CLARION, Pa. – Twelve District 9 soccer and volleyball teams will start their quests for PIAA championships with first-round PIAA contests Tuesday.
(Cover photo of Karns City’s Spenser Myers. Photo by Mike Schnelle. Check out more of Schnelle’s work here)
Here is a quick look at the matchups each team will face.
District 9’s top seed, Coudersport, will take on WPIAL third-place finisher Fort Cherry at 7:30 p.m. at DuBois High School.
The Lady Falcons, the fifth seed in the D9 bracket, pulled three straight upsets to win the title beating fourth-seeded Otto-Eldred, 3-1, in the quarterfinals, top-seeded Elk County Catholic, 3-1, in the semifinals and third-seeded A-C Valley, 3-0, in the championships match.
They are led by setter Haley Keck, Libero Joplin Osgood and hitters Ally Easton, EmmaRae Easton.
Fort Cherry, which lost to eventual champion Greensburg Central Catholic, 3-0, in the semifinals, beat Frazier, 3-1 in the consolation match Saturday to advance to the PIAA playoffs.
The Rangers are paced by Cleveland State commit Hannah Greene. Greene has 12 kills and seven blocks in the semifinal loss to GCC.
The winner moves into the quarterfinals Saturday where it will face either District 6 champion Bishop Guilfoyle or WPIAL runner-up Bishop Canevin.
For District 9 runner-up A-C Valley, a trip to Meadville is in store where the Lady Falcons will face District 10 champion Maplewood at 6 p.m. Maplewood knocked off perennial power Cochranton, 3-2, to win the District 10 championship.
Maplewood’s Maggie Hunter played a key role in the championship match recording 16 kills to go with four aces. Nicole Brawley added 14 kills and 14 digs with Sophie Vardnell chipping in 12 kills. Hadley Baker runs the offense for the Lady Tigers.
For A-C Valley, a young team, Josie Terwilliger and Olivia Boocks are the top hitters, while Sydney Rankin runs the offense.
The winner takes on the winner of the match between WPIAL champion Greensburg Central Catholic and District 9 third-place finisher Elk County Catholic. The second round will take place Saturday.
District 9’s third-place team, Elk County Catholic, will face WPIAL champion Greensburg Central Catholic at 6 p.m. at Hempfield High School.
ECC, which had a midseason coaching change when Diane Gies resigned and was replaced by Rick Fox, are led by Cassidy Cunningham, Reilly Herzing and Kara Detsch.
GCC is paced by Mikayla Bisignani, a 6-2 senior who had 16 kills in the championship match win over Bishop Canevin after recording 19 in a semifinal victory over Fort Cherry.
Setter Haley Moore also plays a key role for the Centurions as do Taylor Obusek and Savina Pavlik.
The winner moves into the quarterfinals Saturday where it will face the winner of the match between District 9 runner-up A-C Valley and District 10 champion Maplewood.
Redbank Valley, fresh off its first District 9 title since 2009, will take on WPIAL runner-up Beaver at 6 p.m. at DuBois High School in the Class 2A opening round.
Beaver entered the WPIAL tournament, which was a lot more competitive than the 3-team District 9 bracket with 20 teams fighting for the title, as the top seed and reached the title match before falling to Freeport.
Redbank Valley is paced by Heather Traister, Macy King and Josie Rupp with Traister and King giving the Lady Bulldogs a strong net-front presence with their height.
Beaver is also strong in the middle and middle hitter Macy McElhaney had 20 kills in the WPIAL title match loss.
The winner takes on the winner between District 10 champion Corry and WPIAL third-place finisher Avonworth Saturday.
District 9 champion Punxsutawney is coming off its 3-0 upset of DuBois in the District 9 title match Saturday will take on WPIAL champion West Allegheny at 7:30 p.m. at Cardinal Wuerl North Catholic High School.
The Lady Chucks are led by Leah Miller, who had 11 kills and four blocks against DuBois, as well as Chelsea Snyder, Hanna Ebel, Midori Bridges, the setter, Mia Lindgenfelter and Grace Neal.
West Allegheny, which was the top seed in the WPIAL Tournament, knocked off Hampton, 3-1, to win the WPIAL title.
The Lady Indians were led in the WPIAL title match by Allison Koester (17 kills) and Morgan Ziolkowski (14 kills).
The winner will move into the quarterfinals Saturday against the winner of the match between District 10 champion Fort LeBoeuf and WPIAL third-place finisher Knoch.
Staying close to home is District 9 champion Brockway, who will take on Vincentian Academy, the third-place finisher out of the WPIAL, at 7 p.m. at the turf field behind DuBois High School.
The Lady Rovers under first-year head coach Jessica Leadbetter won the school’s first D9 title with a 2-0 victory over DCC. Key players for Brockway include Leah Lindemuth, Chanell Britten, Adriana Azzato and Lauren Duttry as well as freshman keeper Mackenzie Overbeck.
Vincentian lost 5-0 to eventual runner-up Greensburg Central Catholic in the WPIAL semifinals before beating Bentworth, 4-2, in the consolation match to earn a PIAA playoff berth.
The Royals are led by sophomore forward Elizabeth Gorman. Additional key players include keeper Ella Kozel, midfielders Sammy Potter and Rachel Phillips, defender Kailee Koryak and forward Lauren Donnelly.
The winner will play in the quarterfinals Saturday against the winner of the Greensburg Central Catholic/Windber match. Windber is the District 5 champion.
