North Allegheny notebook: NA volleyball rebounds from finals loss

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Saturday, November 12, 2022 | 11:01 AM


North Allegheny’s hopes for a WPIAL girls volleyball three-peat were dashed on Nov. 5, when the Tigers lost to Pine-Richland, 3-2, in the Class 4A championship match at Robert Morris.

The second-seeded Rams (16-2) outscored North Allegheny, 5-1, down the stretch of the fifth and deciding set to win by set scores of 25-21, 20-25, 25-22, 15-25, 15-11.

“I give a lot of credit to Pine-Richland. They played really, really well (that night),” North Allegheny coach Russ Hoburg said. “It wasn’t our finest night. The good news is we get an opportunity moving forward. This is the one match you can lose and still be alive in the state playoffs.”

North Allegheny hadn’t lost a set since dropping the first to Parkland before rallying for a 3-1 victory to capture its fifth consecutive PIAA championship Nov. 20, 2021.

“We felt off a little bit all night,” Hoburg said. “It was a weird feel for us. I actually apologized because I felt like I was out of sorts a little bit. I found myself talking to the official quite a bit. My focus wasn’t quite there and so, it just wasn’t our best night.”

The Tigers appeared in the WPIAL championship match for the sixth straight season.

Ella Deeter paced North Allegheny with 14 kills. Mia Tuman, an Ohio State commit, added 42 assists and Mackenzie Jones contributed 24 digs.

Hoburg obviously was disappointed with the outcome, but the second-year coach who spent time previously as a North Allegheny assistant recalled a similar scenario in 2019.

“We lost the WPIAL championship three years ago to Canon-MacMillan and then went on to win the state championship,” Hoburg said. “We’ve been here before in that sense and so, we hope we can get another crack at (Pine-Richland).”

The Tigers bounced back in the first round of the PIAA playoffs, defeating State College, 3-0, by scores of 25-21, 25-20, 25–19.

North Allegheny punter picks Bucknell

North Allegheny punter Rourke Kennedy made a verbal commitment to play football at Bucknell on Nov. 6.

The senior averages more than 35 yards per punt. He also handles the Tigers’ kickoffs and is a wide receiver and defensive back.

Lessure captures gold medal

Rachel Lessure, a 2022 North Allegheny grad, coxed the Temple women’s freshman quad to a gold medal Nov. 5 at the Head of the Schuylkill River regatta.

Temple bested the 22-entry field by 15 seconds with a time of 14:54.899.

The winning boat consisted of Lessure (cox), with rowers Emma Inglis (stroke), Sophia Manning, Lauren Sobieski and Olivia Elliott.

Lessure’s former double partner at North Allegheny, Charlotte Bentrim, who also graduated last spring, took silver while coxing the Drexel novice 8+ in the Navy Day regatta Oct. 16.

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