When North Allegheny coach Dan Schall shook hands with Central York coach Brad Livingston prior to Saturday's PIAA Class AAA Boys Volleyball title match, Livingston told Schall "We should meet like this more often."
Schall agreed whole-heartedly.
For the second time in four years, North Allegheny and Central York met in the title match and the result was the same. In 2011, the two teams faced off for the state title and Central York posted a 3-1 victory.
North Allegheny fans were hoping for revenge in Saturday's rematch. Unfortunately, the results were the same with the Panthers sweeping the Tigers, 3-0.
The following photos feature boys volleyball teams from the area's North zone. These ran in the Post-Gazette during the 2014 season.
(Photo: Deer Lakes' Jake Roberts, a 5-foot-11 junior outside hitter, returns a shot during action in the Derry Area tournament. J.J. LaBella/Tri-State Sports & News Service)
Shady Side earns historic title
The 2014 season was a memorable one for the Shady Side Academy boys lacrosse team. On the heels of a solid 6-1 season in the WPIAL's Division 1, Section 2 grouping, the Indians went on to post victories over Peters Township, 17-5, and Upper St. Clair, 9-6, before capturing their first WPIAL Division 1 title with a 7-2 victory over Mt. Lebanon in the championship game on May 23 at picturesque Highmark Stadium. It was the Indians' first WPIAL title following championship-game losses to Mt. Lebanon in 2009 and Seneca Valley in 2012.
Shady Side Academy reached the championship game with a 17-5 first-round victory over Peters Township and a 9-6 victory over Upper St. Clair in the semifinals.
Unfortunately, the Indians' hopes for gold on the statewide level were vanquished with a heart-breaking 7-6 loss to Mt. Lebanon in a rematch of the WPIAL championship game on May 31 at Moon.
Michael Williams, Shady Side's first-year coach, had no complaints with his team's grit and determination en route to a 15-5 season.
Shaler wins Division 2 title; Quaker Valley second in Division 1
Girls lacrosse was quite solid in the North region of Sports Town's coverage area with five of the eight teams competing in the WPIAL Division 1 tournament hailing from that area. One of them, Quaker Valley, advanced to the WPIAL championship with an unbeaten regular season.
The Quakers ran into the only team stronger than them in the WPIAL, and that was Mt. Lebanon. The two teams met twice in the postseason, with Mt. Lebanon both times with a 9-7 victory in the WPIAL Division 1 championship game on May 22, and nine days later in a PIAA Division 1 second-round game, 12-8, at Moon.
Quaker Valley will lose several key players. But 10 of the players 12 starters will return, including junior midfielders Kayla Foster , Megan Amoroso and Annie Henry and sophomore attacks Emily Kraus -- the daughter of coach Nellie Kraus -- and Aubrey Bouchard.
"I'm really excited about next year," said Foster, the team's leading scorer with 58 goals and 56 assists. "If you look at all of the things we've accomplished this year and the fact that we return the majority of our starting lineup, that's unbelievable, and I'm so excited for what's to come."
The following photos feature boys lacrosse teams from the area's North zone. These ran in the Post-Gazette during the 2014 season.
(Photo: Shaler's Joe Hollern, left, is stick-checked by Fox Chapel's Levi McCrady during a match last week. McCrady is the son of Foxes coach Chris McCrady. Fox Chapel won the match, 10-7. Julia Rendleman/Post-Gazette)
The following photos feature girls lacrosse teams from the area's North zone. These ran in the Post-Gazette during the 2014 season.
(Photo: Shaler's McKenna Ash looks to pass to a teammate during a 15-11 Titans victory last week against Seton-LaSalle. Bill Wade/Post-Gazette)
Ken Wunderley profiles North Hills wrestling standout Gage Curry. Read his story below.
It's no surprise to hear that North Hills junior Gage Curry comes from a wrestling family.
After all, a lot of high school wrestlers have a father or uncle who competed while attending high school — but Curry's case is a little different.
