Pennridge, Bensalem, Neshaminy and North Penn were winners in Tuesday’s opening round of the District 1 3A Tournament.
#1-12 PENNRIDGE 3, #5 CENTRAL BUCKS WEST 1
Dave Childs can’t explain it, but his Rams squad that had lost two of its last three regular season matches to Souderton and Quakertown pulled off a stunner in Tuesday’s opening round of the District 1 3A Tournament.
According to Childs, it’s a stunner only because of the seeds.
“In the regular season, we beat them in five, and they beat us in five,” the Rams’ coach said. “We just lost stupid games all year we shouldn’t have lost. – we should have lost because we played poorly, but there was no reason to lose like we lost.
“But then we’ll take a set off Exeter, we’ll take a set off Upper Dublin. There’s no reason for it. I’ve given up trying to figure it out.”
The Rams lost the first set, but they were very much in it.
“We just were a different team that came out tonight,” the Rams’ coach said. “It was a team that really needed to show that they wanted to win.
“Even the first game, we kind of gave points to them, which we’ve done a lot this year. Once we cut that out the rest of the match, we got momentum and we kept momentum.”
The Rams rolled to wins in their next three sets.
Setter Tommy Cassel had 44 assists, and he distributed the ball to Chris McKinney (14 kills, 5 blocks), Ryan Benscoter (12 kills, nine digs, three blocks), Ethan Lionetti (eight kills, five blocks), Austin Jalosinski (seven kills, two blocks) and Matt McCreary (six kills, four blocks).
“Our setter – Tommy Cassel – played great,” Childs said. “And everyone really stepped up and did a great job.
“We have the potential to be good, and we said – if we can get in, nobody wants to play us. Not that we’re good, but we can get hot.”
Pennridge (7-10, 6-8 SOL) will travel to fourth-seeded Upper Dublin for a quarterfinal match Thursday.
#8 BENSALEM 3, #9 ABINGTON 2 (25-16, 16-25, 19-25, 25-18, 15-11)
The Owls rallied from a 2-1 deficit to defeat the visiting Ghosts in a spirited match. The win is believed to be the first playoff victory in the history of the Bensalem volleyball program.
“These guys have showed so much fight all season,” coach Tim Linehan said. “This is a special group, and I am incredibly proud of the heart they showed being down 2-1.”
The Owls were led by Paul Leible’s dominant performance in the middle with 17 kills and three blocks. According to Linehan, Ethan Fan (11 kills), Shiv Patel (five kills) and Harsh Shah (15 digs) stepped up defensively down the stretch for the Owls. Kyle McVicar (three kills) and Jake Mottershead (two kills, two blocks) delivered huge plays at the net in the fifth set to seal the victory.
“Senior captain Basheer Ghafary had a gutsy performance with 34 assists,” Linehan said.
Danny Gonzalez had a huge night at the net for the Ghosts, finishing with 24 kills to go along with 11 digs. Kenny Waskanes added five kills and five digs, seniors Juan Perez and Mario Colavita had four kills each, and setter Toulant Kurti had two kills, 33 assists and nine digs. Perez and Colavita combined for three blocks. Sean Dougherty led the defense with 19 digs.
Bensalem (12-8, 8-6 SOL) will be on the road at top-seeded Central Bucks East in Thursday’s quarterfinal round. Abington (7-7 SOL) closed out its season with a 9-9 record.
#7 NESHAMINY 3, #10 HAVERFORD 0 (25-20, 25-19, 25-15)
The Redskins received big performances up and down their lineup in their sweep of the Fords in an opening round game.
Tony Camillo (12 kills, one assist, nine digs) and Matt Schwab (14 kills, one ace, seven digs) led the Redskins at the net. Paul Allen added eight kills and two blocks, and Jesse Marshall had five kills, one dig and one block. Setter Nick Storz had 39 assists, one kill and six digs. Also contributing were Jesse Kovaschetz (one assist, seven digs), Ben Clendening (four kills, one dig, three blocks), Stephen Fario (two assists, one ace, eight digs) and Colin Smith (one kill).
Neshaminy (12-7, 8-6 SOL) will face neighboring rival Pennsbury, the tournament’s second seed, in Thursday’ second round.
#1-6 NORTH PENN 3, #1-11 WILLIAM TENNENT 1