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Two-time defending champion Freeport gets top seed for WPIAL Class AA volleyball playoffs

| Monday, Oct. 23, 2017, 9:09 p.m.

Freeport will start its quest for a third consecutive girls volleyball title as the top seed in WPIAL Class AA.

Fresh off their 13th consecutive section title, the Yellowjackets will host the winner of a Laurel and McGuffey play-in game 7:30 p.m. Thursday in the first round. Freeport, which went 12-0 and did not drop as set in Section 5-AA, has been ranked the No. 1 Class AA team in the state eight weeks in a row by the Pennsylvania Volleyball Coaches Association.

“Obviously, it's something you work all year for, and I think this group is deserving of (the top seed),” coach Tom Phillips said. “The biggest thing about the playoffs is you can't look ahead, and that's what we talked about at practice tonight.”

Freeport is in the same quadrant as Deer Lakes, and the Alle-Kiski rivals could meet in the quarterfinals.

The No. 8 seeded Lancers play No. 9 Cardinal Wuerl North Catholic at 6 p.m. Thursday at Avonworth.

Burrell placed fourth in Section 5-AA and is in a play-in game against Southmoreland 6 p.m. Tuesday at Norwin. The winner will play at No. 2 Beaver on Thursday.

In Class A, Leechburg returns to the playoffs for the first time in four years and earned the No. 14 seed after placing third in Section 4. The Blue Devils travel to No. 3 Our Lady of the Sacred Heart at 7:30 p.m. Wednesday.

“It was our big goal all year to see our name on that bracket,” Leechburg coach Eve Hebrank said. “We finished the season strong. We came on at the right time, and we hope to continue that into the playoffs.”

Plum returns to the Class AAAA playoffs for the second consecutive season. The No. 13 seeded Mustangs travel to No. 4 Baldwin for a 7:30 p.m. game Thursday. Kiski Area is in the postseason for the first time since 2011. The Cavaliers play Connellsville in a play-in game at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday at Norwin. The winner travels to top-seeded North Allegheny on Thursday.

Jerin Steele is a freelance writer.

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