When the Dover and Susquehannock girls' volleyball teams last saw each other, they looked like two groups headed in different directions. Two weeks ago, the Eagles swept aside the Warriors in a YAIAA tournament semifinal match.

And yet, in very different ways, that night might have helped propel the two teams to this point.

Both will be harboring dreams of a state title, when they arrive at Central York High School Friday for the start of PIAA quarterfinal pool play. Susquehannock's first Class AA match begins at 9:40 a.m., while Dover's opening Class AAA contest begins at 2 p.m. The state semifinals and finals will follow on Saturday.

For Dover, that victory two weeks ago served as a springboard. The Eagles blew past Spring Grove to win their second straight YAIAA title, then fell one set short of upsetting powerhouse Hempfield in the District 3 Class AAA title match.

For Susquehannock, the lopsided defeat jolted them to life.

"That just put them in a different mindset," Warriors coach Rob Marrison said earlier this week.

Susquehannock has won 17 of the 18 sets it has played since that match. Its last three matches have been 3-0 victories, including a trampling of Brandywine Heights in the District 3 Class AA title match.

Senior outside hitter Sherelle Walker paces a versatile attack, along with junior Caroline Savin.

"We can move them to different spots across the front row, and they're comfortable," Marrison said of Walker and Savin.


Susquehannock enters the tournament ranked as the No. 4 Class AA team in the state by the Pennsylvania Volleyball Coaches Association. The Warriors will be joined in their pool by West Allegheny, Freeport and Ft. Leboeuf. The top two teams will advance to Saturday.

Dover, meanwhile, will be trying to secure its second straight trip to the state semifinals, a feat made more impressive by the fact the Eagles graduated six seniors from last year's group.

"Last year we put a lot of expectations out on the table," Dover co-head coach Bobbie Strausbaugh said. "We'd win at one level and immediately look to the next level. This year we've just gone into everything with no preconceived expectations. ... We've taken the time to celebrate along the way."

The team's biggest constant has been Sammie Strausbaugh. The senior, who will play at Jacksonville University, is probably the area's most complete player.

She will need help if the Eagles are to escape a pool that features three district champions: Parkland (District 11), Seneca Valley (7) and State College (6).

"You're in the top eight in the state, so that's just where you are at this point," Bobbie Strausbaugh said. "I'd like to think that, as well as we played against Hempfield in districts, we'll be competitive."

jclayton@ydr.com; 771-2045