TOWAMENCIN — North Penn boys volleyball coach Tim Moyer has plenty of confidence in his team's offense. Now, he wants to make sure the Knights play defense at the same level.
“Offensively, our team feels we can run with anybody,” he said. “We've been really focusing on our defense lately — our blocking and back-row defense — so trying to slow down the other teams.”
North Penn had little problem on either side of the action Monday afternoon against Central Bucks South. Kyle Sucro collected 19 kills and Mark Elias handed out 33 assists and the Knights swept the Titans 3-0 (25-15, 25-21, 25-15) for a Suburban One League Continental Conference victory.
“We started a little slow. Coming off the weekend, we had a tournament on Saturday which we wound winning at Penn Manor, so, short weekend for those guys,” Moyer said. “Maybe we were a little tired, a little lazy so to speak on the first beginning half of Game One and maybe even Game Two there, but, overall, good effort.”
Gabe Stole and Jake Walter each added nine kills — Walter doing so on just nine swings — while Eric Mellman finished with six kills for North Penn which never trailed in Game 1 and led for most of Game 3. Nathan Malecky made nine digs.
“We definitely have the offense with our height, we just need to stay low on defense and work through that,” Sucro said.
The Knights are back on the court for another SOL Continental match 7 p.m. Friday as they visit Quakertown, which was swept by Pennridge Tuesday night.
“Our conference is tough,” Moyer said. “We have (Central Bucks) West, Souderton, another Pennridge one down the road. We got our work cut out for us. But we're taking the right steps and going in the right direction that's for sure.”
Game Two was the closest in the match, with Central Bucks South holding an 8-7 lead after a NP hitting error. Two straight points by the Knights put the home side ahead and while the Titans pulled level twice, North Penn used a quick 4-0 run to go ahead for good.
“I guess we dug down, started passing,” Sucro said.
South stayed close, but after taking a 23-18 lead, the Knights held on for the 25-21 win.
“They definitely came out to play in that second game. I think maybe after winning that first game, maybe we took a little bit of a sigh or took our foot of the gas so to speak a little bit and they took advantage of it,” Moyer said. “But definitely a good job on our side rallying back and taking care of business down the stretch.”
North Penn never trailed in Game Three after an early 5-0 run — the last four points coming on Mellman's server — to lead 6-3. The Titans go as close as two at 9-7, but the Knights answered with Sucro collecting four straight points for a 13-7 advantage.
“We got a lot of big athletic guys, so offensively we've kind of been blessed with a lot of that stuff this year,” Moyer said. “But defense really is going to be the key for us down the stretch.”
Another 5-0 North Penn run puts its lead to 21-11, with 10 points being the final margin to win the game and clinch the sweep.
The only time the Knights did not lead in Game One was when CB South tied it at 1-1. After The Titans pulled within 11-9, North Penn took control with a 6-1 run that made it 17-10 on a Mellman kill.
The closest the Titans got the remainder of the game was six as North Penn opened with a 25-16 victory.
North Penn 3, Central Bucks South 0
Central Bucks South16 21 15 — 0
North Penn25 25 25 — 3
North Penn: Kyle Sucro 19 kills, 3 blocks, 2 aces; Gabe Stoler 9 kills; Jake Walter 9 kills; Nathan Malecky 9 digs; Eric Mellman 6 kills; Mark Elias 33 assists.
Follow Mike Cabrey on Twitter @mpcabrey.