DALLASTOWN — The boys’ volleyball season can be cruel, even for some of the better teams in the York-Adams League.
One need look no further than Dallastown, a team that played a tough schedule in both tournament and non-league competition. Despite tallying an impressive 9-5 record, the Wildcats were dealt a disappointing hand when the final District 3 power ratings came out this weekend.
All of their five losses this season came to teams ranked in the top 10 in the Pennsylvania Volleyball Coaches Association polls. Nevertheless, Dallastown was the first team left out of the District 3 Class AAA draw.
Without a chance to extend the season beyond this week, the Wildcats took to the York-Adams League playoffs as their championship. After falling behind Central York in the first round on their home court on Monday, Dallastown rallied back to even the match by winning Game 3 and Game 4 vs. the No. 3 team in the PVCA AAA rankings.
They again rallied from a 14-10 deficit in Game 5, but time finally ran out, and the Panthers claimed a 25-13, 25-19, 22-25, 22-25, 17-15 victory to end Dallastown's season..
York Suburban, ranked No. 2 by the PVCA in AA, had no such troubles in advancing in the other quarterfinal. The Trojans breezed past Susquehannock, 25-15, 25-10, 25-14.
On Tuesday, Central will face Northeastern (ranked No. 1 in AA by the PVCA) in one semifinal, while York Suburban will meet Red Lion in the other semifinal. Both matches will start at 6 p.m. at Dallastown High School and Dallastown Middle School, respectively. The semifinal winners will meet at Dallastown High at approximately 7:30 p.m. Tuesday for the league title.
“It’s always a big match when they play us,” said Central York senior Hayden Wagner. “Being a game where, if they don’t win this, they’re done, that makes it an even bigger game.”
Things looked like it would be fairly orderly for the Panthers after they stormed ahead after winning the first two games. But the Wildcats, who took Central to five games during the regular season as well, were not about to give up. Generating some energy from the home crowd, Dallastown scored the key points in both Game 3 and Game 4 to even the match.
“Going into Game 3, I told them that they still have three more games to play,” said Dallastown coach Lance Ranck. “Three more games to lay it all out there and see what they could do.”
They nearly pulled off the upset. They led by a 9-8 score in Game 5 before a terrific rally by the Panthers resulted in Central evening the score. The Panthers scored two more points in a row to go ahead 11-9. After Dallastown rallied back to even things up at 14-14, the Panthers were able to put it away when Wagner slammed home an ace.
“We really responded,” Ranck said. “And I just got finished telling them that it doesn’t get any better without beating them.”
Nathan Darr and Aaron Ward each tallied 11 kills for the Wildcats, while Dylan Fry registered 24 digs. Setter Peyton Ranck dished out 42 assists.
Wagner led Central with a game-high 27 kills, while Cole Johnson and Spencer Tate each finished with 10 kills. Zak Kakos registered 27 digs while setter Carter Luckenbaugh dished out 48 assists.
Trojans roll past Warriors: While Suburban had little difficulty with Susquehannock, the Trojans will need to come out a bit better prepared Tuesday.
Coach Jamie Evans’ club traded points back and forth with the Warriors in Game 1, which forced the veteran coach to take an early timeout.
“We started out a little slow,” Evans said. “We went through six rotations and I said, ‘enough is enough’. We’ve done that a lot where we wait around and it takes us a little bit to get warm.”
Suburban clearly got the message. They dominated the rest of Game 1, scoring 17 of the final 20 points.
“It was too slow, but then they fixed it,” Evans said.
Jack Schultz led the Trojans with 10 kills while Sepehr Vakili added nine. Setter Kaleb Ansell dished out 36 assists, while Gavin Dean recorded 17 digs.
No Susquehannock stats were available as of press time.
Reach Ryan Vandersloot at firstname.lastname@example.org.