North Allegheny volleyball advances to PIAA title game

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Tuesday, June 5, 2018 | 10:18 PM


In a rematch of last year's PIAA Class AAA boys volleyball championship, North Allegheny dethroned defending state champion Central York with a 3-2 triumph in the state semifinals at Richland High School in Johnstown on Tuesday night.

The Tigers advance to Saturday's state title match where they will face the winner between District 11 champion Emmaus and District 3 champion Hempfield at 1 p.m. at Penn State.

The other Class AAA semifinal will be contested Wednesday night.

The Tigers were led by Penn State commit Canyon Tuman, who posted 18 kills. Central York was paced by UCLA commit Cole Johnson's 17 kills.

The five-set thriller was a back-and-forth affair with numerous momentum swings. In the first set, North Allegheny led 19-13 before Central York stormed back for a 25-23 win. Junior Braden Richard led the Panthers' comeback efforts with four kills on his way to 15 for the match.

Sets 2 and 3 belonged to the Tigers thanks to the powerful swings of Tuman and fellow seniors Jason Stiefvater and Jake Barber. Stiefvater finished with 15 kills and Barber tallied 11 kills, helping NA capture wins of 25-21 and 25-17, respectively.

Despite a 25-18 victory by Central York in the fourth set, the Tigers displayed their resiliency with a 15-6 win in the fifth and decisive set. Junior Alex Zubrow played a pivotal role in the final set by producing numerous clutch blocks to swing the momentum in NA's direction. Zubrow led the Tigers with five blocks.

On defense, senior A.J. Schmidt and junior Trevor Treser led the way for the Tigers with 11 and 10 digs, respectively. Schmidt, a Saint Francis (Pa.) commit, also dished out a team-high 45 assists.

The PIAA semifinal win keeps North Allegheny's unblemished record intact, improving to 22-0 on the season. Tuesday's contest marked the first time all season the Tigers were forced to five sets in match play.

Central York, the third-place finisher from District 3, concluded the year with a 16-3 record.

Randy Gore is a TribLive High School Sports Network broadcaster.

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