After slow start, York Suburban storms back to win PIAA Class 2-A boys' volleyball opener

RYAN VANDERSLOOT
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York Suburban's Aidan Hughley, left, celebrates a point against Dock Mennonite with teammates in a first-round Class 2-A state playoff match at Dalllastown High School Tuesday, June 1, 2021. Bill Kalina photo

DALLASTOWN – The York Suburban boys’ volleyball team is one that can thrive off the emotion of the crowd.

That can be a good thing when when Suburban is playing at home or near home.

So, when the Trojans opened up PIAA Class 2-A action on Tuesday just a few miles away from their home gym, at Dallastown High School, most would've expected Suburban to come out firing.

That's not quite the way things worked out. Taking on Dock Mennonite, the District 3 runner-up Trojans played sloppy and listless from the onset.

The crowd, filled with orange shirts and a raucous Suburban student section, questioned what was going on. The District 1 runner-up was having its way en route to a convincing victory in the opening set.

After a bit of a pep talk from coach Oliver Good, the Trojans finally kicked things into gear.

Getting big kills from outside attacker Brady Stump certainly helped. Stump, perhaps the best outside hitter in the York-Adams League this season, smashed 19 kills to go with 13 digs to help rally his side.

By the time it was over, the crowd was loud and the Trojans left the court at Dallastown victorious after claiming a 15-25, 25-19, 25-17, 25-22 triumph.

Trojans needed time to work out their nerves: Suburban senior Lucas Strickland believed his team hadn’t worked out their nerves by the time they hit the court in Set 1.

“It’s the state opener and there are always nerves,” he said. “And I think you saw that in Set 1.”

The Trojans didn’t get to where they are, ranked No. 4 in the state in 2-A by the Pennsylvania Volleyball Coaches Association, by playing like that too often. When they were able to feed Stump for some of his patented booming kills, the nerves calmed and the Suburban side saw its collective play improve a few notches.

“It’s always great,” Strickland said of Stump’s kills. “I love having Brady on our side, because I would hate playing against him. He’s someone that can get our energy up.”

Stump’s big-game performance was welcomed news for the Trojans on a night when the state's top-ranked team in 2-A was upset in the first round of PIAA play. Seton LaSalle, the District 7 champ, was swept by District 10 runner-up Cochranton.

Coincidentally, Cochranton is now the team the Suburban boys will take on in the quarterfinals at 4 p.m. Saturday at Bald Eagle High School in Bellefonte, Centre County. Cochranton is unranked by the PCVA in 2-A.

Looking for payback: The Trojans are eventually hoping to earn some payback against the team that beat them in the district 2-A final last Friday.

“This is what we call our ‘revenge tour’ now,” said Strickland, who finished with eight kills and two aces on the night. “The goal is to go (all the way) and see (Lower Dauphin) in the (PIAA) finals and get another shot.”

Setter Trevor Culbertson dished out 35 assists in the victory, while libero Alex Probert recorded a team-high 14 digs for Suburban.

Reach Ryan Vandersloot at sports@yorkdispatch.com.