Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

It Was Season to Savor for Lebo

Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

It Was Season to Savor for Lebo

Article excerpt

It was a season to remember for the Mt. Lebanon High School girls volleyball team and coach Jeff Schilling, as the Blue Devils surprisingly won their third WPIAL Class AAA title in six years.

But Schilling's squad fell short of the ultimate achievement after losing in the PIAA quarterfinals to Landisville Hempfield of District 3 on Saturday.

"We don't judge ourselves on section or WPIAL titles," Schilling said. "The key is to compete and play hard in every match. When we do that, the winning takes care of itself.

"Our goal was to get as far as we could in the WPIAL tournament and we came away with a title. The PIAA tournament was a bonus. The girls gave it all they had in the PIAA quarterfinals and came up a bit short. We bow out tied for fifth in the state. That's certainly something to be proud of."

Mt. Lebanon qualified for the WPIAL Class AAA playoffs by winning the Section 5-AAA title. The Blue Devils were seeded No. 4 in the 15- team bracket and began their postseason journey with a 3-0 victory against Plum in the first round.

Next was No. 5 seed Pine-Richland, last year's WPIAL runner-up, and Mt. Lebanon won the match by the smallest possible margin in a 3- 2 marathon. The Blue Devils then shocked top-seed Oakland Catholic with a three-set sweep.

Schilling's squad saved its best performance for the WPIAL title match against No. 3 seed Fox Chapel Area. The Blue Devils rallied from a 1-set deficit to defeat the Foxes, 3-1.

"One of our goals as a coaching staff is to make the girls into strong young women, and I feel confident in saying we've done that," Schilling said.

Mt. Lebanon began its PIAA journey with a 3-0 sweep of District 9 champion DuBois. But the journey ended a bit sooner than the Blue Devils had hoped, as they dropped a 3-0 decision to Hempfield, last year's PIAA runner-up.

"I feel pretty good about how the girls played on Saturday," Schilling said. …

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