Archive for the ‘Boys’ Volleyball’ Category


DALLASTOWN — Wednesday wasn’t the most normal of nights for the Central York boys’ volleyball team.

Setting errors, missed serves and even a yellow card directed against Coach Brad Livingston highlighted a number of unusual events in the Panthers’ District 3-AAA semifinal contest against Hempfield.

Perhaps the only real normal thing that can be said of the clash between district heavyweights is this: The Panthers survived.

Hempfield rallied from a 2-1 deficit in the match by claiming Game 4 to send the tilt into a best-of-15 Game 5. The Black Knights even stormed out to a 7-4 lead in the decisive game. The Panthers, however, would not be denied, winning 11 of the final 16 points to claim a thrilling 22-25, 25-22, 25-17, 23-25, 15-12 victory at Dallastown High School.

The triumph sends Central into the District 3-AAA finals Friday evening at 7:30 against another Lancaster-Lebanon foe, Penn Manor. The Comets upset No. 1 seeded Central Dauphin, 25-18, 25-23, 17-25, 25-17, in the other semifinal.

CD and Hempfield will square off in a third-place match Friday at 6 p.m. at Central York High School.

“Coach always says ‘pressure is a privilege,'” Panther senior Landon Shorts said. “That’s something that I like to feel and I feel comfortable back at the service line during a big run or at crucial points.”

Shorts, who had a triple-double with 30 assists, 12 digs and 11 kills on the night, had a big role in helping the Panthers climb out of a 1-0 deficit. The senior outside/setter clubbed two aces late in Game 3 that put Central ahead 2-1 in games.

The Central errors aside, the real key to the Panthers’ victory was their defense. Six players finished with at least 10 digs, paced by 14 from Jeremiah Dadeboe.

“Their defense was just better than ours,” Hempfield coach Mike Vogel said. “They out-blocked us. And that’s the difference when you get down to it.”

It was nevertheless a rough night in many regards for the York-Adams League runner-up. Central was called more than half a dozen times for double hits on sets, which stunted chances at grabbing momentum. They also missed five serves in Game 1, which played a big role in dropping that set by a 25-23 margin.

Those uncharacteristic errors caused some frustration to build up on the Panther side. It even got to Livingston. The two-time PIAA champion coach was given a yellow card after arguing with the officials about a call in Game 3.

“We had to get our bench calmed down, including me,” Livingston said. “Of course, I probably did that a bit after I got carded. And we calmed down a little bit and made fewer mistakes as the match went on.”

The Panthers showed glimmers of the team that cruised to the state title a year ago at the end of Game 3 and Game 5. Central won 10 of the final 11 points in Game 3 before winning six of the final eight points in the clincher.

“We started to rock and roll there a little bit,” Livingston said.

The game marked a first for Shorts, a returning all-state player.

“That was my first ever five-game match,” Shorts said. “We’ve won a lot of these in three or four, so that was an experience.”

Dadeboe, a returning all-state hitter who came up with some big kills in Game 2, led Central with 25 kills. Jason Gardner, the third all-state member of the club, finished with 20 kills. Trevor Holderegger dished out 25 assists and finished with 10 digs.

Ben Nauman led Hempfield with 13 kills while three others — Chris Booth, Tyler Buterbaugh and Logan Smiley — each finished with nine kills. Setter Ethan Williams dished out 44 assists, while Nick Oleksa led the Black Knights with 15 digs.

— Reach Ryan Vandersloot at


Northeastern’s Matt Thornton attempts to block Cocalico’s Garrett Strunkin a District 3-AA boys’ volleyball semifinal match on Wednesday.

Northeastern’s Matt Thornton attempts to block Cocalico’s Garrett Strunkin a District 3-AA boys’ volleyball semifinal match on Wednesday. Northeastern rolled to a 3-0 victory. (JOHN A. PAVONCELLO —

Lancaster Mennonite saw all it needed in two games to get an idea of how dominant the Northeastern boys’ volleyball team can be.

Unfortunately for Cocalico, it had to stick around for all three.

The top-seeded Bobcats had little trouble dispatching the Eagles in straight games on Wednesday night at Central York High School, 25-10, 25-6, 25-15, to advance to the District 3-AA championship match against the Blazers on Friday night.

With all eyes from Cocalico centered on Northeastern’s standout outside hitter, Reese Devilbiss, the Bobcats used their many other options to get off to a fast start in the semifinal match.

“I think it’s probably not as much Reese, so much, as it is the squad,” Northeastern coach Matt Wilson said. “If you’ve taken notice over the past 3 1/2 weeks, Reese’s stat line has diminished quite a bit, to be honest with you, from, anywhere between 60-70 percent of the offense to, now, he’s in that 30 percent range.”

The Bobcats’ offense was essentially a pick-your-poison situation for the Eagles.

