WPIAL Volleyball Semifinals Recaps From 11/1

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Friday, November 2, 2012 | 1:40 AM


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Twenty-four hours after registering victories in the Quarterfinals, twelve teams had to bounce back quickly for Final Four hard court action. And now there are six still standing in search of district gold. Here are recaps from all six WPIAL Semifinals matches heard here on MSA Sports Thursday night.

A special thanks to Randy Gore, Lee Mohn, Mike Azadian and Josh Rowntree for their great help on these recaps.

WPIAL CLASS AAA SEMIFINALS:

Fox Chapel Foxes 3 – North Allegheny Tigers 2
With a trip to the Class AAA Finals on the line, the Fox Chapel Foxes edged the North Allegheny Tigers on Thursday night, 3-2, at Chartiers Valley High School.  After grabbing a 2-1 set lead, the Lady Tigers were in position to seize the victory, leading 24-22.  However, senior Riley Herrmann and junior Michaela Patsko helped the Foxes rally for a thrilling 29-27 victory to force a fifth and deciding set.  In the fifth set, Fox Chapel needed to rally again as they trailed 13-12 in the late stages before Patsko came through with a pair of kills and a match ending ace to send the Foxes to the WPIAL title game.  While Patsko was big in the clutch, the Foxes were led offensively by the left-handed swings of Herrmann who tallied 18 kills on the night.  Ultimately this game was decided by defense and featured tremendous last ditch diving digs by both teams.  For Fox Chapel, libero Marcy Meinart and defensive specialist Betsy Slagl covered the floor from corner to corner while North Allegheny’s Kristen Mitchell, Rachel Samuels and Danielle Wall matched the Foxes play-for-play.  In particular, Wall was outstanding for the Tigers who hammered the Foxes for 12 kills and posted four aces.  In the end, the Foxes outlasted the Tigers by set scores of 19-25, 25-23, 24-26, 29-27, and 15-13 to advance to face the Mt. Lebanon Blue Devils for the Championship on Saturday night. 

Mount Lebanon Blue Devils 3 – Oakland Catholic Eagles 0
The Mount Lebanon Blue Devils defeated Oakland Catholic Thursday night 3 games to 0 and now will move on to the WPIAL championship and face Fox Chapel on Saturday night.   The scores were 28-26, 25-22, 25-19.  Mount Lebanon was down 14-6 in the first set and also saved 4 set points before pulling out the first set.  After the first set victory Oakland Catholic only lead twice the rest of  the night both times scoring the first point of the set.  Mount Lebanon was led by Caroline Grattan who unofficially had 18 kills and 3 blocks.  They also recived strong play from Rachael Amoroso and Mary Baich.  Oakland Catholic was led by Suzanne Gloekler who unofficially had 17 kills and 4 blocks.  Oakland Catholic will now face North Allegheny in the consolation match on Saturday afternoon for a berth in the PIAA playoffs.

WPIAL CLASS AA SEMIFINALS:

Mars Fighting Planets 3 – Ambridge Bridgers 0
At North Allegheny High School in the  AA girls Volleyball semi finals the Mars Planets the number three seed would win an easy match against the upstart Ambridge Bridgers by a 3-0 match score. Ambridge to some folks surprise upset the number two seed and conference opponent of the Planets by a 3-2 score last night while the Planets would have an easy time with South Fayette by a 3-0 score. Both teams  had a veteran prescience tonight as Mars would use 8 seniors and two Juniors, while the Bridgers would use 8 seniors and one junior. However Mars was just too good, too fast, too tall and just overall the better team tonight. In the first game it was close early as Ambridge looked good and the teams tied at every number thru four before the Planets took off. At 4-4 they would dominate and run away with it scoring 21 of the next 27 points to dominate and win easy 25-10. OH Abby Matusik, Setter Katie King, and MH Emily King led the way with good net defense, great serving and pressure offense.  The second game was more of the same. Mars led early at 4-0 and ran out to a 14-6 lead. Ambridge fought back to 16-13 and had impressive play from Libero Hannah Krokonko, MH Destiny Tucker, and OH Lexi Hilzindeger. However the Planets would not be stopped as at 16-13 they would  score 9 of the next 11 points and win 25-15 to go up 2-0. Mars power attack led by Kelsey Bruce, and Jaden Zimmer, and back court defense by Melanie Dinderman showed why they havnt lost a game in the any match of the playoffs yet. In game three three Mars would lead early again and go up 9-4, but the Bridgers would fight to 11-10. However they didn't have enough defense, or power to keep up with the Planets. Though they would keep it tight and stay close getting to 16-14, they just couldn't catch up and would lose 25-17. For the Planets the serving of Katherine Moraca, the serving of Maggie Mckernan, and the bench play of subs Teresa Dallatore, and Morgan Verplank were too much for Ambridge to over come. Ambridge will take the next few days to regroup and wait for the state playoffs next week. Mars will face Hopewell at Chartiers Valley on Saturday at a time to be determined in the AA championship.

