North Allegheny, Hampton, Freeport, Serra Catholic receive No. 1 seeds for WPIAL girls volleyball playoffs

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Friday, October 20, 2023 | 1:28 PM


The section and nonsection matches have concluded, and invitational tournaments are in the past.

The WPIAL girls volleyball postseason is here, and the WPIAL playoff pairings committee on Friday assembled and released the brackets.

North Allegheny, Hampton, Freeport and Serra Catholic drew No. 1 seeds. The Talbots are the only one of the four who weren’t also a top seed last year.

Hampton earned the top seed in Class 3A after a strong regular season that included an undefeated (12-0) record in Section 1. The Talbots hope for a deeper run in this year’s tournament after falling to South Fayette, 3-1, in last year’s Class 3A quarterfinals. They will host a first-round match at 7:30 p.m. Wednesday against the winner of a preliminary round contest between Blackhawk and Laurel Highlands set for Monday at Peters Township.

Last year’s WPIAL Class 3A No. 1 seed and champion, North Catholic, will begin defense of its 2022 crown as the No. 2 seed and will host Indiana or Plum at 7:30 p.m. Wednesday.

The Trojans also are shooting for their fourth straight title overall and fifth in sixth years. They won Class 2A championships in 2018, 2020 and 2021 before moving up to Class 3A last year.

Oakland Catholic, the No. 3 seed in Class 3A, and No. 4 Thomas Jefferson also await the winners of preliminary round matches and will play Wednesday.

North Allegheny returns to the top-seeded position in Class 4A and will go after its fifth WPIAL title in seven years.

The Tigers, champions of Section 1 with an 8-0 record, are one of three teams in the Class 4A bracket to earn a first-round bye into the quarterfinals. That includes Section 1 runner-up and No. 2 seed Seneca Valley and Section 2- champion and No. 3 seed Canon-McMillan (9-1).

Defending WPIAL Class 4A champion Pine-Richland, the No. 4 seed and the third-place team in Section 1, will play a first-round match at home Tuesday against No. 14 Mt. Lebanon.

Freeport won its seventh WPIAL title last year and sixth in Class 2A by topping Shenango, 3-1, in the finals at Robert Morris University’s UPMC Events Center.

The Yellowjackets this week finished off their 19th straight section title and also defeated Class 3A Mars to build momentum for the Class 2A tournament.

There are 21 teams and five preliminary round matches in Class 2A. Freeport hosts the winner of Monday’s contest between Charleroi and Hopewell at 7:30 p.m. Wednesday.

Beaver, the Section 1 champion at 14-0, claimed the No. 2 seed, while Quaker Valley and Southmoreland garnered the No. 3 and No. 4 seeds.

Serra Catholic, which went undefeated in section play for the third year in a row, hopes to run the table as the top seed for its first WPIAL title.

The Eagles, who fell to Frazier, 3-0, in last year’s Class A title match, will host Western Beaver in the first round at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday.

There are no preliminary round matches or byes in Class A with 16 teams paired up for first-round action.

Frazier, the No. 2 seed, begins defense of its 2022 title with a home match at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday against Trinity Christian.

Bishop Canevin, the No. 3 seed, and No. 4 Greensburg Central Catholic also will open up the playoffs with first-round home matches Tuesday.

All four class tournaments will conclude with championship matches set for Nov. 4 at Peters Township High School’s AHN Arena.

The four semifinalists in Class 3A and Class 2A also will advance to the PIAA playoffs, while the two finalists in Class 4A will punch tickets to states. In Class A, the top three teams advance, and a consolation game will determine the third qualifier.

North Allegheny and Freeport captured state titles in 2022.

Here’s a look at the WPIAL playoff schedule:

Class 4A

First round

Tuesday’s schedule

North Allegheny (13-1) bye

Hempfield (8-7) vs. North Hills (10-6) at Pine-Richland, 6 p.m.

Mt. Lebanon (5-11) at Pine-Richland (11-5), 7:30 p.m.

