2020-2021 Game Summaries
History was made on Saturday night at Cumberland Valley High School as the North Allegheny girls’ volleyball team won its fourth straight PIAA Class 4A championship with a 3-0 sweep of Unionville. The Tigers became just the third team in PIAA history to win four or more consecutive state crowns. Norwin had won eight consecutive Class 3A titles from 1976-1983 and Marion Mercy won four straight Class 2A crowns from 2007-2010.
A newcomer to the state’s biggest stage, Unionville was making its first appearance in the PIAA championship game. Boasting a 14-0 record, including a District 1 title win against Bishop Shanahan, Unionville was no match for a veteran North Allegheny squad, who rolled to an opening set win, 25-14. Sophomore Mia Tuman and senior Paige Miller, a Mercyhurst commit, powered the Tigers with five and four kills, respectively.
The Tigers jumped out to a 5-0 lead in the second set but Unionville answered with five straight points. Inspired by senior Sophie Brenner, the program’s all-time leader in kills and a Loyola (MD) commit, Unionville kept things competitive in set two and trailed 24-22 late. However, a kill by Miller propelled NA to a 25-22 victory.
Brenner helped spark Unionville to a 9-6 lead in set three before a 7-1 run by North Allegheny reaffirmed the Tigers control of the contest. Senior Paige Morningstar, a Louisville commit, and Tuman tallied five kills each in the set to lift NA to a 25-20 win and a sweep. In a great all-around night, Tuman posted a team-high 15 kills, seven digs and two aces, on her way to Wright Automotive Player of the Game honors.
Morningstar facilitated NA’s dynamic offense with a team-best 30 assists. Miller posted 12 kills and junior Rachel Burton added five more. Junior Jadyn Perkins clogged the net with two blocks and sophomore libero Caroline Curran paced the defense with 16 digs. Miller and sophomore Rachel Pilotta collected nine digs apiece.
With the win, North Allegheny concludes the year with an 18-0 record and has won 88 of its last 89 matches dating back to 2017. Congratulations to head coach Heidi Miller, the coaching staff and the entire North Allegheny girls’ volleyball team for another terrific season and a staggering run of victories and championships.
Girls Volleyball Summary vs. Unionville, 11-21-20
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North Allegheny’s quest for a fourth straight state championship continued on Tuesday night with a thrilling five set victory over Landisville Hempfield, 3-2, in the PIAA semifinals at Altoona High School. It was the second consecutive year that the Tigers and Black Knights sparred in the state semifinals at Altoona. NA won by set scores of 25-18, 19-25, 25-13, 24-26 and 15-9.
Identical to their playoff meeting in 2019, both teams entered the game with unblemished records. The WPIAL champion Tigers took advantage of some early jitters from the Black Knights and surged ahead for a 14-3 lead. NA flustered Hempfield with its serving and posted five aces in the early going. Seniors Paige Morningstar and Paige Miller fired up three and two aces, respectively, during the opening salvo. Sophomore Mia Tuman added five kills and North Allegheny claimed a 25-18 win in set one.
Winners of 13 District 3 titles, Hempfield got even with NA in the second set thanks to a 25-19 victory. Junior Camille De La Torre spearheaded the effort with four kills, on her way to a team-high 13 kills for the Black Knights. Junior middle hitter Joslene Morgan chipped in with three kills in the set and totaled 11 kills and a team-best four blocks for the evening.
Similar to set one, North Allegheny leaped to an 11-4 lead and controlled set three en route to a 25-13 win. Senior Madison Beer and sophomore Ella Deeter roadblocked Hempfield with a pair of combo blocks and added two kills each.
With its season on the line, Hempfield responded by outlasting NA for a 26-24 triumph win in set four. De La Torrre once again stepped up with four kills and senior Emily James chipped in with three kills, finishing with 12 on the night.
In the fifth and decisive set, North Allegheny led the entire way and gained control thanks to the big swings and savvy play of Tuman. A tip by Tuman gave NA a 14-9 lead and sophomore Caroline Curran’s ace sealed a 15-9 set win to secure a 3-2 match victory. A defensive spark throughout the contest, Curran posted a team-best 20 digs. Miller followed with 15 digs, while Tuman and sophomore Rachel Pilotta contributed 14 kills apiece.
A consistent source of offense and defense at the net was junior Jadyn Perkins. The talented middle hitter finished with 14 kills and a team-leading six blocks on her way to Wright Automotive Player of the Game honors.
The win improves North Allegheny’s record to 17-0 on the year, while Hempfield’s season comes to a close with a 17-1 mark. The Tigers will try to become just the third team in PIAA history to win four consecutive state titles when they face Unionville on Saturday at 6:00 p.m. at Cumberland Valley High School. The contest will be broadcast live via the internet on the North Allegheny Sports Network.
(Photo courtesy Chris Knight and LNP, Lancaster Online.)
Girls Volleyball Summary vs. Landisville Hempfield, 11-17-20
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Fresh off a WPIAL championship victory over Shaler last weekend, the North Allegheny girls’ volleyball team rolled to a 3-0 sweep over the McDowell Trojans on Saturday afternoon in the PIAA Class 4A quarterfinals. It was the third straight year that North Allegheny and McDowell met in the PIAA playoffs and the result was the same in all three matchups. The Tigers earned the sweep by set scores of 25-8, 25-8, and 25-12.
Playing for the first time in two weeks, the District 10 champions showed some rust, and in contrast, North Allegheny was sharp as the Tigers jumped out to an 8-0 lead. The big swings of senior Paige Miller, who finished with a team-high seven kills, helped NA capture the first set, 25-8.
