MANCHESTER — For the second year in a row, the York Suburban boys’ volleyball team has begun its season with arguably the toughest opening stretch of any program in the state.
While that may not be ideal, it will certainly give new head coach Oliver Good and his Trojans a quick barometer of where the club stands by the time the first full week of the season is complete.
Tuesday at Northeastern High School, the Suburban boys found out that they have some catching up to do.
After getting off to a quick start against the five-time defending PIAA Class 2-A champs, the Trojans found it tough to stop a potent Bobcat attack. The hosts quickly settled into their first York-Adams League match of the season in their home gym, sweeping to a 25-17, 25-9, 25-15 win.
“Once they get going it’s hard to stop them, absolutely,” Good said of Northeastern. “They’re a really good team. It was a nice measuring stick for us to obviously let us know what we have to work on.”
Good and his squad, however, won’t get a lot of time before the second part of an opening one-two punch to open the season. Next Tuesday, the Trojans will take on defending PIAA 3-A champion Central York.
“It doesn’t get any easier,” Good joked.
Bobcats looking strong: Northeastern coach Matt Wilson doesn’t believe in taking things easy either. After coming off a big opening weekend, that included a victory over state-ranked Cochranton, followed by claiming the Cambridge Springs tournament title, the Bobcats will get a Dallastown side next Tuesday that figures to be in contention for the Y-A title.
Tuesday night against the Trojans, Wilson’s club resembled a team that is positioned to capture a sixth-consecutive state title. Senior Cole Brillhart led a balanced attack with a team-best 11 kills, while sophomore setter Austin Richards dished out 32 assists.
“We had some early-game jitters against an opponent that we know is going to be pretty solid all season long,” Wilson said. “But we got it going. There are some real signs that this team can be really, really good. I’m pretty pleased with our effort.”
The home team erased an early deficit in Set 2 with a big run to take charge. Things continued to be problematic for the visitors in Set 3, when the Bobcats raced out to a big lead.
Making moves: While most of the Northeastern squad that captured the PIAA title a season ago returns, there are a few changes that were noticeable. The biggest two were the move of senior Jacob Cheurvront from setter to libero and the insertion of Richards at setter.
“So far Jacob has done a fantastic job,” Wilson said. “We have a belief that the libero is one of the most important positions and it is a focus position here at Northeastern.”
The ability to keep the ball alive for a team with a bevy of big attackers is certainly one of the reasons that the Bobcats have been so dominant of late. That was true this past weekend and again Tuesday vs. Suburban.
“Chevy is a senior and he made a big move there for us,” said Brillhart, who will play for NCAA Division I Lewis University next season. “He really has embraced that position and he had a great weekend. Great game on Friday (against Cochranton) and a great tournament Saturday.”
Richards, to his credit, looked like anything but a first-time varsity setter. While he looked to be as adept as Cheuvront was at setting a season ago, the 6-foot-1 Richards provides some extra height at the net.
“He’s a young one, but he’s a nice athlete,” Wilson said. “He’s got a nice jump on him and he gets up pretty well and he’s a physical type of player at the net. He’s already doing some nice things. He’s made some big strides and he’s beginning to understand the game as a setter now.”
Dallastown 3, New Oxford 0: At Dallastown, the home team rolled, 25-21, 25-16, 25-21 behind Ben Ward (11 kills), Jake Bixler (11 kills), Mason Figdore (21 assists, seven digs), Cade Fry (27 digs) and Braedon Ranck (11 assists, four digs). Dallastown won the JV match, 2-0.
Dover 3, Eastern York 0: At Wrightsville, the Eagles won, 25-14, 25-19, 25-20. Zach Noll led the visitors with seven kills, four digs and nine assists. Also for Dover, Devin Crone had five kills and five digs, Dakota Dehoff had six kills and Nick Spangler had 13 assists. For the Golden Knights, Dalton Leik had nine kills and four digs, Nolan Reichard had four kills and four blocks and Devyn Sanders had nine assists. Eastern won the JV match, 2-0.
Central York 3, Red Lion 0: At Red Lion, the Panthers collected a 25-19, 25-6, 25-17 sweep behind 10 kills, four digs and an ace from UCLA-bound Cole Johnson. Kyle Mehl had eight digs and Brock Anderson picked up 22 assists for Central. Red Lion got four kills and three digs from Jared Bodish, and teammate Conner Baker added six assists and three digs.
West York 12, Red Lion 10: At Red Lion, Sydney Sweitzer led the Bulldogs to the road victory by scoring eight goals and adding one assist. Teammate Holly Detwiler recorded four goals. For the Lions, Peyton Shima had five goals and one assist, while Kaiya Edwards scored two goals and Sara Simms had one goal and one assist.
New Oxford 10, York Suburban 9: At Suburban, the Colonials were led by a three-point night from Lauren Slonaker, who paired two goals with an assist. The Trojans were led by Kamille Wasilewski’s four goals; and they also got a pair of goals each from Katherine Mooney and Julia Stell.
Susquehannock 16, Dallastown 3: At Glen Rock, Riley Roeder led the Warriors by scoring six goals. Also for Susquehannok, Kenna Hancock had five goals and one assist, Emma Stiffler had one goal and four assists and Harley Mummert had two goals and one assist. For the Wildcats, Danni Dubois scored two goals.
Central York 16, Eastern York 4: At Wrightsville, the defending York-Adams champion Panthers got their 2018 season off to a fast start with a rout of the host Golden Knights that saw Connor Hoch score a game-high five goals. Eastern was led by a three-goal effort from Bryce Henise, who also had an assist.
Spring Grove 15, Delone Catholic 3: At Spring Grove, Jordan Hawkins led the Rockets by scoring four goals and adding one assist. Also for Spring Grove, Colson Martin scored three goals, Zab Hollinger and Jake Delaughter each scored two goals and added one assist and Madison Martin scored one goal and added one assist.
Dallastown 13, Susquehannock 11: At Dallastown, Ethan Pickett led the Wildcats to the home victory by scoring a game-high six goals. Also for the Wildcats, Tanner Haines had three goals and one assist, Ryan Dodson scored three goals and Spencer Bertok added two assists. For the Warriors, Jacob Bedgar scored four goals, Ian LeBlanc had two goals and two assists, Colin Kernan scored two goals and Ben Wilson added two assists.
Kennard-Dale 6, Pequea Valley 4: At Pequea Valley, the Rams rallied to plate four runs in the top of the seventh to take the lead and capture the season-opening victory. Max Cooper, Adam Freese and Garrett Meckley each doubled for the Rams. Garrett Lowe had two RBIs, Mike Lizzi scored two runs and pitcher Ethan Phillips threw a complete game, striking out four, walking one and allowing two earned runs.
Reach Ryan Vandersloot at firstname.lastname@example.org.