Breaking down changes to the 2024-25 WPIAL girls volleyball alignment

Monday, July 1, 2024 | 11:26 AM

The WPIAL released new section alignments for the next two-year cycle in all sports, and changes will be implemented starting this fall.

This summer, the Tribune-Review will break down changes for each of the WPIAL sports.

Here’s a look at the upcoming WPIAL girls volleyball season.

2023 WPIAL championships

Class 4A: North Allegheny 3, Canon-McMillan 1

Class 3A: Hampton 3, North Catholic 0

Class 2A: Beaver 3, Freeport 2

Class A: Serra Catholic 3, Bishop Canevin 1

Notable changes

Although there are the same number of teams (122) as the last two-year cycle, the new 2024-25 WPIAL girls volleyball alignment is vastly different.

• Some of the more notable changes took place in Class 4A, which increased from 16 to 24 teams and three sections to four.

Sections 1 and 2 flipped in the new alignment with one new team that moved up from Class 3A. North Catholic, a WPIAL runner-up to Hampton in Class 3A last season, joins a section that includes Butler, North Allegheny, North Hills, Pine-Richland and Seneca Valley.

In Section 3-4A, Connellsville, Latrobe and Plum moved up from Class 3A.

Armstrong, Kiski Area, Penn Hills and Woodland Hills moved up and into the newly formed Section 4-4A to compete against Fox Chapel and Shaler.

• Class 3A starts the year with 33 teams after having 36 the past two seasons.

Just like in Class 4A, Sections 1 and 2 flipped. The new Section 1 has the same teams that were in Section 2 last season.

Freeport, the WPIAL runner-up in 2A last season, and Valley are two teams that moved up and into Section 2-3A. Freeport won the 2A title in 2022 and claimed a 3A crown in 2021.

Also in Section 2, Knoch and Mars move over from Section 4, Hampton from Section 1 and Highlands from Section 5 to form an A-K Valley heavy group.

Section 5 has three teams from Section 1 — Gateway, McKeesport and West Mifflin — along with Derry, which moved up from 2A to join holdovers Franklin Regional, Greensburg Salem and Indiana.

• Class 2A dropped to 37 teams compared to 41 the last two years.

The vast majority of Section 1 shifted with Section 4. The six teams that moved over include Avonworth, Freedom, Hopewell, New Brighton, OLSH and Quaker Valley. They are joined by Aliquippa and Northgate from Class A.

Section 2 has two new teams. Carlynton bumped up from Class A, and Sto-Rox moved over from Section 4.

Burgettstown and Chartiers-Houston moved into Section 3 from Class A.

Section 5 welcomed Southmoreland and Yough from Section 3 and is the smallest group in Class 2A at six teams.

• Plenty of changes exist in a revamped Class A, which went from 29 to 28 teams but added a fifth section.

An A-K Valley-loaded Section 1 carried over four teams from Section 4 — Leechburg, Riverview, St. Joseph and Springdale — and added Apollo-Ridge from 2A.

Most of Section 1 the last two years moved over to Section 2 as Beaver County Christian, Rochester, South Side, Union and Western Beaver join Section 3 mover Cornell.

Most of Section 3 is former Section 2 teams Avella, Carmichaels, Jefferson-Morgan, Mapletown and West Greene, along with Beth-Center, which dropped down from 2A.

The other teams from Section 2 moved into Section 4, including California, Frazier and Geibel.

The new Section 5 features Bishop Canevin and Eden Christian from Section 3 and Serra Catholic from Section 4, as well as Fort Cherry and Brentwood from Class 2A.

In and out

Only one new team joined the girls volleyball fold, and only one team left.

Aquinas Academy will field a team this season in Section 1-A.

Hillcrest Christian Academy will not have a WPIAL schedule.

Key dates

Aug. 12: First practice date

Aug. 17: First scrimmage date

Aug. 23: First play date

Sept. 3: First section date

Oct. 21: WPIAL playoffs begin

Oct. 30: WPIAL semifinals

Nov. 2: WPIAL championships

Nov. 5: PIAA first round

Nov. 16: PIAA championships

2024-25 alignment

Class 4A (24 teams)

Section 1: Baldwin, Bethel Park, Canon McMillan, Mt. Lebanon, Peters Township, Upper St. Clair

Section 2: Butler, North Allegheny, North Catholic, North Hills, Pine-Richland, Seneca Valley

Section 3: Connellsville, Hempfield, Latrobe, Norwin, Penn-Trafford, Plum

Section 4: Armstrong, Fox Chapel, Kiski Area, Penn Hills, Shaler, Woodland Hills

Class 3A (33 teams)

Section 1: Chartiers Valley, Montour, Moon, Oakland Catholic, South Fayette, Trinity, West Allegheny

Section 2: Freeport, Hampton, Highlands, Knoch, Mars, Valley

Section 3: Albert Gallatin, Belle Vernon, Elizabeth Forward, Laurel Highlands, Ringgold, Thomas Jefferson, Uniontown

Section 4: Ambridge, Beaver, Blackhawk, Central Valley, Lincoln Park, New Castle

Section 5: Derry, Franklin Regional, Gateway, Greensburg Salem, Indiana, McKeesport, West Mifflin

Class 2A (37 teams)

Section 1: Aliquippa, Avonworth, Freedom, Hopewell, New Brighton, Northgate, OLSH, Quaker Valley

Section 2: Carlynton, East Allegheny, Keystone Oaks, Seton LaSalle, South Allegheny, South Park, Sto-Rox, Steel Valley

Section 3: Bentworth, Brownsville, Burgettstown, Charleroi, Chartiers-Houston, McGuffey, Washington, Waynesburg Central

Section 4: Beaver Falls, Ellwood City, Laurel, Mohawk, Neshannock, Riverside, Shenango

Section 5: Burrell, Deer Lakes, Ligonier Valley, The Neighborhood Academy, Southmoreland, Yough

Class A (28 teams)

Section 1: Apollo-Ridge, Aquinas Academy, Leechburg, Riverview, Springdale, St. Joseph

Section 2: Beaver County Christian, Cornell, Rochester, South Side, Union, Western Beaver

Section 3: Avella, Beth-Center, Carmichaels, Jefferson-Morgan, Mapletown, West Greene

Section 4: California, Frazier, Geibel, Greensburg Central Catholic, Trinity Christian

Section 5: Bishop Canevin, Brentwood, Eden Christian Academy, Fort Cherry, Serra Catholic

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