SOL Boys' Volleyball District Wrap (5-18-17)

Pennridge and Council Rock North won five-set thrillers while Pennsbury swept Neshaminy in Thursday’s District One 3A action. CB West/Pennridge photos provided by Keith Clemens. Check back for a gallery of photos...CLICK HERE to go directly to the boys volleyball gallery.

#1 PENNSBURY 3, #8 NESHAMINY 0 (25-20, 25-20, 25-20)The Falcons defeated their neighboring rival by identical scores in all three sets, bringing an end to a successful season for the Redskins.
“I am extremely proud of our guys,” Neshaminy coach Pat Klingerman said. “They fought hard and never quit.
“Pennsbury is a very good team, and they will go far in the playoffs. Our guys fought and left it all on the court. I can't say enough about how proud I am of them. And to our senior class, you guys never gave up and always gave it your all. I am extremely proud of you guys, and you all have bright futures ahead of yourselves!”
Louie Bavas (10 kills, two aces, seven digs, three blocks) and Sean Sweeney (12 kills, one ace, seven digs, three blocks) had big nights at the net for the Falcons. Charlie Bluestein led the defense with 10 digs and one assist. Setter Andy Delworth had 32 assists and two digs. Adam Hludzinski (three kills, .750, two aces, one block), Justin Sadley (four kills, one dig), Danny Quay (two kills, one block), Marshall Nixon (two kills) and Ben Cutrone (one ace) also contributed.
The Redskins were led by Tommy Edwards with 14 kills, three digs and one ace while Shaun Kelly added seven kills, five digs and one block. Setter Miguel Montalvo had 26 assists, and Steve Wenderlich led the defense with nine digs and one ace. Also contributing were Anthony Verrecchio (three kills, one ace, two blocks), Ben McGonagle (one kill), Tim Stressman (two kills, two blocks), Steve Reich (three digs) and Alex Swiderski (five digs).

Pennsbury will host the winner of the Central Bucks East/Avon Grove match in Tuesday’s semifinals.

#2 COUNCIL ROCK NORTH 3, #7 SOUDERTON 2 (20-25, 18-25, 25-16, 25-21, 16-14)
The second-seeded Indians dropped the first two sets of Thursday’s second round match before rallying for the dramatic win, edging their visitors in the winner-take-all fifth set.
Setter Nick Baniewicz had 38 assists, five kills, five digs and two blocks to lead North. Harry Wyatt (16 kills, 12 digs, 1.5 bocks, one ace), Jack Gunshenan (13 kills, six digs, 3.5 blocks, two aces) and Sean Helmlinger (nine kills, four digs, one block, one ace) led the host Indians at the net. Alex Borman led North’s defense with 16 digs. Also contributing were Will Hewitt (2.5 blocks, one kill), Justin Walton (two kills), Grant Shieh (three digs), Keven D’Arcy (1.5 blocks) and Eddie Mancinelli (one dig).
Council Rock North (15-2) will host Pennridge in a district semifinal match on Tuesday at 7 p.m.

#6 PENNRIDGE 3, #3 CENTRAL BUCKS WEST 2 (25-18, 25-14, 26-28, 20-25, 16-14)
In a match that was played one round too soon, the SOL Continental Conference Bucks were sent home by the only team that had defeated them all season.
“Their only three losses all season were to us,” Pennridge coach Dave Childs said. “They’re the best defensive team we’ve seen all year.
“They play hard, they play so hard. It shouldn’t have been this round. This should not have been a quarterfinal match.”
The Rams cruised to wins in the opening two sets and appeared poised to make it a quick match, but the Bucks had other ideas, rallying to even things up at two sets apiece. They had match point in the fifth and final set (13-12), but a net serve gave the Rams life.
“The guys know – don’t make more of it than it is,” Childs said of his team finding itself one point away from elimination. “Here’s what we have to do – they’re serving us the ball, and here’s what we want to run. Let’s run it.
“Make sure everyone knows exactly what’s happening and who’s going where and what we’re doing so we can execute the point and get the ball back.”
The Rams capitalized when they got the ball back, and back-to-back kills by Ben Chinnici propelled the Rams to the dramatic win.
“What was important – to get to that point, Corey Quaste spread the ball to the other hitters and in good spots and didn’t force bad balls to Ben and put Ben in bad spots,” Childs said. “He put Ben in good spots, and he put a couple of other hitters in good spots too where they could put the ball away.”
Chinnici’s kills to finish off the match were part of a dazzling performance that saw the all-state hitter contribute 27 kills, 16 digs, eight blocks and three aces.
“Aside from his phenomenal skill, he keeps it calm, and they guys can play with a little bit of confidence knowing – Ben’s not panicking, so we don’t need to panic,” Childs said.
Chinnnici wasn’t the only Ram to come up big. Cross Edwards had 17 kills and 23 digs. Josiah Friesen had eight kills, 20 digs and five blocks, and Kevin Jones had six kills and four blocks. Zach Detweiler had three kills and nine blocks.
“Zach dominated at the net, especially early on,” Childs said. “Throughout the match, he came up with big points, and he had a big kill in game five. He doesn’t get much stat-wise, but he’s been really productive for us, doing things that go unnoticed. His blocking was really good tonight.”
Danny Rutter had 15 digs, and Quaste finished a huge night with 54 assists, seven digs and three blocks.
“He was awesome.“ Childs said. “Corey did a great job in game five, getting back to what we do well. He didn’t force anything. He let everything come to him. He got guys good swings, and that was really important. He really was disciplined and ran the court.”
Pennridge (15-5) will travel to Council Rock North for Tuesday’s semifinal. Childs – like many others – is disappointed to lose the semifinal doubleheader at a neutral site that invariably was a big draw.
“The (semifinals) at a neutral site is a way to highlight the sport, and it’s a shame it’s not at one site anymore,” the Rams’ coach said. “All the coaches and teams that were eliminated show up to watch. It was a highlight of the sport, and now it’s gone.”