Fox Chapel (6-8) at Upper St. Clair (12-2), 7:30 p.m.

Seneca Valley (11-3) bye

Shaler (4-10) vs. Peters Township (10-6) at Upper St. Clair, 6 p.m.

Canon-McMillan (13-3) bye

Bethel Park (4-12) at Penn-Trafford (11-3), 7 p.m.

Class 3A

Preliminary round

Monday’s schedule

Belle Vernon (9-9) at Kiski Area (12-6), 7:30 p.m.

Plum (10-4) vs. Indiana (7-5) at Kiski Area, 6 p.m.

West Mifflin (7-9) at Ringgold (16-3), 7:30 p.m.

Laurel Highlands (8-7) vs. Blackhawk (8-7) at Peters Township, 6 p.m.

First round

Wednesday’s schedule

Laurel Highlands/Blackhawk winner at Hampton (18-0), 7:30 p.m.

Montour (9-8) vs. Knoch (13-5) at Hampton, 6 p.m.

Belle Vernon/Kiski Area winner at Thomas Jefferson (15-1), 7:30 p.m.

Mars (9-9) vs. South Fayette (11-5) at Thomas Jefferson, 6 p.m.

Plum/Indiana winner at North Catholic (15-1), 7:30 p.m.

Latrobe (11-5) vs. Trinity (9-6) at North Catholic, 6 p.m.

West Mifflin/Ringgold winner at Oakland Catholic (13-3), 7:30 p.m.

Gateway (9-4) vs. Armstrong (11-3) at Oakland Catholic, 6 p.m.

Class 2A

Preliminary round

Monday’s schedule

Central Valley (9-9) at Ellwood City (12-6), 7:30 p.m.

Deer Lakes (8-7) vs. OLSH (12-4) at Ellwood City, 6 p.m.

Fort Cherry (11-7) vs. Waynesburg (11-7) at Peters Township, 7:30 p.m.

South Park (9-9) at Yough (14-8), 7 p.m.

Hopewell (8-8) vs. Charleroi (11-9) at Ringgold, 6 p.m.

First round

Wednesday’s schedule

Hopewell/Charleroi winner at Freeport (17-1), 7:30 p.m.

Shenango (9-5) vs. South Allegheny (13-4) at Freeport, 6 p.m.

Deer Lakes/OLSH winner at Southmoreland (18-0), 7:30 p.m.

Central Valley/Ellwood City winner vs. Avonworth (12-6) at Southmoreland, 6 p.m.

South Park/Yough winner at Beaver (16-0), 7:30 p.m.

Burrell (14-3) vs. Keystone Oaks (16-2) at Beaver, 6 p.m.

Fort Cherry/Waynesburg winner at Quaker Valley (14-2), 7:30 p.m.

Derry (12-4) vs. Neshannock (12-3) at Quaker Valley, 6 p.m.

Class A

First round

Tuesday’s schedule

Western Beaver (11-6) at Serra Catholic (16-0), 7:30 p.m.

Burgettstown (11-6) vs. West Greene (13-3) at Serra Catholic, 6 p.m.

Mapletown (12-6) at Greensburg Central Catholic (11-4), 7:30 p.m.

Eden Christian (16-2) vs. St. Joseph (13-5) at Greensburg Central Catholic, 6 p.m.

Trinity Christian (8-6) at Frazier (16-1), 7:30 p.m.

Chartiers-Houston (9-8) vs. Beaver County Christian (12-3) at Frazier, 6 p.m.

Union (10-7) at Bishop Canevin (16-1), 7:30 p.m.

Carlynton (11-6) vs. California (10-5) at Bishop Canevin, 6 p.m.

Michael Love is a TribLive reporter covering sports in the Alle-Kiski Valley and the eastern suburbs of Pittsburgh. A Clearfield native and a graduate of Westminster (Pa.), he joined the Trib in 2002 after spending five years at the Clearfield Progress. He can be reached at mlove@triblive.com.

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