If Saturday's action is any indication, the York-Adams League may be the home of both PIAA boys' volleyball state championship teams come next Saturday.
League champ Central York and runner-up Northeastern cruised to victories in the quarterfinals. Central, the District 3-AAA champs, defeated Neshaminy, 25-21, 25-14, 25-15, while Northeastern, the District 3-AA champs, crushed North Pocono, 25-3, 25-11, 25-13.
Both squads now move on to Tuesday's PIAA semifinals. Northeastern will face District 2 champ Holy Redeemer at Freedom High School in Bethlehem at 6:30 p.m. while Central York will battle Central Bucks West at Garden Spot High School also at 6:30 p.m.
The winners of both matches will move on to the PIAA championship games next Saturday at the Multi-Sport Facility on the campus of Penn State University. The Class AA game is slotted for an 11 a.m. start while the Class AAA game is scheduled to begin at 1 p.m.
Strong start vs. North Pocono propels Northeastern to semifinals: At Liberty High School in Bethlehem, it took just 45 minutes for the Bobcats to get past the Trojans. Chris Lee served off 16 points in a row early in Game 1 to help set a tone that North Pocono just could not alter.
The Trojans, the District 2 runners-up, had no answer for the bevy of Northeastern attackers. Sophomore Reese Devilbiss led the parade with 13 kills and two blocks while teammates Philip White (eight kills, two blocks), Jeffrey Reynolds (seven kills, two blocks), Casey Winand (three kills, five blocks) and Matt Hollinger (four kills, two blocks) all chipped in to make quick work of North Pocono.
All-state setter Luke Braswell directed the offense with 29 assists to go with three kills, six blocks and two aces.
The Bobcats, who defeated North Pocono a year ago en route to the state title, will face another hurdle from last year in Holy Redeemer, who defeated Garden Spot, 25-19, 25-17, 25-22, in the quarterfinals. Northeastern cruised past the Royals, 25-13, 25-15, 25-17, in last year's semifinals.
Tuesday's showdown will also mark the third District 2 team in a row that the Bobcats have faced in the state tournament. Northeastern also cruised past Coughlin, the No. 4 seed from District 2, in the opening round.
The winner of Tuesday's contest will face either District 7 champion Ambridge or District 7 runner-up Derry in the finals.
The Bridgers, whom Northeastern defeated to capture the state title a year ago, are currently ranked No. 1 in the state according to the latest Pennsylvania State Volleyball Coaches Association Poll. Northeastern is No. 2 in that poll, Derry No. 3 and Holy Redeemer No. 4.
Central York advances to set the stage for a semifinal showdown with CB West: At Exeter High School, the No. 1 ranked Panthers didn't play perfect, but demonstrated all the traits of a champion in defeating the Redskins, who entered the match ranked No. 3 in that state.
The contest was pretty tight early on as the teams traded the lead back and forth. Central was finally able to take control of Game 1 by breaking a 12-all tie with a three-point run after forcing a pair of Neshaminy hitting errors.
The Redskins, however, seemed to steal the momentum back in Game 2 after going up 6-1. The Panthers, though, quickly regrouped with an 8-2 run to reclaim the lead.
Early in Game 3, Neshaminy took a modest 9-7 lead before the York-Adams League champs stormed back with an impressive 8-0 run.
After sweeping the District 1 runners-up, the Panthers will now get the chance to knock off the No. 2 ranked team Tuesday when they face CB West, the District 1 champs. CB West moved into the semifinals with a 25-22, 25-23, 27-25 victory over Parkland.
The winner of Tuesday's contest will face either District 7 champion North Allegheny or Hempfield, the District 3 third-seed, in the finals. North Allegheny was ranked No. 5 in the latest coaches poll while Hempfield, who was swept by Central in the District 3 semifinals, was rated at No. 9.
NOTE: No stats from Central's victory were available at the time of this posting.