LANDISVILLE — With few exceptions, the first round of the PIAA boys’ volleyball tournament is not a difficult match for district champions and runners-up.
That was the case Tuesday evening for District 3 Class 2-A runner-up York Suburban and District 3 Class 3-A champion Central York.
Starting Saturday, however, that will likely no longer be the case.
Playing across the river at Hempfield High School in Lancaster County, the Trojans and Panthers were in complete control of their first-round state pairings. Suburban had little trouble dispatching an over-matched Palumbo squad, 25-7, 25-13, 25-3, in the opener, while Central cruised to a 25-13, 25-20, 25-14 triumph over Central Bucks East in the nightcap of a doubleheader.
Both sides move on to Saturday’s quarterfinals, where they will face significantly stiffer competition.
The Trojans will get District 7 2-A champ Beaver County Christian, a team that began the season ranked No. 1 in the state by the Pennsylvania Volleyball Coaches Association poll. BCC is ranked No. 2 in the latest poll, which has Suburban at the No. 3 spot.
The Panthers will see District 1 3-A runner-up Pennsbury. Central is ranked No. 1 in latest coaches poll, while the Falcons are ranked No. 9.
Tuesday was a bit laid back for both York-Adams League squads, facing unranked foes. While neither side was challenged on the court, both sides still faced mental challenges playing over-matched outfits.
Both the C.B. East and Palumbo sides played loose and appeared to enjoy the moment taking on highly regarded opponents. That is an aspect of the game that the Panthers can learn from over the final two weeks of the season.
“When we’re having fun I think we’re all clicking together,” Central senior Drew Anderson said. “Most of the time when…