Northeastern’s attack ranged anywhere from slamming it down Cocalico’s throats with menacing kills to hard-to-handle serves to stingy defense that kept the ball in play until the Eagles finally made a mistake. The Bobcats had five players register kills, with three finishing at least five of the attempts.But when it was time for Devilbiss to show why he’s one of the best boys’ volleyball players in the state, he did so in impressive fashion.

After Northeastern polished off the first game by winning 20 of the final 26 points, Devilbiss immediately kept the momentum in his team’s favor.

After winning the first point of the second game off of Cocalico’s serve, Devilbiss served out the next 13 points to give the Bobcats a 14-0 lead before finally surrendering a point to the Eagles.

“Personally, that’s my best run on the service line,” he said. “…Once we go on a run, our coach preaches to stay on them and keep the pressure on them and don’t let up until the match ends.”

While the scoreline may indicate that the match was one-sided, there was another letup in the third game for Northeastern, something that’s becoming a common theme in recent matches. After being forced to call a timeout in Monday’s quarterfinal match during the third game against York Suburban, Wilson was on the brink of having to do the same in Wednesday’s match.

Despite the easy second-game win, the Bobcats took their foot off the gas pedal to open the third game, allowing Cocalico to carry the play and take a 13-12 lead. Finally, after a few costly mistakes woke up Northeastern, it went on a 6-0 run to open up an 18-13 advantage, forcing an Eagles timeout and regaining control of the match. The Bobcats only lost two more points the rest of the match following the timeout, but the recurring slow starts to third games is starting to raise concern for Wilson.

“It’s a pretty mature team at this point, who’s done an awful lot in their careers, but still a young team, with a bunch of juniors,” he said. “I can’t answer the game three scenario. I remind, I beg, I plead and I think next time I’ll just shut my mouth and see maybe I’m getting in the way. It’s an issue and that issue could really creep up on us at a really bad, inopportune moment.”

It didn’t cost Northeastern on Wednesday night, but really nothing could. Phil White led the Bobcats with 13 kills, followed by Devilbiss’ nine and Jeff Reynolds’ five. Devilbiss also came away with nine aces, while Matt Schaeffer passed his way to 25 assists.

Now, the Bobcats shift their focus to Lancaster Mennonite, which defeated Schuylkill Valley, 3-1, before the Northeastern match.

“They’re well-coached, well-skilled,” Wilson said about the Blazers. “Probably one of the best defensive teams that you’ll run into. They’re not afraid to get in front of a ball.”

Friday’s final is set for 6 p.m. at Dallastown High School.

— Reach Patrick Strohecker at


Northeastern’s Reese Devilbiss slams the ball past York Suburban defender Kaleb Ansell during a District 3-AA boys’ volleyball quarterfinal

Northeastern’s Reese Devilbiss slams the ball past York Suburban defender Kaleb Ansell during a District 3-AA boys’ volleyball quarterfinal match on Monday. Northeastern won, 3-0. (JOHN A. PAVONCELLO —
Northeastern head coach Matt Wilson lets his team know how he feels during a timeout on Monday.

Northeastern head coach Matt Wilson lets his team know how he feels during a timeout on Monday. (JOHN A. PAVONCELLO —

DALLASTOWN — One factor that separates the Northeastern boys’ volleyball team from its competition is coaching.

Some teams may be able to get away with sloppy play without hearing about it from the coach.

There is no such slack for the boys from Manchester.

Despite leading their District 3-AA best-of-five quarterfinal match 2-0 and leading 13-7 against York Suburban in the third game, the Bobcats were not spared from Coach Matt Wilson’s displeasure. During a timeout — after a point which they won, by the way — Wilson let it be known, loudly, that there will be no taking points off.

It’s not clear how much Wilson’s thrashing helped his team on the court, but the message was definitely delivered. Northeastern eventually left Dallastown High School with a 25-15, 25-10, 25-17 triumph.

That victory came after Central York, which finished runner-up behind the Bobcats in the York-Adams League this season, rallied after a slow start to sweep Cumberland Valley, 33-31, 25-19, 25-16, in a District 3-AAA quarterfinal.

Northeastern’s victory sends the Bobcats into the AA semifinals, where they will face Cocalico, a 25-16, 25-16, 25-19 winner over Brandywine Heights in another quarterfinal on Monday. Central will square off with Hempfield, which swept Exeter in another AAA quarterfinal. Both games will be held at 7:30 p.m. Wednesday. Northeastern will play at Central York, while Central York will play at Dallastown.

Monday’s victories assure both the Bobcats and Panthers of a shot at defending their state titles from a year ago. The top four teams in both Class AA and Class AAA qualify for the PIAA playoffs.

Despite earning another state berth, Northeastern standout Reese Devilbiss knows there’s pressure applied from the Bobcats’ coach every time the players step on the court.

“There’s no let ups with Coach Wilson,” Devilbiss said. “He wants to constantly put pressure on the other team. We let up for a little bit and had a few ball-handling errors here and there and he wasn’t too happy about it. But that’s OK. He keeps up in check.”

