WEST YORK — The general feeling at West York High School on Tuesday night was simple.
It was a shame that four York-Adams League teams had to face off in the District 3 Class 3-A girls' volleyball quarterfinals.
The four teams involved — Dover, York Suburban, West York and Eastern York — are generally regarded as four of the best 3-A teams in the district.
The two losers, unfortunately, would see their seasons end.
In the first match-up of a doubleheader at West York, Dover squared off with Suburban in a rematch from the league playoffs.
Both sides were evenly matched and momentum shifted constantly from one side to the other. In the end, however, it was the team with more senior leadership — Dover — that prevailed, 25-18, 23-25, 25-17, 20-25, 15-8, in a marathon contest.
No. 6 seed Dover (13-5) advances to Thursday's semifinals and will take on No. 2 seed West York (19-1) at Dallastown High School at 7:30 p.m. The Bulldogs rolled past No. 7 seed Eastern (15-5) in the other quarterfinal at West York, 25-21, 25-19, 25-14.
“Suburban is tough,” Dover coach Brett Hoffman said. “This was the rubber match. They beat us in four (in the regular season) and we beat them in four (in the league playoffs), so why not go five?”
Emma Davis (29 kills, 12 digs, four blocks) and Chayce Hoffman (19 kills, 24 digs, seven aces) had huge nights for the Eagles. Those performances were absolutely necessary because the third-seeded Trojans (15-3) refused to budge an inch.
“It was exciting,” coach Hoffman said. “We set our attacker early on and then they adjusted like I knew they would. We had a little bit of trouble at some spots, but tonight I think we were the better team.”
The Trojans rallied back from early deficits in both Sets 2 and 4 to keep the Eagles on the edge of their seats. Freshman Eliana Rodgers led the Trojans with 14 kills, while Lulu Mooney tallied 10 more.
“This was certainly the most competitive one of the three times we met with them,” Suburban coach Sonia Guyer said. “We are so evenly matched that it was a little bit of a slugfest tonight.”
Young Trojans excelled: Guyer was clearly proud of her team’s effort. Despite playing the entire season without a senior on the roster, the Trojans were able to show a level of poise and maturity that she hopes will carry over to next season.
“We were just talking about that as coaches,” Guyer said. “That in Set 5, it would have been an ideal time to have a senior on the court stepping up and taking the lead. But we don’t have a senior.”
Despite their relative youth, the Trojans excelled this season. A big victory early in the season over Delone shined some light on program.
“I’m really proud of this season,” Guyer said. “And as players and human beings, I feel that we demonstrated how to play good volleyball for our school.”
Eagles aim for state bid: Hoffman and his squad, in contrast, will move on to play another night. One more victory assures the program of its first PIAA state berth since 2011, when the Eagles were led by Sammie Strausbaugh and Bayleigh Hoffman, who is Brett Hoffman’s daughter.
“I think Suburban is a top-four team in the district,” coach Hoffman said. “But I’m just glad that we have a chance to move on.”
Delone Catholic 3, Schuylkill Valley 0: At Lancaster Mennonite, two-time defending District 3 Class 2-A champion Delone rolled to a 25-12, 25-13, 25-23 triumph in their 2018 district opener. Molly Raville (18 assists, five kills, seven aces), Maddie Clabaugh (10 kills), Deanna Klunk (12 assists) and Hannah Wells (six aces, 10 digs) paced Delone. The third-seeded Squirettes improved to 17-2 and advanced to Thursday's semifinals against No. 2 seed Lancaster Mennonite (15-1) at 6 p.m. at Dallastown High School. Schuylkill Valley finished at 10-8.
South Western 3, Central York 0: At Exeter, the Mustangs rolled to a District 3 Class 4-A quarterfinal triumph over the York-Adams Division I champions. South Western's leaders were Madisyn McMaster (eight kills, 11 digs), Megan Wolf (five kills, 17 digs), Jacy Crouse (27 assists, five digs), Ali St Rose (13 kills, 14 digs) and Kendall Snyder (10 digs). No. 6 seed South Western (14-4) advances to the district semifinals at 7:30 p.m. Thursday at Manheim Township High School vs. No. 2 seed Exeter (17-0). No. 3 seed Central finished at 13-2. The Panthers had beaten the Mustangs twice during the regular season.
York Catholic 3, Middletown 0: At York Catholic, the top-seeded Lady Irish rolled in their District 3 Class 2-A opener over eighth-seeded Middletown. York Catholic was paced by McKenna Walker (11 digs), Bella Kepner (seven kills, six digs), Megan Daugherty (10 assists), Madeline Walker (11 assists) and Hope Leavy-Gaskins (seven kills). York Catholic improved to 17-1, while Middletown finished at 8-10. The Lady Irish will face fourth-seeded Trinity (18-4) in a semifinal contest at 7:30 p.m. Thursday at Central York High School.
Exeter 3, Dallastown 0: At Exeter, the Wildcats dropped a District 3 Class 4-A quarterfinal match, 25-13, 25-15, 25-23. Dallastown held a 21-19 lead in the final game, but couldn't hold on. No. 7 seed Dallastown finished at 14-7. No. 2 seed Exeter improved to 17-0.
Trinity 3, Littlestown 2: At York Catholic, the Lady Bolts' season ended with an 18-25, 25-14, 21-25, 25-18, 15-9 loss in a District 3 Class 2-A quarterfinal. Littlestown's stat leaders were Jess Dunbar (12 kills, 14 digs), Emma Blankenship (16 digs), Hailey Riley (13 kills, 15 digs), Peytan Gullickson (19 digs, 30 assists) and Carrie Shaffer (10 kills). No. 5 seed Littlestown finished at 12-5. No. 4 seed Trinity improved to 18-4.
Lancaster Mennonite 3, Bermudian Springs 0: At Lancaster Mennonite, the home team had little trouble in a District 3 Class 2-A quarterfinal match, winning 25-17, 25-22, 25-9. The No. 2 seed Blazers improved to 15-1. No. 7 seed Bermudian finished at 8-9.
Reach Ryan Vandersloot at firstname.lastname@example.org.