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2020-2021 News

Senior Player Profile: Paige Morningstar

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For the last decade, there has a been a Morningstar on the court for the North Allegheny girls’ volleyball and basketball teams. It’s no coincidence that both programs have seen great success and won numerous championships during that span. For Meg, Piper and Paige Morningstar, the burning desire to the be the best is established among themselves.

“Whenever (my sisters) came back home for the holidays, we played basketball in the driveway just like we did so long ago,” said Paige Morningstar. “Yeah, the competition is still there.

“Even last night, Meg and I were having an argument about who was the better defender in basketball. Its always a competition in the house no matter what we’re doing. It’s really formed us all into great people and great characters.”

Sisters Piper (left) and Meg Morningstar (right) during a match vs. Bethel Park in 2014.

With iron sharpening iron, the lessons learned in those backyard battles has created a family legacy. Oldest sister, Meg, played collegiate volleyball at the University of Notre Dame, was the USA Today’s Gatorade Pennsylvania Player of the Year in 2014 and the MVP of the 2015 Roundball Classic, among other accolades. Middle sister, Piper, is currently a junior basketball player at Washington & Jefferson College and helped W&J reach the Presidents’ Athletic Conference championship game last season. She also led North Allegheny to back-to-back WPIAL titles (2017 and 2018) and a PIAA runner-up in 2017.

“They both set the bar extremely high. Every year I would look at what they did and try to beat what they did. That’s really what motivated me. Them accomplishing so much has really pushed me to be my best.”

Perhaps the most battle-tested and arguably the most-decorated of this triumvirate is youngest sister, Paige. The “baby star” has shone brightly during her tenure at North Allegheny, especially in volleyball. During her four years on the team, the NA volleyballers racked up an astonishing 88-1 record and captured four straight state championships.

“Its honestly a dream come true…It’s been a great experience. I love those girls, all of them, every year. It was a great group and a great team.”

Paige Morningstar serves during the 2020 PIAA championship.

As her career evolved at North Allegheny, Paige Morningstar was one of two all-state setters on a Tigers team that utilized a 6-2 alignment during her sophomore and junior seasons. As a senior this past fall, she was the primary setter in a 5-1 rotation. Thrust into a leadership position, Paige Morningstar put her stamp on the NA volleyball program.

“The position alone makes you a leader. Off the court, especially, I got everyone in the right mindset to let them know what we needed to do to win.”

Paige Morningstar not only quarterbacked the NA attack but also displayed great resolve as the team’s setter. One of only three seniors on the team this past fall, the stoicism she displayed in close contests rubbed off on her younger teammates.

“My personality is more, cool, calm and collected, so bringing that to the court is really beneficial. When you’re in a tight match and big moments like that, my teammates looked to me and it calmed the team down.”

That fortitude proved pivotal in a five-set thriller against Landisville Hempfield in the 2020 PIAA semifinals. Paige Morningstar, and fellow senior Paige Miller, helped the Tigers outlast the Black Knights in the fifth set, 15-9, to advance to the PIAA championship. In the state title tilt, North Allegheny capped a perfect 18-0 season with a 3-0 sweep of Unionville.

In basketball, Paige Morningstar brings that same calm and poise to the hardwood. In overtime of the 2020 WPIAL championship game against Bethel Park, she delivered the game-clinching free-throw with 5.9 seconds remaining to preserve a 54-50 victory.

“I remember making that free-throw. That feeling is the best. Knowing you’re about to win a huge game, that feeling will never go away and it’s incredible.”

Paige Morningstar looks to pass during the 2020 WPIAL championship game.

While she considers it her second sport, basketball holds a special place for Paige Morningstar, especially since her father, Darren, starred at the University of Pittsburgh and played in the NBA.

“(Basketball) is very special to me. For my sisters and my Dad, it’s a big thing in my family. It’s super fun and I love being on the court with my teammates and wearing that NA jersey.”

Providing a long and athletic inside presence, Paige Morningstar was second on the team in scoring with 9.7 points per game and added 5.7 rebounds per contest last season and helped the team to a 24-3 record. With NA slated to play Nazareth in the PIAA quarterfinals, the Tigers bid for a state title was preempted by COVID-19.

“We were so confident in the team. That day when all the news came out, we were just crushed…Knowing that we weren’t able to play our next game, it was devastating.”

Last season’s stunning conclusion has left the NA basketball team with a sense of even greater purpose for the 2020-21 season.

“This year, we want nothing more than to do what we couldn’t do last year and finish what we started.”

With a trophy case full of medals and awards, Paige Morningstar has been named all-state three times in volleyball and was recently named the 2020 Post-Gazette Girls Volleyball Player of the Year. She was selected as the 2020 Female Athlete of the Year by Trib HSSN for her performance in volleyball and basketball.

Paige Morningstar vs. Manheim Township in the 2020 PIAA 1st Round.

Paige Morningstar has been a part of four PIAA and three WPIAL volleyball championships, as well as two WPIAL basketball titles and one WPIAL runner-up. After already winning one state crown on the volleyball court this past fall, she would love nothing more than to close out her senior season with two more gold medals in basketball.

“To finish the (year) with two more championships would be incredible. Especially, to get a state basketball title that I’ve never had, that would make a great finish. I would love it.”

After her graduation from North Allegheny, Paige Morningstar will continue her volleyball career at the University of Louisville where she plans to major in Business.

Paige Morningstar Tabbed Post-Gazette’s Girls Volleyball Player of the Year

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North Allegheny senior setter Paige Morningstar has been named the 2020 Pittsburgh Post-Gazette’s Girls Volleyball Player of the Year. The University of Louisville commit led North Allegheny to a perfect 18-0 season and a fourth straight PIAA championship.

