Girls Volleyball Class 4A First Round Preview
The WPIAL release the girls volleyball brackets on Monday afternoon. The 12-team field in Class 4A will begin tonight with seeds 5 through 12 facing off against each other. The top four seeds are North Allegheny, Baldwin, Pine-Richland, and Oakland Catholic. All four teams received a bye into the quarterfinals where they will host their game on Monday.
All higher seed teams will be hosting in the first round unless otherwise noted.
No. 5 Bethel Park Black Hawks (13-5) vs. No. 12 Connellsville Falcons (11-6), 7:30 p.m.
Bethel Park was one of three teams in Section 2 that finished section play with double-digit wins this season. The Black Hawks finished third in the section and have won five out of six matches entering the playoffs. The Black Hawks opened up the season with a first place finish in the Mt. Lebanon tournament. Bethel Park was swept by Seneca Valley in last year’s WPIAL first round at North Allegheny…Connellsville finished in fourth place in Section 3, but was only a game behind the three teams in front of them for the section title. The Falcons last five wins they recorded in the regular season were sweeps. Like Bethel Park, Connellsville opened up the season with a first-place showing in a tournament. Also like the Black Hawks, the Falcons lost in the first round at North Allegheny, 3-0. They did win a WPIAL preliminary round game against Kiski Area, 3-0. This is the first match of the season between these two teams.
No. 6 Norwin Knights (11-4) vs. No. 11 Peters Township Indians (8-8), 7:30 p.m.
Norwin was one of three teams that finished with the same record at the top of the Section 3 standings. They won its final five matches, including four section matches, to get to this point. This is a rematch of last year’s first round that saw the Knights fall to the Indians, 3-1…Peters Township just made the postseason as the fourth place team in Section 2, beating out Canon-McMillan by one game. Although the Indians only have eight wins on the season, most of those came down the stretch. They have one their last four matches and six out of their last seven. Peters Township made it to the quarterfinals last year after beating Norwin in the first round. This is the first meeting of the season between these two teams.
No. 7 Hempfield Spartans (11-5) vs. No. 10 Shaler Titans (10-6), 7:30 p.m.
Hempfield is another team that tied for first place in Section 3. The Spartans did so by beating Latrobe in the final match of the regular season. They enter the WPIAL playoffs with a 2-match win streak. Hempfield won the Penn-Trafford tournament back on Sept. 22. Hempfield defeated Pine-Richland, 3-0, in last year’s first round on its way to a semifinal appearance…Shaler finished in third place in a grueling Section 1, and was one of three teams in the section with double-digit wins. The Titans may be one of the hottest teams entering the playoffs on a 7-match winning streak. Earlier in the season, Shaler defeated Hempfield, 3-1, at home. The Titans got swept by Armstrong in the first round of last year’s playoffs.
No. 8 Latrobe Wildcats (11-5) vs. No. 9 Butler Golden Tornado (9-6) At Norwin, 6 p.m.
Latrobe was the third of three teams in this playoffs that tied for the section title in Section 3. They were in the driver’s seat, but lost matches to both Norwin and Hempfield down the stretch to finish in a 3-way tie. The Wildcats have turned things around from a year ago when they only had five wins and missed the playoffs…Butler finished in fourth place in Section 1 and just missed out on getting double-digit wins in the regular season. The Golden Tornado season long winning streak was four matches towards the beginning of the season, including a 3-0 win against Latrobe in that stretch. The Titans were swept by Oakland Catholic in the first round of last year’s playoffs.
For a complete look at the Class 4A bracket, click here.