The Pennsbury girls’ volleyball team has been rising up and spiking its opponents into submission this season.
The Falcons have dropped just two sets during their 9-0 start. They also sit atop the Suburban One National Conference with a 7-0 mark. A signature victory over defending PIAA Class 4A state champ Garnet Valley has put the rest of the area on notice.
Seniors Julia Vreeswyk, Sydney Buell, Kiley Bucknum, Shelby Hastings, and Heather Linker have been providing the veteran leadership for Pennsbury. Vreeswyk, who already has more than 100 kills on the season, was named the American Volleyball Coaches Association’s Pennsylvania player of the week for games played Sept. 4 to 10.
Elley Torres and Brooke Burns, both starters, headline a group of seven sophomores on the roster.
“It’s the strongest sophomore class I’ve have had since taking over the program,” said sixth-year coach Michael Falter.
Pennsbury is hungry after losing to Perkiomen Valley in the first round of last year’s District 1 Class 4A playoffs. The Falcons went 15-8 overall and finished second in the SOL National with a 15-3 record.
The perfect start this season has been somewhat of a surprise.
“The seniors are doing a great job, and the sophomores are stepping up,” Falter said.
Falter said the first goal every year is to be competitive in out-of-conference games. So far, the Falcons have been perfect in those contests, with wins over Mount St. Joseph and Garnet Valley. Pennsbury will also face Strath Haven in early October.
The success this year has raised the bar for a Falcons team that hasn’t made the state tournament since 2007. Falter acknowledged the ultimate goal now is to make it to states and win at least one match.
“If we do qualify for states, I think we may surprise a lot of people,” Falter said. “Historically, we haven’t been there in a while, so other teams may overlook us.”
Pennsbury, which is looking to win the SOL National for the first time since 2015, has some critical matches ahead against Central Bucks East (on Monday), Central Bucks West, and Council Rock North.