The York Suburban Trojans discuss their first round victory in the state tournament. Christian Arnold
MECHANICSBURG – York Suburban coach Jamie Evans admitted not knowing anything about The Academy at Palumbo, his team’s opponent during the opening round of the PIAA Class AA boys’ volleyball tournament.
But to get ready for the second-place team from District 12, Evans recalled a few years back when the Trojan girls’ squad had to open the state tourney against a team from the same district.
“The girls were in a similar situation. We thought we’d be fine and we got swept. That team was really good,” Evans said of that 2013 girls’ tourney.
On Wednesday at Cumberland Valley High School, the Suburban boys were ready for any possibility.
After giving up the first two points of the match, the Trojans responded with a 10-1 run. Suburban never looked back after that, going on to sweep Palumbo 25-13, 25-15, 25-9.
A Griffins’ ace made the score 17-10 during that first game, but Jack Schultz and Zach Weinstein combined for six of the next seven points. Schultz had two of the five kills and three of his four blocks during that span.
“It was kind of weird. I never heard of that school,” Schultz said. “You have to prepare the best you can. You have to play them like they are the best team you have faced.”
Palumbo hung around in the middle set, cutting its deficit to 14-12, until the Trojans rallied by scoring seven straight points as part of a 10-1 run.
“That game two we decided to step it up and not make stupid mistakes,” said Schultz.
There was little suspense in the final set. Leading 8-5, Suburban went on a tear, scoring six in a row, before following a service error with five more points for a 19-6 advantage.
Kaleb Ansell passed his way to 25 assists during the match, but also added a pair of kills, five blocks, four digs and an ace for the Trojans. Sepehr Vakili notched a match-high eight kills.
Suburban will face a much more familiar foe, District 2 champ Holy Redeemer, in Saturday’s second round, at a time and location to be determined.
"We saw them at the Northeastern (tournament) and it was a close one-game,” Evans said. “We know they are a strong program.”
The Trojans topped Holy Redeemer by two during that previous match.