Perhaps some of those moments can be attributed to playing familiar teams over and over again. The Trojans and Bobcats already squared off in the regular season, so there were no secrets between the two sides.

With the other four York-Adams League teams now eliminated in the AA draw, Devilbiss and company will get to battle almost entirely new teams from here on out.

“It’s nice to get into a tournament where we will finally see new teams and new faces,” said Devilbiss, who led all players with nine kills. “But we still like playing the same teams because there’s always a sense of rivalry there.”

Setter Matt Schaeffer dished out 27 assists in the victory, eight of which went for kills by middle hitter Jeff Reynolds. Zach Weinstein led the Trojans with seven kills. Gavin Dean paced the Suburban defense with 11 digs, while setter Kaleb Ansell finished with 17 assists.

Central York sweeps Cumberland Valley: While the ride was pretty smooth for Bobcats, it was a bit rougher for Central.

Central, which had to change some formations because of an injury suffered in practice by sophomore setter Carter Luckenbaugh, had a back-and-forth opening game against the Eagles.

Once the Panthers figured things out, they were able to get into a grove. With Landon Shorts taking over the setting responsibilities for half of his team’s rotations because of Luckenbaugh’s absence, the returning all-state attacker from a year ago dished out 20 assists.

Central York’s Jeremiah Dadeboe pounds the ball past Cumberland Valley’s Eli Plasterer during District 3-AAA boys’ volleyball

Central York’s Jeremiah Dadeboe pounds the ball past Cumberland Valley’s Eli Plasterer during District 3-AAA boys’ volleyball quarterfinal action on Monday. Central won the match, 3-0. (JOHN A. PAVONCELLO —

“Tonight was a little different,” Shorts said. “Carter was out. One of our teammates hit him in the head at practice (last week) and he’s actually out with a concussion. So I had to step in and set in at least three rotations. Tonight, it was just me and Trevor (Holderegger).”

With Shorts taken out of the attack, the Panthers still had two other all-state attackers on the court. Jason Gardner led the Panthers with 15 kills, while Jeremiah Dadeboe finished with 10.

Overcoming adversity is something that Shorts and his teammates rarely faced a year ago en route to an undefeated match-play season. But back-to-back losses to the Bobcats in the last two weeks has tested the group’s resolve.

So far, so good.

“All of our coaches ever talk about is battling,” Shorts said. “We just all come together as a team and say ‘next ball, next ball.’ We just put it together and won the match.

Other boys’ volleyball

Schuylkill Valley 3, Susquehannock 2: At Hempfield, the Warriors saw their season come to an end in a classic District 3-AA quarterfinal match-up against the Panthers, falling in five games, 26-24, 23-25, 20-25, 26-24, 10-15. Despite the loss, Susquehannock had several players step up with big performances. A.J. Schaeffer led the team with 18 kills and 19 digs, while Quinlan Kauffman added 16 kills and 18 digs and Brian Sheddy chipped in with 13 kills and 16 digs. Kurt Eckenrode also had 13 digs, while Stephen Rouse finished with 42 assists and 11 digs. Nick Voltaggio led the team with four blocks. The Warriors finished at 9-7.

Lancaster Mennonite 3, Spring Grove 0: At Central, the Rockets’ season was halted with a 25-22, 25-17, 25-21 loss. Spring Grove finished 11-7. The Rockets were led by Dalton Forbes (13 kills, 11 digs) and Austin Muff (22 assists).

— Reach Ryan Vandersloot at


DALLASTOWN — It’s not how you start your season, but how you end it.

That’s certainly true for the York Suburban boys’ volleyball team.

The Trojans, who dropped three of their first four matches to begin the York-Adams League regular season, are a much better team now than they were at the end of March.

The proof came Thursday night at Dallastown High School in a District 3-AA first-round scuffle with fellow York-Adams rival Kennard-Dale. Back in late March, the Rams were able to survive a five-game battle with Suburban to pull out a 3-2 triumph.

There was no such repeat in the rematch.

The Trojans cruised to an easy victory in Game 1 before pulling out a couple of nail-biters in Game 2 and Game 3 for a 25-14, 25-23, 25-23 victory.

Suburban will be joined in the district quarterfinals by Susquehannock, which knocked off Red Land, 25-21, 25-13, 31-29, in the first game of the night at Dallastown.

Coach Jamie Evans’ club will now have the dubious task of taking on York-Adams League and two-time defending PIAA state champion Northeastern at 7:30 Monday night back at Dallastown. Susquehannock will face Schuylkill Valley in another second-round clash at 6 p.m. Monday at Hempfield.

While facing Northeastern will be no picnic, Evans and company were able to achieve some satisfaction by downing a K-D squad that sent them to an 0-2 start on the campaign.


“I think we were recovering from (losing to) Central and were still trying to find our niche,” Evans said of the first meeting. “It’s been up-and-down all season, not skill-wise, but more emotional. Just trying to find that team dynamic that clicks. But it clicked tonight.”

