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Bishop Shanahan falls short in state semifinals despite another strong effort by Shultz sisters

REIFFTON – Bishop Shanahan’s brilliant girls’ volleyball season ended Tuesday night at Exeter High with a 3-1 loss in the PIAA Class 4A semifinals to two-time defending state champion Parkland.

The two-time District 1 and Ches-Mont League National Division champion Eagles (24-1), who entered the Final Four showdown with an unblemished record and the No. 1 state ranking in the Pennsylvania Volleyball Coaches poll, were unable to overcome sluggish starts in the third and fourth games while falling 25-18, 27-29, 25-21 and 25-23 to the District 11 champion Trojans (24-1).

The sensational sibling duo of freshman Cara Shultz (23 kills, 16 digs, 2 aces) and junior Renee Shultz (16 kills, 21 assists, 7 digs) led Shanahan, while the only two seniors in the regular rotation – Jenna Losito (18 digs), Alexa Marcum (8 digs, 4 kills) – also had strong showings.

After locking the match at 1-1, the Eagles failed to erase early deficits of 7-0 (Game 3) and 10-3 (Game 4) in having the door slammed on their hopes of recording the school’s first state volleyball title since 2009.

Parkland got 24 kills from Sam Graver and 18 kills from Grace Steurer en route to the state final Saturday (5 p.m.) opposite Garnet Valley (3-2 winners over State College) at Richland High School.

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