2018-2019 Game Summaries
The PIAA Class AAAA girls’ volleyball championship was a rematch of the title tilt from last season. The result of the 2018 title matchup was identical to a year ago as the reigning state champion North Allegheny Tigers swept Bishop Shanahan again, 3-0. The Tigers rolled the District 1 champions for their fifth PIAA crown by set scores of 25-15, 25-23 and 25-20.
The tone was set early on as North Allegheny stormed out of the gates for a 10-2 lead in the opening set. With a balanced attack, the Tigers shredded the Eagles with six different players tallying kills. Following a strong performance in the PIAA semifinals against Garnet Valley, junior Hannah Phillips had another solid night and posted three kills in the first set to help NA to a 25-15 win.
In a battle of unbeaten teams, Bishop Shanahan finally settled into the match in the second set and held an 18-16 lead late. The Eagles, who won the District 1 title for the fourth straight season, were powered by Yale recruit Cara Schultz, Sacred Heart commit Michaela Devlin and senior Julie Salvadore. All three players tallied four kills in the set. North Allegheny rallied on the strength of senior Anna Sprys, who posted three kills and two blocks to propel the Tigers to a 25-23 victory. Sprys finished with a team-high 10 kills on the night.
In the third set, Bishop Shanahan led 12-11 before North Allegheny took command by scoring six of the next seven points for a 17-13 advantage. The Tigers maintained the lead the rest of the way en route to a 25-20 triumph. Sophomore setter and Louisville recruit Paige Morningstar facilitated the Tigers balanced attack and contributed to a terrific defensive effort with 10 digs. For her play, Morningstar was selected as the Wright Automotive Player of the Game by the North Allegheny Sports Network.
Along with Morningstar the Tigers defense played a key role in the victory. Senior libero Allena Carmody led with 15 digs, followed by Paige and Abby Miller with 13 and 12 digs, respectively. Facing the powerful swings and serves from the Bishop Shanahan hitters, the NA defensive specialists withstood the barrage and grounded the Eagles.
North Allegheny concludes the 2018 season with a perfect 23-0 record and will carry a winning streak of 47 in a row into next season. Bishop Shanahan finishes as the state runner-up for the second year in a row and caps the year with a 22-1 mark. Congratulations to head coach Heidi Miller, her coaching staff and the entire Lady Tiger team for another memorable season.
Girls Volleyball Summary vs. Bishop Shanahan, 11-17-18
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The North Allegheny girls’ volleyball team punched its ticket to the PIAA championship game for the second year in a row with a 3-1 victory over the Garnet Valley Jaguars at Big Spring High School in Newville, PA. The contest was a rematch of a five-set thriller in the state semifinals from a year ago, in which the Tigers rallied from a 2-0 deficit for a 3-2 victory. On Tuesday night, the reigning PIAA champions needed only four sets in the rematch to extend their winning streak to 46 in a row.
Set one was similar to the exciting contest from a season ago as North Allegheny edged Garnet Valley, 25-23. Sophomore Paige Miller led the charge in the first set with five kills, on her way to a team-high 14 kills. Paige Miller added 17 digs and two aces on the night.
It appeared North Allegheny would claim a victory in set two as well. Trailing 17-15, the Tigers rattled off seven straight points to garner a 22-17 advantage. Senior Allena Carmody notched a pair of aces during the 7-0 spurt. However, Garnet Valley scored eight of the final nine points to claim a 25-23 win and even the match score at 1-1. Jaguars junior Sam Mann tallied five kills and a block in the second set for the District 1 runners-up.
While the first two sets where nip-and-tuck, the third set decisively belonged to North Allegheny. The Tigers rolled to a 25-12 win, spearheaded by senior Anna Sprys, who posted five kills and two blocks. On the evening, Sprys totaled 12 kills, seven blocks and two aces.
The fourth set returned to the seesaw nature of the first two sets. With the score tied 21-21, North Allegheny prevailed with a 4-0 run, including a pair of kills by Sprys, for a 25-21 triumph and a 3-1 match victory.
Facing a defensive-minded team in Garnet Valley, led by libero and Rowan University commit, Julia Bowes, it was North Allegheny’s defensive stars who shined the brightest. NA senior and Robert Morris University commit, Allena Carmody, covered every floorboard of the Big Spring High School gymnasium and tallied a team-best 19 digs. For her efforts, Carmody was named the Wright Automotive Player of the Game.
Sophomore Paige Morningstar posted 10 digs. Junior Madison Curran notched six kills, while junior Abby Miller contributed nine digs and three blocks.
With the win, North Allegheny improves to 22-0 on the season and will take on Bishop Shanahan, also 22-0, in the PIAA championship game at 6 p.m. on Saturday at Cumberland Valley High School. The title tilt will be broadcast live via the internet on the North Allegheny Sports Network. Garnet Valley ends its season with a 21-4 record.
Girls Volleyball Summary vs. Garnet Valley, 11-13-18
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By Jonathan Spina
In a battle between a pair if with 20-0 teams, North Allegheny dropped the first set but then stormed back to come out on top with a 3-1 (23-25, 25-15, 25-19, 25-14) win over State College. North Allegheny’s win streak is now at 45 games with the victory. The Tigers advance to the state semifinals on Tuesday.
