YORK — Cochranton had played outstanding ball all season long, particularly as of late with wins over PIAA Class AA state semifinalist Maplewood and eight-time state champion Farrell.

But doesn’t the saying go, “All good things must come to an end?”

For the Cardinals the end came a day sooner than hoped.

Cochranton beat WPIAL champion Geibel Catholic, 18-25, 25-15, 25-22, for its lone win of the state tournament, thus eliminating the Cards and ending their hopes of a second straight state title.

The Cards fell to Northern Cambria in a rematch of last year’s championship match, 25-16, 22-25, 25-16, in their quarterfinal round opener. Their final loss came to Marian Catholic, 18-25, 25-21, 26-24.

"I asked them if they knew what the phrase meant, ‘Firing on all cylinders?’" Cochranton coach Marci Malliard said. "We just didn’t have that at any given point in the day."

Cochranton played perhaps its worse match of the day against the Fillies with a spot in today’s semifinals on the line.

After taking a one-game lead with a 25-18 win in Game 1 and jumping out to a 10-1 lead in the second game, it looked like the Cards of old were back. The Fillies, who lost to Northern Cambria in last year’s semifinals, were able to work their way back, however, tying the game at 18-18.

Marian Catholic eventually took the game, 25-21, and survived a thrilling end in the final game for the win.

"It wasn’t even the third game," Malliard said. "It was the second game we lost. We had it in the bag and then we couldn’t pass the stinking ball.

"You play like that, you’re not going to come out on the winning end of anything. We had our opportunities big time."

The loss capped a stellar season for the Cards — one that began with several new faces after the graduation of four players from last year’s team. Cochranton (21-3) won the Region 2 title for the second straight year, while going 14-0. It also defended its District 10 title and was one of the top eight Class A teams in the state.

"We did great things," Malliard said. "Our goal was to make it here. But when you get here and you see you have the opportunity to make it back to the second day, then that’s what you have to do.

"Yeah, it was nice to get here initially, but you want to get a step beyond that one step."

Region 2 foe and District 10 runner-up Cambridge Springs also had a tough go at it in the quarterfinals. The Spa went 0-3 in pool play, winning just two of its nine games.

Cambridge lost to North Catholic (25-20, 25-22, 25-15), Mansfield (18-25, 25-23, 25-23) and Reading Central Catholic (25-21, 25-16, 23-25).

"It’s hard for (seniors) Amy (Hornaman) and Carissa (Johnston)," Spa coach Rob Schmidt said. "But the younger kids got the experience. They understand what it’s like to come down here.

"I can’t be upset. Our goal this year was to get out of districts. Anything after that was gravy."

The Spa finished its season at 15-9.

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