In set two, McDowell grabbed a 6-3 lead thanks in part to a kill by Macy Testa and an ace from Jocelyn Teresi. However, North Allegheny rattled off 13 consecutive points to take control of the set and claim a 25-8 win. Senior setter Paige Morningstar provided three aces during the 13-0 run and finished with five aces on the afternoon. The Louisville commit added a team-best 25 assists on her way to Wright Automotive Player of the Game honors.
It was more of the same in the third set as the Tigers pounced on the Trojans for a 7-0 lead and cruised to a 25-12 victory and a 3-0 sweep. Mia Tuman tallied a kill and two aces for the final three points of the match. The sophomore finished with six kills, along with fellow sophomore Ella Deeter who also chipped in with six kills. Junior Jadyn Perkins totaled three blocks and clogged the middle with the help of junior Rachel Burton and senior Maddi Beer.
With the win, North Allegheny improves to 16-0 overall and advances to the PIAA semifinals. The match will be broadcast live via the internet on the North Allegheny Sports Network.
Girls Volleyball Summary vs. McDowell, 11-14-20
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The North Allegheny girls’ volleyball team won its third WPIAL title in four years, and seventh overall, with a 3-1 win over section rival Shaler in the WPIAL Class AAAA championship on Saturday at Chartiers Valley High School. The Tigers won by set scores of 25-22, 25-19, 23-25 and 25-17 and advance to the PIAA tournament next week.
Appearing in the title game for the seventh time in the last eight years, North Allegheny stormed out of the gates in the first set and jumped out to a 10-1 lead. Shaler, making its first championship game appearance, fought back and tied the game twice at 15-15 and 20-20. The Tigers finished the set by taking five of the final seven points and claimed a 25-22 win. Senior outside hitter Paige Miller was locked in early and delivered six kills in the opening set.
Continuing a trend that was maintained most of the night, North Allegheny led for the entire second set and earned a 25-19 victory. Miller posted seven kills and sophomore Mia Tuman belted out five kills in the set. Tuman totaled 18 kills and 18 digs in a strong all-around effort.
Shaler spent most of the contest chasing North Allegheny and didn’t take a lead until set three. An NA error gave the Titans a 14-13 lead. The teams traded punches for the remainder of the set and were tied, 22-22. Shaler scored three of the next four points, including a set-ending kill by senior Morgan Grawleski, to take a 25-23 win and force a fourth set. Junior outside hitter Mia Schubert was the go-to player for the Titans with seven kills in the set and finished with 16 on the night.
In the fourth set, Grawleski and Schubert did their best to power the Titans but were stymied by the NA defense. Sophomore Caroline Curran notched a game-high 27 digs to pace the defense. The two teams were deadlocked at 11-11 before NA rattled off eight of the next nine points for a 19-12 lead. From that point on, the Tigers were in control and fittingly won match point on a kill by Miller to close out the set, 25-17, and finish off a 3-1 win against the Titans. Finishing with 18 kills, 18 digs and five assists, Miller was named the Wright Automotive Player of the Game.
— NATigers (@NATigerAthletic) November 7, 2020
The mixture of Tuman power and Miller finesse was facilitated by senior setter Paige Morningstar, who finished with a team-high 42 assists. Morningstar, a Louisville commit, added to the offense with timely dumps and tips and totaled eight kills, to go along with 13 digs on defense. Miller and Curran tallied three aces each and junior Chelsea Boyer added an ace.
With the WPIAL championship win, North Allegheny improves to 15-0 overall and advances to the PIAA quarterfinals on Saturday, November 14. The Tigers will try to win their fourth straight state crown. Shaler’s season comes to an end with a 14-3 record with all three losses coming to North Allegheny.
Postgame interview with Wright Automotive Player of the Game Paige Miller! pic.twitter.com/O5ne23Cn6m
— NATigers (@NATigerAthletic) November 8, 2020
Girls Volleyball Summary vs. Shaler, 11-7-20
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by Jonathan Spina
For the fourth consecutive year, North Allegheny is headed to the WPIAL Championship with a 3-0 sweep of the Moon Tigers in the WPIAL Semifinals on Thursday Night in the NASH gymnasium. Set scores were 25-22, 25-23 and 25-15.
Set number one was extremely close as the teams were tied six times throughout the set including 22-22 deadlock. NA received a kill and an ace by Paige Miller to make it 24-22. Molly Tuman finished the set with a big kill and North Allegheny led 1-0. Jadyn Perkins had four kills in the set to pace NA.
The second set was equally as close. Down 18-16, North Allegheny got a big block from Perkins that swung the momentum. NA was able to rally and win the set 25-23. Tuman had five kills in the set.
The final set started shaky with Moon jumping out to a 9-4 lead. NA rallied to tie the set, 11-11, and then took full control of the set and match by scoring ten of the next eleven points for a 20-12 lead. NA finished off the match winning 25-15.
Perkins was the Wright Automotive Player of the Game with seven kills and three blocks. Tuman paced the Tigers with 13 kills and 16 digs, while Miller had nine kills and 13 digs. Rebecca Pilotta and Caroline Curran each had eight digs and Paige Morningstar facilitated with 31 assists.
North Allegheny improves to 14-0 while Moon’s season ends with a 12-3 record. Up next for North Allegheny is a match with section rival and second-seeded Shaler Titans at 5 p.m. Saturday, at Chartiers Valley High School in the WPIAL Championship. North Allegheny swept Shaler in the regular season winning 3-2 and 3-1.
Girls Volleyball Summary vs. Moon, 11-4-20
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