WPIAL boys volleyball teams settling into playoff positions and spots in coaches rankings

Monday, April 17, 2023 | 10:03 AM

The WPIAL boys volleyball section schedule for Class 3A and Class 2A is at or is nearing its midway point, and teams are settling into or moving into playoff position.

Shaler (Class 3A) and Latrobe (Class 2A) continue to rule from the top of their respective top-10 rankings in the Western Pennsylvania Volleyball Coaches Association’s Week 5 polls released Monday morning.

Latrobe fended off challenges in Section 2 with a pair of 3-0 victories over Mars and Gateway.

The Class 2A rankings remained unchanged in spots 2 through 9 — as Seton LaSalle, Ambridge, Mars, North Catholic, Montour, Derry, Thomas Jefferson and Hopewell held their positions.

South Fayette made its debut in the Class 2A top 10 at No. 10 and bumped Gateway out of the rankings. The Lions won a pair of Section 3 matches, sweeping both Keystone Oaks and Trinity.

Shaler swept past Section 2 foes Seneca Valley and North Hills last week to stay at the top in Class 3A.

Penn-Trafford also went 2-0 in section play and topped No. 5 Hempfield, 3-1, Thursday in a clash of ranked teams.

North Allegheny capped its week with a semifinals finish at the annual Kohler Classic at Central York High School.

The Tigers finished with a set record of 8-3 and fell to the hosts 25-23 in the semifinals.

Canon-McMillan moved up one spot to No. 4, while Hempfield, despite the loss to Penn-Trafford, moved up two spots to No. 5. The Spartans swept Plum earlier in the week.

Norwin, Butler and Upper St. Clair occupy spots six through eight; Moon re-entered the top-10 at No. 9 after wins over Peters Township and Bethel Park; and North Hills remained at No. 10.

Seneca Valley, with tough losses to Shaler and North Allegheny last week, slipped out of the Class 3A rankings.

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 5

Class 3A

1. Shaler (last week: 1)

2. Penn-Trafford (2)

3. North Allegheny (3)

4. Canon-McMillan (5)

5. Hempfield (7)

6. Norwin (4)

7. Butler (6)

8. Upper St. Clair (8)

9. Moon (NR)

10. North Hills (10)

Out: Seneca Valley (9)

Class 3A Players of the Week:

Mike Mihalov, senior, middle hitter, Norwin

Ben Molnar, senior, middle hitter, Moon

Logan Peterson, junior, right side, Shaler

Coleton Welter, junior, outside hitter, Butler

Class 2A

1. Latrobe (last week: 1)

2. Seton LaSalle (2)

3. Ambridge (3)

4. Mars (4)

5. North Catholic (5)

6. Montour (6)

7. Derry (7)

8. Thomas Jefferson (8)

9. Hopewell (9)

10. South Fayette (NR)

Out: Gateway (10)

Class 2A Players of the Week:

Luke Ball, senior, middle hitter, North Catholic

Josh Havrilla, senior, setter, Latrobe

Owen Wassel, senior, middle hitter, Montour

Sam Miller, junior, setter, Ambridge

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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