MANCHESTER -- It's not often that you see a freshman starting for the Northeastern boys' volleyball team.
So when that does happen, you know there must be something special about that player.
Fortunately, Reese Devilbiss has a number of other high-caliber teammates to deflect the focus from a youngster who has already developed into one of the Bobcats' top hitting options.
Devilbiss was again a big part of a potent Northeastern lineup Tuesday night against defending York-Adams League champion York Suburban. The freshman finished with eight kills, four digs and three aces, and the Bobcats made quick work of the Trojans with an impressive 25-18, 25-12, 25-5 sweep.
"He's one of our top guys already," Northeastern coach Matt Wilson said. "Some of the things that he's able to do from time to time aren't freshman-like."
Devilbiss credits the team's senior leader, Stephen Braswell, for helping his game develop over the years. The freshman even patterns some of his game after Braswell, who finished with a game-high 13 kills and five aces.
"Stephen was one of the ones that taught me when I was coming up," Devilbiss said. "He helped me out a little. He's the leader of the team, but we have Luke (Braswell), who's a setter, and he helps lead a little bit, too."
Having a slew of talent and experience around him has made the transition to varsity volleyball relatively smooth for Devilbiss. Still, starting for a team ranked No. 2 in the latest Pennsylvania Volleyball Coaches Association Class AA state poll hasn't gone to his head.
"It's nice to be able to fill the shoes of somebody and to contribute," he said. "I just work hard at everything I do because I know that there are guys on the bench that can come take my spot. We have a good JV group coming up."
Stephen Braswell set the tone early for the Bobcats (2-0). He broke a 1-1 deadlock with a four-point run of aces. While Suburban kept things close throughout, the Trojans were unable to cut the deficit below four the rest of the way.
"I thought that if we could put pressure on them from the service line, good things could happen for us," Wilson said. "Our serve-receive was very good, and I think Luke set a nice ballgame."
Perhaps the only glaring shortcoming for Wilson's club Tuesday was a high number of service errors. The Bobcats gave up five points from serving miscues in Game 1 and finished with more than 10 for the match.
"We're struggling with some of the unforced-error things," Wilson said. "We should be a little better at that. And some of the missed serves weren't even close enough to be considered a good serve."
The Trojans, who return just two starters from last year's team that fell in the PIAA Class AA finals to Bethlehem Catholic, had trouble stopping Northeastern's attack all night. The Bobcats' top four hitters -- Stephen Braswell, Devilbiss, Matt Hollinger and Malik Jefferson -- combined for 31 kills.
Suburban's top hitter, Jacob Kauffman, showed he can put the ball away, with five kills and a block. The problem for the Trojans was their inability to find Kauffman often enough on the attack.
"We knew that if we could keep them on their heels with the serve-receive, we could minimize his impact," said Wilson, whose team tallied 12 aces for the contest. "He's a fantastic player, so we knew coming in that we had to do a good job on the service line."
Luke Braswell dished out 27 assists to go with six digs, three kills and three aces. Libero Devin Soop tallied eight digs.
Lars Dalemar led the Trojans with seven assists, while Ian Firestone tallied five digs.
OTHER BOYS' VOLLEYBALL
CENTRAL YORK 3, DALLASTOWN 0: At Central, the home team earned a 25-16, 33-31, 25-9 victory. The Panthers got big efforts from Alex Klunk (19 kills), Royce Clemens (14 kills, nine digs) and Dylan Hose (47 assists). Kyle Bagnall (13 kills), Justin Barnett (14 assists) and Dylan Smith (eight digs) led Dallastown. Central won the JV match, 25-20, 14-25, 15-11.
SUSQUEHANNOCK 3, NEW OXFORD 0: At New Oxford, the Warriors rolled to a 25-16, 25-19, 25-13 triumph. Tyler Steckbeck (six kills, five digs), Ross Starner (seven digs) and Joe Madina (eight assists, three digs) led New Oxford. Nathan Rohrbaugh (nine kills) and A.J. Schaeffer (12 assists, eight digs) paced the Warriors. Susquehannock won the JV match, 25-11, 25-20.
RED LION 3, DOVER 0: At Red Lion, Jared Warner pounded 14 kills to help power the Lions over the Eagles, 25-16, 25-17, 25-20. Warner also supplied five blocks. Jesus Gonzalez and Alec Chronister combined for 13 kills for the Lions, and Dan Longnecker racked up 20 assists. Brendan Warren and Kyle Cook teamed for 12 Dover kills, and Chipper Lindeman provided 14 assists.
EASTERN YORK 3, WEST YORK 1: At Wrightsville, the home team outlasted the Bulldogs, 26-24, 20-25, 25-13, 25-21. Austin Miller (26 assists) Sandon Eaton (15 kills, 11 digs), Liam Eifert (12 digs) and Jason Seitz (11 digs) powered the Golden Knights. West York got solid games from Josh Rinehart (nine kills), Brett Strickler (11 assists), Justin Warfel (nine blocks) and Mitch Grimm (17 digs).
KENNARD-DALE 3, SPRING GROVE 1: At Fawn Grove, the Rams grabbed a 25-15, 23-25, 25-20, 25-20 win. Nathan Ellis (19 kills, 18 digs), Josiah McConville (41 assists), Dylan Tessier (16 kills, five aces, 12 digs) and Vince Failla (10 kills, 15 digs) led K-D. For the Rockets, Dalton Forbes (three aces, 11 digs, 21 kills), Austin Muff (24 assists, 11 digs) and Cayden Wisner (21 digs, three kills) led the way. K-D won the JV match, 2-1.
-- Reach Ryan Vandersloot at firstname.lastname@example.org.