NA Wins 3rd WPIAL Crown In 4 years With 3-1 Triumph Over Shaler

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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.

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.

Girls Volleyball Summary vs. Shaler, 11-7-20

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