What to watch for in WPIAL sports on June 17, 2023: Mars lacrosse, Shaler volleyball go for gold


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Friday, June 16, 2023 | 10:30pm

The final day of the 2022-23 high school sports season got even busier as wet weather delayed five state baseball and softball games Friday.

Check out our front page for a preview of two PIAA championship games involving WPIAL teams: 5A’s Shaler Softball and 6A’s Mount Lebanon Baseball.

Day 3 of the baseball and softball finals sets up three more state championship games for PSU, as well as four lacrosse tournaments, including the Mars boys, and two boys’ volleyball finals, including Shaler.


The Mars Boys Hockey Program made history two years ago when it became the first WPIAL hockey school to compete in the PIAA Tournament, losing 14-5 to Allentown Central Catholic Schools in the 2021 2A Finals.

Last spring, the Fightin’ Planets made history again, beating Marple Newtown 9-6 in the DoubleA Finals to become the first team in District 7 to win a state championship.

Mars (22-2) will try to become the state champion again Saturday when it faces the Fightin’ Tigers again. Marple Newtown (19-5) was the runner-up in Division 1.

Game at 2:30 p.m. at Penn State’s Panzer Stadium

Three other lacrosse state finals:

• In Boys 3A, Division 1 champ Springfield (22-2) takes on D-1 runner-up Radnor (22-3) in rematch with Cougars 10-8 for Division 1 title Face familiar enemies. The match is scheduled for 4:30 pm at the Panzer Stadium and Radnor is the defending PIAA champion.

• In the women’s 3A, which will also be a rematch for the Division 1 champion, champion Owen J. Roberts (24-1) will play D-1 runner-up Penncrest (21-4) at Panzer Stadium at noon .

• In Girls 2A, District 3 champion Twin Valley (19-6) takes on District 12 champion Carroll Archbishop (22-1) at 10 a.m. at Panzer Stadium. Archbishop Rolle won 15-7.

men’s volleyball

Six years ago was the last time the WPIAL team did not win the PIAA 3A men’s volleyball championship.

In 2017, Central York defeated Northern Allegheny 3-1 for the state gold medal.

NA then won the next four PIAA 3A Championships in 2018, 2019, 2021 and 2022. There is no 2020 season.

So while the Tigers’ lead in Triple-A state is over, that doesn’t mean District 7 isn’t ready to bring more men’s volleyball state gold back to southwestern Pennsylvania.

WPIAL champion Shaler (19-1) tries to win his first men’s volleyball title when he faces District 11 champions Parkland (22-0) on Saturday.

After winning it all in 2015, Parkland will try to win its second state men’s volleyball title.

Titans vs. Trojans game at 1:30 p.m. at Penn State’s Rec Hall

• In 2A, District 10 runner-up Cochranton (18-5) beats WPIAL champion North Catholic in PIAA playoffs to face District 3 champion Lower Dauphin (22-0) at 11am


Level 4A

Bellefonte (19-5) vs. Dallas (17-7)

Saturday 1:30pm at Medlar Field in Lubrano Park

• District 6 battles District 2 as the two regional champions look to add state gold to their collections this season.

• Bellefonte beat three WPIAL teams — Latrobe, Indiana and Hopewell — to reach the final, while Dallas beat Esperanza, Hanover and Archbishop Wood en route to the state championship.

• The Raiders are 16-11 in the PIAA playoffs, their second trip to the state championship game. Bellefonte beat Susquehanna Township 2-0 in the 2016 final.

• The Mountaineers are 7-2 in the PIAA playoffs and also reached the state finals for the second time. Dallas defeated South Park 5-0 in the 2017 State Finals.

Level 2A

Bald Eagles (21-4) vs. Mount Union (24-2)

Saturday at 10:30 a.m. at Medlar Field in Lubrano Park

• District 6 takes center stage in a DoubleA baseball state title fight in a rematch of the D-6 final, which the Bald Eagles won 11-5.

• The Bald Eagle beat McConnellsburg, Karns City and Sharpsville to reach the final, while Mount Union beat Wyalusing Valley, Calvary Christian and Kutztown to reach the state championship game.

• The Eagles are 13-9 in the PIAA playoffs, their second appearance in state title contention. The Bald Eagle defeated Kutztown 6-1 in the 2007 final.

• The Trojans are 49-24 in the PIAA playoffs and reached the state finals for the seventh time. Mount Union beat Oley Valley 6-2 in the 1988 final, Wyomissing 14-8 in the 1993 championship game, beat Lampeter-Strasburg 5-0 in the 1995 final and won the 2019 grand final. , 9-1. The Trojans lost 2-0 to West Perry in 1980 and 7-1 to the Tri-Valleys in 1996.


Grade 3A

Juniata (25-3) vs. Mid Valley (22-2)

Saturday Noon at Nittany Lions Softball Field

• District 6 champion Juniata plays District 2 champion Mid Valley.

• Juniata beats Burrell, Avonworth and Jamestown to advance to the PIAA championship game.

• Mid Valley beat Warrior Run, Forest Hills and Palisades to advance to Penn State’s state finals.

• The Indians are 3-0 in the PIAA playoffs as it is their first season qualifying for the PIAA softball playoffs.

• The Spartans are 16-14 in the PIAA playoffs and are in their second state title game. Mid Valley lost to Mt. Pleasant 5-3 in the 2017 PIAA Triple-A Finals.

Tags: Mars, Shaler


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