Ex-Northeastern High volleyball standouts collide as rivals in high-profile college match

  • Reese Devilbiss and Luke Braswell were former volleyball teammates at Northeastern High School.
  • Devilbiss and Braswell collided as college rivals on Saturday.
  • Devilbiss plays for Ohio State, while Braswell plays for Penn State. Ohio State won the match, 3-1.

Two former Northeastern High School volleyball teammates collided as rivals in a high-profile early-season college match over the weekend in Ohio.

Reeese Devilbiss

Saturday, Reese Devilbiss and the Ohio State Buckeyes emerged victorious over Luke Braswell and the Penn State Nittany Lions in Columbus, Ohio, 25-13, 20-25, 25-21, 26-24.

Both ex-Bobcats started and played integral roles in the contest.

Devilbiss has earned a starting role at outside hitter for the Buckeyes. Against PSU, the 6-foot, 2-inch junior finished with 12 kills, seven digs and 16 points. Each of those numbers were the second-best figures for the OSU team.

Braswell, a 6-4 redshirt junior setter, finished with 35 assists and nine digs. Both of those numbers led the Nittany Lions.

OSU is now 2-0 on the season, while PSU fell to 0-1.

Braswell is in his third year as a starter for the Lions, leading the team in assists in each of the previous two seasons. He led the Eastern Intercollegiate Volleyball Association in assists per set (9.62) last season.

Devilbiss, meanwhile, is getting his first chance as a consistent starter for the Buckeyes.

Luke Braswell

Before the season, Ohio State coach Pete Hanson said he thinks Devilbiss is ready for a breakout season.

"I think No. 1 that the guy that is really ready to step up is Reese Devilbiss," Hanson said on the OSU website. "He's been kind of backing up (for OSU) ...  the last couple of years. Reese has gotten a lot of playing time, but I know he's anxious to get out there and be one of the guys full time, and he's prepared for that, and as a staff we have great confidence in him."

Devilbiss and Braswell were standouts on state championship teams at Northeastern. The Bobcats have now won six straight PIAA Class 2-A state titles.

Ohio State and Penn State are traditional volleyball powers. OSU is ranked No. 8 in NCAA Division I by the American Volleyball Coaches Association, while PSU is listed among the teams to watch. Based on poll points, PSU is ranked No. 17 in the nation.

Hayden Wagner

Wagner excels for George Mason: The team listed at No. 18 in that poll is George Mason (2-0), which is led by another former York County high school standout.

Former Central York High School star Hayden Wagner is a 6-6 opposite hitter for the Patriots. He leads George Mason in kills (24) and points (33.5) this season.

Wagner was an All-EIVA first-team performer last year as a sophomore.

Reach Steve Heiser at sheiser@yorkdispatch.com.