Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

District 3 Sweeps Piaa Title Games North Allegheny Fails to Defend Aaa; Ambridge Falls Short in Class AA Final

Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

District 3 Sweeps Piaa Title Games North Allegheny Fails to Defend Aaa; Ambridge Falls Short in Class AA Final

Article excerpt

It was a battle of WPIAL champs vs. District 3 champs in the PIAA boys volleyball title matches Saturday at Penn State University's Recreation Hall.

District 3's champs won both battles, with Central York and Northeastern claiming titles. North Allegheny and Ambridge had to settle for second best.

North Allegheny was making its third appearance in the PIAA finals in four years, but fell short in its attempt to become the first team since 2003-04 to win back-to-back titles.

The Tigers faced Central York in a rematch of the 2011 Class AAA final and the Panthers swept this match, 3-0.

"It's very difficult to repeat," North Allegheny coach Dan Schall said. "We had only three guys on this team who touched the floor in last year's title match. In high school sports, every year is a new creation, a new entity. We were not playing with the same guys as last year. A year makes a difference in high school sports."

North Allegheny's 2013 state championship team was a very experienced group that was a strong favorite to win the state title. Heavy graduation losses left the Tigers as a long shot to make a return trip to the finals.

The opposite was true of Central York. The Panthers had a veteran squad, which included two players voted to last year's Pennsylvania Volleyball Coaches Association all-state team.

"One of the things that made Central York so good is that every one of their guys is an offensive threat," Schall said. "They can beat you from anywhere along the net. They also served incredibly well, which magnified how good their block was. In most situations, we had only one or two options offensively and their block was tremendous. Every phase of the game they did incredibly well. …

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