Ambridge earned its third trip to the PIAA Class AA boys volleyball title match, and first since 2009, with a 3-0 sweep of Derry in a semifinal match Tuesday at North Allegheny High School.
"Words can't describe this feeling," said Ambridge outside hitter Lee Smith, who led the Bridgers with 16 kills. "It's unbelievable to know that we will be playing in the state title match."
Ambridge, the WPIAL champion five of the past six years, will face District 3 champion Northeastern, which cruised to a victory against Holy Redeemer, in the title match at 1 p.m. Saturday at Penn State University's Multi-Sport Facility.
"Winning a PIAA title is one of our goals," Ambridge coach Glenn Freed said. "And now we're one win away from reaching that goal. The kids are so excited to be playing in the state title match."
Derry, the WPIAL runner-up the past two seasons, gave Ambridge all it could handle in the first set, but the Bridgers rallied from a 24-22 deficit to pull out a 28-26 victory.
"Winning the first set was so important," Freed said. "The momentum from that win carried over to the second set."
Ambridge jumped out to a 10-4 lead in the second set, but Derry rallied to tie the match at 15-15. Ambridge took charge from that point, scoring 10 of the last 14 points. The Bridgers closed out the match with a 25-23 victory.
Derry's Matt Vasinko led all hitters with 18 kills, while teammate Josh Wannamaker contributed 10. Brandon Buck added nine kills for Ambridge.
• Radnor 19, Peters Township 9: Reilly Masterson scored seven goals to lead the Red Raiders to a PIAA semifinal victory against Peters Township at Cumberland Valley. The Indians' Allison Hurley scored four goals, and Sarah Bootman and Gina Vilsack added two goals each. Bootman also chipped in with two assists.