For Chambersburg to fight its way into Saturday's semifinals of the PIAA Tournament, it will have to get through a gauntlet of strong opposition in today's Class AAA quarterfinal pool play.
In the updated Pa. Volleyball Coaches Association boys rankings, the Trojans (20-3) are ranked No. 2 and their opponents in Pool B include the No. 3 team (Emmaus), No. 5 (Pennridge) and No. 6 (Lower Dauphin).
And keep in mind that LD just knocked off the former No. 1, North Allegheny, in Tuesday's first round.
"We're taking all the matches the same," Chambersburg coach Kirk Crouse said. "In the final eight, all the teams have a lot of heart and talent. If you're playing tomorrow, you're a good team. We'll have to go out and play our best in every match."
The tournament is being held at Penn State's Multisport Indoor Facility. The Trojans play Pennridge at 10:50 a.m. today, followed by Lower Dauphin at 1:50 p.m. and Emmaus at 4:50.
All matches are three sets. The top two teams at the end of the day in each pool will advance to Saturday morning's semifinals.
In Pool A, top-ranked Central Dauphin - which has handed Chambersburg all three of its losses - is grouped with Parkland (No. 8), Norwin (No. 9) and Souderton (No. 10). That's a benefit the Rams got by beating the Trojans in the District 3 championship match.
Chambersburg met Pennridge once this year, in a one-set quarterfinal pairing at the Dallastown tournament, and picked up a 25-11 victory.
The Trojans have played Lower Dauphin twice - a 3-0 win at home and a 2-1 victory in the quarterfinals of the District 3 tournament.
"We saw Emmaus play this year," Crouse said. "They were opposite us at the Central York tournament. They are tough. We know all the teams in our pool play a lot of club volleyball."
Crouse knows his team is good enough to beat anybody left in the field, including CD, if it plays at its highest level.
"The keys are serving and passing well," he said. "We have to serve well enough to keep teams out of their system, and we have to pass well enough to stay in ours. And if we serve well, it helps set up our blocking and defense."
Since Tate Frazer has returned to the lineup, he gives the Trojans a second strong hitting option behind middle Mitch Stahl. That also allows some freedom for hitters Keith Keggerreis and Drew Patterson.
Ray Frazer is the maestro of the assists, and libero Austin Frazer leads in digs and is usually high in service points.
It helps that the Trojans are tournament tested - they won two events this year, reached the quarterfinals of a third and took second in the District 3 tourney.
"I think tournaments suit us well - we're well-conditioned and we seem to play better as we go on," Crouse said. "But we have to start strong because we can't take anybody lightly."
Ed Gotwals can be reached at 262-4755 and email@example.com or on Twitter @EdGotwalsPO.
PIAA pool play
Chambersburg's boys volleyball team begins play this morning in the quarterfinal pool play round of the PIAA Class AAA Tournament. The matches will be held at Penn State's Multisport Indoor Facility.
10:50 a.m. - Chambersburg vs. Pennridge (District 1 champion)
1:50 p.m. - Chambersburg vs. Lower Dauphin (District 3 4th place)
4:50 p.m. - Chambersburg vs. Emmaus (District 11 champion)