The York Suburban and Northeastern volleyball teams are inching toward another meeting this season — which could come in the state semifinals — but to do so both teams will have to go through District 2 opponents on Saturday afternoon.
The Trojans will battle District 2 champ Holy Redeemer at noon, and the Bobcats will face the No. 2 seed from District 2 Nanticoke in the quarterfinals. Both games will take place at Exeter Township High School in Reading.
Holy Redeemer defeated Lancaster Mennonite, 3-1, on Wednesday in the first round. The Royals benefited from strong performances, particularly in the fourth game, from Rob Zbierski and John Carr.
York Suburban faced Wilkes-Barre's Holy Redeemer earlier this season in the Bobcat Invitational. They also ran into the Royals in the first round of the 2014 state tournament.
“I know they’re a strong program,” Suburban coach Jamie Evans said. “They come down to all the York tournaments to get that competition, so I know that they’re going to be prepared. We need to be prepared for them.”
For the Trojans, being prepared means working on some of the little things and perfecting the fundamentals.
“Go through our rotations and try to work things out,” Jack Schultz said. “There’s not much you can add at this point. Just improve upon what you have and hope for the best.”
The Bobcats are preparing in a similar fashion, honing their skills before facing Nanticoke.
“The game plan right now is just keep sharpening the ball control skills at this point,” Northeastern coach Matt Wilson said. “Stay sharp with our connections with our middles and opposite at this stage. Stay engaged and play with a sense of urgency.”
With Northeastern set to lose the core of its team to graduation after the season, Wilson has also tried to utilize his younger players in certain situations this postseason. That was the case in the District 3 tournament, and Wilson did so again on Wednesday during Northeastern's first-round win against Crestwood. If the opportunity arises again Saturday, the Bobcats will take advantage of it.
“Some of these young guys … have got to get more experience with these bright lights and how to deal with it,” Wilson said. “At this stage I don’t know if we’ll get many chances for them now. … If we get the opportunities we’ll certainly try."
PIAA volleyball quarterfinals
Who: York Suburban and Northeastern both play in the PIAA Class AA second round.
When and where: Both teams play Saturday at Exeter Township High School in Reading.
Matchups: York Suburban vs. Holy Redeemer, noon; Northeastern vs. Nanticoke, 2 p.m.