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Bishop Shanahan Eagles
Greg Ashman
220 Woodbine Road
Downingtown, Pennsylvania
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Wednesday, January 21
This weeks Schedule

This Week

Sunday 11-22-15 Volleyball Banquet 12 noon - 3pm at DCC 


Sunday, November 8
Shultz’s triple-double leads Shanahan past Great Valley for district crown

LOWER MERION – Renee Shultz recorded a triple-double with 10 kills, 22 assists and 11 digs as top-seeded Bishop Shanahan earned the District 1-AAA girls volleyball title with a 3-1 victory over (2) Great Valley Saturday at Harriton.

One year after dropping the district final to Upper Merion 3-1, the Eagles (16-2) gained their first district championship since 2012 by prevailing 25-22, 25-12, 23-25 and 25-15. Chloee Kleespies (17 kills), Alexa Marcum (8 kills), Michaela Devlin (7 kills) and Marissa Hoertz were forces at the net for Shanahan, which also got 36 digs from Gina Lewis and 13 digs from Jenna Losito.

For the Patriots, who were making the first district final appearance in program history, Aimee Christen had 15 kills, Abby Daniels posted 11 kills and Kenzie Farrelly contributed solid overall play.

In the opening round of states Tuesday, Shanahan returns to Harriton for a 7 p.m. date with (District 3, No. 3) Cumberland Valley while Great Valley faces (12-1) Cardinal O’Hara at High School of the Future in Philadelphia at 5 p.m.

Monday, November 16
No. 1 Bishop Shanahan beats Perkiomen Valley, reaches 1-AAA final
Perkiomen Valley's Emily Oltman and Helena Clauhs go up to block Bishop Shanahan's Paige Dudkeikwicz Thursday. (Barry Taglieber - For The Mercury)

Perkiomen Valley's Emily Oltman and Helena Clauhs go up to block Bishop Shanahan's Paige Dudkeikwicz Thursday. (Barry Taglieber - For The Mercury)

FORT WASHINGTON >> Bishop Shanahan’s girls volleyball team showed why it is the No. 1 seed in the 2015 District 1-AAA Tournament as well as the second-ranked squad in Pennsylvania in the current polls.

But the Eagles also had to be at their best Thursday night during the semifinal round at Upper Dublin High School while being tested by No. 4 Perkiomen Valley.

Perk Valley's Ellie Min passes as Bishop Shanahan's Chloee Kleespies looks on Thursday. (Barry Taglieber)

Perk Valley’s Ellie Min passes as Bishop Shanahan’s Chloee Kleespies looks on Thursday. (Barry Taglieber)

Bishop Shanahan won the match, 3-1, to advance to the championship match Saturday afternoon against Great Valley, which won the other semifinal contest 3-0 over Penncrest.

The Eagles won by scores of 25-22, 23-25, 25-22, 25-16.

It was a hotly-contested battle on both sides.

“This should have been the finals,” said Bishop Shanahan coach Greg Ashman. “We saw the draw and thought that Perk Valley was the team to beat with their size and the way they battle at the net.”

But the Eagles did not shy away from that size either while improving their overall record to 29-3-1.

Bishop Shanahan's Machaela Devlin hits the ball over as Perk Valley's Emilia Leyes and Emily Oltman go for the block Thursday. (Barry Taglieber)

Bishop Shanahan’s Machaela Devlin hits the ball over as Perk Valley’s Emilia Leyes and Emily Oltman go for the block Thursday. (Barry Taglieber)

Perkiomen Valley will still play in the third-place game Saturday afternoon at 3 p.m. against Penncrest at Harriton High School. The championship match will follow at 4:30 p.m.

The Vikings (19-2) still had plenty of bright spots and will be moving on to the state tourney starting Tuesday of next week.

Perkiomen Valley’s Cayla Veverka finished with 23 kills and 13 digs with yet another outstanding performance. Helena Clauhs had 11 kills and three aces. Emily Oltman had nine kills. Adrianna Lattanzi had 17 digs. Ellie Min finished with 56 assists and 14 digs.

“We knew about them coming in,” said PV coach Drew Scheeler. “The first three games were close and could have gone either way. Give credit to Bishop Shanahan. They kept battling. Bit I am happy with my girls. They battled the entire game. They played well.”

The Vikings will still be looking forward to their first-ever trip to the state tournament.

Ashman said his team plays top non-league foes like Hempfield and Parkland to prepare the Eagles for wars against tall players in this area.

Bishop Shanahan sophomore Renee Shultz totaled 14 kills, 26 assists and 10 digs. Junior Chloee Kleespies had 14 kills. Freshman Machaela Devlin had 10 kills and three blocks. Senior Gina Lewis ended the night with 28 digs.

Sunday, November 8
Bishop Shanahan, Great Valley advance to district final

FORT WASHINGTON – Bishop Shanahan validated its standing as the No. 1 ranked girls volleyball team in District 1-AAA Thursday night with a hard-earned 3-1 victory (25-22, 23-25, 25-22, 25-16) over fourth-seeded Perkiomen Valley at Upper Dublin.

