Saturday June 11, 2022 | 5:16 p.m.
STATE COLLEGE – State College was the center of the PIAA volleyball world again on Saturday as Pennsylvania’s top two teams faced off for the PIAA Class 3A men’s volleyball title at Rec Hall.
North Allegheny won its fourth state title in five years by defeating Central Dauphin, 3-1, with scores of 23-25, 25-16, 25-12 and 25-23.
North Allegheny also beat Central Dauphin, 3-1, last year for the title, becoming the first team to win three titles with a pandemic year in between. The Tigers won in 2018, 2019 and 2021 with the 2020 season canceled.
Central Dauphin (22-1) have been ranked top 10 nationally all season and have lost just one game en route to the championship game.
The Tigers (18-1), whose only loss was to Seneca Valley (they also beat the Raiders twice), had to rebuild their squad as they returned just three starters from the championship squad. last year. To be back in the state championship due to rebuild was an impressive feat for coach Dan Schall and the youngsters who took on those roles.
“I know not many people expected us to be here, but I see what’s going on in our practices,” Schall said. “We have guys who don’t see the pitch much, because we are a turn-taking team. I knew what we got in return even though the crowd didn’t see these guys on the court. I’m not surprised we’re here today.
Central Dauphin took a 4-3 lead in Game 1 and held it throughout the game. North Allegheny kept the game within a few points, with the biggest lead being four points. A clean serve ultimately gave the Rams the win at 25-23.
North Allegheny took an early lead to 6-5 and extended the lead to 14-10 in Game 2. The Tigers led 18-12, causing the Rams to time out – six points being their biggest deficit of the season . North Allegheny did a better job of finding the open hitter with the advantage. Nico Sfeir and Cole Dorn did a great job of getting points. The Tigers won 25-16 to tie the game at 1-1.
The Tigers jumped behind Jack Birch and Dorn to take a 14-5 lead in Game 3. Led by solid defense and striking, Dorn and Sfier took over to finish the game at 25-12. Setter Caleb Schall was outstanding for the Tigers, but it was definitely a team effort, from servers to hitters to blockers.
” It is special ; we take nothing for granted here at North Allegheny,” said Caleb Schall. “We don’t take getting here for granted; this band is awesome.
Dorn added: “It’s just as special, maybe more today because it was wondering if I was even going to be able to play today. Winning is a tradition here, and the pressure is certainly there, but we have to deal.
The Rams have been hampered by unforced errors and misses throughout Games 2 and 3, which they haven’t had to deal with this season.
North Allegheny took a 9-6 lead in Game 4, but the Rams came back to take a 14-12 advantage. The game was tied five times when Dorn managed to score two runs to give the Tigers a 23-21 lead. A kill by Sfier ended the contest and sparked the Tigers’ celebration.
“Titus LaMay was special with this service. He gets into a groove and hits harder and harder,” Coach Schall said. “You have to take risks to serve before the ball goes back into your throat.”
Tags: North Allegheny