Kittanning, Leechburg start WPIAL volleyball playoffs Tuesday
TribLIVE Sports Videos
Four local teams will be a part of the WPIAL girls volleyball playoffs, and they don't have long to play.
Kittanning and Leechburg were handed preliminary-round games in a doubleheader at Fox Chapel at 6 p.m. Tuesday, the first day of postseason play. West Shamokin and Freeport received high seeds and will begin play later in the week.
Leechburg will play the first match Tuesday against Brentwood. The winner will face third-seeded Our Lady of the Sacred Heart in the Class A first round Thursday. Kittanning's match is at 7:30 p.m., and the Wildcats will face Ambridge for the chance to play Class AA No. 3 Thomas Jefferson on Thursday.
This will be the fifth straight year in the postseason for the Wildcats. Each time, Kittanning has been handed a preliminary-round match that leads to one of the top seeds.
“(The matchup) is pretty much what I expected,” Kittanning coach Kara Grafton said. “It's been the same every year I've been coaching, so I had a feeling we'd be playing Tuesday.”
The Wildcats are hoping this will be the year they can pick up more than one playoff win. Doing so against Thomas Jefferson would be a tough task. But Kittanning has prepared itself for top competition this season, most recently by competing in a tournament last weekend at Norwin that featured the host Knights, Greensburg Central Catholic and Class AA top-seed Indiana.
“We had a really good tournament and finished fourth. There was a lot of up-tempo play, and it's always nice to have that going into the playoffs,” Grafton said. “I think our girls are excited to play, and they have expectations to win that first game and make it back to the first round like we have in the past.”
Atop Kittanning's half of the Class AA bracket is Freeport, which was awarded the No. 2 seed for the second straight year. The Yellowjackets will host a first-round playoff game at 7:30 p.m. Thursday against the winner of a preliminary-round game between Quaker Valley and Derry.
For Freeport, this year's postseason goal is avoiding their fate from last year, when seventh-seeded Ambridge upset the Yellowjackets in the quarterfinals.
“I think we had a wake-up call last year. I don't think we were prepared, and hopefully, we learned our lesson from that match,” Freeport coach Tom Phillips said. “You have to prepare from everybody, and you have to stay aggressive.
“There are certain teams you have good feelings about, and I do with this team. They've proven that they can play with anyone.”
In Class A, West Shamokin was seeded sixth and will face Avonworth in a first-round match at Shaler at 6 p.m. Wednesday. The Wolves occupy the same quarter of the bracket as Leechburg, which means the winner of their first-round match will face OLSH or the Leechburg/Brentwood winner.
“I thought it was a pretty bizarre bracket,” West Shamokin coach Dan Spencer said. “I'm OK with us getting a six-seed, but Avonworth at 11 is a pretty big reach. They were one of the top five or six teams all year, so I'm surprised they dropped that low.”
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Perennial boys volleyball powers to face challenges
- Senior-laden Plum boys volleyball team eyes big season
- Continuity counts for Deer Lakes volleyball team
- HS highlight reel: Fox Chapel claims NA Intivational title
- Penn-Trafford boys volleyball dealing with high turnover
- Freeport’s Pawlak finds home at Loyola
- Youthful West Shamokin volleyball no match for Steel Valley in opener