helgeson pelted the Wilson net with five goals and dished out three assists. Lindsey Durkota notched a hat trick and chipped in with an assists as well.
Livia Jackson and Kathryn Kline each scored two goals.
Returning to the Hempfield net was goalie Kiaira Sumrall who finished with six saves.
The Knights' lone league game of the week was on Wednesday - sandwiched between the Wilson match and Saturday's road game at Exeter. In that league game, they downed Garden Spot 20-2 out-shooting the Spartans 27-5.
Durkota scored five goals in this one. Diminick assisted on five goals while scoring two. Kline had three assists to go with two goals. Also scoring twice were Jackson and Lizzie Yurchak.
Helgeson, who assisted on two goals, also had a goal as did Kiley Yurchak, Natalie Ciepiela, Lauren Dague, Samantha King, Erin Matthews and Natalie Gillisse
The Exeter Eagles weren't fooling around on April 1. They out-shot Hempfield 26-22 but the Knights got past their hosts in overtime, 14-13, to improve their record to 3-0.
Helgeson scored the game-winning goal in overtime.
Erb remarked that playing a tough opponent on the road and coming away with a win could prove crucial for the team's upcoming slate of games. The Knights have five consecutive league games including three in one week.
"It increased our focus, getting us ready to play this week for the games we have coming up," she said. "It was a well-fought game. We got back into the swing of things. Exeter is a good opponent."
The game was not only hard-fought, it was intense.
"Paige Diminick got us the equalizer with four seconds left in regulation," Erb noted. "Sammy Helgeson had the winning goal with one second left in the overtime period."
For Diminick it was one of six goals in the game. She also dished out two assists. Helgeson completed the hat trick with her game-winning goal and had one assist.
The Knights got two goals each from Kline and Lindsey Yurchak. Durkota added one more goal.
Though the Eagles were facing a five-goal deficit early in the second half and came back to take a short-lived lead, Sumrall played a crucial role in holding down the net for Hempfield.
"Kiaira Sumrall had a wonderful game with 13 saves," said the coach. "She had two in the overtime period. We got beat on a draw and she and the defense did well, turning the ball over to our offense."
Cedar Crest defeated Hempfield on Monday afternoon in the league opener. The Falcons won the boys' meet 93-57 and the girls' meet 91-59.
The boys' highlights included Dylan Roder finishing second in the 400 meter dash with a personal best 53.8 seconds, taking second in the race. Jack Mieszkalski's 55.6 (third place) was also a personal record.
Nate Tadesse won the boys' 300-m hurdles in 42.4, which was a league qualifying time. He also took the 110-m hurdles in 15.9 seconds.
"Nate handles our hurdles mainly and has also been a key member of our relays," head coach Curt Rogers commented.
Also impressive on the day was Steve Wenzel, who took second in the 100 (11.5) while Darien Ressler's 11.8 and David Martin-Robinson's 11.9 were personal bests.
"David Martin-Robinson and Ressler both high jump, long jump and sprint," Rogers noted.
Martin-Robinson won the high jump with a 6-foot effort and captured the long jump (20-11). Ressler took third in the long (20-00.25) and won the triple at 43-05.
Ethan Dionne, who is one of the captains, took second in the 200 (23.6)
The 4x400 relay of Roeder, Tadasse, Jack Mieszkalski, and Bailey Titter won with a combined time of 3:38.6.
Zach Thomas took first in the shot put (45-00.5) as well as the discus (141-05).
"We had some good performances," Rogers said.
The girls' team, whose tri-captains are Steph Laudien, Carena Nottoli and Anne Loose, got a second-place finish by Nottoli in both the 200 (26.1) and the 100 (12.5) while Laudien won the triple jump (36-01) and took second in the 400 (62.0).
But Nottoli made headlines with her performance in the pole vault.
"She had set a school record in the indoor track for the pole vault and just set the outdoor record in our first meet," Rogers said. "She vaulted 12-9 for the indoor record."
Nottoli vaulted to an 11-09 first-place tie in the meet.
Kara Benedict was second in the 100 hurdles (16.9) and Siena Gates took second (5:38.3) in the 1,600. Benedict won the 300 hurdles at 49.2 seconds.
"Siena Gates is our number one distance runner in the 800, 1600 and 3200," Rogers added.
Megan Grube, who was third (63.3) in the 400, was part of the 4x400 first-place relay team with Benedict, Laudien and Marissa Martin (4:23.9).
In the 800, Bella Hollenbach took first (2:38.1) with Ella Kielmeyer (2:38.7) a close second.
The 88-01 distance for the javelin toss by Gabby Thomas was good for third.
Hempfield improved to 2-0 with its 3-0 victory at Exeter on Thursday. The Knights had opened the season with a 3-0 defeat of Section One foe Cedar Crest two days earlier.
In the match with Crest, the host Knights dominated 25-12, 25-10, 25-14. The Falcons got a match-high 14 kills from Mark Johns, who also had four digs.
The Knights got 12 kills from Matt Sheerin while Logan Smiley finished with 29 assists. Mason Scott added eight digs. Gavin Hanzelman had a match high three blocks while Cayden Musso and Zach Wilson each served up three aces.
After beating Exeter 25-9 in the first set of Thursday's match, the Knights won 25-15 and 25-20 to complete the sweep.
Hanzelman was the leader in kills with 14. Smiley came away with a match-high four aces as well as 33 assists. Sheerin, Ian Flood and Jon Lawrence each had seven digs. Wilson registered two blocks.
Hempfield defeated Twin Valley by a 7-2 score in a non-league game last Monday. The Knights got two hits each from Lexi Harelson, Serena Felix, and Cara Mahoney while Bree Wingett scored twice and drove in a run. Both of Harelson's hits were doubles. Felix and Kara Cook also doubled.
With the game scoreless, the Knights got four in the home half of the third inning. The Raiders chipped away and cut the lead in half before the Knights added three late runs to give more support to winning pitcher Gabi Turner. She struck out three and didn't allow a walk.
Cook came in to pitch the final two innings for the save. She fanned three batters.
Two days prior to beating the Raiders, the Knights had opened the season at home with a 10-5 defeat of Wilson.
The seven-run burst in the second inning and a two-run fourth helped put the game out of reach.
Turner slugged a home run and drove in two runs. Cook went 3-for-4 with three doubles while Wingett was 2-for-5 with two doubles and a run scored.
Cook, Turner and freshman Asaysia Raihi each drove in two runs. Raihi had two hits in this game and another in the Twin Valley game.
Skylar Constable scored a pair of runs.
Cook was the winning pitcher, going 5.2 innings and striking out 11 batters.