Central York and Northeastern are two of the premier boys’ volleyball programs in the county, so when they met Thursday night the game was expected to be a dogfight.
What took place instead was a 3-0 sweep (25-18, 25-11, 25-11) of Central by Northeastern in front of a packed gymnasium. While it was the first regular season matchup of the year between the two, Central and Northeastern had faced one another twice this year during invitational tournaments.
“We were expecting point after point and going back and forth,” Northeastern setter Matt Schaeffer said. “Finally we just started playing our game. We’ve had some times this year where we haven’t played our best. Luckily we stepped up and played our game (tonight).”
The opening game began with the two teams trading points, with the Panthers taking a brief 8-6 lead, before Northeastern regained control.
It was in the second game that the pendulum shifted the Bobcats' way. They opened with a 10-2 lead and never really allowed the Panthers to gain enough momentum to rally back. In the third game Central kept pace with the Bobcats, trading points for the first few minutes, before Northeastern pulled away.
“I think we were pretty relentless in distributing the ball across all areas of the net tonight,” Northeastern head coach Matt Wilson said. “We came in with the mindset that this isn’t just going to go to one player. If we pass and we serve well we know we have plenty of offensive weapons across the net.”
The win helped the Bobcats clinch the regular-season title outright and sent them into the postseason on a positive note. The Panthers on the other hand were less than pleased with their effort.
“The guys are disappointed in the way they played,” Central coach Todd Goodling said. “It should have been a heck of a lot better match than that. It’s disappointing that we didn’t hold up our end of that bargain.”
The Panthers will likely get another shot at Northeastern when the league tournament begins. Both sides expect to see one another at some point during the playoffs and Northeastern isn’t betting on Central to have another performance like they had Thursday.
“They’ll be better,” Wilson said. “(They have) too great of a coaching staff not to expect they’ll rebound from this”