When the WPIAL Class 3A girls championship game was being played this past last May, a team that many suspected would be in the championship game found itself on the outside looking in.
That team was the Mt. Lebanon Blue Devils.
One of the most solid teams in the WPIAL found its season at a end following a 16-12 loss to eventual champion Pine-Richland in the WPIAL semifinals.
That setback completed the Blue Devils' season at 15-3. Their other losses were a section setback to Peters Township, 10-9. That loss snapped a 13-game winning streak that began after Mt. Lebanon suffered a 14-4 loss to Langley, Va., in the season opener on March 25.
Langley had a good season. The 21-1 Saxons were unbeaten until they lost to Robinson Secondary, 13-9, in the Virginia High School playoffs.
Even with that loss, the Blue Devils were looking solid as the No. 2 seed in the Class 3A tournament.
But they were going up against a solid Pine-Richland team after advancing to the semifinals following a 14-8 victory over neighborhood rival Bethel Park.
Pine-Richland, though, was on a mission. Entering the tournament as the No. 3 seed, the Rams edged Peters Township, 10-8, a team that had beaten Pine-Richland, 15-12, in the regular season. That set up a rematch with Mt. Lebanon as the Blue Devils had edged the Rams 12-10, also in the regular season.
It would end this time differently as Pine-Richland would make the most of its opportunity and score a crucial victory. The loss ended the Blue Devils' season, and that should serve as plenty of incentive for 2018.
Pine-Richland, by the way, wasn't finished with what turned out to be an effective "revenge tour."
In the WPIAL finals, the Rams defeated Fox Chapel, 12-11, in overtime. That should serve notice to those teams that fell victim to the Rams, including Mt. Lebanon.