North Allegheny did not win a WPIAL girls volleyball title, but the Tigers are closing in on an even bigger prize.
They are the only WPIAL team remaining in the PIAA Class AAA bracket after Saturday's 25-17, 25-22, 25-15 sweep of District 6 champion State College. Ava Mosbacher led the Tigers with 13 kills, while Maura Nolan contributed 20 assists and three serving aces.
"When we lost in the WPIAL semifinals [to Fox Chapel], I reminded the girls that you don't have to be a WPIAL champion to win a PIAA title," coach Heidi Miller said. "If you look back at North Allegheny's history, you will find teams that did well in the state tournament that didn't win a WPIAL title."
A good example of this is the 2007 season. North Allegheny placed third in the WPIAL that year, but was the only WPIAL team to advance to the PIAA semifinals. The Tigers dropped a heartbreaking 3-2 decision to Garden Spot in that match.
In '08, North Allegheny won a WPIAL title, then placed second in the PIAA. That marked the fifth time in school history the Tigers played in a state title match.
Miller's squad can earn a sixth title berth with a semifinal win Tuesday against Landisville Hempfield, the third-place finisher from District 3, at a site to be determined.
• In Class AA, WPIAL champion Mars earned its first PIAA semifinal berth with a 3-2 victory against District 10 champion Meadville. Mars will face District 10 champion Fort LeBoeuf in the semifinals Tuesday at a site to be determined.
• In Class A, WPIAL champion Greensburg Central Catholic claimed its first PIAA semifinal berth with a 3-1 win against Our Lady of the Sacred Heart. "It was a total team effort," Greensburg Central coach Heather Meyer said. "The girls are looking forward to the rematch with [District 9 champion] Clarion in the semifinals."