Junior setter Kaleb Ansell, who dished out a game-high 30 assists, agreed with his coach.

“We’re a much different team now,” he said. “Yeah, we lost to them, but we were able to come back and beat them here in the postseason. And that’s all that matters.”

The Trojans, who were edged out by .007 of a percentage point for the No. 7 seed by Susquehannock in the 12-team field, looked well-tuned in taking it to the Rams in Game 1. They led 10-4 early on and never were seriously challenged.

Things changed, however, in Game 2. After claiming an early 5-2 advantage, Suburban saw the Rams go on an 8-2 run to take a 10-7 lead. K-D continued to lead until the Trojans used a 7-3 run to close out a 25-23 triumph.

Game 3 was a bit different. Suburban was able to lead pretty much throughout. The Rams were able to tie it once at 7-7 and drew within a point on two other occasions. But serving to stay in the match, the team’s final serving attempt sailed out of bounds to close out its season.

“(Suburban) just ran their offense a lot quicker tonight,” K-D coach Jim Kern said. “And they just pounded the ball more today than the last time.”

Two of the biggest reasons the Trojans will continue their season were seniors Liam Ridings and Matt Hogg. Both tallied seven kills, many of which came at key moments.

“They were great,” Ansell said. “Liam had a huge game on the outside and Matt was great in the middle. So we’re happy to give them a chance to play one more game against Northeastern on Monday.”

Sepehr Vakili and Zach Weinstein matched the kill output of Hogg and Ridings, while Ansell led the Suburban defense with four blocks.

K-D junior Kyle Wooldridge led all attackers with 17 kills, to go with three blocks. Classmate Josiah McConville dished out 22 assists to go with four kills, eight digs and three blocks for the Rams.

“Hopefully this is something that we can build on for next year,” Kern said. “We’ll have a strong nucleus (McConville and Wooldridge) coming back. So we’ll see.”

Susquehannock moves on: While the Rams and Trojans squared off in a rematch of a regular-season contest, the Warriors were able to see a new squad across the net Thursday.

With five York-Adams schools in the 12-team field, the chances of facing a familiar foe is pretty good come district time. Coach Tim Bonitz and company worked hard to avoid that.

“We tried very hard to avoid getting lumped into that side of the bracket,” Bonitz said. “And it’s always kind of nice meeting up with a new team like Red Land. Last year we played West York in the first round and then Northeastern in the second round. We see those guys all year, so it’s nice to see what else the district has to offer.”

The Patriots desperately tried to avoid the sweep in an entertaining back-and-forth Game 3. Red Land actually had a couple shots at putting the game away, but each time the Warriors were able to win the point to stay alive.

“We tried some new things,” Bonitz said of Game 3. “So there were a couple of wrinkles that we needed to iron out and that kind of showed in the third game. But it was good to see the kids trying some of the things we’ve been working on the past few weeks and kind of adding some new staples to our offense.”

A.J. Schaeffer led the Warriors with 13 kills and 14 digs. Setter Stephen Rouse dished out 27 assists, while Quinlan Kauffman tallied eight kills and 10 digs.

Fortunately for Bonitz and his gang, Susquehannock will get to see another unfamiliar squad come Monday when it battles No. 2 seed Schuylkill Valley. The Panthers have faced other York-Adams teams this season with success, but Bonitz is hoping his club can knock out the state-ranked opponent.

“They played New Oxford and New Oxford played them pretty tight,” Bonitz said. “But obviously we’re going to have to have our best practice of the season (Friday), take a couple days to rest and recharge the batteries and be ready to go Monday.”


Exeter 3, Dallastown 0: At Wilson, the Wildcats dropped their District 3-AAA boys’ volleyball opener, 25-22, 25-21, 25-23. Peyton Ranck (29 assists, 10 digs), Owen Terroso (24 digs), Aaron Ward (nine kills, 13 digs), Chadd Jones (nine kills, 10 blocks) and Zach Zerr (nine kills, six blocks) paced Dallastown, which finished at 9-8.

— Reach Ryan Vandersloot at
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The Northeastern players celebrate their 3-0 win over Central York in the York-Adams League boys’ volleyball title match on Tuesday at Dallastown

The Northeastern players celebrate their 3-0 win over Central York in the York-Adams League boys’ volleyball title match on Tuesday at Dallastown High School. (DAWN J. SAGERT —
Northeastern’s Reese Devilbiss tips the ball during the York-Adams League boys’ volleyball championship match against Central York at

Northeastern’s Reese Devilbiss tips the ball during the York-Adams League boys’ volleyball championship match against Central York at Dallastown High School on Tuesday night. The Bobcats won, 3-0. (DAWN J. SAGERT —

DALLASTOWN — The genesis of success for the Northeastern boys’ volleyball team can be traced back almost an entire calendar year.

Coming off two disappointing losses to Central York in the regular-season finale and in the York-Adams League playoff championship back in 2014, Bobcat coach Matt Wilson was more than a little worried about his squad.

