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CB South volleyball impresses in Knights sweep


Senior Ben Grove had 17 kills and Gavin Roth added 30 assists as the Central Bucks South Titans (2-3 SOL) swept North Penn 3-0 (25-16, 26-24, 25-18) at home on Monday night.

“We didn’t play so well in our first couple of games but it feels good to come back and show that we can mean business,” Grove said.

The Knights regrouped. North Penn “did a much better job in that second set,” said CB South coach Dave Schlosser. “They dug a lot of balls. They passed better.”

“We stumbled a bit passing and getting ourselves back together. We were able to bring it together and better passing was a big reason for that,” Grove said.

Jon Infantino’s block followed a Grove kill to put South up 5-1 in set three and start a five-point run. Roth and Will Nothum sandwiched kills around a North Penn hitting error to extend the lead to 11-3. A Nothum kill gave South its third set high water mark at 20-10.

Grove credited the third set turnaround to “our outside hit and our middles played really well. They were able to put the ball down and get some really good blocks,” he shared. “If you get blocks, that’s a way of saying to the other team that you have that, you know what they are going to do and you can be dominant besides hitting.”

“Ben has had a finger injury and it has taken him a while to get back in the zone but you saw he finally got back there tonight,” Schlosser said.

Infantino added nine kills. “We’re a very offensive heavy team. We’ve never had a problem with that,” said Nothum, who had six kills. “We have big hitters at every position. Our serving has been pretty good. When we’re dialed in, we can keep the ball in and if we serve it to the right player, we can keep a serve run going.”

Last year, the Titans finished .500 and were the first team to miss districts, a big turnaround from several years where they were bottom feeders in the SOL American. The 2024 senior heavy Titans hope to continue the trajectory.

“We’ve had some players play together for all four years. They have brought us all together,” Nothum noted. “There are no surprises. We play together in club season too so we know each other like the back of our hands.”

The Titans opened the season with a 3-2 win over Wissahickon. The first four sets were about as even as could be with CB South winning the first two and Wissahickon claiming the next two (25-21, 25-22, 23-25, 22-25, 15-8) before the Titans broke free in the final set. Grove had 26 kills while Sam Snyder added 23 assists.

Snyder and Roth are emerging as setters after South lost a very good one – senior Josh Conley – to a season-ending injury.

“Josh was the most improved player on my club team so losing him has been tough but the two guys who have been setting have been doing better and better every week,” Schlosser offered. “Our middles have been picking up the slack.

“I was expecting Gavin to be our outside hitter but we needed him to set,” Schlosser continued. “Sam is a fantastic kid, he is a volunteer fireman, but he doesn’t play club volleyball so he is getting there now. It’s an adjustment but it is going pretty well.”

The North Penn match ended a three-match losing streak. South fell 3-1 to Central Bucks West, Upper Dublin and Pennridge, all teams ranked in the top six of the District One power rankings. The Titans are back in action Thursday at Central Bucks East.

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