Sophomore Renee Shultz led the way with a triple-double, delivering 14 kills, 26 assists and 10 digs. Also for the Eagles (29-3-1), who will meet Ches-Mont rival (2) Great Valley in the district final Saturday at Harriton (4:30 p.m.), junior Chloee Kleespies (14 kills), freshman Michaela Devlin (10 kills, 3 blocks) and senior Gina Lewis (28 digs) had strong showings. “This should have been the finals,” said Bishop Shanahan coach Greg Ashman on “We saw the draw and thought that Perk Valley was the team to beat with their size and the way they battle at the net.”

Cayla Veverka (23 kills, 13 digs), Helena Clauhs (11 kills, 3 aces), Emily Oltman (9 kills), Adrianna Lattanzi (17 digs) and Ellie Min (56 assists, 14 digs) contributed outstanding efforts for the Vikings (19-2), who will face Penncrest Saturday at Harriton (3 p.m.) for third-place in the district. Perk Valley has already locked up the program’s first state playoff berth.

“We knew about them coming in,” said PV coach Drew Scheeler of the Eagles, ranked second in the state in one poll. “The first three games were close and could have gone either way. Give credit to Bishop Shanahan. They kept battling. But I am happy with my girls. They battled the entire game. They played well.”

(2) Great Valley 3, (6) Penncrest 0 – The Patriots earned a rematch with Shanahan in the district final after topping the Lions 25-23, 25-23, 25-18 in the other semifinal Thursday at Upper Dublin. 

Monday, November 16
Upper Merion falls to No. 1 seed Bishop Shanahan

DOWNINGTOWN >> All season long the Upper Merion High girls volleyball team lamented its lack of height.

Tuesday night, in the opening round of the PIAA District One Class AAA volleyball playoffs, the Vikings were done in by it.

Host and top-seeded Bishop Shanahan recovered from a first-set setback and cruised to a 16-25, 25-14, 25-20 25-12 first-round victory and will now advance to the playoff quarterfinals against a not-as-yet determined opponent while the Vikings will continue their lament.

“It wasn’t for a lack of effort,” said Vikings head coach Tony Funsten following the loss. “(Shanahan) is pretty darn talented, and to beat them we had to make the most of our opportunities.

“But that height we had for the past three years can’t stay forever.”

Instead, the Vikings had to scramble and play hard as they could to overcome that lack of size.

That style served them well as they won another Suburban One League crown.

But Tuesday, the Eagles had too much talent and too much size.

For the first set, however, the Vikings were whirling dervishes and opportunistic, and bedeviled the Eagles in winning, 25-16.

We came out really excited and played the best we have all season in that first set,” said Michaela Ghanayem. “The whole season we’ve struggled because of a lack of height. So we’ve just tried to be scrappy.

“But our lack of height really hurt us tonight.”

“Upper Merion’s style of volleyball is different than most teams you’ll see,” said Shanahan head coach Greg Ashman. “They do a lot of tipping at the net, and you can’t really practice for it, you have to see it.”

By the middle of the second set, Ashman had seen enough, and stacked his lineup with his tallest players, such as Chloe Kleespies, Renee Shultz and Michaela Devlin.

And slowly but surely the Eagles righted their ship.

They passed Upper Merion in the second set, pulling ahead at 11-10 and never again lost the lead.

The second set finished in the Eagles favor, and the third did the third, although the Vikings made it close at the end, ultimately losing, 25-20.

The fourth set was all Eagles.

“They’re good, and they really got aggressive with their serve,” Funsten said. “We just couldn’t find any serving rhythm.

“We can serve better than we did tonight.”

By match’s end, the Eagles were dancing and the Vikings were left to wonder what happened.

“We just re-focused and played a disciplined game,” Ashman said. “We didn’t use our height to our advantage until about halfway through the second set.”

“Give them credit,” Ghanayem said. “They’re good, but we competed, and we had some fun.”

Monday, November 16
Top-seeded Shanahan settles score with Henderson

DOWNINGTOWN – Revenge was sweet for top-seeded Bishop Shanahan Thursday night as the Eagles settled a score with Henderson in the second round of the District 1-AAA girls volleyball tournament Thursday night.

Chloe Kleepsies (13 kills) and Renee Schultz (10 kills) led the way in a 3-0 conquest of the 17th-seeded Warriors, who had handed the Eagles (18-1) their only league loss of the season. Also for Shanahan, which swept by counts of 25-15, 27-17, 25-16, Emma Short, Michella Develin and Alexa Marcum had solid performances.

Haley Butler (11 kills), Sarah Tunnell (20 assists) and Allie DeAbreu (11 digs) topped the stat chart for Henderson (13-7).

Up next for Shanahan in the quarterfinal round at home Tuesday night (7 p.m.) is (8) Upper Merion, which posted a 3-0 shutout of (9) Downingtown East (16-6) Thursday.

Monday, November 16
Bishop Shanahan clinches Ches-Mont National behind Kleepsies, Shultz, Marcum
DOWNINGTOWN – Bishop Shanahan clinched the Ches-Mont League National title by sweeping Unionville 3-0 (25-8, 25-18, 25-12) as Chloe Kleepsies (14 kills, ace), Renee Shultz (8 kills, 21 assists, 5 aces) and Alexa Marcum (6 kills, 2 aces) led the way. The Eagles finished 12-1 in the league and are 15-1 overall in dual matches.

