Senior Spotlight: Vaneman set things up for Pennridge

Zach Vaneman was looking forward to another year on the court.

“Personally, I wanted to contribute the most I could to my team and help keep us focused in the right direction,” the Pennridge senior said. “I think that we made a ton of progress in the offseason this winter and our communication was great on the court. Connecting on offense with everyone was really one of our strengths.”

“Zach established himself,” Rams coach Dave Childs said, “as a setter and leader.”

The shutdown wiped out the spring sports season for area teams, but for the Pennridge boys volleyball squad, they will still take the sport with them.

“It’s always fun,” Vaneman said, “and can be competitive or just casual. I’ve played outdoor quads, on my school team, and at club tournaments.

“Everyone I’ve met through volleyball loves the game.”

Vaneman kept busy during the spring weeks by taking drives and walks to get out of the house, but, most importantly he says, caught up on a lot of sleep.

He’s been working out every day but hasn’t been able to practice volleyball.

“I miss not just playing with my team,” Vaneman said, “but even seeing them. It’s crazy how we went from practice everyday to nothing so quick.”

The Ram seniors had big plans for 2020.

“Pennridge always has a team that can make a run and compete, no matter who we have,” Vaneman said. “I think we have a unique team each year and learn how to work together and become better than everyone is individually.

“I also love playing rival schools like Souderton Area and Central Bucks (West, East, South), and you get to know kids on those teams too.”

Vaneman won’t be playing competitively next year, but will still be a force on any court he does play on.

He grew into the setter position tremendously.

“I think my biggest strength is understanding the game and communicating with my team,” he said. “I’ve worked a lot on being able to play ‘situational volleyball.’

“So looking at matchups, running plays that split blockers, and just keeping some variety in our offense are things I’ve really focused on.”

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