Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

West Allegheny a Wpial Title Contender

Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

West Allegheny a Wpial Title Contender

Article excerpt

West Allegheny girls volleyball coach Brian Begor believes the adage that "the best team doesn't always win."

A good example is last year's WPIAL Class AA bracket.

"I thought hands down that we had the best team in Class AA," Begor said. "We just didn't play well enough in the semifinals to beat Indiana. [The 3-2 loss] was very disappointing, but the girls didn't quit. They wanted a chance to play in the state tournament."

West Allegheny rebounded from its disappointing semifinal loss with a 3-0 sweep of Hopewell in the consolation for third place. That earned the Indians a berth in the PIAA Class AA tournament. Begor's squad made the most of it by advancing to the championship match before losing to four-time champion Merion Mercy.

"The state tournament proved that we had the best team in Class AA [in the WPIAL]," Begor said. "We faced an all-star team in the championship match. I don't know if any team in Class AAA would have beaten Merion Mercy."

Begor is hoping the same will be true in this year's WPIAL tournament. West Allegheny has earned a return trip to the WPIAL playoffs by retaining its Section 3-AA title. The Indians entered the week No. 3 in the WPIAL Class AA rankings, but will likely move up a spot after No. 2 Indiana lost to Greensburg Salem.

"Hopewell clearly is the best team in Class AA," said Begor, referring to the No. 1 team in the rankings. "When you look at the personnel and results this season, it's clear to see that Hopewell is the team to beat."

Begor found that out earlier this season when Hopewell defeated West Allegheny in the title match of the Butler tournament.

"If we played 10 matches against them, Hopewell would probably win seven or eight," he admitted. "But we don't have to beat them that many times. We only have to beat them once."

West Allegheny concluded its section schedule with an undefeated record. The Indians topped South Fayette, 3-1, Tuesday to finish with a 10-0 mark in Section 3-AA.

"We are in the strongest section in the WPIAL, possibly the state," Begor said. "Montour, South Fayette and Central Valley were all ranked at one point during the season, along with us. That's four quality teams, but only three [playoff] berths. …

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