WPIAL Girls Volleyball Championship Recaps
Saturday, November 5, 2011 | 11:26 PM
The three 2011 WPIAL Girls Volleyball Championships Saturday at Franklin Regional High School ranged from good, to better, to outstanding as Elderton, Hopewell and Seneca Valley captured district gold. Here are the recaps from all three matches heard here on the MSA Sports Network.
WPIAL CLASS AAA CHAMPIONSHIP:
Seneca Valley Raiders 3 – Pine-Richland Rams 2
The Seneca Valley Raiders having finished second in the last two WPIAL Girls Volleyball Championships didn't want silver a 3rd straight time. They won the gold instead finally delivering in a fantastic 5 set match versus arch rival the Pine Richland Rams. by a 3-2 score. Last years champion Rams squad won game one by a 28-26 score but almost lost it. They trailed 24-22 and were being outplayed, but Raider mistakes led to a Ram victory as a shocked Seneca team were not happy with the game one performance. In game two it was close early and the game would be tied five times. The Rams led 7-4, and 9-7 until Seneca came back. They tied it at 10-10, trailed again at 12-11 then scored to tie 12-12 and never looked back. The Raiders scored 13 of the last 19 points to win 25-18. Cate Seman was terrific at the service line, and Emma carter and Abbie Treciak were solid at the net for Seneca. In game three Seneca again was the better team winning 25-23. It was a close game for a while as it was tied at 5-5. The Raiders took the lead from there and never looked back outplaying the Rams. The Raiders led by as much as 20-14 as Pine Richland attempted a comeback and closed it to 24-23 but couldn't catch up. The Stars for the Raiders in this game were Alex Karika the senior setter, Angela Seman the sophomore libero, and Meghan Drambell a senior outside hitter. Into game four and Pine Richland knew it was now or never and they put their best effort on the court to win 25-23. It wasn't easy as this game was tied thirteen times, and each team had shots to win it, but the Rams would get the last two and tie the match at 2-2. Caitlyn Sciosia on offense, Jenna Quiring on defense, and Gabby Olsen at the net were the big reasons the Rams held on for the win. Senior Hannah Muzzinegro the setter stepped up as well and this match would go the distance. In the 5th game it was all Rams early as they led 8-4 when Seneca coach Karen Martini called a time out. " I told them I've told you all I can, there isn't much for me to say, its up to you girls right now" The Raiders listened scoring nine in a row and seemingly becoming a differnet team to go up 13-8. After a Ram score to make it 13-9 they would easily point the next two to win the game 15-10 and the gold medals. Senior Alex Karika after the game said "we said to each other down 8-4 there was no way we would wear silver again. We took it upon ourselves to not lose" she had the biggest smile on her face, and as a senior leader who has played for Martini for years couldn't be happier as they hugged near the media and family members during the post game interviews. "It feels good to beat the Rams, they are our biggest rival, we will wear these medals proud in school on Monday" Both schools will advance and play on in the PIAA state finals next weekend.
WPIAL CLASS AA CHAMPIONSHIP:
Hopewell Vikings 3 – Freeport Yellowjackets 0
In the WPIAL Girls AA Volleyball finals played at Franklin Regional High School the number one seed and heavy favorite Hopewell Vikings made quick work of the third seed and defending champion Freeport Yellow Jackets winning easily 3-0. "It never gets old" said Hopewell head coach Terry Borkovic in winning his sixth WPIAL title at Hopewell. " This team overall is as talented as any of the other title teams we have had here at Hopewell" In the first game the Vikings led 7-2 early, but Freeport would hang tough and close to 13-10. However Hopewell was too strong and pulled away to a 25-16 win. The Vikings offense led by Shatori Kimbrough and Isabela Varvek was too strong and imposed their will on a staunch Yellow Jacket defense. In game two Freeport kept it close and led early at 5-4. The Vikings had trouble scoring but came thru after tieing the game at 6-6 they would slowley pull away. Freeport kept creeping back into it cutting the lead numerouse times but couldn't get closer than two points. Hopewell would pull away to a 25-19 win. Alexis Rains was tremendous at the service line for the Vikings and played great back court defense. Monet Smith the setter made it easy for the offense never missing an opportunity to put perfect passes near the net. Courtney Kress on offense at the net used her height to her advantage for numerous offensive opportunities. In the 3rd game the Vikings went for the kill and made it look easy. At 9-4 Hopewell the Vikings went on a ten point tear on the service of Tayor Belcastro to lead 18-5. That pretty much ended it as Freeport was stunned at the power of the Vikings. Mackenzie Biggs on offense and defense at the net, Molly Bell on defense in the middle, Sydney Belcastro on defense, and Jordan Trombetta a sophomore setter replacing and injured Smith for a time were the stars for Hopewell. The Vikings will go to the PIAA state playoffs next weekend. The Yellow Jackets will also participate in the PIAA playoffs and were led by Megan Sweeny, Lynsey Gugino, and Ashley Sample on offense, and Jessica Mcfadden on defense, but Hopewell was just too strong and had far to many weapons in winning the title.
WPIAL CLASS A CHAMPIONSHIP:
Elderton Bobcats 3 – Avonworth Antelopes 1
In the WPIAL Girls single A Volleyball championships at Franklin Regional High School, the number one seeded Elderton Bobcats defeat the second seeded Avonworth Antelopes by a 3-1 score. It wasnt easy for Elderton as in game one it was close thru out.. The game was tied twelve times total and no team led by more than three points. The Antelopes pulled away to a 20-17 lead in the later parts of game one but a Bobcat timeout proved costly for Avonworth. Elderton would score eight of eleven points to win 25-23 and lead the match 1-0. Game two was all Antelopes as they were upset at the game one loss. They led early and never relinquished the lead. They mad adjustments on offense to find open spots on the Bobcat defense and easily won 25-18 to tie the match at 1-1. In game three it was another close game until the half way point when at 17-16 with Elderton leading the Antelopes went on a tear scoring eight of nine points to lead 24-18 and seemingly ready to take a 2-1 games lead. Not so fast said the Bobcats as they would score six straight to tie it at 24-24. The Antelopes could do nothing right and couldn't pull away for the win. The game would be tied at twenty five, twenty six, twenty seven, and twenty eight. Each team would take a lead and have a chance to win twice. However at 28-28 the Bobcats scored two straight to win 30-28 in a great set. Down two games to one and letting two games slip away one would think Avonworth would be on a mission in game four, but the Bobcats won easily. It was close early at 2-2, but Elderton took a lead they never let go. At 6-5 they went on a ten point run to go up 15-5 and it was all over as they cruised to a 25-17 win and a 3-1 match win for the gold medals. Top players for Avonworth were Jen Bezilla in the back court on defense, Lauren Brace at the front line on defense and offense, and Moriah Eck a Junior was a force at the net on both offense and defense. For the champion Bobcats Jill Glover a Junior was at time unstoppable as an outside hitter, Brianna Switzer a senior setter was crucial to the offense and in the back court kelly Meyer stood tall as the Libero on defense. Both school will move on to the PIAA state tournament next weekend.
More Volleyball• Hopewell’s Becky Novacek featured in Trib HSSN Best of the Century podcast series
• Trib HSSN Top 20 stories of 2020: Bishop Canevin wins emotional volleyball title
• Shaler notebook: Pair of volleyball standouts named all-state
• Bishop Canevin volleyball shows championship-caliber character during emotional season
• Chartiers Valley, South Fayette volleyball teams savor playoff seasons