North Allegheny volleyball recognizes need for focus in PIAAs

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Thursday, May 30, 2019 | 10:08 PM


Winning a district championship doesn’t guarantee safe harbor through the PIAA Class AAA boys volleyball playoffs.

When North Allegheny coach Dan Schall saw the first-round matchup, he knew the defending state champion Tigers wouldn’t be able to coast.

North Allegheny shook off a slow second set to earn a 3-1 (25-15, 16-25, 25-18, 25-23) win over Landisville last Tuesday at Hempfield.

“It was good,” Schall said. “We’ve had so many great matches with Hempfield. We knew when we were getting a team from District 3 it was going to be a tough match right away. They weren’t as bad as they played in the first game, and we weren’t as bad as we played in the second game. We both settled in by game three.”

Senior libero Trevor Treser led the Tigers with 25 digs against the Black Knights. That gave him 443 on the year, breaking a program record of 420 in a season previously set by Danny Lebovitz.

Drew Hunker, Ben Mendes and Alex Zubrow tied for a team-high nine kills.

“I’m so happy for this group,” Schall said. “We only have three who played significant roles before this year. For guys to step in and develop is a good step. They do really value the opportunity and have carried out their roles.”

The victory set the Tigers (20-0) up for a quarterfinal battle with section rival Shaler Area last Saturday at Penn Hills.

Results of the match were too late for this edition. North Allegheny swept Shaler during the regular season.

The Tigers have dropped only five sets all year, two of which came in a 3-2 win over the Titans on May 2.

With Bethel Park also advancing to the quarterfinals, all three WPIAL programs that made states won their first-round match.

“I think it really speaks well to the district and affirms the quality of volleyball we have here,” Schall said. “Sometimes we get overlooked because District 3 is so strong, and they are very good. Shaler is very good, and they play the game well and are young. They are hungry to get us. Our last match with them really provided great lessons to both teams.”

Schall plans to keep North Allegheny focused on moving forward.

There are several hurdles to clear before the Tigers can make another trip to the state finals.

“I hate to be cliche, but we want to take things one match at a time and not get too far ahead of ourselves,” Schall said.

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