Still climbing


BUTLER TWP — Through two games, the
Butler girls volleyball team had five kills. 
Meanwhile, North Allegheny had seven girls with at least one kill. 

Net dominance by the Tigers was the difference. Butler did manage to wrest Game 3 away from NA, but the Golden Tornado fell 15-25, 10-25, 25-22, 12-25 at Butler High School Tuesday night. 

“It's easy for things to go badly when you are playing them because they serve so tough and hit so well,” said first-year Butler volleyball coach Dan Mountain. “We did a much better job passing their serves and even got some hands up for some blocks (in the third game).” 

But it was wasn't enough. North Allegheny took control midway through the fourth game and cruised to a win. 

Tigers' coach Heidi Miller used 21 players in the match in a steamy Butler gym. Action was stopped many times to wipe sweat off the court. 

“We played some great volleyball tonight,” Miller said. “I've been trying to give the kids a concept of 'Leave no doubt.' Wherever we go, we need to show everyone what we can do.” 
What the Tigers can do is hit. 
North Allegheny had 42 kills as a team in the four games. Despite cycling players in and out like hockey lines, Ashley Leto led the Tigers with 10 kills. 
“To get all those kids on the court in a match like this, I think it says something about the depth we have as a team,” Miller said. 
Butler (2-2) scored the first four points of Game 1, but North Allegheny (3-0) scored the next eight to take control. 
Gabriell Carney had three consecutive aces in the first game and finished with four on the night. 
The Butler senior middle hitter added 13 kills. 

Butler was never in Game 2, falling behind 7-0 and 20-5, but bounced back to play well in games three and four. 
Monday night, the Golden Tornado also fell behind Fox Chapel 2-0 before rallying for a 3-2 win. 
Carney had 20 kills in that victory. 
History, though, wasn't repeated. 
“We had a great comeback win against Fox Chapel last night and this was the first 25-point game we've beaten NA before,” Carney said. “We're continuing to improve. We hope we can make it to playoffs. That's a big team goal.” 
It's a goal for Mountain as well. 
Mountain, who led Mars to the PIAA Class AA semifinals last season, is hoping the Golden Tornado can crash the typical section upper-echelon party of NA, Seneca Valley, Pine-Richland and Fox Chapel. 

“Every year, I think, the goal should be to get to the playoffs, even in the tough section we're in,” Mountain said. “We took a big step toward that when we beat Fox Chapel last night. We didn't get the win against North Allegheny tonight, but we know it's Fox Chapel, North Allegheny, Pine-Richland and Seneca Valley and you need to knock two of them off to get in.”
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