York Catholic girls' volleyball sweeps Parkway Center City in state tournament
The Irish cruised past the Bulldogs to advance to the Class 2A quarterfinals.
Tuesday evening was the beginning of the final season for the York Catholic girls’ volleyball team.
After sharing the York-Adams League Division III title with Delone Catholic in the regular season to finish off the first season, the Irish ran the board in the District 3 Class 2A bracket to conclude the middle season.
Now, the York Catholic girls have entered the PIAA Class 2A draw with high hopes. The No. 2-ranked team in the class according to the latest Pennsylvania Volleyball Coaches Association poll, the Irish embarked on their state journey by hosting District 12 runner-up Parkway Center City on Tuesday.
Their foray into the state draw got off to a great start against the visiting Bulldogs. Not even a 30-minute delay — the result of the PCC girls getting stuck in traffic on their way from Philadelphia — could fluster the District 3 champs. The Irish made short work of the Bulldogs en route to a 25-4, 25-6, 25-9 victory.
Setter Reese Beck finished with six aces, while Ashley Patterson and Grace Grandas tallied four aces apiece for York Catholic (21-2). Emily Raugh led the Irish with eight kills, and Rachel Beck dished out 12 assists in the victory.
York Catholic now moves on to the quarterfinal round where they will face District 6 runner-up Tyrone, a 3-2 winner over No. 6-ranked Somerset. Saturday’s contest will be played at a time and location yet to be determined.
“It’s kind of nice to have a game that isn’t that stressful,” York Catholic coach Phil Autrey said. “Because that district final (a 3-1 victory over Trinity) was very stressful. So, now it’s all about getting them back to the point where we know that no more games are going to be easy. Everyone left in the state tournament had to win something to get here.”
That mindset seems to have already sunk in with Autrey’s squad.
“We’re going into every game thinking it might be our last game,” Irish senior Adeline Phillips said. “We’re thinking that we’re playing the best team and we’re just going to do our thing.”
The Irish were never seriously challenged Tuesday. In fact, the only time York Catholic trailed was after the first point of the match due to a net violation. York Catholic followed with nine straight points and coasted from there.
It was a good start for the Irish, who had envisioned getting to the this point for years, only to be foiled by either parochial rival Delone Catholic or Trinity in the District 3 tournament. The thrill of still playing meaningful volleyball at this time of the year was certainly something that excited Phillips.
“We are definitely focused,” Phillips said. “We go out and play with a purpose. This is the longest our season has gone for a long time.”
Tyrone was unranked in Class 2A in the latest PVCA poll. Freeport, the District 7 champ, is ranked No. 1 while Phillipsburg-Osceola, the District 6 champ, is ranked No. 3 behind York Catholic. Saturday's match will be a chance for the Irish to advance past the state quarterfinals for the first time in program history.
Phillips is looking forward to it.
“It’s going to be a fun one,” she said with a smile.