When the PIAA brackets were released, State College found out it would face a familiar foe.
The Lady Little Lions squared off with North Allegheny in the Class AAA first round on Tuesday at Chartiers Valley High School. The result was the same as last year’s PIAA quarterfinals matchup, a Lady Tigers sweep 25-21, 26-24, 25-23.
“I’m proud of the way they battled,” Lady Little Lions coach Chad Weight said of his team. “It just didn’t go our way tonight. Maybe if we play again, things may go our way.”
It was a heavyweight matchup for a first-round game as both teams were ranked in the top 10 in the state. State College was ranked sixth, while North Allegheny was first.
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North Allegheny advanced to the second round to play District 3’s Hempfield or Garden Spot.
“It wasn’t easy,” Weight said. “It felt more like a state semifinal matchup rather than a first-round matchup.”
The Lady Little Lions (17-2) were led by Taylor Leath’s 16 kills. Christine Irwin added 11.
Leath also added two blocks and 15 digs. Irwin had 12 digs and two aces to go with her kills.
“We knew that those two would be some that we would lean on the most,” Weight said of his two seniors. “I give credit to them, because they had broad enough shoulders for us to lean on.”
State College also got 37 assists from Janae Moran and six kills from Kyla Irwin.
“The kids know what they have to do in the offseason and they will,” Weight said. “We will get back in the gym in the summer and get things ready for the fall and do it all over.”