Could they put those two setbacks to Central behind them? Do they have the moxie to play well in big games against great opponents? Is this a championship-caliber squad?

It only took a few weeks for those questions to get answered, with Wilson’s club rolling to both District 3 and PIAA Class AA state titles in 2014.

So it was only fitting for the Bobcats to bring things back full circle Tuesday night in the league tournament championship contest against the Panthers. Less than a week after beating their rivals on their home court, Northeastern again took care of business on Tuesday, sweeping Central 25-21, 25-16, 25-23 at Dallastown High School for the playoff crown.

The victory marked the seventh league tournament title for the Bobcats under Wilson, the most of any school since tournament play started back in 2001.

“Fortunately we’re back here again and under better circumstances,” Wilson said. “Obviously, last year, we were tested. Our mettle was tested and our pride was tested leaving this gym one year ago. And when I left here (back then) I was concerned. But we were able to turn it around in a few short days, which started a run that has continued to this day.”

Defense key: That run hasn’t entirely been dependent upon outstanding hitting, either. The Bobcat defense, which can get overshadowed by their bevy of star attackers, really makes life difficult on opponents.

Such was the case in Game 1 Tuesday, when the Panthers had issues with their service game. Central tallied nine serving errors, often the result of trying to be too precise or too aggressive in an attempt to throw off the Northeastern defense.

“Our perimeter defense right now … we’re fortunate,” Wilson said. “We have some fantastic players in the back court that have high IQs and can read what’s going on. They can use deductive reasoning to figure out what is happening and what is going to happen. The willingness to pursue all balls lends to our success.”

After claiming Game 1, the Bobcats were able to coast to a comfortable win in Game 2. A 3-all tie early on was broken by a five-point run and Northeastern never looked back.

Entertaining Game 3: Perhaps the best test — and most entertaining volleyball in the league this season — came in Game 3, with the Bobcats looking for the sweep. After taking a 5-2 lead early, the Panthers were able to fight back and forge ties on eight occasions down the stretch.

That back-and-forth nature really brought out the best in the Bobcats, according to setter Matt Schaeffer.

“Those are the moments that you live for,” said Schaeffer, who finished with 27 assists. “Being in close games are awesome. And it’s really good for us, as a team, going into the postseason to get games like that.”

Central was able to take a 23-22 advantage after a Bobcat hitting error, which prompted Wilson to call a timeout. Just three points later it was all over after the Panthers’ final kill attempt sailed past the end line, setting off a celebration on the court.

“Finally,” Schaeffer said. “We lost to them both times last year and it was nice to get some revenge.”

Balance helps Bobcats: When you look at the Northeastern stat sheet on most days this year, the one thing that sticks out is their balance. Junior standout Reese Devilbiss, an Ohio State recruit, is obviously the most talented hitter on the court most days. But with a complete cast surrounding him, the outside hitter isn’t the sole one putting balls on the ground across the court. Tuesday was a perfect example. Philip White led the team with nine kills. Jeff Reynolds tallied eight and Devilbiss finished with just six.

“Our middles (Reynolds and White) were awesome tonight,” Schaeffer said. “And we have other people like Matt Thornton (four kills) and Brandon Arentz (six kills) who can step in as well. And that makes it easier for me. So, yeah, it’s good that we’re really balanced.”

Panthers disappointed: While the Bobcats were on the court celebrating and getting pictures taken with their shiny gold medals, the mood was more subdued on the Central side. A year after winning the PIAA Class AAA title, the Panthers and Coach Brad Livingston will hope to find the same answers that came to Northeastern a year ago.

“We came here expecting to win the match,” Livingston said. “It didn’t work out that way and congrats to them. But we have to go back to the drawing board because we have a big match on Monday (in District 3 action).”

The two clubs were able to advance to the finals after sweeping their opponents in the semifinals earlier Tuesday. Northeastern downed Susquehannock, 25-12, 25-13, 25-16, while Central got by Dallastown, 25-17, 25-16, 25-17.

— Reach Ryan Vandersloot at


EMIGSVILLE — As it usually does, the regular-season boys’ volleyball finale between Northeastern and Central York held a lot of meaning on Thursday night.

For the third year in a row, the winner of Thursday’s heavyweight clash at Central York High School would earn the York-Adams regular-season title.

Just as importantly, though, was the money raised during the contest that helped a pair of York County students who are battling cancer. More than $1,300 was split evenly between Northeastern’s Marcus Josey and Central’s Peter Falci, who were both named honorary captains for their respective schools for the night.

On the court, however, it was more one-sided. The Bobcats took control early in every game, battled back from Central rallies in Game 1 and Game 2, and ultimately prevailed with a convincing 25-22, 25-23, 25-16 sweep.

With the triumph, Northeastern, the two-time defending PIAA Class AA champion, earned their second regular-season crown in three years. The Bobcats will also have the No. 1 seed in next week’s playoffs. In Tuesday’s semifinals, they will face the winner of Monday’s first-round match between Susquehannock and York Suburban. Central will get either Dallastown or Red Lion in the other semifinal Tuesday at Dallastown.

