Tigers Dispatch Raiders In WPIAL Quarterfinals, 3-1
For the third straight season, the North Allegheny boys’ volleyball team met up with section rival Seneca Valley in the WPIAL playoffs. After defeating the Raiders in the WPIAL championship the past two seasons, the Tigers earned another hard-fought postseason victory over Seneca Valley with a 3-1 triumph in the WPIAL Class 3A quarterfinals at UPMC Court on Thursday night.
The Tigers, ranked No. 2 in the state by the PVCA, pounced on the Raiders in the opening set and jumped out to an 8-1 lead with the help of four aces by sophomore Matthew LeMay. Seneca Valley chipped away and trimmed the deficit to 20-16 on the strength of five kills by senior Grant Hoover. Despite the Raiders comeback bid, the Tigers put game one away with some timely kills by senior Jax Wilhite down the stretch for a 25-22 victory.
North Allegheny trailed 11-10 in set two before a 5-0 run gave the Tigers control. Wilhite continued to punish the Raiders with five more kills on his way to a 17-kill performance as NA pulled out a 25-20 victory in the second game.
In set three, Seneca Valley grabbed a 7-2 advantage in the early going before North Allegheny put together a rally. In a nip-and-tuck battle that featured 15 ties, the Tigers’ only lead in the set was 25-24 with a chance to sweep the Raiders. To their credit, the Raiders staved off defeat thanks to seven kills by Hoover and SV earned a 30-28 win.
While North Allegheny took an early 8-4 lead in set four, the game played out in similar fashion to set three with the contest tied 19-19. Junior Stone Gaertner decked the Raiders with eight kills in the final set to propel the Tigers to a 25-21 victory and a 3-1 triumph. Gaertner totaled a team-high 18 kills and added four blocks, earning Wright Automotive Player of the Match honors.
In one of NA’s best overall performances of the season, senior Varun Kaveti tallied nine kills and a team-best five blocks. Junior middle blocker Jeremiah Satcho provided a spark in sets three and four with two kills and two blocks. Junior libero Will Hahn posted a team-best 34 digs and junior setter Nicolas Carioto dished out a team-high 55 assists.
With the win, North Allegheny improves to 10-3 on the season and will take on Penn-Trafford in the WPIAL Class 3A semifinals next week. The match will be broadcast live by the North Allegheny Sports Network.
Boys Volleyball Summary vs. Seneca Valley, 5-18-23
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