Class 3A First Round
Tuesday, at Hempfield Area HS, 6
Cumberland Valley: District 3 fourth-place finisher (17-2, Mid-Penn Commonwealth)
Bethel Park: District 7 runner-up (16-1, WPIAL)
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Next round: Winner of 6-1 State College (14-4) vs. 1-2 North Penn (14-7), at Bald Eagle HS, 6
Notes: The Eagles were cruising during an unbeaten regular season, with the look of a legitimate district and state champion. But there’s been a speed bump in the past two games: a stunning loss to Central York in the semifinals 3-2 in which CV blew a 2-0 lead, and then a 3-1 loss to Northeastern in the third-place match. Granted, both of those opponents are in their own rights state title contenders as well.
Eagles top players: Coached by Terry Ranck, senior Blake Liprando leads the team in kills with 368. Senior Jesse King is a plus passer with 281 digs, and setter Sam Briggs has dished out 590 assists to the best attackers the Mid-Penn Conference had this season.
Black Hawks top players: Coached by Zach Smith, the Black Hawks face a tough first-round challenge after getting swept in the WPIAL title game by North Allegheny. Outside hitter Max Cooley, middle Kyler Simpson and opposite Josh Sprandle are three of the team’s top attackers.