North Allegheny girls volleyball sweeps Penn-Trafford, returns to WPIAL finals

Tuesday, November 1, 2022 | 9:05 PM

The Penn-Trafford girls volleyball ran into a finely tuned machine Tuesday during the semifinals of the WPIAL Class 4A playoffs.

That machine is North Allegheny, which has not lost so much as a game in 18 straight matches.

The Tigers rolled to a 3-0 victory over Penn-Trafford, 25-13, 25-20, 25-16. The Tigers did lose one game in the final of their tournament to North Catholic, but that’s the only blemish on their record this season.

Now the Tigers, who have won back-to-back titles and four of the last five in Class 4A, try to complete the three-peat at 5 p.m. Saturday at Robert Morris’ UPMC Events Center against Pine-Richland. North Allegheny has won eight WPIAL titles over the years.

North Allegheny jumped on Penn-Trafford quickly in Game 1, scoring six consecutive points after the Warriors took a 1-0 lead.

Second-year coach Russ Hoburg said the passing of Rebecca Pilotta and libero Caroline Currankeyed the Tigers attack.

“People look at how well our front line plays, but it’s the girls on the back line that key the offense,” Hoburg said. “They were outstanding.”

Penn-Trafford coach Jim Schall said having too many scoring droughts against North Allegheny hurt.

“They are a great team, and when we played well, we hung with them,” Schall said. “They are a balanced team. They have kids who are out this year that were starters last year. We played hard but had too many stretches giving up points.”

Penn-Trafford played North Allegheny tough in the second game and actually led early before the Tigers rallied late to pull out the win.

Penn-Trafford’s Kate Schall, Laylah McPherson, Elie Visco, Kaelynn Loffredo and Ella Dindak held their own against North Allegheny during the second and third games.

Again in the third game, the Warriors got an early 7-3 lead, but the Tigers settled down and took control of the game.

The North Allegheny front line of Ella Deeter, Mia Tuman, Carissa Treser, Ella Zimmer and Marin Dunaway did a great job blocking and deflecting shots or putting the ball away with kills.

“These girls are tested every day in practice by going against best team in the state,” Hoburg said. “These girls wait their time, and that’s a good attribute to the program.”

Schall said he was pleased with the way Penn-Trafford (11-6) grew over the course of the season.

“We deserved to be in this position,” Schall said. “The team improved so much. We were pretty legit. We kept getting better and better. Unfortunately we didn’t do a little better (tonight).”

Paul Schofield is a Tribune-Review Staff Writer. You can contact Paul by email at or via Twitter .

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