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Girls Volleyball: 2013 North Preview

Written by Ken Wunderley on .

 

The North Allegheny girls volleyball team has advanced to the WPIAL Class AAA semifinals the past six years. Unfortunately, the Tigers were beaten in five of those appearances. The Tigers did win in 2008 en route to the WPIAL title.

The 2013 North Allegheny squad enters the season with hopes of keeping the streak alive and adding another WPIAL title. Reaching those goals is clearly possible, as the Tigers have six starters returning from last year's squad, which placed third in the WPIAL.

North Allegheny is led by four WPIAL All-Stars. Outside hitter Ashley Leto was recognized on the first team, middle hitter Meg Morningstar was voted to the second team, and right-side hitter Danielle Wall was a third-team selection. Middle hitter Erin Schwartz was voted to the third team in 2011, but missed parts of last season with an injury.

Fox Chapel defeated North Allegheny in last years's semifinals and the Foxes made their first appearance in a WPIAL title match. But their luck ran out in the title match, as Mt. Lebanon claimed the title.

The Foxes lost six starters to graduation, including a pair of WPIAL first-team All-Stars. The top returnee for Fox Chapel is outside hitter Megan Hollingsworth.

Pine-Richland advanced to the WPIAL quarterfinals last year and gave Mt. Lebanon all they could handle, but fell short of defeating the eventual champs. The Rams top returnees are middle hitter Gabby Olson, a WPIAL second-team All-Star, and setter Abby Peters. The Rams also picked up middle hitter Kristi Chenarides, a PVCA Class A All-Star, via transfer from Our Lady of the Sacred Heart.

Seneca Valley has a pair of second-team WPIAL All-Stars returning: libero Angela Seman and middle hitter Abbie Trezciak. But the Raiders could be without Trezciak for the entire season due to knee surgery.

In Class AA, Mars will be hard pressed to repeat as WPIAL champions as the Planets lost nine players to graduation and coach Dan Mountain, who moved on to Butler after leading the Planets to six consecutive playoff appearances.

Assistant coach Tami Caraway has been promoted to replace Mountain. Caraway's top returnee is right-side hitter Kelsey Bruce, a second-team WPIAL All-Star.

Knoch is a team to watch in Class AA. The Knights feature a pair of WPIAL All-Stars: outside/middle hitter Celina Sanks and middle hitter Mary Zellhart. Sanks, an Eastern Kentucky recruit, was a first-team pick, while Zellhart appeared on the third team.