Knights headed to District Finals


Jurni Jackson

Drew Coles jumps up to spike the ball for a potential kill.

BENSALEM- A clean three-set sweep.

The North Penn Knights (10-4) claimed their third playoff victory after beating the Pennsbury Falcons (14-4) with a 3-set sweep.

Feeding off of each other’s energy and being there for their teammates propelled the Knights to a place at states and to the district title game.

Both teams brought intensity to the court right off the bat, ready to move on to the finals. The two teams stayed neck and neck until Falcons junior Sebastian Kloda’s kill put his team up 6-5. The Knights didn’t let this new elevation get to them as junior outside hitter Evan Rothmann made a kill of his own to tie it up.

Shortly after, Rothmann’s ace clenched the lead for the Knights and put them up 8-6. By the first timeout of the night, North Penn had the lead 15-10.

As the first set continued, the Knights showed their ability to move past mistakes as a team and keep their heads in the game. After a failed serve from senior middle blocker Zach Jayes gave the Falcons a point, senior middle blocker Kevin Abraham showed his team’s ability to keep going as his kill made up for the lost point and brought them up 19-12.

“We had really good energy and we just executed a lot better than earlier in the season.” said Jayes.

This enabled North Penn to win the first set 25-17. Neither teams slowed down going into the second set. A kill by Falcons Andrew Delworth tied it 1-1. The set continued to stay close as a kill delivered by Justin Sadley got the Falcons only trailing behind the Knights by one point, 13-14. By the first timeout of the second set, the Knights had gained a stronger lead at 17-14. Coming back into the game, senior outside hitter Michael Wang’s kill elevated North Penn 19-15 over the Falcons and received massive uproar from his team and the crowd. The energy in the gym skyrocketed as Sadley’s two consecutive kills moved the Falcons to 20-23. After the second timeout of the set with the Knights in the lead 23-20, North Penn came out dominant over Pennsbury to win the second set 25-20.

The third set was full of teammates feeding off of each others intensity and a kill from Wang started the Knights off with a 1-0 lead, however Falcons Jacob Lorech’s ace tied the game.

Kloda’s kill paired with senior setter Andrew Delworth’s proved to be critical for the Falcons as they claimed the lead 5-4. The teams kept tying up the game kill after kill, until a block by senior right side hitter Isaac Lambert and a kill from Jayes got the Knights leading at 11-9. The first time out left the Knights winning 13-9.

Lambert’s kill moved the Knights up 20-16 just before the second timeout. North Penn jumped back on the court looking for the win to end the game while the Falcons were ready to fight to stay in the game. While the Falcons fought the scoreboard with kills of their own, the Knights once again reigned victorious to sweep the Falcons 25-22 and claimed their spot at states.

“They stayed happy the whole time and they were on it the whole time. Everybody who was on the court played I think pretty close to the top of their ability and it’s because you know…they were happy to be there…That’s been the biggest change over the course of the playoffs is that they’re happy to be around each other, they’re happy to be playing, and it’s in the results.” said North Penn Head Coach Ryan Genova.

The Knights move to the District Finals at Council Rock South on Thursday at 7:00 pm and will face the #1-seeded CB East Patriots.  Upsets have been common for the Knights this season, as they have already beat the 2nd and 3rd seeds in the district tournament.

“Keep doing what you’re doing. I think they’re getting pretty close to peaking which is right where you want to be come playoff time especially for district final so yeah they don’t seem to be nervous. They seem ready to be where they’re at.” Coach Genova.