“We came out and knew what to do,” said Northeastern senior Philip White, who finished with 10 kills. “We just played our game and that’s what we did.”

The Bobcats took a 16-9 lead in Game 1 behind the hitting of White and junior Reese Devilbiss (23 kills). But the Panthers, who are the defending PIAA Class AAA champions, rallied immediately after a timeout to get within 16-13.

The play continued to shift back-and-forth between the two state-ranked clubs, with the home team finally evening the score at 22-all. Devilbiss then elevated his game. The Ohio State recruit smashed back-to-back kills before a Central attack sailed out of bounds to close out a 25-22 victory in Game 1.

The script was much the same in Game 2. After Northeastern was able to grow its lead to 18-12, the Panthers rallied back. This time Central was able to gain a 23-22 lead late until Devilbiss did it again. Two kills, including the game-winner, came off the junior’s hand, putting his team ahead 2-0.

“That felt really good,” White said. “The first game felt good, but you don’t really know what to expect in that second game. But once we won that second game, we got comfortable.”

That comfort was readily apparent from the outset. The Bobcats refused to allow Central any chance to make a game of it. Northeastern led 6-0 and 12-2 early on before winning the clincher by nine points.

“(Central) really stuck with us those first two games,” White said. “And I was a little nervous at times. Our serve-receive wasn’t as good as it was in Game 3, but then we dominated.”

The drive to close out the match in three games even got Northeastern coach Matt Wilson pumped up a bit. Wilson let out an excited howl during a timeout with his team comfortably ahead 11-2.

“He got hyped,” said White. “And that was very fun.”

Wilson, for one, thoroughly enjoyed the competition between two of the best teams in the state.

“This was two well-skilled teams playing pretty well,” Wilson said. “And we were fortunate to come out on top in the first two and then I thought we finally could breathe a little bit (in Game 3) and relax.”

Central coach Brad Livingston knew the visitors were going to be a handful. But he didn’t expect his club would get swept, either.

“They’re playing very well,” Livingston said of the Bobcats. “They’re pretty smooth operators. And I was proud of my kids for their effort.”

Then Livingston paused for a second.

“But it would have been interesting to win Game 2,” he said.

Rivals come together to help Falci, Josey: While Central and Northeastern are fierce rivals on the volleyball court, the idea to help out the families of Josey and Falci was a collaborative effort between the coaches.

Livingston got the idea for it in early April after hearing about Josey’s diagnosis. While formulating his own plans, within a few hours, Livingston’s assistant coach, Todd Goodling, sent a text message about doing something similar.

It all came together when Livingston and Goodling spoke with Wilson at the Koller Classic, a tournament hosted by Central, about the general idea.

“We said: ‘How do you feel about doing something at the match?'” Livingston said. “And it just kind of grew from there. And we all felt that it would just be a great thing.”

While both schools are fairly large in size, when a classmate or student struggles to fend off a disease such as cancer, helping out becomes a family-like task, according to Wilson.

“We (at Northeastern) try to take care of our own,” he said. “And I’m sure that Central feels the same way about Peter. And it was one of the big, marquee nights for York County volleyball, and to be able to join forces on a night like tonight, and for a good cause, you can’t get it much better than that.”

Stats: Setter Matt Schaeffer dished out 32 assists in the victory for the Bobcats. The trio of Jeremiah Dadeboe, Landon Shorts and Jason Gardner combined for 31 kills for Central, while Trevor Holderegger dished out 14 of his team’s 30 assists on the night.


Dallastown 3, Lower Dauphin 1: At Lower Dauphin, the Wildcats won the non-league match, 25-15, 25-15, 18-25, 25-10. Aaron Ward led the Wildcats with 15 kills, seven blocks and 10 digs. Jared Barnett had 14 kills, eight blocks and four digs, Owen Terroso had 26 digs and Chad Jones had 13 blocks and six kills. Dallastown won the JV match, 2-0.

York Suburban 3, Northern 1: At Dillsburg, the Trojans won the non-league match, 25-11, 24-26, 25-19, 25-13. Sepehr Vakili led the visitors with 19 kills and four digs. Jack Schultz had 14 kills, four digs and three blocks, Kaleb Ansell had 43 assists, 16 digs, four kills and three blocks and Gavin Dean had 35 digs and three aces. Suburban won the JV match, 25-16, 25-18.

— Reach Ryan Vandersloot at

The first-round pairings are set for the upcoming York-Adams League Boys’ Volleyball Tournament.

The tournament will start on Monday, with fourth-seeded Susquehannock matched up against fifth-seeded York Suburban. The match will take place at Dallastown High School starting at 6 p.m. The night’s other match will feature third-seeded Dallastown and sixth-seeded Red Lion, also at the high school, with a scheduled 7:30 p.m. start.

