Valiant Comeback Falls Short At Central York, 3-2
In a classic matchup between two preeminent boys’ volleyball programs, the Central York Panthers outlasted a valiant comeback bid by North Allegheny in the PIAA Class AAA first round, 3-2. The Tigers fell behind 0-2 and rallied to force a fifth set before falling in the decisive set, 16-14.
The host Panthers got off to a quick start and built a 9-0 lead thanks to the serves of junior Christian Bucks, who delivered a pair of aces during the opening surge. Senior Donavan Burris added four kills to help Central York to a 25-14 win. North Allegheny senior Varun Kaveti tallied three kills in set one and finished with four blocks on the night.
Burris and Bucks led the way for Central York in the second set with three kills apiece, lifting the Panthers to a 25-16 victory.
North Allegheny began to find its rhythm in the third set and held a narrow lead throughout most of the game. Tied 23-23, the Tigers prevailed courtesy of a block by junior Nicolas Carioto and a kill by senior Jax Wilhite for a 25-23 triumph. Wilhite notched five kills on his way to 19 kills. For his efforts, Wilhite was named the Wright Automotive Player of the Match.
Another key for the Tigers’ turnaround was the play of freshmen Will Robertson, Brendan Moore, Peter Bratich and Emmett Morris. The freshmen quartet sparked NA in set three and continued to serve as catalysts in set four. Moore delivered four kills in set four, including the game-winning point, in a 25-21 win. Bratich was a force in the middle of the net with two kills and two blocks in the set. Bratich posted a team-high five blocks and Robertson racked up a total of 15 kills for the match.
The pendulum swung for and against both teams in set five with North Allegheny holding a 12-9 advantage before Central York called a timeout. The Panthers went on a 3-0 run to tie the score at 12-12 before a Central York error gave NA the lead back at 13-12. Unfortunately, Central York took four of the final five points to pull out a narrow 16-14 win and take the match, 3-2. Burris posted five kills in the final set to lift the Panthers to the win.
Other stat leaders for North Allegheny included junior libero Will Hahn with 22 digs and junior setter Nicolas Carioto with 47 assists.
North Allegheny ends the season with an 11-5 record, while Central York improves to 16-2 and advances to the PIAA quarterfinals to face LaSalle College. Congratulations to head coach Dan Long and the entire North Allegheny boys’ volleyball team for a memorable and successful 2023 season.
Boys Volleyball Summary vs. Central York, 6-6-23
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