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Boys volleyball: Rams sweep Panthers


Pennridge and Quakertown have taken different routes during the season, but both teams are looking to merge on the same path to the postseason.

When the two met Monday night in a SOL American Conference clash, Pennridge showed that it is still a step ahead and is ready to move further.

The host Rams swept the Panthers 3-0 (25-18, 25-23 and 25-19) as they received seven or more kills from four players.

Senior captain Ethan Lionetti led the way with nine kills and 11 digs joined by Ryan Benscoter (eight kills, two digs), Austin Jalosinki (eight kills, three blocks) and Danny Rutter (seven kills, four aces). Zach Vaneman had 33 assists.

Lionetti sees the victory as a potential springboard for the remainder of the season.

“This was a good win for us,” he said. “We haven’t been playing as good as we could be, and now this can help us to keep jelling as a team. We were down a little, but we have come back the last couple of games.”

Head coach Dave Childs also sees his team on the verge of reaching the next level.

“We haven’t had a typical Pennridge start,” said Childs, whose club raised its record to 5-3 overall. “We have been a little inconsistent because we have had guys playing in new positions. We hadn’t played that well together.

“After seeing what we can do lately, I believe we will get better.”

Quakertown head coach Andy Snyder is optimistic his veteran team (1-7) can rebound after a shaky start that has been ravaged by injuries. At one point, the Panthers had four starters out.

Against Pennridge, Justin Flor, who recently returned from an injury, had six kills and one block and Cameron Cronk had three kills and one ace. Both Flor and Cronk expect to play major roles down the road along with Ryan DiCandilo (four blocks, two kills and two aces against Pennridge) and Ty Fosbenner (one block, four assists).

“We really have been hit by the injury bug,” said Childs. “We had had as many as four backup players on the court. We have four seniors and 10 juniors. This is a veteran team and we should come back.”

Snyder also has been encouraged by his team’s recent second-place finish in the Hurricane Invitational at Liberty High School tournament in Bethlehem.

“It was good to see us finish on a strong note,” added Snyder. “We found some chemistry and character. We know we can improve on where we are right now.”

Like Quakertown, Pennridge had an immediate litmus test ahead when it traveled to perennial powers Parkland (Tuesday) and Central Bucks East (Wednesday). The Rams dropped a four-set match to Parkland (19-25, 18-25, 27-25, 22-25). Lionetti had 14 kills and six digs.

“That is a huge test for us,” added Lionetti. “We can be like a Swiss Army knife with options to succeed. We’ll be good.”