The Upper St. Clair High School boys volleyball team experienced a roller coaster ride last week.
Unfortunately for the Panthers, the week ended on a "dip".
The Panthers upset Class AAA Section 1 leader Bethel Park on Tuesday. A five-set thriller ended with Upper St. Clair handing Bethel Park its first section loss of the season.
"I knew going in that we could beat them if we kept it close," Upper St. Clair coach Jack Zebo said. "We played well down the stretch."
The euphoria of beating the section front-runner was quickly doused by Thursday's 3-0 sweep by Peters Township.
"I think the kids were a little gassed for that match," said Zebo, now in his 15th season at USC. "The kids put their heart and soul into beating Bethel Park. Facing the top two teams in the section in the same week was a lot to ask."
As the final week of the regular season unfolds, Upper St. Clair has an 8-3 record in Section 1, which leaves the Panthers in third place. They have also qualified for the WPIAL playoffs for the ninth consecutive year.
"I knew Bethel Park and Peters Township were the teams to beat coming into the season," Zebo said. "Both have a standout player. Bethel has Grant Underwood, and Peters has Gabe Pritz.
"That's the big difference between us and them. We don't have a standout player of their caliber."