It’s Friday, and in the aftermath of the final regular-season matches it’s time to look back quickly at the final week and get everybody ready for the postseason.
First, Holy Redeemer won the Match of the Year against Delaware Valley in the Wyoming Valley Conference. The Royals wrapped up their fourth straight WVC championship and withstood a strong challenge from the Warriors, winning 3-0 (25-22, 25-23, 25-20). By all accounts, Delaware Valley’s Tyler Smith gave a remarkable all-around effort. He had 20 kills and several were show-stoppers based on my colleague Matt Bufano’s first-person account.
In the end, though, Holy Redeemer came away with an emotionally charged victory. Ben Rachilla had 22 kills and four big blocks, Luke Nealon added 12 kills and Jim Stepanski had 31 assists.
Wyoming Valley Conference
Holy Redeemer finished the WVC season undefeated at 12-0.
Delaware Valley ended at 11-1 in the WVC and 12-2 overall which includes a win over Pocono Mountain East and a loss to Whitehall from District 11. This is important because Delaware Valley is involved in the District 2-11 Class 3A subregional tournament where all matches are included in a power rating format.
More on the overall implications of the match later.
Blue Ridge rallied from two sets down to Abington Heights to finish the regular season undefeated at 12-0.
It was a great and exciting regular season. Now it’s onto the playoffs.
As I mentioned earlier, Delaware Valley is involved in the District 2-11 Class 3A subregional playoffs. With a 12-2 record, the Warriors are the No. 4 seed in a 10-team playoff.
Wyoming Valley West (8-6) also qualified for the playoffs as the No. 10 seed.
Emmaus (16-0) and Whiteall (16-2), the top two seeds, receive byes into the quarterfinals.
Here are the up-to-date standings:
Just to give you an idea of the talent level of the teams competing in District 11, Emmaus is ranked No. 8 in the Pennsylvania Volleyball Coaches Association Top 10.
Brackets are not finalized, but you can project that Delaware Valley should be facing No. 5 Nazareth.
Blue Ridge and Holy Redeemer finished as undefeated champions of their respective leagues. The District 2 Committee had a coin flip to decide the No. 1 seed for the tournament.
This is important, because if Blue Ridge advances to the semifinals, it will be the host school for a doubleheader. But that is putting the cart before the horse.
Here are the final District 2 standings in Class 2A:
The Class 2A tournament is an eight-team event. The higher-seeded team will host the quarterfinal matches. There is also a tiebreaker scenario that involved Nanticoke and Crestwood which solved itself easily enough with Nanticoke having a win against Crestwood head-to-head.
There is a potential for a three-way tie between Berwick, Mountain View and Abington Heights. Berwick has a match remaining today at home against Coughlin and would be the No. 3 seed by virtue of a betterrecord against Class 2A competition. The tiebreaker between Abington Heights and Mountain View will be trickier, but meaningless. The two teams are the No. 4 or No. 5 seed regardless and will be part of a quarterfinal doubleheader at Blue Ridge.
The tournament is scheduled to begin MAY 17.
Doubleheader No. 1 at Blue Ridge
- Abington Heights (9-3) vs. Mountain View (9-3)
- North Pocono (7-5) vs. Blue Ridge (12-0)
Doubleheader No. 2 at Holy Redeemer
- Nanicoke (8-4) vs. Berwick (9-3)
- Crestwood (8-4) vs. Holy Redeemer (12-0)
Quarterfinals: MAY 23
Final and Third-place match: MAY 25
The top three teams qualify for the PIAA Championships.
OK, once we finish the regular season, it also brings to a close the poll for the season. I am going to give Delaware Valley a slight edge at No. 1 despite its loss to Holy Redeemer. The Warriors play a very challenging schedule and being a Class 3A program carries some weight. Take nothing away from Blue Ridge and its undefeated season in the Lackawanna League. The Raiders are a more than worthy team and play a terrific brand of volleyball.
Here is the final poll:
1. DELAWARE VALLEY (11-1)
Finished second in the Wyoming Valley Conference and will compete in the District 2-11 Class 3A Subregional Tournament as the No. 4 seed.
2. BLUE RIDGE (12-0)
Had two terrific come-from-behind wins over Mountain View and Abington Heights to finish regular-season undefeated.
3. ABINGTON HEIGHTS (9-3)
Finished strong with a win over Mountain View and is headed to the D2 Class 2A playoffs.
4. MOUNTAIN VIEW (9-3)
Qualifies for the District 2 Class 2A playoffs.
5. NORTH POCONO (7-5)
Finished season and will play in the District 2 Class 2A playoffs.
That is all for today.
Have a good weekend!
Good luck in the postseason.