There’s no longer any doubt whether the Seneca Valley High School boys volleyball team can compete against perennial powerhouse North Allegheny.
The next hurdle is to win not just a set, but the overall match.
That test could come as early as next week’s PIAA Volleyball Tournament.
Seneca Valley stunned North Allegheny by winning the opening set, 26-24, in the WPIAL Class AAA Boys Volleyball Championship Friday night at Chartiers Valley High School.
However, North Allegheny came back to win its fifth consecutive title and eighth in the last nine years by claiming the next three sets by close scores of 31-29, 25-23 and 25-21.
“We know we can play with anybody in the whole state, but we need to keep getting better,” Seneca Valley coach Dan Mountain said after hanging WPIAL Silver Medals on his players.
Seneca Valley (13-3) and North Allegheny both qualified for the state championships which begin Tuesday at sites and times to be announced.
“They (Seneca Valley) can give anyone in the state a run for their money,” North Allegheny coach Dan Schall said following the title match between the two Section 3 rivals.
Outside hitter Zach Hermann made a series of kills and Chad Albert made several key blocks for Seneca Valley.
Mountain said Seneca Valley took advantage of previous matchups against North Allegheny to form its game plan.
“It worked in the first game, but they are very well-coached and they made adjustments, and they changed what they were doing,” Mountain said.
Seneca Valley and North Allegheny both lost key points on service errors.
“That’s what happens in good matches, because you’re trying to be as aggressive as possible, and serving comes into that,” Mountain said.
“I’m really proud of our guys,” he said. “Some of our guys had played their best games ever, but it just wasn’t enough.”
Two more Raiders team remain in contention for WPIAL titles.
The Seneca Valley baseball team plays Peters Township for the Class AAAA title at 8 p.m. Tuesday at Consol Energy Park in Washington.
The Raiders softball team competes against Latrobe for the Class AAAA title at 7 p.m. Thursday at California University.