Neshaminy tops Pennridge, wins first district title in 25 years – PA Prep Live
BENSALEM — Neshaminy pulled everything together on Thursday evening to accomplish something historic.
In front of a spirited crowd at Bensalem High, the Skins won 3-1 over perennial powerhouse Pennridge in the 1-3A District Finals, as the Skins won their first district title since 1997.
“I thought it was a reality since we started our run,” senior midfielder Ben Clendening said of the trophy win. “After Game 10 it started to look like it was the inevitable.”
A 10-0 start evolved into 21-0 on Thursday night as the Skins rose to every challenge along the way and capped off their district with an impressive victory (25-20, 25-20, 24-26 , 25-17) on the Rams.
“Even from the start of the year, Pennridge was ranked and we weren’t. It put a chip on our shoulders. We were expecting them in the Finals and we wanted to play them in the Finals because we wanted to prove we were up there with some of the best teams in the state,” Clendening said.
Contributions came from everywhere for the Skins.
Ben Clendening (12 kills, one recovery, four blocks) and Josh Clendening (three aces, 16 kills, one recovery) played all night.
Setter Josh Adler (two kills, four digs, two blocks, 44 assists) was the stabilizer again, and outside hitter Dan Berzin (one ace, 9 kills, one dig, one block) was a force.
Kieran Edwards (seven kills, one block), Michael Sooby (five digs, two assists) and Josh Hamilton (one ace, three kills, 8 digs, two blocks) also did.
“Everyone played together,” Ben Clendening said. “Everyone started clicking. We played together as one unit. It wasn’t just one person. It was everyone meeting. We won as a team. »
Neshaminy took a 2-0 lead, but the Rams played a terrific third set and were there for much of the fourth. The Skins used one last run to put it away.
“Pennridge are a very well-drilled team who really tested us all night,” Skins coach Pat Klingerman said. “I’m so proud of our guys. This victory is not only for this group of players, but also for all the players before them who have contributed to making this program what it is today.
Riley Kodidek (30 assists, five blocks), Tyler Johnson (11 kills, two blocks), Nick Smith (13 kills, three blocks) and Thomas McKinney (four kills, seven digs) paced the Rams all night . The defending champions turned the tide in this third set, but Neshaminy was able to regain momentum.
“They controlled the ball better. They could keep our block out. They have hitters everywhere,” Rams coach Dave Childs said of the Skins. “We had to respect everyone. When they are in the system, they are good.
It was another terrific run for the Rams, who were confident they could return to the Finals early in the season.
“We had a good returning group that had good experience from the States. We have one of the best passers in PA and our midfielders have dominated this year,” Childs said. “They did it again tonight. They were our attack tonight.
Both teams are now heading to the United States next week.