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STATE COLLEGE >> Right when many people were settling down to eat their lunch, heavily favored Northeastern was getting poised to win its third straight PIAA Class AA boys volleyball championship.

Perhaps the only question would be, how long would the match take?

The answer was emphatic: not very long.

In less than an hour, the Bobcats dispatched Saegertown in straight sets, completing their third-straight state title when senior Philip White's block hit the floor at Penn State University's Recreation Hall for the final point.

A Reese Devilbiss kill put Northeastern up 24-12 and with every Bobcat fans standing — many holding up three fingers — the Panthers got a good swing. White denied it, however, then raised his long arms skyward in victory as the celebration began.

"It was a good feeling getting the last point of my senior year and ending with that," White said. "I was up with (fellow senior Matt Thornton) and was like, let's block this kid. And we did."

In a familiar scene, the team donned its gold medals, then held up its championship trophy to the adulation of the large number of supporters that made the trip to State College.

Devilbiss led the way with 14 kills, and White added 11 as Northeastern scored 25-9, 25-22 and 25-12 set victories.

The Bobcats (23-0) finished their perfect match-play season in style. Ahead 5-4 in the final game, Northeastern scored seven consecutive points as part of a 9-1 run that extended the lead to 14-5.

Behind two Brendon Barclay kills, Saegertown (15-3) answered with three straight, but put the next hit into the net, starting a 5-1 Bobcats run. Devilbiss and White closed out the championship.

"What they did today was the big piece," Northeastern coach Matt Wilson said of his team. "They executed the game plan magnificently."

White recorded a kill and block, the second of which gave the Bobcats a 10-3 lead in the first set. A short while later, Northeastern went on a six-point run with Jeff Reynolds (six kills, two blocks) and Brandon Arentz (seven kills, one block) getting in on the action. Ahead 22-9, White's block was followed by a Devilbiss ace and then White put the first set away.

The Panthers, the District 10 champs, made it interesting — at least the second game. Saegertown scored five straight points, cutting a one-time seven-point deficit to 24-22. Wilson called timeout, however, and the next Panthers' serve went into the net and Game 2 was in the books.

"The first thing I said in the second timeout was, 'he still has to get his jump-serve in,'" Wilson said. "After that I asked them to just rely on the things we are great at — serve-receive, defensive effort, stay in the moment, get the last point and I think we will be OK."

Only needing one set to win, the ending was inevitable, as was more Bobcat dominance.

Northeastern last lost a set in PIAA tournament play two years ago in the finals against Ambridge, before the Bobcats rallied to win in four sets. A year later, they swept the Bridgers in the 2014 title match.

In addition to their three straight state titles, the Bobcats have won four of the last six PIAA AA championships and six state titles in their program history. Combined with Central York in 2011 and 2014, and New Oxford in 2005, the YAIAA has seven PIAA crowns since the finals have moved to Penn State.

Related

Northeastern secures PIAA volleyball lore with third straight title

Steve Navaroli: Brandon Arentz exemplifies Northeastern's depth, consistent dominance

Replay the live updates, photos and videos from Saturday's PIAA Class AA volleyball match

Take a look at YAIAA and York County teams that have won state titles.

On a mobile device? Click here to watch the video

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