What to watch for WPIAL games on Nov. 1, 2023: Playoff game in girls volleyball


Wednesday, November 1, 2023 | 12:22 AM

A busy month of postseason fall regional and state games begins on the first day of November with the volleyball finals and boys soccer consolation tournament.

A year ago, Pine-Richland shocked the state girls volleyball world by defeating top-ranked and two-time defending champion North Allegheny in the WPIAL 4A finals, 3-2.

Now the two Division 1 champions will meet for the third time this season with the 2023 playoffs at stake.

NA won both games during the regular season, 3-1 at home in September and 3-0 at Pine-Richland in October.

Last year’s regional championship was the Rams’ fourth and first since 2010.

The Tigers have won four of their last six WPIAL Class 4A girls volleyball games.

The game is at Fox Chapel at 7:30 pm

In other 4A finals, No. 2 Seneca Valley will face the only non-Division 1 team left in the 4A field, No. 3 Canon-McMillan.

Seneca Valley and Canon-McMillan are the only two programs besides North Allegheny and Pine-Richland to win the WPIAL Class 4A championship.

The Big Macs won in 2019 and the Raiders captured their first 4A title in 2016.

The game is set for Fox Chapel at 6 p.m

3 A conflicts

It doesn’t seem to matter what league they play in. North Catholic is used to wearing gold in girls volleyball.

In 2022, North Catholic defeated South Fayette to win the Class 3A championship.

After that, the Trojans won back-to-back titles in Class 2A in 2018, 2020 and 2021.

No. 2 North Catholic is two wins away from a fourth straight WPIAL championship, but to reach the finals, it must knock off No. 3 Oakland Catholic Wednesday at 6 pm at North Allegheny.

The Eagles won the Division 2 title and eliminated Ringgold and Armstrong to reach the semifinals.

In other NA 3A semifinals, top-seeded Hampton takes on No. 4 Thomas Jefferson at 7:30 p.m.

The Talbots have not lost a game beating Laurel Highlands and Montour so far in the postseason, while the Jaguars have been dominant again, sweeping past Kiski Area and South Fayette in three games.

Survive and go to the countries

As the countdown is on for the 2023 WPIAL boys and girls soccer championships at Highmark Stadium in Station Square on Thursday, Friday and Saturday, six area soccer teams will be battling to keep their seasons in the PIAA tournament.

The top three teams in 3A, 2A and Class A have advanced to the postseason, so the district will have its three consolation football games on Wednesday.

The winners join the two WPIAL finalists in the PIAA brackets as the losers’ season has a tough ending.

Two consolation games will be played at North Allegheny.

In Class 3A, Montour (15-4) will face Franklin Regional (12-8) at 6 p.m.

After shutting out Gateway and edging Indiana, the Spartans couldn’t slow down the impressive run of No. 8 South Fayette and was defeated by the Lions in the semifinals, 2-1.

No. 11 Franklin Regional was enjoying an incredible run. The Panthers stunned Mars and defending champion Moon before falling to Hampton in the semis, 2-0.

In the 2A consolation game, Avonworth (16-3-1) will face Shady Side Academy (14-5-1) at 8 p.m.

The Antelopes went on a 10-game winning streak ending with their last loss at South Park while the Bulldogs scored just one goal in two straight games before giving up four to Quaker Valley in a one-goal loss.

The Class A consolation match pits another Section 4 champion Seton LaSalle (15-3-1) against Champion 3 Burrell (14-4) in Fox Chapel at 7:30 pm.

Both the Rebels and Bucs lost heartbreakers in the semifinals in overtime, Seton LaSalle at Charleroi, 1-0, and Burrell at Bentworth, 2-1.

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