The Northeastern Bobcats boys' volleyball team made a rather large statement on Saturday.
The five-time defending PIAA Class 2-A state champions captured their own prestigious Bobcat Invitational to continue a stellar start to the 2018 season.
Northeastern bested a 40-team field that included 14 teams ranked in the top 10 in either 3-A or 2-A by the Pennsylvania Volleyball Coaches Association. It was the fourth straight time the Manchester school has captured its tournament crown.
Coach Matt Wilson's team has won two tournaments already this season, after previously taking the Cambridge Classic on the opening weekend of the season. Northeastern is also 4-0 in nontournament action, including an easy road victory over Cochranton, which is No. 8 in 2-A.
In the finals on Saturday, Northeastern took down Hempfield in a meeting of District 3 schools. Hempfield came into that match ranked No. 3 in the state by the PVCA in 3-A, while Northeastern was ranked No. 2 in 2-A.
The tournament started with pool play. Teams were then seeded in a play-in bracket based on pool-play results, and then teams advanced to one of three final brackets (Gold, Silver and Bronze) based on their play-in success.
Central York, York Suburban and Northeastern each advanced to the championship Gold bracket.
Central beat Suburban in the first round of the championship bracket. Cumberland Valley downed Central in the quarterfinals, but Northeastern advanced to the title match by beating Cumberland Valley in a three-game semifinal.
Seneca Valley downed Dallastown to win the Silver bracket. Erie McDowell got the best of Freedom to win the Bronze bracket.