"My mom and dad wrestled when they attended Northgate High School," said Curry, referring to his parents, Derrick and Linetta. "So I've been wrestling since I was 3 or 4 years old."
The Curry family now lives in Ross Township and Gage has become one of the best lightweights in the WPIAL.
Ryan Riordan profiles former Fox Chapel golfer Patrick Sheerer.
"Next month, Patrick Sheerer will begin his college golfing career in Olean, N.Y., at St. Bonaventure University.
But first, Sheerer will get a chance to qualify for the U.S. Junior Ryder Cup team.
Sheerer, a 2014 Fox Chapel Area High School graduate, shot a 70 and 72 in his two rounds at the Tri-State Junior PGA Championship qualifier June 18 at the par-72 Fox Run Golf Course near Beaver Falls to qualify for the Junior PGA Championships July 29 to Aug. 1 in Bryan-College Station, Texas.
He added to his impressive resume last week, winning a King's Junior Series event for the Boys 17-18 age group at Cedarbrook's Red Course in Rostraver, shooting a 5-under-par 66."
Without question, no zone had a better spring in boys tennis than the North.
The zone had the team champions in both WPIAL classifications, the singles and doubles champions in WPIAL Class AA and finished 1-2 in the WPIAL and PIAA in Class AAA doubles.
Two teams were responsible for much of that success — Shady Side Academy and Sewickley Academy.
The Indians won their fourth WPIAL Class AAA team title in the past five years, then went on to win their second PIAA title (the other was in 2004) with a 3-2 victory against three-time defending state champion Conestoga.
The Indians' success was due in large part to their doubles teams, and the squad's No. 1 pair, Chris Grubbs and Michael Kann, won the WPIAL Class AAA doubles title and finished second in the state.
The following photos feature boys tennis players from the area's North zone. These ran in the Post-Gazette during the 2014 season.
(Photo: Keron Jones of Perry returns a volley during the City League boys tennis singles championship May 6. Jones won, 2-6, 6-2, 6-2. Pam Panchak/Post-Gazette)
For the first time since 2008, North Allegheny won a WPIAL Class AAA title.
The Tigers edged out Mt. Lebanon, 76.5-73.5, in a meet that also included Mars and Canon-McMillan. The final came down to the final event, but North Allegheny's Bobby Upton and Robbie Wanner took second and third, respectively, in the pole vault to give the Tigers the win.
While North Allegheny was the king of the WPIAL team event, no North team won more gold medals at the WPIAL individual meet than Fox Chapel.
Foxes' seniors Brandon Mitchell (300 hurdles) and Colin Martin (3,200 meters) both won their events, and Mitchell teamed with Michael Bove, Andrew Golio and Elias Graca to win the 1,600-meter relay.
Shaler's Brianna Schwartz added to the one of the best resumes in WPIAL history this spring.
The Titans junior won WPIAL and PIAA Class AAA titles in the 1,600 meters for the second consecutive season. She'll have a chance next year to become the first ever runner in Class AAA to win the event at states three straight years.
Schwartz also set the WPIAL record in the 3,200 meters at the Baldwin Invitational, giving her the district record in three events (800, 1,600 and 3,200).
One runner Schwartz could not run away from was North Allegheny sophomore Madeleine Davison, who was only 0.11 seconds behind Schwartz in the PIAA 1,600-meter final.
The following photos feature boys track and field athletes from the area's North zone. These ran in the Post-Gazette during the 2014 season.
(Photo: Fox Chapel's Brandon Mitchell has overcome some health hurdles early this season to be a force on the track once again. John Heller/Post-Gazette)
The following photos feature girls track and field athletes from the area's North zone. These ran in the Post-Gazette during the 2014 season.
