Wednesday, November 1, 2023 | 00:22 in the morning
A busy month of fall sports events after the county and state season begins on this first day of November with volleyball final four games and boys soccer consolation contests.
A year ago, Pine-Richland shocked the district girls volleyball world by defeating top-seeded and two-time defending champion North Allegheny in the WPIAL 4A finals, 3-2.
Now the two Section 1 rivals meet for the third time this season, with a spot in the 2023 title game 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 district championship was the Rams’ fourth and first since 2010.
The Tigers have won four of the last six WPIAL Class 4A girls volleyball crowns.
The game is at Fox Chapel at 7:30 p.m
In the other 4A Final Four game, No. 2 Seneca Valley will face the only non-Section 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 WPIAL Class 4A championships.
The Big Macs won in 2019 and the Raiders won their first 4A title in 2016.
This game is scheduled for Fox Chapel at 6:00 p.m
It doesn’t seem to matter what league they play in. North Catholic used to wear the gold in girls volleyball.
In 2022, North Catholic defeated South Fayette to win the Class 3A championship.
This after the Trojans won Class 2A hard court titles in 2018, 2020 and 2021.
No. 2 North Catholic is two wins away from a fourth straight WPIAL title, but must beat No. 3 Oakland Catholic on Wednesday at 6 p.m. at North Allegheny to reach the final.
The Eagles won the Section 2 title and eliminated Ringgold and Armstrong to reach the semifinals.
In the other 3A NA semifinal game, top-seeded Hampton takes on No. 4 Thomas Jefferson at 7:30 p.m.
The Talbots have yet to lose a game in beating Laurel Highlands and Montour so far in the postseason, while the Jaguars have also been dominant, sweeping Kiski Area and South Fayette in three games.
Survive and move on to countries
As the countdown to the 2023 WPIAL boys and girls soccer championships continues at Highmark Stadium in Station Square on Thursday, Friday and Saturday, six area boys soccer teams will battle to keep their seasons in the PIAA playoffs.
The top three teams in 3A, 2A and Class A advance to the state postseason, so the district will hold its three boys consolation games on Wednesday.
The winners join the two WPIAL finalists in the PIAA brackets, while the losers’ season has a rough finish.
Two of the 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 were unable to slow No. 8 South Fayette’s surprising playoff run and lost to the Lions in the semifinals, 2-1.
No. 11 Franklin Regional enjoyed a stunning performance. The Panthers stunned Mars and defending champion Moon before falling to Hampton in the semifinals, 2-0.
In the 2A consolation game, Avonworth (16-3-1) faces Shady Side Academy (14-5-1) at 8 p.m.
The Antelopes saw their 10-game winning streak end with their last four losses to South Park, while the Bulldogs had allowed just one goal in two playoff wins before giving up four to Quaker Valley in a one-goal loss.
The Class A consolation game pits Section 4 co-champion Seton LaSalle (15-3-1) against Section 3 co-champion Burrell (14-4) in Fox Chapel at 7:30 p.m.
Both the Rebels and Bucs lost semifinal heartbreakers in overtime, Seton LaSalle of Charleroi, 1-0, and Burrell of Bentworth, 2-1.