By Rob Malsom
Herald Sports Writer
MERCER COUNTY AREA —
SHARPSVILLE HIGH volleyball standouts Kristen and Paige Scurpa, who are cousins, will continue their education and athletic careers at California University of Pa. and Penn State-Behrend, respectively.
The duo, both of whom were named to the All-State team in Class A by the Pa. Volleyball Coaches Association, led the Blue Darlings to the District 10 title game in November. Sharpsville, Region 1 champs the past 4 years, suffered a 3-1 loss to Cochranton in that match and finished the season 16-4.
Kristen, a 5-foot-7 setter who also played for the Pitt Elite club last year and was named Region 1 player of the year in 2010 and 2012, will play for 3rd-year coach Peter Letourneau at Cal U. and major in nursing.
The Cal U. Lady Vulcans went 30-8 last season and lost to Wheeling Jesuit, 3-1, in the NCAA Atlantic Regional championship game.
Cal has played in 7 straight regional championship games and have recorded at least 30 wins 7 times in the last 8 years.
Paige, a 5-9 outside hitter who finished her high school career as Sharpsville's all-time kills leader with 365, will play for 10th year coach Phil Pisano at PSU-Behrend.
The Lady Lions suffered a 3-0 loss to Bethany in the Eastern Collegiate Athletic Conference quarterfinals last year and finished with a 19-10 record. They were the Allegheny Mountain Collegiate Conference (AMCC) champs.
ä Slippery Rock University track star Kevin Jewel, whose father Mark graduated from Hickory in the 1980s, recently finished 2nd in the 800-meter run at the NCAA Div. II National Championships at Colorado State University.
Jewell, who went to high school at East Allegheny in North Versailles, earned All-America honors with the 2nd-place finish in 1:49.09, which broke his own school record of 1:49.82 set earlier in the spring.
The All-America honor was Jewel's 1st and came in his last race at SRU. He finished his collegiate career as the most decorated men's 800 runner in history, with 3 conference titles and 3 times under 1:50.0.
ä Reynolds wrestler Austin Matthews and Sharon's Jarray Norris and Michael Bonner are part of Clarion University's 2013-14 recruiting class that is rated as the 9th best in the nation by The Open Mat and Amateur Wrestling News.
The class includes 3 state champions and 13 state placewinners. Twelve of the 16 matmen are from Pa.
Matthews won the PIAA title at 152 pounds last season. He went 49-1 and was named to the Dapper Dan team in Pittsburgh. He was 2nd at the PIAAs in 2012 at 138 (48-2), 2nd at 140 (44-5) in 2011 and 8th in 2010 at 130 pounds. He went 184-17 for his career.
Norris went 145-23 at Sharon and placed 5th at the PIAAs at 126 (39-4). He also qualified for the PIAAs as a sophomore and junior (40-2 at 120). Bonner went 126-28 for the Tigers and finished 3rd at states at 138 (37-4).
Some other recruits are Quinton Murphy from Holley Central High in New York, a 4-time state champ who holds the state record for career wins (302) and went 59-0 in 2012, Justin Murphy, a 3-time West Virginia state champ, and Evan Daley (Ft. LeBoeuf) and Cam Cyphert (Cochranton).
Clarion, which is led by 1st-year coach Troy Letters, has a proud wrestling tradition with 8 Div. I national champs, 46 All-Americans and 17 top 20 finishes at nationals since 1971.
Pitt's recruiting class was ranked 5th and Penn State was 8th.
Penn State, which is led by coach Cael Sanderson, won its 3rd straight NCAA championship last season.
Hickory High product, Rande Stottlemyer, stepped down as Pitt mat coach in April. His name is synonymous with Pitt wrestling as his involvement in the program spanned nearly 4 decades.
He was a 3-time All-American for the Panthers from 1974-78. Following graduation, he served as an assistant coach for one year before taking over as head coach in 1979. He compiled a 304-230-12 record in 34 seasons and is the winningest coach in Pitt wrestling history.