Bucks County Herald

Volleyball:

CB East sweeps Pennridge

DAVID CAMPBELL

Most setters don’t have Steve Storm’s height – or wherewithal, for that matter.

The Central Bucks East sophomore had huge shoes to fill with the graduation of Mason Miller, head coach Rob Minschwaner’s quarterback a year ago.

“I trust Steve to put the ball out there,” senior captain Carter Haban said. “I trusted Mason to put the ball out there. It’s the same thing. There’s no difference. We have a leader on the court every day.”

“He’s a great blocker,” chimed in Minschwaner, continuing the praise parade of Storm. “He’s a phenomenal hitter and his dump is deceptive.”

The 6’3” Storm and Haban registered back-to-back blocks to snap a 21-21 second-set deadlock at Pennridge on Friday evening as the Patriots went on to sweep the always powerful Rams, 3-0 (25-16, 27-25, 25-20), in an early season battle of Suburban One League (SOL) Continental unbeatens.

“Well, it really helps for blocking, for one,” said Storm, on using his long frame to his advantage, “and especially on dumping. I have the luxury of dumping [the ball over the net], if I want to, if I see the open spot. It’s really nice, actually.”

Storm finished with 29 assists against the Rams; he added two kills, two aces and four digs. Haban accumulated a team-high 16 kills to go with three blocks, four aces and 13 digs. Dylan Colbert went for 10 kills, two aces and 13 digs. Andrew Bennett had six kills and five digs, while Jacob LaBouliere had 12 digs.

A Corey Quaste block gave Pennridge a 16-10 lead in the second set. CB East caught up at 19 and surged in front 23-21. A Colbert winner handed the Patriots the decisive set and helped propel the visitors to the big win.

“It almost felt a little surreal in a way because they are such a good team,” Storm said, “and we did just come to their place and sweep them.”

“They’re a great team,” Haban echoed. “Cross (Edwards) is an amazing player, great person. But when we go somewhere, we have a goal: we’re going to win, we’re going to take it, we’re going to bring it to every team.”

“You can’t lose a six-point lead,” said Rams head coach Dave Childs, whose team is always a challenger come May. “That, I think, was the turning point in that game, when we lost that lead. It gave them the momentum right back and I don’t think we’re at the point where we can recover from that yet.”

Edwards and Zach Detweiler each had seven kills. Edwards added eight digs; Detweiler chipped in two blocks. Kevin Jones and Ethan Lionetti tallied five and three kills, respectively. Jeremy Pruss had nine digs; Quaste had 20 assists.

“Incomplete team,” said Childs, whose Rams are 4-1. “But I think we have the potential to put it together by the time it counts at the end of the season.”

The Patriots, who are 6-0 overall and 5-0 in the SOL Continental, put it together at the end of last season, when they earned a berth to states for the first time since 1989. Minschwaner, for one, has seen a carryover.

“It definitely was a boost,” Minschwaner said. “In that match [at Council Rock North for District One Class AAA third place], we faced adversity a few times and managed to battle back. In the second set here, it was the same thing. We were down by six points and the guys just kept on fighting and they did not panic. They just decided they were going to dig their heels in and get tough – and they did.”

“I think it gave us a goal,” said Haban, on last year’s run, which was ended by eventual champion Central York in the first round of states. “We were a team that was driven, but we didn’t know what we wanted. Now, we do. We know what we want.”

dcampbell@buckscountyherald.com

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