DCC, which entered the District 9 title match unbeaten and as the top seed, before being upset by Brockway, will now look to pull an upset of its own when it takes on WPIAL champion Shady Side Academy, who upset top-seeded Greensburg Central Catholic, 1-0, in the title game.
DCC is strong throughout led by keeper Riley Assalone as well as defender Riley Meyers, a Clarion University commit. Also key for the Lady Cardinals are Caitlin Drahushak, Anne Latuska and Jordy Frank.
For Shady Side Eliza Cochran scored the championship goal on a 40-yard free kick.
The key offensive players for the Indians include Krystyna Rytel, who has scored eight postseason goals including four in an 8-0 first-round win over Bishop Canevin and has 27 on the season and Elizabeth Harper, who has added tyree postseason tallies and 28 on the year to go with 108 in her career.
The winner will take on the match between District 6 champion Bishop Guilfoyle and District 10 champion Wilmington in the quarterfinals Saturday.
District 9 champion Karns City, which went to the 1A PIAA semifinals a year ago, will start its quest for a championship berth by taking on WPIAL runner-up Freeport at 8 p.m. at Clarion University’s Memorial Stadium.
This will be the second matchup of the season between these teams. Karns City knocked off Freeport, 3-2, Oct. 8 thanks to a pair of Haley Scherer tallies. Chelsea Dodds also scored in that game for the Lady Gremlins.
Karns City is on its fourth keeper of the season, as injuries have taken their toll on the position. Hannah Knoll stepped in and played her first-ever game in net and got a shutout in a 3-0 win over Clearfield in the D9 title game last week.
Megan McCartney is the unquestioned offensive leader for the Lady Gremlins, and she had a pair of tallies in the championship match, which gave Karns City its 19th D9 in 22 years.
Freeport, coached by former Karns City star Brittni Grenninger, who scored 194 goals in her Karns City career, lost to Freedom, 4-1, in the WPIAL title match. The Yellowjackets top players include Piper Claypool, Cameron Lindsay and Hannah Stokes.
The winner will be back in action Saturday against the winner of the game between District 10 champion Hickory and District 6 runner-up Juniata.
District 9 champion DuBois will face WPIAL champion Moon at 6 p.m. at Seneca Valley High School.
The Lady Beavers have been off for over a week since knocking off St. Marys, 3-0, in the D9 championship match Oct. 31 behind goals from Reese Sayers, Brianna Nelson and Jessica Smith.
Moon beat Montour, 1-0, to win the WPIAL title Friday. The Tigers are led by a pair of D1 recruits, junior Delaney Snyder, who is already committed to Miami (Ohio) and senior Emma Thomas, who is going to Dayton. Snyder assisted on the WPIAL championship winner, which came late in regulation off the foot off Emily Orr. Snyder has over 36 goals on the season, according to the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review.
The winner will move into the quarterfinals Saturday where it will face the winner of the match between District 3 champion Manheim Central and District one runner-up Penncrest.
District 9 champion Port Allegany will face WPIAL third-place finisher Seton-La Salle at 6 p.m. at Bradford’s Parkway Field.
The Gators beat top-seeded Brockway, 2-0, in the title match Thursday behind a pair of goals by Payton Caden and a shutout by keeper Josh Mealy.
Additional key contributors for Port this year have included Brandon McCaslin, Tyler Lashway, MacKenzie Elliott and Adam Doan.
Seton-La Salle was the top seed in the WPIAL tournament but got upset 3-0 by Cardinal Wuerl North Catholic in the semifinals before rallying to beat Freedom in the consolation match.
The Rebels are led by forwards Chris Stack and Darryl Daniels.
The winner moves into the quarterfinals Saturday where it will face the winner of the match between District 10 champion Iroquois and WPIAL runner-up Cardinal Wuerl North Catholic.
District 9 runner-up Brockway takes on WPIAL champion Sewickley Academy at 7:30 p.m. at Fox Chapel High School.
The Rovers, who were beaten by Port Allegany in the D9 title match, are paced by Jarrett and Anthony Esposito, the sons of head coach Rich Esposito, as well as Carter Adams and Zane Puhala.
Sewickley Academy needed overtime to claim its seventh WPIAL title with a 1-0 win over Cardinal Wuerl North Catholic thanks to a golden goal from Ian Deihle in the 94th minute.
Addition key players for SA are Mike Napoleone, who had the lone goal in a quarterfinal win over Bentworth, and also scored one of the goals in a 3-1 victory over Freedom in the semifinals. Also scoring in that game for the Panthers were Alex Gordon and Tommy Lasorda.
The winner will move into the quarterfinals Saturday and face the winner of the match between District 5 champion Windber and District 6 champion Bishop McCort.
D9 champion Karns City will face District 10 runner-up Harbor Creek.
Karns City had an easy time in the D9 title game beating Punxsutawney 6-0 behind a Spenser Myers hat trick. Myers is the all-time leading scorer for the unbeaten Gremlins.
Harbor Creek dropped a 3-1 decision to Mercyhurst Prep in the D10 title contest. Peyton Ennis had the lone goal for Harbor Creek in that game Jason Angelo, Caleb Mandel, Tilor Fuller and Scott Stanyard are also players to keep an eye on for
Scott Stanyard, Caleb Mandel and Tilor Fuller all scored in the win over Fairview in the semifinals, while Jason Angelo is a top player to watch for the Huskies.
The winner will be back in action Saturday against the winner of the game between WPIAL champion Quaker Valley and District 6 runner-up Bald Eagle Area.