Monday, November 16
Bishop Shanahan alumnus defies odds with incredible comeback

Audrey Rucker is a Bishop Shanahan alumnus, and current member of the Widener University volleyball team. When she was in middle school she was diagnosed with Complex Regional Pain Syndrome. Photo Courtesy of Audrey Rucker
Rucker played for the Eagles and graduated in 2014. During her time there she helped Shanahan with the Ches-Mont League National Division title and the District 1 Class AAA championship. Photo Courtesy of Audrey Rucker

West Chester >> Imagine one day you wake up and you’ve lost complete function of your legs. You can’t walk - - let alone run - - crutches are your new form of mobility, and every night you lie awake because the pain is so excruciating.

In search of an end to this hellish nightmare, you go from doctor to doctor, but no one has an answer or solution. The only news you receive is that there’s a good chance you’ll never walk or play the sport you love ever again, but even then, nobody gives you a reason why.

Now… picture this scenario when you’re 12-years old.

That is precisely the situation Audrey Rucker, a current sophomore at Widener University and Bishop Shanahan Class of 2014 alum, experienced.

After sustaining a knee injury on the volleyball court when she was in sixth grade, Rucker noticed her injury wasn’t healing. In reality, her health was deteriorating with each passing week. It got to the point where she couldn’t attend Saint Joseph’s School in Downingtown due to the agonizing pain.

“I tore my meniscus when I was in sixth grade and we noticed the healing process was taking a lot longer than it was supposed to,” Rucker said. “My legs were in so much pain and I wasn’t able to walk. My family and I would go from doctor to doctor all around the area looking for an answer but nobody had one. Most of them told us that nothing was showing up on the tests. Looking back on it, that was one of the toughest parts of the whole ordeal. You know there’s something seriously wrong with your body but nobody can give you an answer or help you.”

Finally, after a year and a half, Rucker went to Dr.Bonnie Nye, who diagnosed her with Complex Regional Pain Syndrome, more commonly known as CRPS. It’s a condition that causes extreme pain and discoloration in the limbs, as well as a constant burning or freezing feeling throughout the body.

There is no simple fix for CRPS. The only way Rucker would be able to walk again was through extreme physical therapy. Even with that, there were no guarantees.

“I didn’t even know if I was going to be able to walk again,” she said. “Dr. Bonnie Nye was incredible. She was the one who found out what was wrong with me and she treated me like I was one of her own kids. She knew I was going to get better.”

With diagnosis in hand, Rucker started intense sessions with physical therapist Donna Merkel. Every day she was required to participate in five and a half hours of PT, as well as aqua therapy and occupational therapy.

“For orthopedic injuries the patient usually stops when they feel pain, with an injury like CRPS you have to keep going and that can be very difficult,” Merkel said. “Her personality is what allowed her to be successful. Audrey is so special and always had a positive attitude. Poise, patience and positivity best describe her.

Due to her recovery’s demanding time constraint, Rucker’s mom, Stacy, was forced to quit her job so she could stay at home and take her daughter to doctors’ appointments and therapy sessions. But that was only half the sacrifice. When the medical bills started piling up, Stacy took a night job at Wegmans to help pay the costs. It wasn’t just her mom; her father Patrick and brother Jacob pitched in and were there for her every step of the way.

“I wouldn’t be where I’m at right now if it wasn’t for my parents and my little brother,” Rucker said. “I love them so much and I’m so blessed and thankful for everything they’ve done for me. There isn’t a day that goes by where I don’t think about all the things they did.”

The week before her eighth-grade graduation, Rucker did something for the first time in almost two years: walk without any help.

“It was really special to walk for the first time,” Rucker said with a smile. “I remember walking for my graduation and it was one of the greatest feelings ever.”

Now for most people, this is where the story would end. The person defied the odds and was able to walk again and everyone is happy and satisfied…. but not her story.

Rucker was determined to get back on the volleyball court and get back to the sport she played her entire life.

After graduating from St. Joseph’s School, she moved on to Bishop Shanahan. Even though she made the team her freshman year, physical therapy took up much of her time. She would have to leave practices early, and was physically unable to contribute.

“I had to sit on the bench and watch,” Rucker said. “Most of the time I had to go to PT and it was really tough not to play. But I knew once I got better I would be able to get out there and help my team.”

Finally, on September 7, 2010, Rucker stepped onto the floor for the first time since sixth grade. A few years back the odds of her being able to walk into Shanahan’s gymnasium on her own two feet was improbable. Now she was contributing for one of the top teams in the area.

“From the first time I had the privilege of coaching Audrey I can remember that there was something special about her dedication to the sport,” Eagles’ coach Greg Ashman said.

“Audrey possessed a special quality and view of the game that I had never seen in a player at that age. While she was struggling with the leg pain she never let that distract her focus and ability to share her view of the game with her teammates. Audrey often times took over the huddles and gave those motivational words that were needed to help everyone refocus and play the game. I feel as if I am the lucky one to have had the privilege to coach her.”

