Photo by Mike Longo Jr.
Chargers Cameron Glance blocks a shot during the run-up to the WPIAL semi-finals.
By Mike Longo Jr.
Another history-making run just took place on the campus of Our Lady Of The Sacred Heart. We've witnessed the magical, historical record-setting (and counting) run by the boys’ basketball team over the last three years. Now we can add the boys’ volleyball team and Head Coach Mike McDonald to the history book.
With the Chargers recent victory over Hopewell a section finale, they secured sole possession of first place in section 1-2A, capturing their first outright section championship in the school’s history.
It wasn't as easy as it sounded. The Vikings blasted OLSH in set one routing the visitors 25-14. Hopewell dominated the start of the second set establishing a lead of 11-4.
However, sometimes it's best to not wake a sleeping giant. That's exactly what happened as the Chargers came storming back to knot the game at 16-16. Finally, they took a 19-18 lead and ended the set with a 25-19 victory on Colin Wiegand's kill. One set a piece for each of the combatants heading into set No.3.
In the third set OLSH raced out to a 10-1 lead and never looked back, cruising to victory by a final score of 25-16. Back and forth action was the norm in set four which saw the score knotted at 11-11. Hopewell seemed to be running out of gas, the Chargers on the other hand were gaining momentum as expected by a team with only one overall defeat. Poised and on top of their game, OLSH pulled away to earn a 25-19 victory, giving them a 3-1 set advantage for the win.
Coach McDonald summed up the early rough play of his Chargers as such, "We came out really flat and made all the mistakes. We scored more than half of Hopewell's points for them without them even touching the ball."
Senior Colin Wiegand said, "We just had to wake up really. It was ugly. I think that's the first time we've lost a first set, so we hadn't been in that position before." He added, "I am glad how our team handled it. We maintained our cool instead of freaking out."
Wiegand lead the OLSH attack with 14 kills,5 digs and 2 blocks. Cameron Glance had 37 assists and six aces while Jon Pflueger finished with 8 kills and 2 blocks.
One final warmup before the playoffs saw the OLSH caravan rolling along in a match against Bishop Canevin. The Chargers nailed the Crusaders in 3 straight sets by scores of 25-17, 25-19 and 25-16 with a final of 3-0.
OLSH stat leaders for the game were, Wiegand with 9 kills, Jeremy Ciaramella 29 assists and 3 aces, Colin Cimino 5 kills and 1 block and Austin Johncour with 9 kills and 2 blocks. The Chargers finished the regular season with a 15-1 record which includes 9-1 in section play.
The Chargers are ranked atop the WPIAL coaches poll as they await entrance into the WPIAL Tournament. Pressure is an understatement when ranked at the top as it seems everyone is on a mission gunning for your number one spot.
OLSH receives bye
With the playoffs underway, OLSH received a first-round bye as the No.1 seed.
A quarter-final matchup on May 19 had the Chargers at home hosting No. 9 seed Thomas Jefferson. OLSH took control early and routed the Jaguars 25-9 in the 1st set. In set two, more of the same as OLSH was victorious once again, 25-17. Set No. 3 saw the Chargers have a little more difficult of a time than they had wished, as they outlasted Thomas Jefferson 25-21 for a 3-0 drubbing.
Top-seeded OLSH was led by Wiegand with 6 kills as Ciaramella recorded 21 assists in the quarter-final victory. Glance had 5 kills and 6 digs, Austin Johncour recorded 4 kills and 3 blocks and Matthew Tarbuk had 5 digs and an ace.
A victory in the quarter-finals sets up a showdown with Ambridge (who defeated Gateway 3-2) in the WPIAL semifinals on May 2. If history is in the making, then the Chargers can punch their ticket to the Championship match on May 25 at the UPMC Events Center on the campus of Robert Morris University.
Montour's Spartans are making some noise in the postseason as they advance to the semi-finals. With an overall record to date of 10-5 with the No. 3 seed, it will be their third trip in the last four years.
Montour defeated the Mars Planets in 4 sets, 26-6, (20-25) 25-23, 25-21 for a 3 -1 win. Montour meets No. 2 seeded North Catholic in the other semi-final matchup.