N'eastern volleyball among spring's best so far
Thursday night, I got a peak at the Northeastern boy's volleyball team, which is ranked first in the state in Class AA by the Pennsylvania Volleyball Coaches Association.
Early verdict: The Bobcats have the talent to justify that ranking.
Northeastern looked overpowering through stretches of their three-game sweep of the Golden Knights. Hitters Cory Bair and Ian Tyger slammed down plenty of thundering kills, while junior Dominic Shoemaker (20 assists) showed why he's one of the finer setters you'll see.
Before we go too far here, Northeastern also showed it is beatable. The Bobcats went through lulls -- they sprinted to a 18-4 lead in the second game, only to watch Eastern cut that lead to two.
"Right now that's been a little bit of a habit," Northeastern coach Matt Wilson said. "At Spring Grove we were up a very wide margin and let them come back. At West York, we were up a very wide margin and let them come back. When we are good, we're very good. We just have to figure out how to finish good."
Still, you have to like what you see so far from the Bobcats -- who return almost every major contributor from a team that won a District 3 title last year and advanced to the PIAA semifinals.
When it comes to standout teams so far this spring, Northeastern isn't alone.
If talking about boys' volleyball, one can't forget Central York. The Panthers are 3-0 and ranked No. 1 in the state in Class AAA, most recently dispatching York Suburban on Thursday. And though they lost to Northeastern, Eastern York is still a quality side.
"I'm glad we played them early, because I have a good feeling we will see them again," Golden Knights coach Carol Thompson said of Northeastern. "That would be my hope, that we see them again."
I'll provide a quick run down of a few other spring sports after the jump.
Several baseball teams have looked sharp early. South Western, New Oxford, Littlestown and Delone Catholic are all unbeaten in league play. The Mustangs look poised to run away with Division I, led in part by Temple-bound senior hurler Matt Hockenberry. Don't forget about West York, either. The Bulldogs (5-1) scored a big non-league victory against Red Land earlier this week.
West York has also impressed in girls' soccer. Thanks in part to goal-scoring machine Kate Zech, the Bulldogs are 5-0 and the clear favorites in Division II. Dallastown and Eastern York have also emerged as front-runners in Divisions I and III, respectively. Both haven't lost yet in league play.
In girls' lacrosse, Spring Grove won a key matchup with Dallastown on Friday to 4-1 in Division II. The Rockets still trail Kennard-Dale, which looked dominating in a 18-6 drubbing of Division I contender Central York on Friday. On the boys' side, Dallastown and Red Lion are both still unbeaten atop Division I.
In softball, New Oxford has been a bit of a surprise, surging to 4-0 in Division I courtesy of a win this week against perennial favorites Central York. In Division II, Susquehannock came up with a big victory Friday, conjuring a sixth-inning rally to stun fellow front-runners Spring Grove. Bermudian Springs and West York look set to battle it out for the Division III crown.
Of course, this is just a sampling of what we've seen so far this spring (for example, its far too early in the track season to try to single out favorites). It's still early, and we'll get a much clearer picture of who's for real and who isn't as the season stretches on.