In the three years she played for Shanahan, they had a combined record of 56-6. Her junior year she helped her team with the Ches-Mont League National Division crown and the District 1 Class AAA championship. Senior year, Rucker was named captain and helped her team make it to the first round of the PIAA Class AAA state playoffs.

“It was just an incredible experience,” she said. “My coaches and teammates were so supportive and I couldn’t have done anything without them. They were always there cheering me on.”

Rucker received a scholarship from Widener University, where she currently plays as a libero. In her second season, she has played in every single one of the Pride’s matches. It’s not a coincidence that she is going to school for nursing. After everything she has been through, she wants to give back and help others facing poor health.

“I want to help people,” Rucker said. “There were so many good doctors who helped me get better and I want to be like them. It was terrible not knowing what was wrong with me and I want to be there for others and give them an answer when they need it.”

Rucker is finished with her physical therapy for now, but there is always the chance the CRPS will return if she has another injury. However, that hasn’t sidelined her into a life of fear. If anything, she embraces the challenge of CRPS. Volleyball isn’t the only thing she’s accomplished. She also ran in a half marathon.

“You can’t be afraid that something bad is going to happen,” she said. “I beat this once and if something happens, I know I’ll beat it again. I am thankful every single day that I can walk and can live a normal lifestyle.”

Rucker has created a website called to share her story with the world. Her motto on the site is “Pain is Inevitable, Suffering is Optional.”.

“I know there are other people out there going through what I went through,” Rucker said. “I just want to spread my story and help anyone who is going through a difficult situation. There is always hope, you just have to keep fighting.”

Monday, September 14
Bishop Shanahan tops Hempfield in Spartan Invitational final

KEVIN FREEMAN Sports Writer 

In a girls' volleyball tournament filled with teams that have designs on long postseason runs, it was Bishop Shanahan still standing at the end of a long, yet fruitful day at the Spartan Invitational at Garden Spot Saturday. Against Hempfield in the championship match, Shanahan used a 9-4 run midway through the first set in a best-of-three final match to grab a lead it wouldn't lose, winning 25-19. The Eagles beat back a Hempfield come-from-behind attempt in the second set but the their lead was too much of a hill to climb for Hempfield and Shanahan completed the sweep, 25-20. Garden Spot coach Denny Werner has put together one of the top-flight tournaments in the state. Of the 20 teams in Saturday's pool play, 10 were in the state playoffs last season and 19 went to their respective district tournaments. While Hempfield advanced to the title match, Garden Spot went to the semifinals where it bowed to Hempfield, 25-20, 25-17, in a match some were calling a Lancaster-Lebanon League final preview. Warwick was the third local team in the tournament and the Warriors couldn't get out of pool play and in to the quarterfinals. Warwick defeated Marian Catholic and State College but lost to Garden Spot, a semifinalist, and Shanahan, the tournament winner. Hempfield came through its four-match pool play round unscathed, sweeping Red Lion, Palmyra, Exeter and Pennsbury. The Black Knights then dispatched Seneca Valley, 25-13 in the quarters, before the win over Garden Spot. Play 0:00 / 0:44 Fullscreen Mute Share Hempfield battles Bishop Shanahan in final of Spartan Invitational. But Shanahan, which played in the District One Class AAA title match and went to the PIAA quarterfinals last season, proved a formidable opponent and had a lot to do with forcing the Black Knights into uncharacteristic errors. "At least we gave them a fight at the end,' said Hempfield coach Andrew Olree, who saw his team close a 22-13 deficit to 22-19 in the second set. "But in the whole match, we just passed poorly. If we can't pass to run our hitters with good sets, it's going to be tough. Particularly against a solid team.' Shanahan, located in Downingtown, defeated Marian Catholic, Warwick and State College and split with Garden Spot in pool play. It topped Palmyra in the quarters and Pope John Paul II in the semis. Eagles coach Greg Ashman said his team lost a match it probably shouldn't have last week, falling to West Chester Henderson. That loss fueled Shanahan's tournament run. "We needed that (loss),' he said. "Our goal (today) was to find who we are as a team.' Renee Shultz led the Eagles with five kills and an ace. Emma Short had four kills. Katrina Shelly had eight kills for the Black Knights in the title match. "I saw some things I liked, some things I didn't like,' said Olree, whose team plays Warwick on Tuesday. "That's why we play these tournaments, to see what needs to be done. We get great competition here and that's what these girls need.' Hempfield gets a shot at some payback when Shanahan comes to Hempfield for a nonleague match on Oct. 13. Spartans get to semifinals Garden Spot scored pool play victories over Marian Catholic, Warwick and State College and split with Shanahan. The Spartans then topped Berks Catholic in the quarters before falling to Hempfield. "I thought we played hard (against Hempfield),' Werner said. "We made some mistakes and you can't do that against them. I think we're definitely a lot closer to them than we've been.' As far as a takeaway, Werner said the tournament proved the Spartans are among the top teams in the state. "So, now, it's how good do we want to be?' he said. "You have to create the atmosphere in the gym to be successful. You have to make yourselves better each day.' Warwick wins pair of pool play matches Warwick coach Brad Glouner, whose team was playing in the tournament for the first time, said the field was so strong, he thought the Warriors could possibly lose every pool play game. So, to start by winning two matches (State College, Marian Catholic), he was thrilled. "Against Garden Spot, we played not to lose, which caused errors,' he said. "Garden Spot makes you beat them. They just keep the ball alive until you make mistakes.' While Saturday's play didn't punch any team's ticket to the state tournament, it gave each a chance to know where it stands. Looming for one of these teams may be a shot at a state title and a chance to take on Parkland, the defending PIAA AAA champs, which didn't lose much to graduation. "The state title is not given to anybody,' Ashman said. "The state title is Parkland's to lose and we want to be the one to take it from them, as does Hempfield and Garden Spot. Hopefully, we can stay healthy and the girls continue to have fun.'

