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HS notes: Big Macs soaring in Section 2-AAA

| Sunday, Sept. 22, 2013, 5:30 p.m.

Big Macs soaring in Section 2-AAA

Beating perennial contender Upper St. Clair, 3-1, last Thursday was the latest installment in the Canon-McMillan girls volleyball team's push toward re-establishing itself as one of the top teams in Class AAA.

The Big Macs made the playoffs last season for the first time since 2006 but bowed out in the first round with a straight-sets loss to Fox Chapel.

The win over Section 2-AAA rival Upper St. Clair gave Canon-McMillan plenty of confidence, coachSheila Mitchell said, and it helped the team improve to 6-0 overall, 5-0 in section play.

“That's always one of our goals: to get wins from those teams,” Mitchell said. “It helps their confidence, but we just have to keep going with it.”

Senior setter Miranda Westin directs the offense and already has 390 assists and 153 digs. Her primary target has been senior middle hitter Olivia Lorusso, who has 134 kills, 152 digs and 21 blocks. Senior outside hitter Carrigan Robinson has 90 kills and a team-high 190 digs.

Nine regulars are back, and Mitchell has enjoyed watching her veteran team make good on preseason expectations.

“Last year they got the taste of what it's like,” Mitchell said. “We worked hard in the offseason. With this group coming back, they know it's their time to shine.”

• Thursday's Section 3-AAA girls volleyball showdown between rival North Allegheny and Pine-Richland was, as expected, a back-and-forth affair.

The top-ranked Tigers (6-0, 5-0) fell in the first set 25-22 to then-No. 2 Pine-Richland (4-1, 3-1) but bounced back to take the next three sets, 27-25, 25-19, 25-23. “We had one of our best players (Ashley Leto) out that night due to injury, so I was nervous going in,” coachHeidi Miller said. “All things considered, I was very pleased with their performance.” The section rivals will meet again Oct. 15 at Pine-Richland.

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