With 2 weeks left, WPIAL boys volleyball teams jockey for positions in section, coaches rankings

Monday, May 1, 2023 | 11:03 AM

Two weeks remain in the WPIAL boys volleyball regular season, and teams in Class 3A and Class 2A are gearing up for the stretch run to the postseason.

Shaler and Latrobe remain at the top of their respective classifications in this week’s Western Pennsylvania Volleyball Coaches Association WPIAL Top-10 polls released Monday morning, and several other teams were on the move from their positions last week.

Shaler stayed undefeated in Section 2-3A, improving to 8-0 with 3-0 wins over North Allegheny and Butler.

North Allegheny moved up one spot to No. 2 as the Tigers bounced back from the Shaler loss to capture the State College tournament Saturday. NA went 11-5 in games played and topped District 3’s Hempfield, 2-0, in the championship match.

Shaler also represented the WPIAL at the State College tournament and fell to State College in the quarterfinals.

Seneca Valley moved up one spot to No. 6 with a strong showing at the Hempfield tournament as the Raiders advanced to the semifinals before being eliminated.

The other members of the Class 3A top 10 are Penn-Trafford at No. 3, Canon-McMillan at No. 4, Norwin at No. 5 and Hempfield at No. 7, followed by Butler, Upper St. Clair and Moon.

Seneca Valley topped Latrobe, 1-0, in the Hempfield tournament quarterfinals, but the Wildcats remained undefeated in Section 2-2A with a 3-0 win over Deer Lakes.

Latrobe stepped away from section competition and wasn’t able to solve Class 3A No. 5 Norwin in a 3-1 result.

North Catholic and Ambridge switched places in the Class 2A rankings — the Trojans moved up to No. 3 and the Bridgers to No. 4 — with North Catholic’s 3-2 head-to-head victory April 25.

The Trojans then edged OLSH, 3-2, on Thursday, while Ambridge fell to No. 7 Montour, 3-1.

Seton LaSalle maintained its No. 2 position with Section 3 wins over Steel Valley and No. 10 Thomas Jefferson.

The rest of the top 10 for Class 2A includes Mars at No. 5, Hopewell at No. 6, South Fayette at No. 8 and Gateway at No. 9.

Gateway, with two Section 2 wins over Derry last week, returns to the top 10.

Derry, No. 6 last week, fell out of the rankings.

The final section play date is May 11, and the WPIAL volleyball committee will meet May 12 to assemble and then release the playoff brackets.

The WPIAL Class 3A and Class 2A tournaments are slated to begin as early as May 15.

Each of the 39 head coaches have the opportunity to vote for the top-10 team rankings.

The players of the week in each classification are selected by the association based on coaches nominations.

Western Pa. Volleyball Coaches Association

WPIAL Top-10 polls – Week 7

Class 3A

1. Shaler (last week: 1)

2. North Allegheny (3)

3. Penn-Trafford (2)

4. Canon-McMillan (4)

5. Norwin (6)

6. Seneca Valley (7)

7. Hempfield (5)

8. Butler (8)

9. Upper St. Clair (9)

10. Moon (10)

Class 3A Players of the Week

Joey Gannon, senior, outside hitter, Shaler

Xander Krut, senior, libero, Canon-McMillan

Eli Hemmingson, junior, middle hitter, Peters Township

Jackson Newland, junior, outside hitter, Plum

Class 2A

1. Latrobe (last week: 1)

2. Seton LaSalle (2)

3. North Catholic (4)

4. Ambridge (3)

5. Mars (5)

6. Hopewell (7)

7. Montour (8)

8. South Fayette (9)

9. Gateway (NR)

10. Thomas Jefferson (10)

Out: Derry (6)

Class 2A Players of the Week

Collin Cimino, senior, middle hitter, Our Lady of the Sacred Heart

Jaxon Camp, junior libero, Montour

Seth Young, junior, setter, Hopewell

Eric Bisignani, sophomore, setter, Latrobe

Michael Love is a TribLive reporter covering sports in the Alle-Kiski Valley and the eastern suburbs of Pittsburgh. A Clearfield native and a graduate of Westminster (Pa.), he joined the Trib in 2002 after spending five years at the Clearfield Progress. He can be reached at mlove@triblive.com.

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