York Suburban boys' volleyball season reaches end of line with state 2-A semifinal setback

ROB ROSE
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York Suburban junior outside hitter Brady Stump, left, spikes the ball during the PIAA 2-A boys' volleyball semifinal on Tuesday. Meadville defeated York Suburban, 3-1.

ALTOONA — Even though 271 miles separate Meadville and York Suburban high schools, the two boys' volleyball programs are very familiar with each other.

In the 2019 PIAA Class 2-A boys’ volleyball championship match, the programs faced off, with the Bulldogs taking the title in five sets.

So, when the two teams met again on Tuesday night in the PIAA 2-A semifinals, the Trojans expected another war, and they got one.

During the third set, the teams battled fiercely for the lead, looking to take a crucial advantage in the 1-1 contest. Suburban and Meadville traded points back and forth until the Bulldogs pulled ahead late to claim the set and take a 2-1 lead.

The rush of excitement the Bulldogs got after pulling out a close Set 3 victory carried over into the fourth set. The District 10 champions cruised to another win in Set 4 and clinched a 3-1 victory in the match (25-19, 20-25, 25-23, 25-16) and a spot in the state title match on Saturday at Penn State. 

“That third set was really good volleyball, high quality stuff from both teams and Meadville is a very respected opponent,” Suburban head coach Oliver Good said. “We have a history with them, so we know what they do. They just outplayed us a little bit in the final moments of Set 3 and that momentum definitely carried over.”

As usual for the Trojans (17-4), junior outside hitter Brady Stump led the offensive attack. Stump had 25 kills and two serving aces for Suburban, but was forced to fight for all his points during the second and third sets, when the Bulldogs adjusted to the Trojans’ attack.

“Meadville is a well-coached opponent,” Good said. "They play a very fast, very confident style of volleyball. That can frustrate opponents, and their hustle and determination to never let a ball hit the floor, was able to not only frustrate Brady, but frustrate our entire team.”

York Suburban senior libero Alex Probert, left, sets up to serve the ball during the PIAA 2-A boys' volleyball semifinal match on Tuesday. York Suburban lost to Meadville, 3-1.

Senior libero Alex Probert led the Trojans with 16 digs, while senior middle hitter Aidan Hughley added nine kills.

Good admitted that, at times, he doubted if his team had what it took to again reach the state playoffs, but he was impressed by their efforts in practice to become one of the final four 2-A teams playing in Pennsylvania. So, he insisted that his players enjoy how far they came, instead of focusing on falling short of their state title goal after reaching the District 3 championship and state semifinal games.

“All of these boys are best friends,” Good said. “So, I encouraged them to really just enjoy this time that they have together. Our school has already graduated, so our seniors are done, and this is the last time we're going to be together. So, I told them they're allowed to be disappointed down the road, but right now we're going to celebrate their hard work and enjoy our time together.”

Reach Rob Rose at rrose@yorkdispatch.com.