Parkland sweeps Northeastern in final to win Koller Classic
Minutes after winning Saturday's Koller Classic at Central York High School, Parkland players had to ask their coach.
Have they ever won this championship?
Trojans coach Scott Trumbauer thought about it. No, not in a decade of participating in the tournament.
This was different. A few weeks after leaving York County after a semifinal loss at Northeastern's Bobcat Invitational, Parkland marched back to the Allentown area Saturday with a Koller Classic boys' volleyball title. Ranked No. 3 in the Class AAA state coaches' poll, they beat the No. 1 AA team in Northeastern in the finals, 26-24, 25-15.
"They're the real deal," Northeastern coach Matt Wilson said. "I thought all day they played the best of any team I saw."
Wilson, like most other coaches, got to peek through Central's gym doors between matches. The 20-team invitational included eight teams featured in one of the state top-10 rankings. Parkland stood out while fending off zipping shots at the net and on the floor unlike anyone else.
The Bobcats hadn't lost a match all year. Their two previous tournaments — at Cambridge Springs and the Bobcat Invite — ended in victory, and they swept through pool play Saturday.
Parkland didn't lose, either.
"We look forward to these to see what we're made of and what we can do in the postseason," Trumbauer said.
Four York County squads participated. While heavyweight programs Northeastern and Central advanced the furthest, York Suburban and Dallastown built momentum for the rest of this season.
Suburban won Pool B, while Dallastown finished second in Pool C.
Wildcats coach Lance Ranck admitted the performance mildly surprised him coming off a five-game loss this week to Spring Grove in YAIAA play. Dallastown finished 5-3 in its pool before suffering a second-round elimination loss against Fair Lawn (N.J.).
"It was a good day," Ranck said. "I'm really happy with it."
Fair Lawn gave Northeastern a scare in the semifinals.
Even 2014 graduate Luke Braswell, the Bobcats' four-year setter, turned away at times while watching it. Fair Lawn came to York after an 180-mile drive from New Jersey, where it is currently ranked third in that state.
Northeastern prevailed with the last three points, 25-22. Parkland watched and waited after dispatching Derry, 25-14.
The Bobcats played without their starting setter, Matt Schaeffer, who sprained his ankle earlier this week against Spring Grove. The junior watched from the bench with his right foot in a brace. Wilson said he could miss another week or two, which means the injury is not expected to end his season.
Schaeffer observed Saturday as Brent Williams initiated the offense.
A 5-foot-11 senior, Williams had 17 assists in the final against Parkland. The effort helped Reese Devilbiss to a team-high 12 kills. More importantly, Williams had the respect of his coach and teammates.
"He had a career day," Wilson said. "I'm not sure there's many people who could come in off the bench, basically, and run a high-level offense to the level that he ran it."
Wilson told that to Williams and a few others.
Twice in the final, the senior imitated Braswell by faking a lob to his teammates and sending the ball over the net. Williams tried to surprise the opposition like Braswell did for the winning point in last year's state championship game.
Wilson chuckled about it. That, he said, comes from playing behind Braswell and Schaeffer.
Contact Matt Goul at 771-2045.
Championship final — Parkland def. Northeastern, 26-24, 25-15.
Semifinals — Northeastern def. Fair Lawn (NJ), 25-22. Parkland def. Derry, 25-14.
Quarterfinals — Northeastern def. Ambridge, 25-15. Fair Lawn def. Emmaus, 25-22. Derry def. Central York, 25-21. Parkland def. Cumberland Valley, 25-18.
Second-round playoffs — Northeastern def. Central Dauphin, 25-23. Ambridge def. State College, 25-22. Fair Lawn def. Dallastown, 25-23. Emmaus def. York Suburban, 25-15. Derry def. Penn Manor, 25-21. Central York def. Hempfield, 27-25. Cumberland Valley def. North Allegheny, 25-22. Parkland def. Chambersburg, 25-16.
First-round playoffs — Central Dauphin def. Pennsbury, 15-12. Emmaus def. Montour, 15-8. Derry def. Cambridge Springs, 15-6. Chambersburg def. Neshaminy, 15-11.
Pool A — 1. Northeastern (8-0), 2. Hempfield (5-3), 3. Fair Lawn (4-4), 4. Chambersburg (3-5), 5. Montour (0-8).
Pool B — 1. York Suburban (6-2), 2. Cumberland Valley (5-3), 3. Ambridge (4-4), 4. Cambridge Springs (3-5), 5. Pennsbury (2-6).
Pool C — 1. Penn Manor (7-1), 2. Dallastown (5-3), 3. North Allegheny (4-4), 4. Central Dauphin (4-4), 5. Neshaminy (0-8).
Pool D — 1. Parkland (8-0), 2. State College (4-4), 3. Central York (3-5), 4. Emmaus (3-5), 5. Derry (2-6).