The crowd roared and the York Suburban boys' volleyball team jumped in the air when the ball hit the ground, securing the Trojans' 3-1 victory against Central York on Thursday night.
After the Panthers won the opening game, Suburban won the next three to knock off the defending District 3 Class AAA champions, 20-25, 25-21, 25-22, and 25-22. Things became tense in Game 4 after Central rallied back to tie the score at 17, forcing Suburban head coach Jamie Evans to call a timeout.
Evans urged his players to remain composed. His message?
“Stay calm, stay cool,” Evans said afterwards. “Have confidence. We’ve been fighting that since last year. That was kind of our nemesis last year, getting into that tight spot, and we would be the ones that freeze.”
But the Trojans didn’t freeze this time. They battled through a back-and-fourth sequence that saw the two teams trade points. With the game knotted at 22 moments later, the Trojans picked up the next three points to seal the victory.
It was the second straight season that Suburban opened its season with a test against Class AAA powerhouse Central York. Last year, the Panthers swept the Trojans in three, and Evans said that set the tone for the 2015 season for Suburban, which went 10-7 and missed the state playoffs. The coach said he hopes Thursday's season opener can get the ball rolling in the right direction.
“Last year it just left a sour taste all season,” Evans said. “It was in the back of their minds and that doubt crept in. So now the doubt's gone, and we can push forward through this season.”
New Panthers head coach Todd Goodling credited Suburban’s performance after the game, calling it “spectacular.” However, he was less than pleased with the effort he saw from his squad on Thursday night.
“(Suburban’s) serving game was much better than ours. Their engagement in the match was much better than ours. Their defensive intensity was much better than ours. Their will to compete was much better than ours,” he said.
Central’s Hayden Wagner had 19 kills, along with four aces and two digs. Suburban's Kaleb Ansell came up with 31 assists in the win.