Perennial boys' volleyball powers from across the state will compete at Central York High School this weekend in the 39th year of the Koller Classic.
The top-three-ranked Class AA teams in the state will be on hand, as will six Class AAA teams ranked in the top 10 in the state.
The one-day varsity tournament will be held Saturday at Central York beginning at 8:30 a.m. Admission will be $2 for students and $5 for adults. A junior varsity tournament will begin Friday at 4 p.m., with identical admission prices. All proceeds benefit the Central York High School boys' volleyball team and the Central York Athletic Booster Club.
Ranked 1-2-3 in Class AA in the first state rankings published by the Pennsylvania Volleyball Coaches Association, Ambridge, Northeastern and Derry are set to compete in the annual tournament.
Northeastern beat Ambridge for the state AA crown last year, marking the fourth state title for the Bobcats' boys' volleyball team.
This weekend's tournament could feature quite a few rematches of sorts.
At Northeastern's Bobcat Invitational two weeks ago, Central York beat Ambridge in the semifinals before going on to beat Hempfield in the final. Hempfield had defeated Northeastern in the other semifinal at that invitational.
Both Central York, the top-ranked Class AAA team in the state and winners of five state crowns, and Hempfield, ranked No. 3 in the state AAA rankings, will compete Saturday. As will four other teams ranked in the top 10 in the state in Class AAA: No. 5 North Allegheny, No. 8 Neshaminy, No. 9 Parkland and No. 10 Central Dauphin.
Central Dauphin and Hempfield both reached the state AAA semifinals a year ago. North Allegheny won last year's Koller Classic before later winning the AAA state title match over Pennsbury, which is also slated to compete Saturday.
Three weeks ago at the North Allegheny Invitational, Central York beat North Allegheny in the finals.
Even more local flavor will be featured with Dallastown and York Suburban set to participate. In all, a total of 20 teams, including 11 who were state qualifiers a year ago, across four pools will battle for a championship trophy that will be presented by former longtime Central coach Bruce Koller, who led the Panthers' program from 1970 to 2001.
Following is a list of the participating teams, along with the pools they will compete in. An "x" indicates a returning state qualifier.
Pool A: x-Central York, Cambridge Springs, x-North Allegheny, x-Emmaus, x-Chambersburg.
Pool B: Dallastown, x-Hempfield, x-State College, x-Derry, Neshaminy.
Pool C: York Suburban, x-Bethlehem Catholic, x-Central Dauphin, x-Ambridge, x-Pennsbury.
Pool D: x-Northeastern, Red Land, Penn Manor, Montour, Parkland.
— Reach John Walk at email@example.com.