Central York, Northeastern, York Suburban advance to state boys' volleyball semifinals

Central York's Matthew Minkin hits the ball past York Suburban's Noah Chojnacki earlier this season. Both Central (in Class 3-A) and Suburban (in Class 2-A) have advanced to the state boys' volleyball semifinals. John A. Pavoncello photo
  • Three York-Adams teams have made the PIAA state boys' volleyball semifinals.
  • Northeastern and Central York will face off in the state 3-A semifinals.
  • York Suburban will meet regional rival Manheim Central in a 2-A semifinal.
  • Both matches are slated for Red Lion High School on Tuesday night.

There are eight teams left in the PIAA boys' volleyball state playoffs.

Three are from York County, and at least one is guaranteed a berth in a state championship match.

Central York (18-2) and Northeastern (19-2) earned Class 3-A quarterfinal triumphs on Saturday, while York Suburban (16-4) cruised to a 2-A quarterfinal victory.

Now, all three teams will take part in state semifinal contests on Tuesday at Red Lion High School.

Central York will face off against county rival Northeastern at approximately 7:30 p.m. Tuesday at Red Lion.

In the first game at Red Lion at 6 p.m. Tuesday, District 3 2-A runner-up York Suburban will face District 3 2-A champion Manheim Central in another intense regional rivalry.

Central, Northeastern meet yet again: Central earned its 3-A semifinal berth with a 25-16, 25-17, 24-26, 25-16 quarterfinal triumph over Pennsbury (16-4), the third-place team from District 1, on Saturday at Twin Valley High School in Elverson. 

Central York's Braden Richard gets a shot past Northeastern's Austin Richards, left, earlier this season. Central and Northeastern will face off in the state 3-A semifinals on Tuesday. Bill Kalina photo

The Panthers were led by Braden Richard (25 kills, four digs), Kyle Mehl (13 kills, six digs, five blocks, four aces, three assists), Brock Anderson (42 assists), Brandt Kelbaugh (12 digs) and Matt Minkin (seven digs, five kills, four aces).

Northeastern, meanwhile, surivived its second straight five-set state match with a 25-17, 25-17, 22-25, 22-25, 15-9 win over District 11 champion Whitehall (24-1) in a 3-A quarterfinal on Saturday at Schuylkill Valley High School in Leesport.

Northeastern's stat leaders were Nate Wilson (29 kills, 10 digs), Trip Williams (10 kills), Joel Braswell (nine kills, four blocks), Alex Finch (six blocks, four kills), Austin Richards (55 assists, five digs, three kills), Zech Sanderson (eight digs, five kills), Tristan Schraudner (20 digs) and Brady Lemen (11 digs).

Now, Central and Northeastern will meet for the third time this season in a best-of-five match. Northeastern won the previous two best-of-five contests, 3-1 and 3-2, to claim the York-Adam League regular-season and playoff crowns.

Central York beats State College 3-1 to win its 24th District 3 boys' volleyball crown

Central, however, held a 3-1-1 edge over Northeastern in head-to-head tournament meetings this season and also won the District 3 3-A title, while the Bobcats settled for a third-place finish.

The other 3-A state semifinal will pit District 7 champ North Allegheny (21-0) vs. District 7 runner-up Bethel Park (18-1).

In the latest Pennsylvania Volleyball Coaches Association 3-A state rankings, Central York is No. 1, North Allegheny is No. 2, Northeastern is No. 3 and Bethel Park is No. 7. Additionally, Pennsbury was unranked, while Whitehall was No. 10.

Northeastern is chasing its seventh straight state title. The Bobcats won the last six 2-A state crowns before moving up to 3-A this season. Northeastern owns nine state titles overall, while Central has captured seven state boys' volleyball crowns.

York Suburban's Harrison Perring, left, and Luke Babinchak defend at the net against Manheim Central's Brandyn Musser during the District 3 Class 2-A title match. Manheim Central won that match, 3-0. The two teams will face off again on Tuesday in the state 2-A semifinals. Bill Kalina photo

Suburban, Manheim Central in another showdown: In 2-A, Suburban and Manheim Central (17-1) will meet for the third time in a best-of-five battle this season. Suburban won the first meeting during the regular season, 3-2, but Manheim Central rebounded to take a 3-0 win over Suburban in the District 3 2-A title match.

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Suburban advanced to the 2-A semifinals with a 25-20, 25-16, 25-20 pounding of District 2 champion Holy Redeemer (15-2) in the quarterfinals on Saturday at Schuylkill Valley. Suburban came into that match ranked No. 3 in the state in 2-A by the PVCA, while Holy Redeemer was unranked.

Suburban was paced by Nate Bowman (nine kills), Declan Ridings (seven kills), Noah Chojnacki (12 assists), Trevor Culbertson (11 assists) and Harrison Gettle (eight digs). 

Manheim Central is the top-ranked team in the state in 2-A and certainly looked the part of a No. 1 team on Saturday with a 25-19, 25-8, 25-16 quarterfinal sweep of District 12 runner-up Palumbo (17-5) at Twin Valley.

The other 2-A state semifinal on Tuesday will pit District 7 champ Ambridge vs. District 10 champion Meadville. Meadville is ranked No. 2 in the state in 2-A, while Ambridge is No. 5.

The state title matches are set for Saturday at Penn State's Pegula Ice Arena, with the 2-A final at 11 a.m., followed by the 3-A final at 1:30 p.m.

Reach Steve Heiser at sheiser@yorkdispatch.com.