State's best teams vie for top spot in YAIAA
The YAIAA has the No. 1-ranked teams in Pennsylvania in Class 2A and 3A this season. Find out GameTimePA's power rankings for the YAIAA. Jim Seip, GameTimePA
We are still waiting on an answer.
In a year when the YAIAA is once again loaded with talented teams, the big unknown was whether any team could challenge defending league and state champion Northeastern.
The regular season is winding down, and we still don't know if Northeastern will be unseated.
But we do know the top challenger.
Here are GameTimePA's YAIAA boys' volleyball power rankings:
5. Spring Grove
A notch below the top teams in the league, the Rockets are still in the midst of a quality season.
They picked up a sweep against what turned into a six-win Red Lion squad in April, with Aaron Gunarich recording seven blocks and four kills.
A tough showdown with Central York is scheduled for Tuesday night.
4. York Suburban
It's been an odd season for the Trojans. They have experience and talent. Jack Schultz is an offensive force. But York Suburban is still waiting on that breakout performance or signature win.
The Trojans came out fired up in their season opener, eventually falling in a 3-2 decision to defending Class 2A champion Northeastern. Central swept Suburban, yet the Trojans gave them all they could handle in a 30-28 Game 1 loss. Don't overlook the Trojans' strong showing at the loaded Koller Classic, where they fell to state powerhouse Pennsbury, 29-27, in the quarterfinals.
Playing under first-year head coach Tom Beakler, who stepped away from working as a head coach for 20-plus seasons, Dallastown should be in the mix for some postseason hardware.
Dallastown showed signs of its potential with a five-game loss to Northeastern.
The Wildcats announced their emergence among the district and state elite with an appearance at the Koller Classic final, where Dallastown's only loss came at the hands of defending state champion Hempfield. But Dallastown will need to continue playing at a high level,
It's difficult to fathom, but the Bobcats, the No. 1-ranked Class 2A team in the entire state, might not be the best team in their own league. They perennially chase the best competition in the state. The arrival of Cole Brillhart, who a year ago played for a 9-2 second-place Red Lion squad, has been a huge addition.
We've been waiting all season to see what happens when Northeastern and Central step on the court in the best-of-five, regular-season finale. But the teams offered a glimpse of what might happen when they faced off at the State College Invitational at the end of April. Central got the best of the Bobcats in a best-of-three showdown. Central rallied after dropping the first game to pull out a 23-25, 25-23, 16-14 victory.
Don't forget, though, that Northeastern hasn't lost a regular-season YAIAA match since Central swept the Bobcats on May 8, 2014. To date, the Bobcats have won 31 consecutive league matches, and Northeastern could run that number to 32 with a win against Kennard-Dale on Tuesday.
1. Central York
The Panthers have a stacked lineup with plenty of weapons. Cole Johnson, who stands 6-foot-7, catches everyone's attention, but Ben Seebold is another offensive weapon. Four-sport athlete Carter Luckenbaugh makes it all go from the setter position.
The Panthers have proven they can compete with the state's best, earning the No. 1 ranking in big-school Class 3A. So we could see a memorable showdown at 7 p.m. Thursday when Central York hosts Northeastern.
Fun fact: The last time Central won the regular-season league title, the Panthers and Bobcats swept the 2014 state titles.
Teams: Central York vs. Northeastern
When: 7 p.m. Thursday
Where: Central York High School
What: YAIAA regular-season finale
On the line*: YAIAA regular-season title
Bragging rights: Central York is No. 1 in state in Class 3A; Northeastern is No. 1 in state in Class 2A
* Both teams enter play Tuesday with undefeated records in YAIAA play this season.