Three for the road.
A trio of Lancaster-Lebanon League boys volleyball teams are still standing in the District 3 tournament. And one of those squads — reigning league champ Warwick — has locked up a spot in the PIAA playoffs.
Warwick, in Class 3A, and Garden Spot and Manheim Central in Class 2A, are set for semifinal showdowns in their respective classes:
Warwick, the No. 4 seed, will play at top-seeded Central Dauphin on Tuesday at 7 p.m.; Garden Spot, the No. 4 seed, will play at top-seeded Lower Dauphin on Tuesday at 7 p.m.; and Manheim Central, the No. 6 seed, will play at No. 2 York Suburban on Wednesday at 7 p.m.
The district championships are set for Thursday, with the 3A matchup at Dallastown at 7 p.m. and the 2A showdown at Central York at 7 p.m. The third-place matches are the same night, with the higher seeds hosting.
The four semifinalists in 3A have qualified for the PIAA tournament. In 2A, the top three finishers get an invite to states, so Thursday’s third-place match loser is out.
Warwick bumps off Hempfield, claims first L-L League boys volleyball championship
WARRIORS, RAMS OH MY
Not an easy road trip for Warwick, which must tangle with undefeated Central Dauphin in Harrisburg. It’s been quite the season for the Mid-Penn Commonwealth champs, who won the Bobcat Invitational and the Koller Classic — a pair of whopper, star-studded one-day tournaments — back in early April.
The Warriors (17-1 overall) must defend CD wily hitters Jacob Miller and Tyler McConnell at the net, as the Rams (17-0) look to continue their dazzling run after reaching the PIAA-3A finale last spring. And CD — which fell to WPIAL kingpin North Allegheny in last year’s state finale — enters the semifinals as the top-ranked 3A team in the state according to the PVCA.
Warwick is No. 4 on that list.
Keep an eye on Warwick libero Seth Graybill in this clash. With CD taking big swings up front, Graybill should have a busy night in the dig department, and he’ll need to make clean passes to help the Warriors set up their offense.
Warwick, which shared the L-L League Section 1 crown with Hempfield this spring, topped Carlisle in the first round before beating Exeter in the quarterfinals. CD had a bye into the quarterfinals, where the Rams blanked Governor Mifflin.
Tuesday’s winner gets No. 2 Palmyra or No. 3 Cumberland Valley in Thursday’s title clash. CV KO’d reigning champ Hempfield in the quarterfinals.
SPARTANS, FALCONS READY TO RUMBLE
Another intriguing match, another tall order for an L-L League outfit.
Garden Spot (13-5) must gas up the bus and head to Hummelstown, where the defending 2A state champs will be ready and waiting. The Spartans’ top priority will be containing LD hitter Luke Gibbs up front.
The Falcons (17-1) will also be tested defensively by Garden Spot heavy hitter Tanner Laukhuff, who has benefited from slick sets by Tyler Martin, the Spartans’ catalyst.
LD beat Meadville in last year’s 2A state-title scrap. Meadville starts the week at No. 1 in the PVCA 2A state rankings; LD is No. 2 and Garden Spot is No. 10.
Garden Spot topped York Catholic and LD knocked off Northern York in the quarterfinals. The survivor here awaits Wednesday’s Manheim Central at York Suburban result. YS asked for that match to be played Wednesday, and D3 officials obliged.
And yes: If Garden Spot and Manheim Central come up short in the semifinals, the Spartans and the Barons would meet in the winner-goes-home third-place match on Thursday. Sparty Nation and the Barons split their season series in Section 2 action, as Garden Spot secured a second-place finish — and a league playoff bid — ahead of Manheim Central.
Here are your L-L League boys volleyball 2022 all-stars [list]
BARONS, TROJANS SET TO TANGLE
Manheim Central is fresh off a nail-biter 3-2 win over L-L League Section 2 rival — and third-seeded — Lancaster Mennonite, and now the Barons (9-5) get the reigning York/Adams champs, as Suburban (15-1) blanked Central York and nabbed that crown for the first time in 10 years.
District 3 boys volleyball: Manheim Central KO’s Lancaster Mennonite; Warwick, Garden Spot win and advance, Hempfield ousted
The Trojans feature hitter du jour Brady Stump, who is one of the top players in the state. He’s set to join Lancaster Mennonite’s Elijah Lazor — the L-L League Section 2 MVP — at Division I St. Francis University. The Barons will need their best blocking performance of the season to contain Stump, who is a real high-riser.
All eyes on Manheim Central front-row stalwarts Jacob Moyer, Trent Groff, Zach Moyer and Barend Oostdam in this matchup. That fearsome foursome must consistently finish their kill attempts, while putting up a brick-wall blocking brigade against Stump and the Trojans.
York Suburban had a bye into the quarterfinals, where the Trojans topped Brandywine Heights — the squad that beat L-L League entrant Cocalico in the first round.
Cocalico comes up short; Warwick, Hempfield win and advance in District 3 boys volleyball playoff openers
This is a rematch on a couple of levels: York Suburban beat Manheim Central 3-1 in a nonleague match in York back in April. And in 2019, the Barons topped the Trojans in the D3-2A title match, before York Suburban KO’d Manheim Central two weeks later in the state semifinals. So these programs are very familiar with each other.
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