Tuesday, September 11
PVCA State Rankings

State Ranking Week 7 2015





Previous Rank







Bishop Shanahan












North Allegheny




Seneca Valley   




   Govner Mifflin




   Garden Spot




Perk Valley




   Upper St Clair


Unite 4 Her
Monday, July 19
Go Pink or Go Home!

Since 2009, Unite for HER has worked to bridge the gap between the medical and wellness communities by educating women diagnosed with breast cancer about complementary therapies, providing them with a compassionate resource for support, knowledge and healing.

We are dedicated to improving the lives of women and girls by supporting and providing breast cancer and
wellness programs that educate, empower, and restore.

Go Pink or Go Home attendees will watch the girls compete on the court while contributing to breast health awareness by making a statement and wearing something PINK in the stands. The proceeds from all donations will benefit the Unite 4 Her Foundation.  Unite for HER relies on corporate sponsorships, grants, and personal donations to ensure the growth and effectiveness of our organization. We are a registered 501(c)(3) public charity.

The Bishop Shanahan High Volleyball team will host a “Go Pink or Go Home” Volleyball match this year. This year's match will be something special!  Saturday night October 3rd vs Pope John Paul II.  Come early - before the high school match we will host a match with the All-Stars from CYO Region 17. Set the date and come out for a night of great volleyball and fun! Donations can be made through the Shanahan Volleyball website – click on Unite 4 Her.

Thank you to all that help make this night a tremendous success.

Wednesday, November 5
Upper Merion defeats Bishop Shanahan 3-1 in highly-anticipated District One final

Wednesday, November 5
Pennridge handed 1st loss by Bishop Shanahan in District 1-AAA semis


Posted:   10/30/2014 10:00:56 PM EDT



ABINGTON — Ask Megan Keefe as a freshman or a sophomore if she would have been OK playing the third place game in the District 1-AAA tournament and she would have said absolutely. A spot in states secured and at least a top for finish in the district for the Pennridge girls volleyball team was far from a reality a few years ago.

But as a senior, with this team, a 3-0 (25-12, 25-18, 25-13) sweep at the hands of Bishop Shanahan in the semifinals was just not what Keefe could smile about. It was Keefe and the Rams' first loss of the season, a match shy of the title game, two wins shy of the program's first district championship in almost 40 years.

"We did not come out strong and it was not a good start overall,' Keefe said. "We never expected to make it this far and we are happy we did. Tonight was not our best effort and it's disappointing we lost.'

The Rams (18-1) rolled into the playoffs without a blemish on their record, but the Eagles' 17-4 mark was not too shabby and the fifth-seeded side brought playoff experience — finishing third last year in in districts — to the Abington court Thursday. The Rams have rallied back from slow starts all season, but a 12-1 run in Game One set the tone for the night.

"Game One they wanted more than we did,' Rams coach Zech States said. "They are experienced and we are not used to this at all. That's what it came down to. That played a factor, but it's not excuse.'

The Rams play Garnet Valley — which lost 3-1 to Upper Merion in the other semi — for third place noon Saturday back at Abington. They will try and rally back for a strong and long run in the PIAA tournament. Upper Merion, defending district champs, will do battle with the Eagles at 2 p.m. after the Rams and Jaguars jostle.

"It is good to have states to look forward to,' States said. "We have one day here to practice and we have to use it. Garnet Valley is going to want it and we have to come ready to battle.'

The Rams will need to find the offense that disappeared against the Eagles. Their swings seemed telegraphed and Shanahan made the consistent back row pass to their setter, who found any number of their powerful hitters. It was 4-0 and 9-2 Eagles in Game Two, which completely zapped the Rams' confidence. The Eagles were an opponent they could not solve for the first time all season.

"We did not play nearly close to what we are capable of,' States said. "They put a big block up. We could not get our middles going (four total kills) at all tonight, It's hard because I know what they are capable of. and I was not able to get them motivated to play the way they should.

Keefe, Pennridge's four-year starter at setter, won 17 games (23 losses) in her first three seasons with the Rams — three as freshman, four as sophomore, and 10 as a junior. The Rams continued to get better and nothing can take away the season they put together so far. So far being the key words. A District 1 championship would have been nice, but they will refocus and come back stronger in the state tournament next week,

"We came out with a lot of nerves,' Keefe said. "We need to do everything a little better.'