Although Dallastown and Susquehannock finished with identical 7-4 records, the Wildcats earned the higher seed by virtue of their regular-season victory against the Warriors.

Suburban (6-5) earned the fifth seed thanks to a win vs. Red Lion (6-5) earlier this year. The Lions were able to secure the tournament’s final spot courtesy of their triumph over Spring Grove (6-5). The Rockets also lost to the Trojans.

Thursday’s match up between Central York and Northeastern will determine the league’s regular-season champion and tournament’s top seed. Thursday’s loser will be the second seed.

The top seed will take on the Susquehannock-York Suburban winner on Tuesday at Dallastown High School at 6 p.m. The second seed will face the Dallastown-Red Lion winner on Tuesday at Dallastown Middle School, also at 6 p.m.

The league title match is set for 7:30 p.m. Tuesday at Dallastown High School.

Doors open Monday at 5:15 p.m. Tickets are $5 for adults and $3 for students.

Red Lion pulled away to earn a 25-21, 22-25, 25-21, 25-22 boys’ volleyball triumph against visiting Susquehannock on Tuesday night.

Bennett Frey led the Lions with 18 kills and 26 digs. Also for the Lions, Dillon Hildebrand had 14 kills and 11 digs, Cole Brillhart had 12 kills and nine digs and John Longnecker had 39 assists, eight digs and three kills.

For the Warriors, A.J. Schaeffer had 23 kills, 25 digs and three blocks, while Stephen Rouse had 35 assists and 14 digs, while Quinlan Kauffman had 26 digs, nine kills and six blocks.

Red Lion won the JV match 25-19, 25-22.


York Suburban 3, Dover 0: At Suburban, the Trojans rolled to a 25-16, 25-15, 25-15 victory. Kaleb Ansell (24 assists), Matt Hogg (nine kills) and Gavin Dean (14 digs) paced the winners. Dover’s leaders were Koleman Hoffman (12 kills, six digs), Zach Noll (22 assists) and J.T. Crossan (11 digs). Suburban also won the JV match, 25-13, 25-12.

Northeastern 3, West York 0: At Northeastern, on Senior Night, the Bobcat seniors were the stars, carrying the team to a 25-7, 25-15, 25-17 win over the Bulldogs. Brent Williams had 24 assists for Northeastern, while Phillip White had 10 kills and Matt Thornton had eight kills and three aces.

Central York 3, Eastern York 0: At Wrightsville, Jason Gardner slammed a game-high 10 kills to go along with five digs and two aces, helping the Panthers breeze by the Golden Knights, 25-10, 25-8, 25-8. Trevor Holderegger and Carter Luckenbaugh each had 15 assists for Central. Greg Houck had seven assists and four digs for Eastern.

New Oxford 3, Dallastown 2: At Dallastown, Ryan McMaster led the Colonials to the 14-25, 25-19, 20-25, 25-21, 16-14 victory with 27 kills, 22 digs and five blocks. Teammate Trey Noble had 33 assists, six digs and three blocks. For the Wildcats, Chadd Jones had 13 kills and four blocks, while Aaron Ward had 13 kills, 15 digs and five aces and Peyton Ranck had 39 assists, 17 digs and four blocks. Dallastown won the JV match, 2-0.

Spring Grove 3, Kennard-Dale 0: At Fawn Grove, the Rockets won 25-18, 25-14, 25-20. Individually for the Rockets, Dalton Forbes had 17 kills, while Austin Muff had 26 assists and Dakota Parker had six kills. For the Rams, Kyle Wooldridge had 12 kills and five blocks, while Joe McConville had 20 assists, six kills and four blocks. K-D won the JV match, 2-0.

May Madness has arrived in York County.

Starting Thursday and ending Tuesday, the York-Adams League will hold championships in nearly every spring sport.

In just six days, scholastic athletes from around the region will produce memories that could last for six decades.

If you enjoy prep sports, it’s a perfect storm.

Lacrosse: It starts Thursday evening with boys’ and girls’ lacrosse championships at Susquehannock High School, with the girls’ match slated for 5:30 p.m. followed by the boys’ contest at 7 p.m.

The girls’ contest will pit Kennard-Dale (16-0) against Susquehannock (16-1). No surprise there. Those two teams finished first and second during the regular season, and they’re also ranked first and second in the District 3 power ratings.

The Rams will be itching to regain the league playoff title after falling to York Catholic in last year’s championship match. K-D had won the first three Y-A tournament titles.

K-D won the regular-season meeting between the two teams, 11-6, at Susquehannock. Look for a similar outcome this time around.

The boys’ final pits West York vs. Susquehannock. The two teams tied for the regular-season league crown at 10-1. Susquehannock enters at 13-2 overall, while West York is 13-3. Susquehannock, however, dominated the regular-season meeting, 14-6, back on April 9 in Glen Rock. This time, the score will likely be much closer, but the home-field edge should put Susquehannock over the top.