Hopewell Vikings 3 – Indiana Little Indians 1
At North Allegheny High School in the AA WPIAL Girls Volleyball  Semi-Finals the Hopewell Vikings beat the Indiana Indians by a 3-1 match score. It wasn't east for the defending champions as Indiana brought all the Vikings could handle and more, but in the end Hopewell proved to be too big, too strong, and too tough and they will move on to the finals to take place Saturday at Chartiers Valley High School where they will take on the Mars Planets. In game one Hopewell took an early lead but Indiana came back to tie 2-2. This game would be back and forth thru out as there were ties at two. three, seven and nine. Indiana took over and led 10-9 when they started to show what they are all about.  The Indians use a main rotation of six girls, and have two reserves that help out on occasion. Well those main six were on fire in game one. Despite four service errors Indiana held the lead the rest of the way. At one point outscoring the Vikings 9-3 to go up 18-12. Hopewell would keep it close and cut the lead to 21-20 but the Indians would prevail 25-21 and go up 1-0 in the match. For Indiana Haley Stapleton a SR OH, and Rebecca Altman a SR setter led the way. With strong support by SR MH/OH Kaitlyn Palmer, SR libero Haley Frye, JR OH/RH Aaryn Gray, and JR OH/RH Natalie Cignetti. These six girls are the heart of the Indians and each played a big role in the game one win. Great defense by Gray and Frye, strong net play by Stapleton and Palmer. The setting of Alman made it easy for Cignetti and the rest to get easy kills. Indiana also thwarted Hopewells prolific offense and used that strong defense to its advantage. In game two Indiana would lead early, but Hopewell was up to the task and came back to tie twice at 1-1, and 2-2. There would be 10 ties in this game and numerous lead changes. The Vikings led by three at 9-6 when Indiana came back. Indiana led 16-14 when Hopewell would storm back. It truly was a back and forth, trade points kind of game. The Vikings though would take control  at 18-18 late and go up 23-19 scoring 5 of 6 points. Indiana would not die and scored 4 straight to tie 23-23, but the Vikings were too strong and eked out a 25-23 win to tie the match at 1-1. For the Vikings they would rely heavily on their SR group of  OH Mackenzie Biggs, MH Shatori Walker-Kimbrough, setter Monet Smith, and Libero Sydney Belcastro. All four are integral to the team. Kimbrough in the middle on net defense, and offense, Biggs on the left side pounding shots over and over at Indiana, Smith the setter who quarterbacks the whole team, and Belcastro on defense in the back stopping shot after shot of the Indians. In game 4 Hope well took charge early at 3-1 but Indiana tied it at 4-4. There would only be 4 ties in this game, two early at 1-1. and 4-4, and two late at 20-20, and 24-24. The Vikings stayed ahead and went up to a 17-11 lead and looked to be on a roll and threatening to run away with it. The Indians stormed back eventually tieing it at 20-20 then taking the lead at 22-20 by outscoring the Vikings 11–3 in a huge swing of momentum. The Vikings knowing a game three loss would be tough to swallow hung tough but the Indians served to win at 24-22. Hopewell would get the next four points and win a thriller 26-24 and go up in the match 2-1. For the Vikings they would get key contributions from JR MH Gabrielle Stala, JR OH Mackenzie Woolsey, and SR OH Lisa Graham. All three played key roles in game two. Woolsy on defense and stepping up on the front line, Stala as a sub in the front and outside for Biggs, and Graham as relief on defense on the back line. In game 4 a stunned Indian team went down 5-0 and seemed out of it. Biggs had 5 straight great serves and the Vikings were on cruise control. But slowly Indiana would fight back. Even thru the first half of the game down 10-4 they fought and got it back to 11-11. Hopewell would run out to 7 straight points to go up 18-11 and it looked over, but again the Indians would come back and eventually tie at 23-23. These two teams fought tooth and nail. One would go up the other would tie as it would go tied at 24, and 25. Each time one would serve to win the other would get a point and stay alive until Hopewell would get two straight and win it 27-25. Two Sophomores would play a key role for the Vikings. OH Morgan Cannister who had a tough time this nite on the back line in serve receive, she would respond with a big defensive effort, and MB Lauryn Driscoll was huge at the net getting a key point to go up 26-25. The Vikings will try to defend their championship on Saturday at Chartiers Valley High School at a time to be determined, while the Indians will wait and move on to the state playoffs next week.

WPIAL CLASS A SEMIFINALS:

Greensburg Central Catholic Centurions 3 – West Shamokin Wolves 0
Top-Seeded Greensburg Central Catholic made quick work of section rival West Shamokin Thursday, beating the #4 Wolves 3-0 (25-17, 25-18, 25-16) in a WPIAL Class A Semifinal showdown at North Hills High School. The match, which last just over an hour, was dominated by a trio of net-front Centurions, who advance to the WPIAL Championship game for the third time under sixth-year head coach Heather Meyers. The trio of Winthrop recruit Shannon Hurley (15 kills), Leah Bisigani (12 kills) and Ashley Scalise (7 kills) were just too much for West Shamokin's top player, Edinboro recruit Jill Glover. Glover, who won a WPIAL Championship with Elderton last season, finished with 11 kills in the match. The first two games were quite similar, with the majority of the games being tightly contested, only to see the Centurions pull away and win comfortably. In the first game, the Wolves cut GCC's lead to 16-15. But GCC would go on a tear, outscoring the Wolves 9-2 and win 25-17. Game two was similar, as the Wolves battled to a 17-16 deficit at one point, only to see GCC finish the game on an 8-2 run, winning 25-18. Game three though was all Centurions from the start. After starting the game 6-4, GCC would go on a 7-0 run, taking West Shamokin out of the match, going on to win 25-16. The news is not all bad for the Wolves, who lose to GCC for the third time this season, as they are guaranteed a spot in the PIAA Class A playoffs. Greensburg Central Catholic will move into the WPIAL Championship game and will meet #3 Bishop Canevin on Saturday at 2PM from Chartiers Valley High School.   

Bishop Canevin Crusaders 3 – Our Lady of the Sacred Heart Chargers 0
recap still to come

 

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