Shultz sisters lead gritty Shanahan to state quarterfinals; Downingtown West ousted

FORT WASHINGTON  – Bishop Shanahan has been on cruise control most of the season en route to a perfect record and the District 1-AAAA and Ches-Mont League National Division championships.

But the unbeaten Eagles (22-0) were forced to take a much different route to the PIAA 4A quarterfinals Tuesday night at Upper Dublin, coming from behind to top District 11 runnerup Liberty 3-1 (19-25, 25-15, 26-24, 25-16) in the opening round of the state tournament.

Cara Shultz (14 kills, 11 digs, 3 aces), Renee Shultz (16 assists, 8 kills, ace) and Jenna Losito (15 digs, 2 aces) keyed the comeback for the Eagles, who move on to face unbeaten Archbishop Carroll (23-0) in the Elite Eight Saturday (time, site TBD).

After dropping the opening set 25-19, Shanahan used a 7-0 run to pull away from a 12-12 standoff in Game 2, then overcame an 18-13 deficit in Game 3 as Cara Shultz delivered a three-point service run and Renee Shultz provided a clinching kill to close out a narrow 26-24 victory.

Game 4 featured another strong finish as Shanahan emerged from a 12-12 tie with a closing run of 13-4, Losito’s ace sealing the deal in the 26-16 win.

(12-1) Archbishop Carroll 3, (1-3) Downingtown West 0 – Gina Schetroma (14 digs), Aly Reardon (6 kills), Sophie Gelling (3 kills, 4 blocks) and Kenzie Pincura (5 kills) had strong outings but it wasn’t enough as the Whippets (17-5) suffered the season-ending loss in the opening round of the state playoffs. The Patriots, who draw Shanahan in the quarterfinals, prevailed by scores of 25-5, 25-20 and 25-11. 

Schetroma missed the first set because of a uniform violation. “She changed her shirt and didn’t tell me,” D-West coach David Parrish said in the Delaware County Times. “I got a yellow card and could not get off the bench and she couldn’t play, and we just never got in synch.”

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