Boys’ volleyball: Also on Thursday night, the most highly anticipated boys’ volleyball match of the regular season will take place when Northeastern visits Central York at 7:30 p.m. in a battle of super powers. Both teams are unbeaten in York-Adams action, and both are defending state champions (Central in AAA and Northeastern in AA). The showdown will decide the league’s regular-season title.

Just five days later (7:30 p.m. Tuesday), there’s an excellent chance that the same two teams will meet again in the York-Adams Tournament title match at Dallastown. Of course, to set up yet another championship battle, both teams will first have to navigate their way through quarterfinal action on Monday and semifinal matches on Tuesday.

Since 2007, every York-Adams regular-season and tournament title has gone to either Central or Northeastern, with the exception of one year. York Suburban swept both crowns in 2012.

The Panthers (11-0) and Bobcats (13-0) have competed in several of the same tournaments this season. Given their finishes in those events, Northeastern would have to be rated a slight favorite over Central.

Baseball and softball: Baseball and softball also will crown their York-Adams champions over the next week. The semifinals in both sports are Friday. The softball championship game is slated for 5 p.m. Monday at New Oxford, while the baseball title game is set for 5 p.m. Tuesday at Spring Grove.

In baseball, Division I champion Spring Grove (14-6) will try to defend its title. It won’t be an easy task, however. The Rockets must face Division II champion West York (14-4) in Friday’s semifinals at 5 p.m. at New Oxford. The Bulldogs won the Y-A tournament title in both 2012 and 2013. The Bulldogs also won AAA state titles in each of those years. West York won the regular-season meeting vs. Spring Grove, 3-2, on March 31 at West York.

The other Friday semifinal — at 3:30 p.m. at Spring Grove — will pit Division III champion Eastern York (12-5) vs. Division IV champion Delone Catholic (13-7). The Squires are regulars in the league playoffs. They have appeared in every tournament since the event started in 2009, but they’ve never won the title. Eastern, meanwhile, is making its first tournament appearance. The Golden Knights captured a 5-0 victory against Delone at McSherrystown on April 17.

Look for the Spring Grove-West York winner to take home the title. With West York struggling a bit of late, losing four of its last six after a 12-0 start, the edge goes to Spring Grove.

In softball, Dallastown won’t be back to defend its tournament crown. The Wildcats lost a Division I showdown to Central (18-2) on Monday to give the Panthers the Division I crown.

Central, however, is no stranger to the league playoffs. The Panthers took the tournament title in 2012 and 2013. In fact, the Division I champion has ruled this event in recent years, winning every playoff title since 2010. Central will face Division II champion Dover (12-6) at 5 p.m. Friday at Susquehannock. Central won at Dover on April 16, 7-4.

The other softball semifinal will pair Division III champion Littlestown (15-3) vs. Division IV champion Delone Catholic (14-4) at Spring Grove. Littlestown triumphed at Delone on April 11, 7-2.

History says Division I champion Central is the team to beat.

Track and field: Finally, the top track and field athletes in York and Adams counties will take center stage on Friday night, when the league championships take place at Dallastown. Action starts at 4 p.m.

There are no team titles on the line at this event, but individuals will attempt to win medals and prove that they are the best athletes that York and Adams counties have to offer.

There are a few athletes to keep an eye on. South Western standout Lynne Mooradian is the defending champion in the 100, 200 and 400 dashes. But she could get a challenge from Red Lion’s Angelica Gonzalez, who has seen limited action this spring. Gonzalez was a freshman phenom in 2012 but has struggled with leg injuries since then. Hopefully, the East Carolina recruit will be healthy and compete in the league meet. Right now, she’s entered in the 200, 400 and 1,600 relay.

In addition, York Suburban’s Olivia Gettle is the defending champion in the 1,600 and 3,200 runs.

Weather: Of course, with the exception of boys’ volleyball, the championship events will need some cooperation from Mother Nature to go off as scheduled. Right now, the forecast for Thursday and Friday looks promising. The outlook for Monday and Tuesday, however, is a bit more sketchy.

Let’s hope that the weather cooperates.

The area athletes deserve the opportunity to perform their best in the best conditions. They also deserve to have big crowds there to watch them.

May Madness has arrived in York County.

Local high school sports fans should sit back and enjoy it.

Steve Heiser is sports editor of The York Dispatch. He can be reached at


Kennard-Dale 3, Northern York 2: At Fawn Grove, the host Rams knocked off the Polar Bears in a five-game thriller, 20-25, 28-26, 18-25, 25-23, 15-11. Kennard-Dale got a 23-kill effort from Kyle Wooldridge and a 40-assist performance from Josiah McConville. Luke Criswell chipped in with four aces and eight kills. The Rams won the JV match, 2-0.

New Oxford 3, Red Land 0: At Red Land, the Colonials won the non-league match, 26-24, 25-17, 25-13. Ryan McMaster led the visitors with 19 kills, 17 digs and three blocks. Teammate Zack McMaster had 12 kills, 12 digs and six blocks. New Oxford won the JV match, 27-25, 25-23.



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