Maybe the Central York boys’ volleyball team came into Tuesday’s York-Adams League regular-season showdown finale vs. Northeastern a little too overconfident.
Having a 3-1-1 record vs. their rival so far this season in tournament play, the Panthers knew they could more than hang with the Bobcats. They could beat them. They had proven that.
Just not on this night.
The Manchester boys were eager to make a point — and boy did they.
The Bobcats stormed out early in Set 1 and Set 2 to take control in a battle of Y-A League unbeatens. After the Panthers rallied back in Set 3, the visitors from Northeastern rebounded nicely to claim an impressive 3-1 triumph (25-13, 25-17, 20-25, 25-17) to capture the Y-A regular-season title at 11-0.
Controlling the environment: “Right from the start we knew that we had to control the environment,” Bobcat outside hitter Nate Wilson said. “We knew that the crowd was going to be bumping.”
Wilson and his teammates helped take a big crowd at Central York High School out of it early on. With the Bobcats (13-1 overall) holding a 6-5 lead in Set 1, the visitors used a nine-point run to gain the upper hand. That momentum carried over into Set 2, and the Bobcats seemed poised to earn a sweep.
“I think it is really simple,” Central coach Todd Goodling said. “They kind of blew us off the court tonight and we didn’t respond well.”
Central rebounds in Set 3: In Set 3, Goodling’s squad showed why it entered the evening atop the latest Pennsylvania Volleyball Coaches Association Class 3-A state rankings. The Panthers (11-1), who were unable to pass the ball effectively in the first two sets, displayed a more crisp passing offense while storming out to a lead.
“We came around in the third game,” Goodling said.
The Bobcats, ranked No. 2 in the state in 3-A, tried to rally back in Set 3, but came up short in the end. That late momentum, however, was helpful in getting the Northeastern boys back on track.
“In Set 3, we just didn’t seal the deal,” said Wilson, who led the Bobcats with 15 kills. “We had the momentum (heading into Set 3), but we sealed the deal in the fourth set. We have a lot of heart. We just don’t give up.”
More meetings likely loom: While Tuesday’s victory was important, it very likely will not be the last time these two teams see each other. A possible rematch in the Y-A playoff final next week seems likely. Another showdown in the District 3 Class 3-A Tournament is also a likelihood, as is a pairing in the state playoffs.
Both sides will have something to prove the next time they meet. The Bobcats are eager to show that Tuesday was no fluke, while the Panthers will look to send a message that they are/were ranked No. 1 for a reason.
“It comes down to our side of the court,” Goodling said. “Hopefully we learned something tonight and it won’t repeat itself down the road.”
Bobcats show consistency: Northeastern coach Matt Wilson, who has been concerned all season with his team’s consistency, is hoping to see a similar effort from his squad if and when the rematches happen.
“Tonight it was pretty nice to see that level of consistency stick around throughout the match,” he said. “And that’s been our Achilles heel all season so far. So it was good to see that consistency tonight.”
Austin Richards tallied 40 assists for the Bobcats, while libero Tristan Schraudner paced the defense with 14 digs. Braden Richard, Kyle Mehl and Matt Minkin tallied 11 kills each for Central while setter Brock Anderson dished out 36 assists.
York Suburban 3, West York 0: At West York, the Trojans won the match, 25-10, 25-12, 25-20.
John Doll led the Trojans with eight kills. Also for Suburban, Noah Chojnacki had 17 assists and 10 digs, while Nate Bowman and Declan Ridings each had seven kills.
For the Bulldogs, Alex McClellan had seven kills and nine digs, Adam Hersey had 11 assists and five digs and Nick Fuentes had six digs.
Suburban, ranked No. 1 in the state in Class 2-A by the Pennsylvania Volleyball Coaches Association, finished (9-2) in the York-Adams League and improved to 12-2 overall.
Kennard-Dale 3, Eastern York 2: At Wrightsville, the Rams rallied for a 25-21, 22-25, 22-25, 25-14, 15-13 triumph.
Wes Forrester led the Rams with 18 kills and six digs. Also for K-D, Teddy Castro had nine kills and 13 digs; Tommy Johnson had seven kills, five digs and three blocks; and Landon Delp had four kills, 10 digs, 31 assists and four blocks.
For the Golden Knights, Brady Bixler had 15 kills, seven blocks and five digs; Jake Kennell had 13 digs and three kills; and Bobby Truell had six kills and six digs.
Red Lion 3, New Oxford 2: At Red Lion, the home team stormed back from a 2-0 hole to earn a 20-25, 22-25, 27-25, 25-19, 15-10 victory.
Red Lion's stat leaders were: Blake Hildebrand (26 kills, five digs, five aces), Jared Bodisch (13 kills, six digs), Ethan Shoup (19 assists, five digs), Conner Baker (27 assists, seven digs) and Brandon Weinstein (11 digs).
Red Lion improved to 9-4 overall and finished 8-3 in the Y-A League.
Susquehannock 3, Dover 1: At Dover, the Warriors triumphed, 25-19, 25-18, 22-25, 25-20. No Susquehannock stats were provided.
Dover's stat leaders were Owen Davis (19 assists), Dakota Dehoff (eight kills) and Devin Crone (10 kills, five digs).
Dallastown 3, Spring Grove 1: At Spring Grove, the Wildcats rallied for a 22-25, 25-18, 25-19, 25-21 win.
The Wildcats improved to 9-5 overall and finished 7-4 in the Y-A League. No Dallastown stats were reported.
Spring Grove was led by Peyton Wolfe (10 digs) and Josh Blymier (18 assists, 11 digs).
Reach Ryan Vandersloot at email@example.com.