Morningstar was selected to the all-state team by the Pennsylvania Volleyball Coaches Association earlier in the week. She was also tabbed All-WPIAL and first-team all-section by the Big 56 Conference.

Senior Paige Miller and sophomore Mia Tuman were also named 2020 WPIAL All-Stars by the Post-Gazette in Class 4A.

For more on Morningstar’s Girls Volleyball Player of the Year Award and Ken Wunderley’s article in the PG, click here.

Three Tigers Earn All-State Status From PVCA

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After winning a fourth straight PIAA championship in November, three members of the North Allegheny girls’ volleyball team have been named to the Class 4A All-State Team by the Pennsylvania Volleyball Coaches Association.

Senior setter Paige Morningstar, senior outside hitter Paige Miller and sophomore outside hitter Mia Tuman have all been selected to the all-state team by the PVCA. For Morningstar and Miller, it’s the third time they’ve earned all-state accolades. Tuman is a first-time all-state honoree.  All three players were named All-WPIAL and first-team all-section by the Big 56 Conference.

The triumvirate of Morningstar, Miller and Tuman played a prominent role in North Allegheny’s perfect 18-0 season in 2020, including a WPIAL and PIAA championship. Morningstar and Miller helped North Allegheny amass a staggering record of 88-1 during the last four seasons with three WPIAL titles and four PIAA crowns.

For the entire list of Class 4A PVCA All-Stars, click here.

Seven Tigers Tabbed Big 56 All-Section, Heidi Miller Coach of the Year

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The Big 56 Conference announced its all-section teams on Friday afternoon and seven Tigers earned all-section accolades, including three first-team members. Additionally, North Allegheny head coach Heidi Miller was recognized as the Section 1-AAAA Coach of the Year.

Senior setter Paige Morningstar, senior hitter Paige Miller and sophomore hitter Mia Tuman were all named first-team All-Section 1 honorees by the Big 56 Conference. All three were recently named first-team All-WPIAL as well.

Earning second-team laurels were sophomore libero Caroline Curran, senior hitter Madison Beer and junior hitter Jadyn Perkins. Curran and Perkins were both selected as second-team All-WPIAL members just two weeks ago.

Junior hitter Rachel Burton was an all-section honorable mention selection by the Big 56.

All seven players made significant contributions toward North Allegheny’s perfect 18-0 season and fourth straight PIAA championship.

Paige Morningstar Inks Letter With University of Louisville

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It was National Signing Day on Wednesday and North Allegheny senior setter Paige Morningstar signed her letter of intent to play college volleyball at the University of Louisville.

Earlier in the week, Morningstar earned first-team All-WPIAL honors for a third consecutive season. She was named first-team all-state by the Pennsylvania Volleyball Coaches Association the past two seasons and is well on her way toward a third.

During her four-year tenure on the team, the Tigers have amassed a staggering record of 85-1 and counting. Morningstar has played a vital role in three WPIAL championships and three PIAA crowns. The Tigers are vying for a fourth consecutive state title this season.

A talented multi-sport athlete, Morningstar was a starting forward on the 2020 WPIAL Class 6A champion North Allegheny girls’ basketball team. In the title game against Bethel Park, Morningstar delivered the game-clinching free throw with 5.9 seconds remaining in overtime to secure a 54-50 victory.

An athletic inside presence, Morningstar was second on the team in scoring and rebounding with 9.3 points and 5.7 boards per game. For her athleticism in both sports, Morningstar was tabbed as the Trib HSSN’s Girls Athlete of the Year last season.

Morningstar will major in Business at the University of Louisville. She is pictured above with her parents Darren and Kim Morningstar.

Five Tigers Named All-WPIAL, Three Nab First-Team Honors

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Five members of the North Allegheny girls’ volleyball team were named WPIAL All-Stars on Tuesday. Earning first-team All-WPIAL laurels were senior setter Paige Morningstar, senior outside hitter Paige Miller and sophomore outside hitter Mia Tuman. It’s the third straight season Morningstar has received first-team All-WPIAL recognition. Miller is making her fourth appearance on the All-WPIAL list, earning second-team laurels in 2019, first-team honors in 2018 and third-team recognition in 2017.

Second-team All-WPIAL honorees included junior middle hitter Jadyn Perkins and sophomore defensive specialist Caroline Curran. For a look at the entire 2020 All-WPIAL list, click here.

Fresh off a WPIAL title win, the North Allegheny girls’ volleyball team will begin its quest for a fourth straight state championship on Saturday in the PIAA quarterfinals against McDowell. The contest will be broadcast live via the internet on the North Allegheny Sports Network.

NA Receives Top Seed, First Round Bye In WPIAL Playoffs

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The WPIAL released its volleyball playoff pairings on Monday afternoon and the North Allegheny Tigers received the No. 1 seed in Class 4A. The three-time reigning state champions are undefeated on the season at 12-0 and will have a first-round bye. The Tigers will host the winner of the Seneca Valley/Latrobe match up in the quarterfinal round on Saturday at noon. The North Allegheny Sports Network will have live coverage of Saturday’s matchup.

For a complete look at the Class 4A bracket, click here.

NA Tabbed No. 1 in AVCA/USA Today Preseason Regional Rankings

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The American Volleyball Coaches Association/USA Today 2020 preseason regional rankings were released on Friday and the North Allegheny girls’ volleyball team is ranked No. 1 in Region 2. Region 2 consists of schools from schools in Pennsylvania, Maryland, Washington D.C., New Jersey, Virginia and Delaware. To see the entire AVCA poll, click here.