**Note: This article originally published in The Reporter and on PaPrepLive**
WARRINGTON >> Fresh off a District 1 title, the Pennridge boys volleyball team was in no mood for a state-playoffs hangover.
The Rams took down District 3’s Red Lion in straight sets, with final scores of 25-20, 25-23, and 27-25.
It was a story of runs in the first two sets for Pennridge, who went on a 6-0 in the first set and jumped out to a 10-5 lead.
“We came out with good effort,” Pennridge head coach Dave Childs said. “I always want to see the intensity that we start with…it looked like we played well from the get-go.”
After sustaining that lead the Rams fell behind 13-7 in the second set before another run started. This time around it was 12-3, including a 6-0 run behind serving specialist Ryan Spangler.
“That was huge for us,” Childs said. “ That’s kind of (Spangler’s) role for us now. He goes in to serve for us…the little contributions you get from guys you don’t notice from guys sometimes make the difference.”
Pennridge took a 19-16 lead after Spangler’s serving and lever looked back in set two.
“It’s kind of nerve-wracking because you only come in for serves,” Spangler said. “It’s kind of a lot of pressure but I like it.”
Spangler also served up an ace in the third set to end the match for Pennridge.
Ben Chinnici was the man serving when the Rams went on their 6-0 first set run, but the junior was also the man scoring whenever Pennridge needed a point.
“He was getting his kills wherever he was at,” Childs said about his outside hitter. “That’s what he does. He’s got that reputation.”
Chinnici was scoring all night, despite seeing a consistent dose of triple blocking from Red Lion.
“I think the best thing is me and Jesse (Smith) connecting,” Chinnici said. “We get a lot of practice in, a lot of sets…he gets me a good set when I need it and that helps me get a good swing in.”
It looked all but over in the third set, with Pennridge up 23-19. A 4-0 run from Red Lion tied the set up however, and the Rams were even facing set point before digging deep and eking out the sweep.
“I don’t think we were necessarily played bad. They really picked it up there at the end,” Chinnici said. “Those last points I think we were just trying to be consistent on our side…not panic at the end of the match.”
Pennridge gets Liberty in the quarterfinals of the PIAA AAA playoffs.
“They’re a good team,” Childs said. “All the District One teams have a very tough road. Every team is a very difficult opponent. We try to take care of our side and hope for the best.”
PENNRIDGE 3, RED LION 0
Pennridge: 25 25 27
Red Lion: 20 23 25
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