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Steel Valley volleyball swept out of playoffs by OLSH

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By Keith Barnes
Wednesday, May 16, 2012, 1:35 a.m.

Steel Valley coach JaQuan McNeil hoped his team would tighten things up a bit when it played sixth-seeded Our Lady of the Sacred Heart in the opening round of the WPIAL Class AA volleyball playoffs.

Instead of a clean match, though, the Ironmen came out in the first set and made all the mistakes they needed to exorcise from their game. As a result, the Chargers were able to advance with a relatively easy, 3-0 (25-10, 26-24, 25-16) victory at North Allegheny.

Our Lady of the Sacred Heart will play third-seeded Derry in the quarterfinal round at 6 p.m. Thursday at Norwin.

“It's been a very tough season for a lot of reasons and I lost eight seniors,” McNeil said. “It was very difficult, us going out like this and it's just really emotional. This is my first year and it's really tough us going out like this.”

In the first set, Steel Valley (4-7) could not establish any kind of serious attack and, instead, made several critical errors that gave OLSH quite a few easy points. The Ironmen actually had as many net violations (two) in that first set as they did kills, both of which were by senior Zack Graham.

“We made a simple mistake and they got the momentum back,” McNeil said. “I'm really down because I lost a lot of seniors and there's some rebuilding I have to do.”

Keith Barnes is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at or 412-664-9161 Ext. 1977.

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