North Allegheny holds off Bethel Park in WPIAL volleyball semis
Bethel Park gave five-time defending WPIAL Class AAA champion North Allegheny a scare, but the top-seeded Tigers won a 3-2 battle with the Black Hawks in the semifinals Tuesday to move into their sixth consecutive title match.
North Allegheny had not been forced to a fifth set in the WPIAL playoffs since a 3-2 quarterfinals loss to Hempfield on May 24, 2006. But junior outside hitter Tommy Keisling took the team on his shoulders. He finished the match with 26 kills and helped the Tigers to their 17th consecutive WPIAL playoff victory, 25-22, 22-25, 21-25, 25-16, 15-9.
“Tommy was a stud, and he really took over the match,” NA coach Dan Schall said. “His experience certainly shined through for us.”
Bethel Park can still qualify for the PIAA tournament if it wins the consolation match Friday at Chartiers Valley. The top three schools from the WPIAL receive slots.
Norwin 3, Seneca Valley 1 — Norwin (15-1) used a relentless front-line attack that stymied Seneca Valley for much of the match and helped the third-seeded Knights to a 25-21, 26-24, 12-25, 25-20 victory in the WPIAL Class AAA semifinals at Chartiers Valley. Norwin will play North Allegheny in the finals Friday at Chartiers Valley.
“They're really good, and I think that we were lucky to get our serve-receive game to our advantage early in the game and I think it carried us the first two games,” Norwin coach Al Warden said.
Nick Idele finished with a team-high 10 kills.
Derry 3, Deer Lakes 1 — For the second time this season, the third-seeded Trojans knocked off the defending WPIAL and PIAA champions, this time in the WPIAL Class AA semifinals at North Allegheny. Derry (16-1) got 20 kills from Jeremy Hauser, 11 from Shaun Kelly and 10 from Kyle Sauer en route to a 26-24, 22-25, 25-20, 25-21 victory. Second-seeded Deer Lakes (12-2) was led by Tony Nicotra, with 25 kills.
Ambridge 3, Montour 0 — Top-seeded Ambridge earned its third win this season over section rival Montour with a 25-18, 25-17, 25-16 victory in the WPIAL Class AA semifinals at North Allegheny. The Bridgers (12-2) were led by Lee Smith, who had 17 kills, and setter Justin Gleason, who had 37 assists.
Montour (14-3), the No. 4 seed, got nine kills from outside hitter Josh Sullivan and eight kills from Zach Renninger. Ambridge will play Derry in the championship game at 6 p.m. Friday at Chartiers Valley. Montour will take on Deer Lakes in the consolation game at 8 p.m. Friday, also at Chartiers Valley.