Unbeaten Central York 'super hungry' to regain D-I title; other Tuesday girls' volleyball

RYAN VANDERSLOOT
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  • The Central York girls' volleyball team earned a 3-0 victory over Northeastern on Tuesday.
  • The Panthers improved to 4-0 overall and in York-Adams Division I.
  • The Panthers are hoping to reclaim the D-I championship.
Central York's Tehya Shaw hits a return over Northeastern's Shannon Vanada in volleyball action at Northeastern Tuesday, Sept. 21, 2021. Central won in straight games. Bill Kalina photo

MANCHESTER – The Central York girls’ volleyball team has ruled York-Adams Division I for the better part of the past decade.

After winning six consecutive D-I titles, the Panthers’ reign atop the division standings was upended during last year’s truncated season.

To make matters worse, the Panthers run of consecutive District 3 playoff appearances was also broken. Central finished ninth in the power ratings and only the top eight squads qualified.

The bitter taste of disappointment lingered in the mouth of CY coach Nate Ocasio.

It has also not been forgotten by this year’s big crop of 11 Central seniors.

Motivation is not something that Ocasio has really had to worry about for his experienced crew this fall.

“They are super hungry,” Ocasio said moments after his team swept past backyard rival Northeastern (25-12, 25-14, 25-9) Tuesday evening. “Being No. 9 when they only take eight really left a sour taste, not only in my mouth, but also in the entire program’s mouth. So, they’ve been ready to go.”

The Panthers improved to 4-0 in the division and overall after Tuesday’s victory, which Ocasio hopes is a good tune-up for his club one week ahead of a major clash with a state-ranked Spring Grove squad that shared the D-I title a season ago with South Western.

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Senior team captains Tehya Shaw and Leah Davies led the Panthers with seven kills against Northeastern (3-3), while Abbey Stiffler recorded a team-best four aces.

“I think we’re pretty motivated,” Davies said. “I know all of the girls are pretty determined to just kind of redeem ourselves from last year. That’s really what is driving us this season.”

The looming match vs. Spring Grove: The Rockets entered the season with a lot of acclaim after returning much of the core of a team that advanced to the District 3 Class 3-A semifinals a year ago. Spring Grove is ranked second in the latest Pennsylvania Volleyball Coaches Association Class 3-A state rankings.

“Last year was the first time they beat us since 2011,” Ocasio said. “So, we’re looking forward to it. We definitely circled that one on our calendars.”

Davies feels that her teammates are well-positioned to battle a Spring Grove outfit led by the Wolfe twins – Hailey and Nevaeh. The CY block and serve-receive will certainly be tested by the Wolfes, but Davies is confident.

“We have a pretty solid blocking team,” Davies said. “Especially with our other middles, and I think we can execute that well. But another big thing for us, especially against a team like Spring Grove, is our serve-receive. So, I know that we have all the pieces and if we can put them all together, as we know that we can, that we’ll do just fine.”

Running the table will be hard: Even if Ocasio’s club is able to defeat the Rockets next week, the veteran CY coach knows that it would be extremely tough to run the table and remain unbeaten.

Ocasio is using history as a guide.

“In Division I, no matter what year it is, you’re going to have five to eight really high-quality matches,” he said. “It’s always a dogfight. We’ve won six of the last seven division titles and only once did we come out undefeated. So, it’s always a battle. There are very few gimmie games, but we like that because it prepares us for the district and state tournament.”

OTHER GIRLS’ VOLLEYBALL

Spring Grove 3, South Western 0: At Hanover, the Rockets won the York-Adams Division I match, 25-20, 25-22, 25-20. Hailey Wolfe led the Rockets with 16 kills, four digs, three aces and four blocks. Also for Spring Grove, Nevaeh Wolfe had nine kills and four digs, Maddie Ruhland had 32 assists and nine digs and Mylie Ormond had seven kills and three blocks. For the Mustangs, Sarah Nicholl had eight kills and five digs, while Katlyn Grempler had 15 digs and five kills. Spring Grove improved to 3-0 in the division and 6-0 overall. South Western is 3-2 and 4-2.

York Catholic 3, York Tech 0: At York Catholic, the Irish won the York-Adams Division III match, 25-8, 25-8 and 25-15. Kendel Connolly led the Irish with 11 kills and three blocks. Also for YC, Grace Grandas had 17 assists and three aces, while Mary McNamara had six kills. YC improved to 4-0 in the division and 4-2 overall.

York Suburban 3, Susquehannock 0: At Suburban, the York Suburban Trojans continued to roll, improving to 6-0 overall and 5-0 in York-Adams Division II with a 25-15, 25-14, 25-10 victory. Suburban was led by Grace Hare (25 assists, nine digs), Eliana Rodgers (five aces, 12 kills, nine digs), Zoe Haines (12 kills) and Anna Titter (five assists, 12 digs). Suburban is No. 4 in the latest Pennsylvania Volleyball Coaches Association Class 3-A state rankings

Gettysburg 3, Kennard-Dale 0: At Gettysburg, the Warriors won the York-Adams Division II match, 25-10, 25-9, 25-15. Marissa Clapsadle led the Warriors with five kills and three aces. Teammate Elana Granger had four aces and four assists. Gettysburg improved to 4-1 in the division and 6-1 overall.

Delone Catholic 3, Fairfield 0: At Fairfield, the Squirettes won the York-Adams Division III match, 25-8, 25-7, 25-10. Denae Bello led the Squirettes with eight kills and five aces, while Olivia Kuhn had five kills.

New Oxford 3, Eastern York 0: At New Oxford, the Colonials won the York-Adams Division II match, 25-23, 25-14, 25-9. Mackenzie Adams led the Colonials with 10 kills. Teammate Mallory Topper had six aces. New Oxford improved to 4-1 in the division and 4-2 overall.

Reach Ryan Vandersloot at sports@yorkdispatch.com.