The first set was a very rare occurrence for the Lady Tigers. State College played near flawless volleyball with great serving and very good defense at the net. NA had a 17-16 lead late but State College was able to grind out a 25-23 win in the first set. Paige Miller had five kills in the set, while Anna Sprys had four. This was only the third set North Allegheny had dropped all season.
The second set was back to business as usual for the Lady Tigers. With NA up 11-10 in the set, the Tigers went on a 9-1 run to separate themselves to a 20-11 lead, ultimately winning the set, 25-15. The Lady Tigers put a lot of pressure on State College in this set which led to a lot of unforced errors.
Set number three was another tight one going back and forth. With the score 24-19, Madison Curran came up with a huge block at the net to give North Allegheny the 2-1 set lead. Curran was dominant the whole set at the net along with Paige Morningstar.
The final set was all NA jumping all over State College starting the set with a 14-2 lead. The Lady Tigers were able to coast the rest of the way and with the score 24-14 State College put a kill attempt into the net and North Allegheny was heading to the state semifinals for the second year in a row.
Sprys was the Wright Automotive Player of the game with 13 kills to go along with two aces. Paige Miller had 11 kills. Morningstar had six kills and Avery Tuman added five kills. The Lady Tigers also got great backline play from Malia Duffy and Kristen Chomos who made countless digs to keep plays alive for the Lady Tigers.
State College finishes their season with an impressive 20-1 record. North Allegheny improves to 21-0 and will advance to the PIAA Semifinals to face Garnet Valley on Tuesday at a site and time to be determined. The contest is a rematch of last year’s state semifinal and will be broadcast live by the North Allegheny Sports Network.
Girls Volleyball Summary vs. State College, 11-10-18
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The North Allegheny girls’ volleyball team dispatched the McDowell Trojans on Tuesday night in the opening round of the PIAA Class AAAA tournament. The Tigers rolled the District 10 champions by set scores of 25-9, 25-12 and 25-17.
The last time North Allegheny and McDowell faced each other was in the PIAA first round in 2012. The Tigers won that contest by a 3-1 decision and Tuesday night’s meeting between the two schools had similar results.
A mirror image of the first set in the WPIAL championship game against Baldwin, North Allegheny breezed in set one with a 25-9 win over McDowell. Sophomore Paige Miller asserted her dominance in the early going with five kills, on her way to a 13-kill performance. For her efforts, Paige Miller was named the Wright Automotive Player of the Game.
Along with Paige Miller, junior Madison Curran added two kills in the first set. Sophomore Paige Morningstar and junior Abby Miller posted a pair of aces. Senior Allena Carmody was also prominent with her serves and defensive play.
North Allegheny controlled the action in set two with a 25-12 victory. Senior Anna Sprys posted four kills in the set and Curran added three more.
The Tigers closed out the sweep with a 25-17 triumph in set three. Most of the roster saw time on the floor in the final set, including freshman Rachel Burton who tallied the final point of the night with a kill.
North Allegheny improves to 20-0 on the season and extends its winning streak to 44 in a row. The Lady Tigers will face off against the State College Little Lions on Saturday in the PIAA quarterfinals. State College is the champion from District 6 and also boasts a 20-0 overall record. The match will be broadcast live via the internet on the North Allegheny Sports Network.
Girls Volleyball Summary vs. McDowell, 11-6-18
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by Jonathan Spina
The 2018 Class AAAA WPIAL championship pitted two teams that were meeting for the third time in five years in the title tilt. Baldwin had topped North Allegheny in the first two meeting in 2014 and 2015, but on this night, it was North Allegheny who came out triumphant winning 3-0 (25-9, 25-15, 26-24). This was North Allegheny’s sixth WPIAL championship all-time and its second in as many years.
The first set was completely dominated by the Lady Tigers. They jumped out to a 20-4 lead and didn’t look back winning the set 25-9. Anna Sprys completely dominated the first set getting six kills. The second set was all about North Allegheny’s domination serving and Baldwin’s unforced errors as the Lady Tigers once again cruised to a 25-15 set win.
The third set though was anything but easy for the Lady Tigers. The two teams went point for point to begin the set, starting out the third set tied 8-8. It looked like North Allegheny was going to pull away once again when they had a 16-10 lead, but Baldwin was able to fight all the way back and tie up the set 20-20. Baldwin then reached set point when they held a 24-22 lead but the Lady Tigers were able to rattle off four straights points to take the set 26-24 and win their second straight WPIAL championship. Sprys was very involved in the third set as she had five kills. Paige Miller added four kills in the set.
Sprys finished with 13 kills, six blocks and two aces. For her efforts, Sprys was named the Wright Automotive Player of the Game. The North Allegheny Sports Network’s Randy Gore spoke with Sprys following the title win. (Video below).
Paige Miller added six kills and two aces. Paige Morningstar was all over the stat sheet with six kills, two blocks, two digs and two aces. Avery Tuman and Madison Curran each had four kills.
The Tigers dominated serving and the net play as NA had 10 aces as a team, three of them coming from Allena Carmody. They also had 15 blocks, six coming from Sprys and four from Curran.
The Lady Tigers improve to 19-0 on the season and advance their winning streak to 43 matches in a row. They will be back in action on Tuesday when they take on either the District 8 or District 10 champion in the first round of the state playoffs at a site and time to be determined. That game will be broadcast here on the North Allegheny Sports Network.
Girls Volleyball Summary vs. Baldwin, 11-3-18
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