What to watch for in WPIAL sports for Sept. 6, 2022: Section girls volleyball openers on tap

Monday, September 5, 2022 | 6:55 PM

With the picnic gear put away following the holiday weekend, high school sports returns with a busy night of section openers in WPIAL girls volleyball.

While Class 4A teams continue to wait, every section in the other three classifications will begin the matches that will determine postseason berths.

One interesting matchup pits two section winners from a year ago now in the same section.

South Fayette, champion of Section 2 last season and a quarterfinalist in the Class 3A playoffs, will host Moon, winner of Section 2 and a semifinalist in Class 4A a year ago.

The Tigers dropped to Class 3A with realignment.

Three teams shared the Section 1-3A crown a year ago: Plum, Franklin Regional and Indiana finished 12-2.

Two of those teams square off Tuesday in the section opener as Indiana visits Franklin Regional.

After realignment, Plum remained in Section 1. The Little Indians and Panthers are now Section 5 foes.

Another intriguing matchup has Central Valley hosting Our Lady of the Sacred Heart.

The Warriors were co-champs with Beaver in Section 4-3A last year, and the Chargers finished second behind Bishop Canevin in Section 3 and reached the Class A quarterfinals.

CV dropped to 2A, and OLSH went up to 2A, and both will be competing in Section 4.

Fight for first on the pitch

It’s only a little over a week into the new season, but there are three marquee matches set for district boys soccer on Tuesday.

One of them pits South Hills rivals against each other at Mt. Lebanon visits Upper St. Clair in Section 2-4A.

Both teams sit atop the section with 2-0 records. The Blue Devils are 2-2 overall with two straight wins after opening season losses to Eastern Pa. powers Fleetwood and West Lawn Wilson.

The Panthers check in at 3-0-1, with the lone blemish coming in a 1-1 tie with Plum.

These two finished in third and fourth place, respectively, last season, with both losing in the first round of the Class 4A playoffs.

Both programs have a golden history. Mt. Lebanon has won 10 WPIAL boys soccer championships, and the Panthers have six district crowns, with the first once earned 50 years ago in 1972.

Some other early season battles for first place include Connellsville at Thomas Jefferson, where both the Falcons and Jaguars are looking to go to 3-0 in Section 3-3A; South Park at Woodland Hills, where both the Eagles and Wolverines are tied with East Allegheny for first in Section 1-2A; and Deer Lakes at Shady Side Academy in Section 2-2A, where the Lancers and Bulldogs are tied with Leechburg for first place.

Finally, our turn

Most of the district boys soccer teams have a couple of section games under their belts heading into the new week.

The lone exception is Section 4-A.

Those six teams finally begin section play Tuesday with three matches.

Bishop Canevin visits Seton LaSalle, Chartiers-Houston hosts Carlynton and Brentwood travels to Serra Catholic.

The late start to section play is because Section 4-A is the only section in boys soccer with only six teams.

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