Fall Sports Wrap-up: Playoffs and Beyond

Many of our varsity teams captured championships and advanced to high levels of competition during the first trimester. Every team’s path to victory included highs, lows, and moments that made this season unique. Check out their stories below!


Field Hockey

The field hockey team finished third in their section and reached the first round of WPIAL playoffs for the first time in many years. Senior captain Katie Jones made it very clear that it’s all about the team.

“They made every practice, game, and team run so fun.” She jokingly added, “they are the only reason I use the words “run” and “fun” in the same sentence.”

Jones said the hardworking and compassionate girls on the team are what “makes the sport worth playing.

Coming into this season they faced the challenge of a undersized roster. If they weren’t able to recruit more players before the season picked up, their team could be at risk (or at the very least they would be one player short for every game). To try to beat this problem, Katie Jones made a video about why our current team plays field hockey to show to prospective girls.

Back Row: Coach Cameron, Maggie Gobel (11), Caroline Cox (11), Corinne Vanella (11), Katie Jones (12), Sarah Phillips (11), Madeline Mooney (12), Ella Balet (11), Sophia Fruehauf (11), Sarah Brown (11), Morgan Martin (11), Coach Mulhollem
Middle Row: Serena Melonio (10), Claire Chiusano (10), Mary Kai Kalenak (10), Mariah Pringle (10), Ellie Zack (10), Ellie Hughes (10), Ace Song (10), Rebecca Vassilenko (11)
Front Row: Angela DiAndreth (9), Ashley Glabicki (9), Olivia Park (9), Betsy Watters (9), Madison Martin (9), Desirae Nance (9)

However, it doesn’t stop there. Sophomore Clare Chiusano stepped up and “wrote a beautiful letter about why joining field hockey was the best decision she made in high school” according to Jones.

The team also received recruiting help from Andrew McMillen, Director of Admissions & Financial Aid, who sent a letter to all of the new families about the field hockey team. Combining this with advice from hockey player Claire Meakem, Class of ‘18, about recruitment and lots of reaching out to incoming freshman, field hockey gained thirteen new players.

The new and returning players were all supportive of each other, and the team was able to grow.

Jones said, “[The new girls] picked up the sport super quickly.” Field hockey had a saying, “‘Know your job. Do your job,’” and the returning players helped the new ones do just that.

“You would see returning players giving new players pointers in between drills and you would see new players practicing their stick work on the sidelines,” Jones said.

This team mentality is what made the season, according to Jones, “pretty amazing if you ask me!”

Girls’ Tennis

This fall, the girls’ tennis team had a remarkable journey, taking the 2018 AA WPIAL Championship and the PIAA 2A State Championship titles.

When asked about the season’s most memorable moment, the number two singles player Simran Bedi said, “[It] was when our first doubles team played a 3-hour grueling match to get into the state finals. They went into a third set and pulled our win for the team.”

The Girls Varsity Tennis team after winning the AA State Championship at Hershey Racquet Club.
Back Row: Aleena Purewall (10), Sana Singh (9), Victoria Keller (10), Emma DiSantis (10), Alina Mattson (12), Christina Walton (10)
Front Row: Evelyn Safar (10), Sofia Smith (9), Simran Bedi (10)
Unknown Photographer

Throughout their extremely successful season, there were definitely moments that were tough and a challenge to get through.

Bedi said, “Each match we were faced with was a new challenge. Tennis is not like a math problem where you can just plug something into a formula and solve. Variables are always changing, whether it be the opponent or the weather. However, we stood by each other and always supported one another as a team.”

“Overall,” she said, “we did amazing this season.”


Girls’ Golf

The girls’ golf team also had a tremendous season, making it to WPIAL Finals and the State Championships.

The Girls Varsity Golf team after finishing runner-up in the PIAA State Championships held at Heritage Hills Golf Resort.
Left to Right: Nancy Means (Coach), Zoe Luther (11), Lexie Bosetti (12), Tatum McKelvey (12), Haley Nocito (11), and Kylie Smith (11).

Tatum McKelvey, a senior and the captain of the team said, “I think the most memorable moment was finding out we were going to compete in states for the second year in a row. When the official approached our team and said we had qualified smiles were on everyone’s faces, we were jumping up and down and Lexie [Bosetti] and I, being the only seniors, were super excited to compete at states for the last time.”

Being a team of just five makes their accomplishments all the more impressive. However, the road to 2018 State Runner-Up wasn’t an easy one.

“Being such a small team there were no internal challenges we needed to overcome, but competing against Greensburg Central Catholic was the biggest challenge. At team WPIALS they only beat us by a few strokes, so we knew what we had to do to give them a run for their money at states.”

The girls represented Sewickley well with their hard work in all levels of the competition. This paid off, and their great results can be attributed to many things, but according to captain Tatum “we definitely don’t know the word ‘give up.’”

Cross Country

The cross country team, with their achievements in WPIALs, contributed to Sewickley Academy’s fall sports success.

“The most memorable moment[s] of this season [were] the bus rides to and from meets,” senior Nella Tsudis, one of the captains of the team, said, “because we would play good songs and enjoy our time together as a team.”

Their team was relatively large this year, with new and returning members alike. Nella is “really proud of all the progress that [the new members], and the returning members, made over the past couple of months.”

There were some minor bumps in the road over the season. “Some of my teammates and I dealt with midseason injuries,” said Tsudis. “However, because of proper treatment, we were able to recover and run at WPIALS with the rest of our teammates!”

And in the end, Tsudis said, the team had “a very successful season.”


Boys’ Golf

Coach Palmer, Cole Karlik (12), Tim Fitzgerald (10), Austin Applegarth (12), JF Aber (11), Matthew Klemash (12), Landen Shirley (12), Navin Rana (10), Logan Fullerton (12), Zachary Rovee (12) https://www.sewickley.org/page/sewickley-athletics?fromId=179228&Team=114895&SeasonLabel=2018+-+2019

The boys’ golf team made it to WPIAL and State Championships this fall. Navin Rana, a sophomore on the golf team, talked about his experiences throughout the season.

He said, “The most memorable part of the season was playing rounds before WPIALs and States. We played together as a team, and it was really fun.”

He talked about figures that influenced him as well as the rest of the team.

Navin said, “All the seniors on the team were really supportive of all the underclassmen.”

He also mentioned how his partner, Austin Applegarth, a senior, influenced him. He continued and said how the season was, overall, very successful. “We came up a bit short at states,” he said, but continued, saying that they focused on the good rounds rather than the losses.


Congrats, Panthers! We can’t wait to see what our athletes will learn and accomplish in the winter season!