Coaches from York Suburban, Dallastown, and Central York discuss the 2016 Koller Classic Christian Arnold
The Northeastern boys' volleyball team pulled its top player, Ohio State commit Reese Devilbiss, because of an injury and then lost to Parkland, 25-20, in a semifinal matchup at the Koller Classic at Central York High School Saturday. Northeastern, the three-time defending state champions, have not lost a regular-season match and dropped just a single game on the year before Saturday's tournament.
Parkland, ranked second in the state in Class AAA by the Pennsylvania Volleyball Coaches Association, went on to defeat Hempfield in the championship, needing three games to take home the title.
Northeastern entered the tournament as the No. 1-ranked team in the state in Class AA, and the Bobcats had swept Parkland earlier this month at the Bobcat Invitational — winning back-to-back games in the championship match. But Devilbiss, a key player during all three of the Bobcats' last three state championship runs, suffered a thumb and ankle injury in the first game of the tournament. He played in Northeastern's second game, but Northeastern opted to rest him for the remainder of the tournament for "precautionary reasons," Northeastern coach Matt Wilson said.
Wilson saw the injury as an opportunity to allow other players to step in.
“We were a little shorthanded there against arguably probably the No. 1 team in the state,” Wilson said. “I thought we handled it pretty well and I thought they made just a bit more plays, and we struggled a little bit in serve receives, but we’re fine. I’m not stressing over it.”
The Bobcats’ coach was pleased with how the team handled itself.
“I thought we had a lot of new faces step up today,” Wilson said. “Dakoda Hoffman, Jeff Reynolds, Brandon Arentz, they had fantastic days today. It was great to see some different leadership from new faces. I think the future is pretty bright right now.”
The Bobcats received a bye in the first round, and they defeated Montour and Cumberland Valley on their way to the semifinals. They were the only YAIAA team to advance beyond the quarterfinals.
The YAIAA was well represented at a tournament that draws some of the state's best programs. In addition to Northeastern, York Suburban, Central York and Dallastown competed.
Parkland and Central, ranked fifth in the state in Class AAA, both made it to the quarterfinals, while the Wildcats fell in the second round.
Suburban coach Jamie Evans and Central coach Todd Goodling were both pleased with the effort their teams showed during the day.
“I was a little worried we’d be mentally tired or physically tired,” said Evans. “Pool play showed we were ready.”
For Goodling, he was happy his team had the chance to advance and play several state volleyball powerhouses during the day.
“I’m excited for the opportunities we had today and how much I think we got better as a team,” he said.