Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Playing with the 'Big Kids' after a Rough Season, West Allegheny Adapts to AAA

Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Playing with the 'Big Kids' after a Rough Season, West Allegheny Adapts to AAA

Article excerpt

The West Allegheny High School girls volleyball team moved up to Class AAA for the 2012 season -- it couldn't have come at a worse time.

West Allegheny bowed out of Class AA with an impressive performance in the 2011 PIAA championships. The Indians came within one victory of claiming a state title.

Five starters from that team graduated, however, leaving coach Brian Begor with a huge rebuilding job for the 2012 season.

"Three of those starters were recognized on the [Pennsylvania Volleyball Coaches Association] all-state team," Begor said. "Losing them, along with the other seniors, left us with five inexperienced kids trying to get their feet wet. The move up to Class AAA didn't make it any easier."

Despite the graduation attrition and move up in classification, Begor's squad turned in a 6-6 record in Section 5 to place fourth out of seven teams.

"We actually finished .500 in the section," Begor said. "That was a good finish for that group."

Begor had a handful of seniors on last year's squad, but only two played a significant role.

"Going into the season, I kind of felt like we had the third best team in the section, but may be strong enough to finish second," Begor said. "I knew Bethel Park had the most talented team. I just didn't know how well we would do against Mt. Lebanon."

And that's just the way it's worked out. West Allegheny has a 5- 4 section record. The Indians have lost twice each to Bethel Park (9- 0) and Mt. Lebanon (8-2).

"We had our chances against Mt. Lebanon," Begor said. "The first time we met, we took them to five games. We lost the deciding game, 18-16."

West Allegheny is actually tied for third place with Baldwin (5- 4), but the Indians have already defeated the Highlanders twice.

"We are through the toughest part of our schedule. Our three remaining section matches are against the bottom three teams in the standings," said Begor, referring to Montour, Moon, and Chartiers Valley. …

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