PIAA soccer, volleyball, field hockey playoffs set to begin in Tuesday’s 3 things to watch in high school sports
By: Don Rebel
Monday, November 5, 2018 | 7:15 PM
Since being shut out of gold in PIAA soccer nine years ago, WPIAL teams have captured 20 of the 52 state championships.
Three times district teams have left Hershey with four state soccer crowns, including 2012 and ‘13 when WPIAL teams won eight of the 12 titles.
The other season the district had a golden shine when it came to PIAA soccer was last year when Norwin, Moon and Shady Side Academy girls and Quaker Valley boys all captured state gold.
On Tuesday, the 2018 PIAA soccer playoffs begin with 11 boys and 11 girls teams hoping to keep the district tradition going, starting with first-round matches.
Only Quaker Valley boys and Shady Side Academy girls have qualified from the four WPIAL state champions a year ago.
Three WPIAL schools have both their boys and girls teams in the PIAA soccer postseason — Shady Side Academy, Avonworth and Seneca Valley, following the Raiders’ Saturday soccer sweep in the WPIAL championships.
More state gold in volleyball?
From 2007-13, the WPIAL suffered through a seven-year drought when it came to the PIAA girls volleyball playoffs. No district teams were able to win a state championship.
Then from 2014-16, one WPIAL team was able to win a state title in each of those three years.
Then there was a golden bonanza last year.
North Allegheny in Class AAAA, Knoch in Class AAA and Freeport in Class AA each won PIAA girls volleyball crowns in the most successful title run for the WPIAL since the state playoffs began in 1974.
All three are back in an effort to become the first WPIAL school to win back-to-back girls volleyball state titles since Farrell did it in 2001-02.
They are among 13 WPIAL teams participating in the 2018 PIAA girls volleyball postseason, which gets underway with first-round matches on Tuesday.
Two of those matches, North Allegheny against McDowell and Carmichaels taking on Bishop Carroll can be heard on the TribLive High School Sports Network.
Searching for state gold…or silver
The PIAA has been hosting state playoffs in field hockey for 44 years.
Elizabethtown won the first state crown in field hockey back in 1974.
Never has a WPIAL girls field hockey team won a state championship. In fact, a team from District 7 has never even reached the title match in the PIAA playoffs.
Four WPIAL teams hope to make history starting Tuesday, as the 2018 PIAA field hockey playoffs begin with first- round matches across the commonwealth.
In Class AAA, WPIAL champion Peters Township faces West Lawn Wilson at Latrobe at 6 p.m. while runner-up Pine-Richland heads east to Landisville Hempfield to face District 3 runner-up Penn Manor.
WPIAL Class AA champion Penn-Trafford faces Twin Valley at Latrobe at 4 p.m. while Class A WPIAL champ Shady Side Academy faces Newport in the first of the Latrobe tripleheader at 2 p.m.
Don Rebel is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Don at firstname.lastname@example.org or via Twitter @TheDonRebel.