Northeastern wins men’s volleyball showdown against York Suburban

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Prior to the start of the season, August 26 was a circled date on the Northeast boys’ volleyball schedule.

To say the Bobcats were looking forward to their Tuesday night matchup with state-ranked York Suburban would be an understatement.

“Oh, yeah,” Northeast senior Owen Kohr said succinctly. “For sure.”

With much uncertainty heading into this season, following the retirement of longtime coach Matt Wilson, the Bobcats wanted to use Tuesday’s battle as a statement game, both in the league and in the state.

Trojans have certainly gotten the message.

After falling behind 1-0, thanks to a great performance from Suburban standout Brady Stump, the Bobcats showed the poise and resilience that has been a hallmark of great Wilson teams over the course of the last quarter century and won the next two sets.

Even a hiccup in set 4 couldn’t deter the hungry Bobcats. The visitors took a big lead in set 5 before wrapping up a thrilling 21-25, 25-22, 25-23, 21-25, 15-7 victory.

“That was awesome,” said Kohr, who brought down the last kill of the night to spark an on-court celebration by the entire Northeastern program and coaching staff. “It’s like the best feeling, to have that winning kill right there.”

Bobcats in good position: The triumph puts the Bobcats in prime position for a shot at winning the York-Adams League regular season title. Northeastern improved to 8-0 in the league with the win, while previously undefeated Suburban fell to 8-1.

At first, however, it looked like Suburban, the No. 3 team in the Pennsylvania Volleyball Coaches Association’s latest Class 2-A state ranking, would be hard to stop. Stump put on a show in set 1, blasting 10 of his 31 kills to set a positive tone for the home side.

Northeast freshman coach Lamar Fahnestock definitely took notice of Stump’s meteoric start. Instead of sticking to the pregame blocking setup against Stump, Fahnestock called an audible inserting Kyle Renner across from Stump.

This move paid off. Stump struggled to generate the booming takedowns that highlighted Suburban’s victory in Set 1.

“I thought we would go with a bigger block on (Stump),” Fahnestock said. “It didn’t work out, so I brought in Kyle, who is a veteran and a senior, and he did the job.”

Trojans, however, are more than just a one-dimensional outfit. Jacob Brenner (11 kills), Jackson Bryant (five kills), Ben Kimes (four kills) and Matthew Torres (four kills) all had big kills, although the Bobcats defense made it difficult for the Trojans put away the balls. .

Northeastern demonstrates perseverance: The persistence shown by the North East boys to pull themselves together from an early deficit, as well as to wash away the bitter taste of defeat in Set 4, was vintage Bobcat volleyball.

Kohr, who finished with 10 wins from 35 attempts, was drenched in sweat after the marathon victory.

“York Suburban has always been a tough competitor for us,” Kohr said. “And I know everyone was wondering how our season was going to go, but I think it’s pretty obvious from our record, and what we’ve done here tonight, that we’re pretty solid.”

The pressure should pay off later: The pressure exerted by each party should certainly bear fruit for both programs in the future.

The assurance of eliminating a great team, like Suburban, will do wonders for the Bobcats, who have suffered non-league losses to Meadville (No. 1 ranked in the state in 2-A) and Cumberland Valley (No. #3 in the District 3 3-A. power rankings).

The Trojans’ setback is something coach Oliver Good hopes will serve as a wake-up call for a team aiming to win a state title.

Jacob Hornberger led the Bobcats with 15 kills on the night while Zack Kilpatrick finished with 13 in the win. Tyler Finch dished out 46 assists for Northeastern while Gavin Meador recorded 26 digs for the Bobcats.

OTHER BOYS VOLLEYBALL

Central York 3, New Oxford 0: In New Oxford, the Panthers won 25-17, 25-13, 25-15. Individually for the Panthers, Matt Smyser had 12 kills, four digs and three aces. Also for Central, Ryan Roberts had seven kills, eight assists, six digs and three aces, Christian Bucks had nine kills and Lance Shaffer had 12 digs and three aces. Central is now 7-2 and has won six straight.

Red Lion 3, Susquehannock 0: At Susquehannock, the Lions (9-3) won the away game, 25-11, 25-16, 25-15. Gabe Sedora led the Lions individually with 10 kills and seven digs. Also for Red Lion, Joey Kozak had 11 kills, Tyler Good had eight kills, three aces and three digs and Logan Crowe had 39 assists.

Contact Ryan Vandersloot at [email protected] or on Twitter at @ydsports.

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