York Suburban boys' volleyball sweeps Central York in rivalry road match

Ryan Vandersloot
For The York Dispatch

EMIGSVILLE — Few PIAA Class 2A programs have been as successful as the York Suburban boys’ volleyball team over the last five years. Despite that history, the Trojans entered the 2023 season outside of the Pennsylvania Volleyball Coaches Association top-10 rankings.

Perhaps the loss to graduation of all-state attacker Brady Stump had something to do with that, but the Trojans were more than just a one-man show last year. This spring, Suburban returned five talented juniors who are now part of a solid senior class looking to continue the recent trend.

On Tuesday evening at Central York, the Trojans had a chance to compare themselves against one of the York-Adams League’s premiere programs. Entering the night ranked No. 5 in Class 3A, the Panthers were also looking to make a statement in their first home contest under the coaching trio of Landon Shorts, John Feldmann and Brock Anderson following the death of beloved head coach Todd Goodling in January.

After the two sides went back and forth early, the visitors took control. Led by a long serving streak from setter Luis Montalvo, Suburban won the first set. That momentum never let up as the Trojans’ strong serving, defense and attack propelled them to a 25-17, 25-21, 25-14 sweep.

Central York vs. York Suburban during boys’ volleyball action at Central York High School in Springettsbury Township, Tuesday, March 28, 2023. York Suburban would win the match 3-0. Dawn J. Sagert photo

“We all do our role,” Suburban senior Jackson Bryant said. “We all do our part. We talk about discipline and that’s our motto.”

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The Trojans were disciplined throughout the night. The defense kept balls alive long enough for Montalvo to dish out assists across the line. The senior finished with 27 assists to four different Suburban attackers who had at least seven kills apiece. Nathan Efiom-Ekaha led the visitors with nine kills, while the Bryant boys — Jackson and Kevin — each tallied seven along with Gavin Knodel.

Jackson Bryant heaped praise upon his setter for setting the tone midway through Set 1. Using his jump serve, Montalvo rattled off seven straight points to put Suburban ahead 22-15.

“Luis was on a great roll tonight,” Bryant said. “Just super proud of him. It was great stuff.”

That goes for the entire Trojan lineup, as the visitors proved to be more than the Panthers could handle.

“Suburban is a great program,” Feldmann said. “They are consistently competitive. They’re the defending county champions and they continue to make districts and states. They’re well-coached and they have an identity that they play to and we got outplayed today.”

York Suburban’s Luis Montalvo, front, and Jackson Bryant during boys’ volleyball action at Central York High School in Springettsbury Township, Tuesday, March 28, 2023. York Suburban would win the match 3-0. Dawn J. Sagert photo

Bryant pointed out that his team has a bit of a chip on its shoulder after seeing the preseason rankings. While there is a York County team in the top 10, it wasn’t the Trojans — instead, it was York Catholic.

“We saw that and that we weren’t ranked,” Bryant said. “So we were a little disappointed about that. Just no respect, which is our other motto. We want respect in the state ranking and we want respect in the district rankings. We’re all here as a team and we work hard, but the last ranking is the only one that matters.”

What matters for Feldmann and his crew is that they continue to improve and get better. Coming off an up-and-down weekend at the North Allegheny Tournament, where the Panthers fell in the semifinals to Manheim Central, the home team is continuing to regroup after the passing of Goodling, who was the head coach of the team for the past seven years. Tuesday was Central's first home match without him.

“I think we’ve taken some positive steps forward after the weekend,” Feldmann said. “We played against some good competition and we were hoping to build upon that, but unfortunately we did not tonight. So, we have another chance to do that this weekend at the Bobcat Invitational (at Northeastern) to try to continue to improve.”

Donovan Burris, Trevor Ketrick and Ryan Roberts each had six kills for Central York. Lance Shaffer led the team with 10 assists.