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The Central York boys' volleyball team made a strong opening statement about the 2019 season over the weekend.

The Panthers won the prestigious North Allegheny Tournament, which was packed with some of the best high school programs in the state.

In the championship match on Saturday, Central downed longtime York-Adams League rival Northeastern, 25-22.

The Bobcats came into the weekend ranked No. 2 in the state in the Pennsylvania Volleyball Coaches Association Class 3-A state preseason poll. Northeastern has won the past six 2-A state championships, but the Bobcats moved up to 3-A for this season.

Central, meanwhile, entered the North Allegheny event ranked No. 6 in 3-A by the PVCA.

The Panthers went 12-2 overall in games during the day, but they were at their best in the playoff round, beating Fox Chapel, 25-15, in the first round; Ambridge, 25-21, in the quarterfinals; Exeter, 25-20, in the semifinals; and then Northeastern in the title match.

In the quarterfinals, Exeter (ranked No. 4 in the state in 3-A) upset the No. 1 3-A team in the state, North Allegheny, 26-24, before falling to Central in the semifinals. Ambridge was ranked No. 2 in the state in 2-A, while North Allegheny is the defending 3-A state champion.

Northeastern, meanwhile, won its first-round playoff match over Montour, 25-10, followed by a 25-16 victory over Penn Trafford in the quarterfinals. In the semifinals, the Bobcats beat Manheim Central, 25-14. Northeastern finished 11-3 on the day.

Manheim Central was ranked No. 7 in 2-A.

On Friday, Northeastern downed Derry, 3-0, in a dual match. Derry was ranked No. 1 in the state 2-A preseason poll.

Reach Steve Heiser at sheiser@yorkdispatch.com.

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