HS highlight reel: Baldwin volleyball looks to buck trend |

HS highlight reel: Baldwin volleyball looks to buck trend

On Saturday afternoon, Baldwin’s girls volleyball team has a chance to prevent a series of coincidences from becoming a pattern.

The WPIAL Class AAA champion Highlanders meet WPIAL third-place finisher Seneca Valley in the PIAA quarterfinals at 2 p.m. at North Allegheny. Since the PIAA transitioned away from pool play in the quarterfinals and returned to a one-match-per-round format in 2012, the WPIAL Class AAA champion has not reached the state semifinals.

Runner-up Bethel Park advanced to the semis a year ago, though, and in 2012, third-place finisher North Allegheny went that far.

Baldwin likely expects another battle with the Raiders, as the teams went five sets in the WPIAL semifinals.

The Seneca Valley-Baldwin match assures at least one WPIAL team will reach the PIAA semifinals. Additional semifinal representatives from the area aren’t a sure thing. WPIAL teams went 0-3 against programs from other districts in 2013, and they were 2-2 in 2012.

Class A is particularly tough, as WPIAL champ Greensburg Central Catholic and runner-up Bishop Canevin can attest. They and two other WPIAL teams lost in the PIAA first round a season ago. The Crusaders also fell in the first round in 2012, while the Centurions reached the semifinals by beating a familiar opponent, Our Lady of the Sacred Heart, in the quarterfinals.

GCC meets District 10 champion Maplewood at 2 p.m. Saturday at Slippery Rock High School, and Bishop Canevin plays District 9 champ Clarion at 3 p.m. at Mercer.

— Bill West

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