Wednesday, May 25, 2022 | 9:43 p.m.
Montour Boys’ Volleyball Coach Colin Vitale smiles before, during and after the WPIAL Class 2A Championship game on Thursday night at the Robert Morris’ UPMC Events Center.
Vitale, looking relaxed even when his team was on the verge of defeat in Game 4, was a ball of joy afterwards with his underdog, the third-seeded Spartans, who had just won their fourth WPIAL championship.
Andrew Feely had seven kills and Bryce Lizanich registered five blocks as Montour rallied for a pair of wins in the last two games to defeat top seeded Notre Dame du Sacre Coeur 3-2 in a best-of-five final match. .
“I owe it all to those boys, to each and every one of them,” Vitale said, glancing at the Montour bench, where his players were happily gathering their belongings after the medal presentation. “We went deep into our bench and everyone delivered.”
Montour (12-5) survived, despite injuries to several of his key players, overcoming late deficits in two of five games to win by two points with extended scores of 26-24 each time.
The Spartans defeated the Chargers by scores of 26-24, 19-25, 15-25, 26-24 and 15-10.
Even before the match, both teams had qualified for the PIAA playoffs by reaching the WPIAL finals.
“I’m thrilled this group can experience this,” Vitale said. “Locking in a top seed by reaching the final was a boon in itself, but the fact that they get a top spot by coming out of the WPIAL, it just means they can play the game they love even more.”
OLSH (18-2) was one point away from clinching the game and its first WPIAL title in Game 4, but couldn’t hold onto a 24-23 lead as Montour raced for three straight points to claim a 26-24 victory and force a fifth and decisive match.
“We could have closed in fourth. We had two games to win, and we were blocked both times,” OLSH coach Mike McDonald said. “You have to make the play when you get the chance, and we didn’t.”
Montour opened the game by beating OLSH in Game 1, 26-24, before dropping the next two games decisively, 25-19 and 25-15, to give the Chargers momentum heading into the thrilling Game 4.
This is Montour’s first WPIAL championship since 2007. The Spartans also won titles in 1987 and 2000, when the league only competed in one class.
Tags: Montour, Our Lady of the Sacred Heart