MANCHESTER — Northeastern boys’ volleyball coach Matt Wilson isn’t afraid to pull out the big guns when it comes to preparing his team for a showdown.
Case in point: Before the Bobcats were set to take on York-Adams League rival Dallastown, Wilson invited a pair of alumni to participate in practice. Former all-state players Nic Shoemaker and Matt Schaeffer helped get the Bobcats ready for their showdown with the Wildcats.
The result certainly speaks for itself. The five-time defending PIAA Class 2-A champions rolled over the visitors 25-12, 25-15, 25-19 at Northeastern High School.
“We were fortunate that I could call on (coach Eric Shoemaker’s) brother, who’s a lefty, and that he was available,” Wilson said. “And Matt Schaeffer came back from the service for a little bit.”
Shoemaker and Schaeffer were brought in to emulate what Wilson expected to see from a Wildcat squad that has PIAA aspirations at the 3-A level. Dallastown was unable to get any type of rhythm going against Wilson’s very talented side.
Big runs in Set 1 and Set 2 really propelled the home team to comfortable cushions, while the visitors were left shaking their heads.
Preparation key: According to senior libero Jacob Cheuvront, the key — as it always is in Manchester — is preparation.
“We prepared for them a lot,” Cheuvront said. “We had to learn each player — where they swing, what they like to do. And in practice, it really helped that he brought in some other players that played in the same style of (the Dallastown guys).”
The Bobcats took what they learned and ended up giving the normally fiery Wilson a chance to stay calm throughout much of the night.
Cheuvront could tell that his coach really wanted to come out with a victory against a Dallastown side that is coached by Wilson’s former head coach at Northeastern, Tom Beakler.
Wanting the victory, however, had nothing to do with getting the best of Wilson’s mentor. Instead it had all to do with making a statement against a team that could be destined for postseason success.
“They are just one of those opponents right now that are in the mix,” Wilson said of Dallastown. “It’s early and you have to get this one. It means a lot and it is what it is. It was a very important hurdle to get over at this point of the season.”
Strong in first two sets: Wilson was certainly satisfied with the results, especially in Set 1 and Set 2. The offense was balanced, with Wyatt Hughes leading the way with nine kills. Wilson’s son, Nate, finished off five points, while Lewis-bound Cole Brillhart tallied seven kills.
“In the first two I thought that we did some nice things,” Wilson said. “But we got a little sloppy in (Set) 3 and, you know, that happens. But overall a pretty good outing.”
Austin Richards finished with 26 assists for the Bobcats, who improved to 2-0 in the league this season. Cheuvront finished with four digs.
Ben Ward finished with six kills, while Jake Bixler added four more for the Wildcats, who fell to 1-1 in league play. Cade Fry paced the Dallastown defense with 16 digs, while Mason Figdore dished out 11 assists.
Susquehannock 3, Kennard-Dale 2: At Fawn Grove, the Warriors triumphed behind Jacob Williams (22 kills), Jon Lippy (28 assists, 15 digs) and Tanner Bonitz (nine kills). K-D's leaders were James Lippiard (14 kills, 11 digs), Noah McConville (21 kills, 12 digs) and John Enders (30 assists, 10 digs). Susquehannock won the JV match, 2-0.
Spring Grove 3, Eastern York 0: At Spring Grove, the Rockets won, 25-21, 25-14, 25-22. Aaron Mummert led the Rockets with eight kills, four digs and four aces. Also for the Rockets, Aaron Gunarich had 10 kills and five digs, Caleb Becker had 21 assists and three kills and Dalton Mummert had five kills. For the Golden Knights, Dalton Leik had seven kills, 12 digs and three aces. Also for Eastern, Brady Bixler had three kills, three digs and four blocks, while Jake Kennell had five kills and three digs. Eastern, won the JV match 2-0.
New Oxford 3, West York 0: At West York , the Colonials rolled, 25-14, 25-16, 26-24. Matt Faust (15 assists) and Austin Dodd (18 digs) paced New Oxford. Adam Hersey (19 assists, 10 digs) and Ian Watson (seven kills) led the Bulldogs.
Reach Ryan Vandersloot at firstname.lastname@example.org.