Monday, June 9
Titus Sports Academy


Tuesday, November 6
Shanahan wins Third District title!

Eagles sweep way to district crown


Sunday, November 15
Order Yours Today!


Click to enlarge

YORK — There were over three years of playing volleyball together pointing to this - more than 1,000 hours of time in a gym whacking away at a round white ball leading up to this - a full season of focused dedication and hard work culminating in this.

At 6:39 p.m. on Nov. 14 at Central York High's gymnasium, Bishop Shanahan setter Katie Pisano's serve dropped to the floor on Allentown Central Catholic's side of the net and the match was over. Bishop Shanahan had won the PIAA Class AAA Girls Volleyball championship.

The Eagles proved that they had the best team in the state - something they had known since back in August - by defeating Allentown Central Catholic 3-0. They accomplished the feat by playing 75 points of "Shanahan Volleyball."

Shanahan held off a late-game surge by the Vikettes to take the opening game of the best-of-five 25-23. The Eagles continued their strong play in the second game and posted a 25-17 victory. They were even more dominant in the third game and finished with a convincing 25-13 win.

It was supposed to be a state championship volleyball match. Instead, it was more like a Shanahan "Block Party" featuring Amanda Nickels, Maria Ficca, Susan Frick, Nicole Lott, Katie Pisano and Emily Carlin. Nickels led the way with 10 blocks followed by Ficca with nine and Lott with eight. The others all contributed blocks at key times throughout the state title match.

"We knew blocking would be the key - that as long as we got touches on the ball, it would be great," said Shanahan coach Greg Ashman. "And with the lineup we have, if they started shutting down any of our girls, we just move it around."

Pisano said, "I thought this match would come to five games. But once we got going, we didn't have any slumps. Our middle blockers were blocking so well and Nicole (Lott) did awesome."

The third game was competitive early in its early stages and still close at 8-8. A four-point service run by Ficca followed by a five-point run by Nickels put the Vikettes on the ropes. Pisano started her serve with Shanahan ahead 20-13, served four straight points and then delivered the message-sending, match-ending, head-spinning,

title-winning ace.

In the first two games, Shanahan held the lead for the majority of the time but ACC was always right there. But, almost every time the Vikettes threatened to snatch the lead or the momentum, they were put in their place by a decisive kill by either Ficca or Carlin.

"Before the match, Maria and I both said - this is it…this is our game…we are in control," said Carlin.

Ficca said, "Me and Emily - this was our match. There was no way we were going to let it slip away after getting this far. We came out so strong tonight. It was great."

Allentown Central Catholic coach Laurie Corcoran said, "Shanahan definitely outplayed us. They came at us really strong with their attack and had the momentum the entire match. I'm proud of our girls. We've accomplished a lot. This year's seniors have two state gold medals and two silver medals. But, Shanahan was the better team tonight."

In the morning semifinals, ACC defeated Hempfield 3-2 (22-25, 25-22, 26-24, 24-26, 16-14). In the other semifinal, a showdown between the teams ranked first and second in the state, Shanahan knocked off top-ranked Mount Lebanon 3-1 (19-25, 25-19, 25-21, 25-18).

"We came out slow in the first game," said Shanahan libero Julie Joyce. "Our passing wasn't where it should have been. Our whole offense was sloppy. In the second game, we picked up our passing. We were able to put the passes on Katie's forehead and run our offense really fast. In the third game, once we got our offense going and started playing 'Shanahan Volleyball', we had things under control."

Nickels said, "Mount Lebanon really reminded us of us. We play a very similar style. So, they did the same things we do and that made them really easy to read. And, we knew their middle hitter (Olivia Gratton) hurt her ankle Friday and was playing injured. We went after her because we knew she was weak."

Mount Lebanon coach Dawn Begor said, "Olivia bring hurt changed our team a bit. We had to run a different offense. Our options were limited so we became very predictable. We lost to a very good team. Shanahan is big and strong - like a lot of teams out west."

Carlin said, "We wanted it so much and we played with so much heart. We came out really strong and stayed strong. Everyone was on -- no one was off. The whole team played great."

NOTES: Carlin was named the MVP of this year's state championship tournament and Joyce was selected as the defensive MVP…Ficca and Pisano were named to the All-Tournament Team….The Eagles' history-making state championship roster also included Cait Watson, Allison Lott, Kristina Dale, Kelly Hutchison, Clare Keating, Summer Jaros, Gabriella Nagy, Nicki Ruszkay, Grace Capuzzi and Natalie Deritis along with assistant coaches Brian Smith, Mimi Deritis, Michelle Lott, Jackie Smith and Pat Rucker…Shanahan became the first team from District 1 other than Villa Maria Academy to win a Class AAA state title….The only other District 1 team to win a PIAA championship has been Merion Mercy Academy in Class AA…On Saturday, Merion Mercy captured its third straight Class AA title….Shananan finished the season with a 27-1 record and its only loss was a five-set nailbiter to Merion Mercy…At this year's Ford Tough Tournament at Haverford High, the Eagles defeated Allentown Central Catholic in the quarterfinals and Merion Mercy Academy in the semifinals…Shanahan pinned losses on three district champions at states this year - Mount Lebanon (District 7), Hempfield (District 3) and Allentown Central Catholic (District 11).

