YAIAA volleyball sends four to State College
The field for quarterfinal pool play at the PIAA Volleyball Championships is set; and once again, the YAIAA will be heavily represented. Four York-Adams team will make the trip to State College on Friday: Northeastern and Dover will represent Class AA, while Central York and Spring Grove will make up a quarter of the Class AAA field. All four of those teams won their state preliminary matches Tuesday. Northeastern and Dover won in sweeps, while Central and Spring Grove each coughed up a game before eventually cranking into gear. So how did the quarterfinal brackets shake out? Northeastern and Dover will be paired together in Pool A. At first glance, this appears to be the tougher of the two quartets. Montour (Dist. 7) and Bethlehem Catholic (D-11) have both hovered near the top of the PVCA's rankings for most of this season. Still, you have to like Northeastern's chances to get through. (A brief aside: District 10 had three teams ranked in the top 10 of the latest PVCA rankings, and yet was only allotted one slot in the PIAA tournament. Saegerstown got in, while talented squades Meadville, last year's state runner-up, and Cochranton saw their seasons end early. District 3 gets four teams in, while District 2 gets three. The PIAA might want to look into this.) As for the Class AAA crew, Central York and Spring Grove are grouped together in Pool B. Once again, this seems the more daunting of the two pools, mostly because of its third big-time member -- North Allegheny, the state's top-ranked team. District 11 champion Emmaus rounds out the field. You'd have to like the chances of at least one of the two YAIAA representatives to advance to Saturday mornings semifinals, but both might be a stretch. Then again, pool can be fickle. You'll remember last year that Central York -- then one of the state's hottest teams, fresh off a District 3-AAA title -- did not even make it out of its pool. So getting too caught with state rankings and matchups is probably foolish. As always, the state tournament will come down to whichever team gets hot at the right time. Stay tuned, we'll have more this week to get you ready for the PIAA championships. I'll be heading up to State College on Friday, so you can look forward to plenty of coverage from the weekend's festivities.