(Photo: Vincentian's Ally Bartoszewicz, the defending WPIAL Class AA 200-meter champion, finishes first at the South Hills Classic. Pam Panchak/Post-Gazette)
Shaler Area climbed back to the top of the WPIAL Class AAAA softball world this season, winning a third WPIAL title and first in nearly a decade. Coach Skip Palmer guided a young team to a share of the Section 3-AAAA title and a 17-4 season all highlighted by a 9-5 win against Canon-McMillan in the WPIAL championship game. While Shaler was seeking its third title in program history, the Big Macs were seeking an unprecedented third consecutive WPIAL Class AAAA title. The Titans were able to deny that behind strong performances from underclassmen, sophomore pitcher Brianna Dobson, junior catcher A.J. Nichols and freshman infielder Lauren Miller.
"It's been a great team," Palmer said. "These kids can play and have worked extremely hard. I don't know if they are just too young to know what the heck they did, but they did it. They're just a good bunch and I think we're going to get even better."
Seneca Valley (13-3, 10-2) shared the Section 3-AAAA title with Shaler and North Allegheny (17-4, 9-3) also reached the playoffs out of the section. The Tigers, a WPIAL runner-up a year ago, were eliminated in the WPIAL playoffs by Canon-McMillan for the second year in a row.
The following photos feature softball teams from the area's North zone. These ran in the Post-Gazette during the 2014 season.
(Photo: Tiffany Edwards had a 19-2 record and 1.60 ERA last season for WPIAL Class AA runner-up Deer Lakes. Matt Freed/Post-Gazette)
Seneca Valley's late-season playoff surge was one of many memorable highlights from the Post-Gazette's Northern coverage area during the WPIAL's 2014 baseball season.
After a subpar performance in the regular season, the Raiders emerged as Section 1-AAAA's fourth-place team, qualified for the playoffs and were awarded the No. 16 seed in the Quad-A bracket. They went on to set a WPIAL record by making their fourth straight appearance in the Class AAAA championship game and knocked off Baldwin to capture the program's third title in four years. Seneca Valley finished its campaign with a 12-12 overall record and won six consecutive playoff games before losing in the PIAA semifinals.
"If you would've said at the beginning of the year, 'Do you have a chance at going to the championship again?' I would've said it's going to be very hard," longtime Seneca Valley coach Eric Semega said. "At the middle of the year, I would've said absolutely not. It's not even possible."
The following photos feature baseball teams from the area's North zone. These ran in the Post-Gazette during the 2014 season.
(Photo: Tyler Garbee returns as a mainstay on the Quaker Valley pitching staff. Matt Freed/Post-Gazette)
Below is a review of the North posts that appeared Sunday, July 13 through Saturday, July 19.
It wasn't widely predicted that Jonathan Avon would be North Hills' top finisher at last weekend's PIAA Class AAA wrestling tournament.
Yet, Avon, a senior, accepted his bronze medal on the 160-pound platform in Hershey Saturday night, while his teammate and one of the top-ranked wrestlers in the country, Gage Curry, took sixth at 106 pounds.
Avon has come a long way from two weeks ago when he was seeded fifth at the WPIAL tournament.
"I think I just put my faith above everything else," Avon said. "Just believing in myself. Everyone around me kept telling me I deserve it and I just had to go out and earn it."
- Wrestling: 2014 North Photo Recap
- Hockey: 2014 North Season Recap
- Hockey: 2014 North Photo Recap
- Basketball: Hampton grad Luther preparing for 'leap' to Pitt
- Boys Swimming & Diving: 2014 North Season Recap
- Girls Swimming & Diving: 2014 North Season Recap
- Boys Basketball: 2014 North Season Recap
- Boys Basketball: 2014 North Photo Recap
- Girls Basketball: 2014 North Season Recap
- Girls Basketball: 2014 North Photo Recap
- Girls Volleyball: 2013 North Season Recap
- Girls Volleyball: 2013 North Photo Recap
- Sports Town North Week in Review (July 6-12)
- Field Hockey: 2013 North Season Recap
- Field Hockey: 2013 North Photo Recap
- Football: 2013 North Season Recap
- Football: 2013 North Photo Recap
- Boys Cross Country: 2013 North Season Recap
- Girls Cross Country: 2013 North Season Recap
- Boys Cross Country: 2013 North Photo Recap