State Champs

Wednesday, December 23
Shanahan's Carlin head and shoulders above the rest

Wednesday, December 23
Ashman's Eagles soar to perfection

Saturday, November 14
Bishop Shanahan volleyball keeps rolling along

Wednesday, November 11
Shanahan soars highest in battle of the Eagles

Friday, November 6
Eagles tough out win

Sunday, November 8
Shanahan wins Second District AAA Volleyball Title

Friday, October 23
2010 GIRLS District 1 Volleyball AAA Playoffs

Wednesday, November 4
Lott to smile about for Shanahan volleyball

Thursday, October 22
Bishop Shanahan spikes Unionville for league title

By DENNY DYROFF, Staff Writer

UNIONVILLE/KENNETT SQUARE — When Bishop Shanahan was named as an 11th-hour addition to the lineup for this year's Crosstown Invitational Volleyball Tournament, the path to the team title for the other nine teams changed dramatically. It went from being "very competitive" to "highly challenging."

Shanahan arrived for Saturday's tournament with a 12-1 record. The Eagles have been ranked either first or second in the PVCA Class AAA poll every week this season and are currently second behind Mount Lebanon .

The tournament, which was played at both Kennett High and Unionville High, featured an all Ches-Mont final with Shanahan facing Kennett on the Blue Demons' home court. At 7:29 p.m., Shanahan's Nicki Ruszkay served the final point of the championship game.

The play ended when the Demons hit the ball out of play. A full 11 hours after starting pool play (an 8:30 a.m. match against West Chester East), the Eagles capped a perfect day with a 2-0 win over Kennett. Shanahan won the opening game of the best-of-three final 25-10 and then finished it off with a 25-20 victory.

"Focus was a little bit of an issue - 11 hours of volleyball will do that -- but we've been able to bring it back well," said Shanahan's hard-hitting Maria Ficca. "Other teams pushed us at times but we stayed in control. We were most into our game in the match against Garnet Valley. We did really well in that match."

The Eagles knocked off Garnet Valley 2-0 in the semifinals with a 25-18 win in the first game and a 25-9 decision in the second.

"We were just digging in and getting loose," said Shanahan's standout freshman hitter Nicole Lott. "It (the Garnet Valley match) was definitely a fun game. We had a great time."

Garnet Valley coach Jen Shrader said, "I thought we came out and played pretty well in the first game. In the second game, our defense let us down. Shanahan has a really good team so I was happy with the way we played them."

In the other semifinal, Kennett defeated Mount St. Joseph Academy 3-2 (26-24, 13-25, 15-12).

"I'm very proud of how everybody played," said Kennett coach Molly Szychulski, who played collegiate volleyball at Shippensburg University. "I hope we proved ourselves today - that we showed we deserve a seed in the district (District 1 Class AAA) playoffs."

The Demons definitely boosted their "cred" with a win over the Mount, a perennial District 1 powerhouse, and a respectable performance against Shanahan, a team that has won five consecutive titles in the Ches-Mont League.

In pool play, Shanahan topped Pool "B" with an 8-0 record while Kennett was runnerup at 5-3. The Demons posted 2-0 wins over West Chester East (27-25, 25-13) and St. Pius X (25-21, 25-18), split with Villa Maria Academy (25-27, 27-25) and were swept by Shanahan (18-25, 18-25).

Shanahan did not lose a game all day. The Eagles' other pool play sweeps were against West Chester East (25-17, 25-12), St. Pius X (25-13, 25-22) and Villa Maria (25-13, 25-22).

In Pool "A", which was played at Unionville, Mount St. Joe's took first with an 8-0 record while Downingtown East and Garnet Valley tied for second at 3-5. In a special playoff for second place - and a berth in the semifinals - Garnet Valley prevailed 15-9. "I think we played tough but we were playing some very good teams," said Downingtown East's talented freshman hitter Tori Wakelee. "This was a good tournament for us. It will help get us ready for districts."

Thursday, October 15
Shanahan falls in five-set showdown

Friday, October 9
Eagles Sweep Villa

Wednesday, September 30
Shanahan continues its surge

Wednesday, September 30
Shanahan volleyball team stays unbeaten

Tuesday, September 15
Shanahan Tops in PA

Monday, September 14
Shanahan girls' volleyball team ranked No. 2 in state

Thursday, September 10
Soaring Eagles


Friday, September 11
Team Stats and results

Sunday, September 13
Shanahan Wins the Spartan Invitational at Garden Spot HS!!!

