What to watch for in WPIAL sports for Oct. 23, 2023: Montour, Franklin Regional set for rematch

Sunday, October 22, 2023 | 6:23 PM

The district playoffs on the pitch began on Saturday and continue Monday with first-round matches for the Class 3A girls and boys in Class 2A.

When Montour and Franklin Regional met Sept. 25 in a Class 3A girls soccer nonsection match in Murrysville, the game had a playoff feel.

Both teams played it close to the vest as the Spartans and Panthers played to a 1-1 double overtime tie.

In the rematch Monday, the two teams meet at Montour with a spot in the district quarterfinals at stake. It is the only regular season rematch of the eight opening-round matches.

Franklin Regional (11-5-1) is the No. 10 seed while Montour (12-2-3) is No. 7.

There is one rematch from the 2022 first round.

No. 15 Kiski Area (7-9-2) visits No. 2 Plum (15-0-1) in a rematch from last year’s postseason in which the third-seeded Mustangs rolled past the Cavaliers, 9-0.

The other six girls soccer opening round matches Monday starting at 7 p.m. are:

No. 16 Laurel Highlands (8-8) at No. 1 Mars (14-0)

No 9 Elizabeth Forward (14-3) at No. 8 Hampton (14-4)

No. 13 Oakland Catholic (6-6-2) at No. 4 Thomas Jefferson (16-1)

No. 12 Penn-Trafford (11-6) at No. 5 South Fayette (11-4-2)

No. 14 Connellsville (11-7) at No. 3 Moon (12-1-2)

No. 11 West Allegheny (10-7) at No. 6 Latrobe (12-2)

Postseason partners on the pitch

A year ago, Shady Side Academy was the No. 3 seed and Beaver was the No. 6.

They both won their first-round playoff matches, SSA beating Keystone Oaks while Beaver eliminated Brownsville.

That set up a quarterfinal match between the two that did not disappoint.

The Bobcats edged the Bulldogs in a penalty shootout to win, 2-1. Beaver ended up advancing to the WPIAL title match before falling to Deer Lakes, 1-0.

On Monday, No. 6 Shady Side Academy (12-4-1) will host No. 11 Beaver (10-6) in a playoff rematch.

In another rematch from last year’s 2A boys soccer playoffs, No. 14 Hopewell visits No. 3 Deer Lakes.

In the 2022 opening round, the Lancers blanked the Vikings, 1-0, in the first of their four district playoff victories that earned them the WPIAL crown.

The other six boys soccer opening-round matches Monday starting at 7 p.m. are:

No. 16 Yough (10-7-1) at No. 1 South Park (18-0)

No. 9 Mt. Pleasant (13-4) vs. No. 8 Keystone Oaks (11-5) at Dormont Stadium

No. 13 McGuffey (12-6) at No. 4 Avonworth (14-2-1)

No. 12 East Allegheny (11-4-1) at No. 5 Belle Vernon (14-2)

No. 15 Jeannette (10-7-1) at No. 2 Quaker Valley (14-3)

No. 10 Elizabeth Forward (10-6-1) at No. 7 Knoch (11-7)

Volleyball prelims

The 2023 WPIAL girls volleyball playoffs begins Monday with nine preliminary-round matches.

In Class 3A, there are four pigtail contests as eight teams battle for the No. 13, 14, 15 and 16 seeds.

A pair of section runners-up must win to clinch a spot in the field of 16.

In Section 1, Plum finished tied with Gateway, three games behind section champ Hampton. The Mustangs face Indiana at Kiski Area at 6 p.m. for the No. 15 seed and a first round date at North Catholic.

In Section 3, Ringgold was the second-place team, three games behind section winner Thomas Jefferson. The Rams host West Mifflin at 7:30 p.m. for the No. 14 seed and the chance to face Oakland Catholic in the opening round.

The other two 3A preliminary round matches are:

Belle Vernon visits Kiski Area for the No. 13 seed and a first-round date at Thomas Jefferson.

Laurel Highlands plays Blackhawk at Peters Township at 6 p.m. for the No. 16 seed and a shot at top-seeded Hampton in Round 1.

There are five play-in games in Class 2A.

Central Valley travels to Ellwood City at 7:30 p.m. to play for the No. 12 seed and a first-round match against Avonworth.

Deer Lakes takes on Our Lady of the Sacred Heart at Ellwood City at 6 p.m. for the No. 13 seed and a first-round match at Southmoreland.

Fort Cherry plays Waynesburg Central at Peters Township at 7:30 p.m. for the No. 14 seed and a chance to play at Quaker Valley.

South Park visits Yough for the No. 15 seed with the winner facing No. 2 Beaver.

Hopewell battles Charleroi for the No. 16 seed at Ringgold at 6 p.m. with the winner visiting top-seeded and defending champion Freeport in the opening round.

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