Spartan Invitational @ Garden Spot (9/12/09)

1. Bishop Shanahan (D1 AAA) 2. Brandywine (D3 AA) 3. Holy Name (D3 AA) /  Parkland (D11 AAA) 5. Allentown Central Catholic (D11 AAA) / Avon Grove (D1 AAA) / Lancaster Mennonite (D3 AA) / Spring Grove (D3 AAA) ..... Finals - Bishop Shanahan def. Brandywine (25-24, 29-27), Semis - Bishop Shanahan def. Parkland (25-15, 15-15), Brandywine def. Holy Name (25-21, 25-21), Quarters - Bishop Shanahan def. Spring Grove (25-17), Brandywine def. Avon Grove (25-12), Holy Name def. Lancaster Mennonite (26-24), Parkland def. Allentown Central Catholic (25-16) ..... Pool A - 1. Brandywine (7-1) 2. Bishop Shanahan (6-2) 3. Daniel Boone (5-3) 4. Penn Manor (2-6) 5. Cedar Cliff (0-8) ..... Pool B - 1. Allentown Central Catholic (7-1) 2. Lancaster Mennonite (7-1) 3. Garden Spot (3-5) 4. Reading Central Catholic (2-6) 5. Carlisle (1-7) ..... Pool C 1. Spring Grove (6-2) 2. Avon Grove (6-2) 3. Manheim Central (6-2) 4. Ridley (2-6) 5. Wilson (0-8) ..... CFC Pool 1. Holy Name (6-2) 2. Parkland (5-3) 3. Archbishop Wood (5-3) 4. Pennsbury (3-5) 5. Exeter (1-7)



Monday, November 13
Shanahan Reaches State Semifinals; Villa Maria Ousted

Tuesday, January 25
2010 Results

Sunday, August 15
2009 Results - State Champions!

Wednesday, August 27
2008 Results

Wednesday, November 28
2007 Results

Thursday, March 23
2006 Results

Tuesday, August 1
2005 Results

2004 Results

Sunday, November 5
Shanahan Guts Out First District Title
By Denny Dyroff

ROYERSFORD – After two hours of heated, intense volleyball between two great ...

Monday, November 13
Shanahan Celebrates One Amazing Season!

Season Wrap-up
Bishop Shanahan finishes their unforgettable season as one of the best teams in the state. The Eagles posted a 25-3 overall record, winning their third straight undefeated Ches-Mont League Title (15-0), their first District 1 Title (22-1) and making it all the way to the semi-finals of the PIAA State AAA Championships, finishing tied for third in the State. Along the way the Eagles finished second at the "Ford Tough Challenge" losing to Hempfield in the Finals. (Hempfield also beat Shanahan in the Semi-Finals of the PIAA Tournament and went on to win the state championship) Shanahan won the Cumberland Valley "Rally in the Valley" Tournament, one that Hempfield lost in the semi-finals to Spring-Grove HS. Shanahan beat Spring-Grove in the Finals 2-1. Along this fantastic season Shanahan ended the regular season with a win over Villa Maria, a team that they have never beaten before giving the Eagles a regular season record of 18-1. The Eagles then make a run at their first district title and along the way met Villa in the finals. The Eagles did the impossible. After being down 2 games to none, the Eagles came roaring back to win the next 2 to tie the match at 2 games a piece. Starting game 5 the Eagles found themselves down early 8-1. With out giving up and settling for the second place medals, they pulled out the spectacular victory and won the match by 16-14! Along the journey Shanahan met another very tough opponent, not once, twice or even three times... Hatboro-Horsham is a young team that has only had a program for three seasons. The Eagles won all four times, including the Semi-finals of the district and in the quarter-finals in the State tournament.
Shanahan girl's volleyball was also chosen to host a match with a team that traveled a long, long distance. China's Zibo #10 HS from Shandong Province put on an exhibition match with the Eagles. The Eagles played some phenomenal Volleyball to compete with them.
This season was extraordinary! The JV Team was nothing short of amazing too! They went undefeated in their regular season only losing one single game in their way to an 18-0 record. The two tournaments they entered, they came home with third place finishes. With the young talent that the JV possesses the future of Shanahan volleyball looks very bright.

Shanahan had 7 girls named to the
All Ches-Mont League Teams;
League MVP - Cayleigh Ashman
1st Team – Kayla Beck & Courtney Smith
2nd Team – Kellie Conahan & Ali Huss
Honorable Mention – Kristen Hughes & Jess Lynch

We are also honored to have two players named to the
PVCA Regional Seniors Match;
Kayla Beck & Cayleigh Ashman

2006 PVCA All-State Team
Cayleigh Ashman & Kayla Beck

2006 PVCA State Championship All-Tournament Team
Cayleigh Ashman
In addition to this all tournament team Both Kellie Conahan & Cayleigh Ashman were named to the Rally in the Valley All-Tournament Team.

All 6 Starters named to the
All District 1 Teams;
First Team – Cayleigh Ashman & Kayla Beck
Second Team – Kellie Conahan
Third Team – Ali Huss & Courtney Smith
Honorable Mention – Kristen Hughes

All 6 Starters named to the
Daily Local News All Area-Team;
Co-Players of the Year - Cayleigh Ashman & Kayla Beck
First Team – Kellie Conahan
Secon Team - Courtney Smith
Honorable Mention - Kristen Heghes & Ali Huss
Coach of the Year – Greg Ashman


Tuesday, September 15
Bishop Shanahan tops in PA

Shanahan volleyball has made it on USA Volleyball website!


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