What to watch for in WPIAL sports on June 15, 2024: Mars lacrosse, Shaler volleyball seek gold on last day of season

Friday, June 14, 2024 | 5:35 PM

Welcome to the final day of the 2023-2024 high school sports season featuring the PIAA lacrosse and boys volleyball state championship matches.

The final day of this school year looks a lot like the final day of the 2022-2023 school season for two district teams.

Fightin’ finals again

The Mars boys lacrosse team has mastered the WPIAL landscape, winning district gold in the last eight seasons.

The Fightin’ Planets are now mastering the state stage, reaching the PIAA Class 2A title match for a fourth straight season.

In 2021, the Mars boys became the first team from District 7 to reach a PIAA lacrosse championship match. The Fightin’ Planets fell to Allentown Central Catholic, 14-5.

A year later, Mars returned to the state finals and made history by becoming the first WPIAL team to ever win a PIAA lacrosse championship, defeating Marple Newtown, 9-6.

Then last spring, those same two teams reached the boys 2A finals again; however, the script was switched and Marple Newtown edged Mars, 11-10.

Now for a third straight year, the Fightin’ Planets battle the Fightin’ Tigers.

The Fightin’ Planets beat Hershey, Devon Prep and South Fayette by a combined score of 50-25 in the state playoffs.

The District 1 champion Fightin’ Tigers picked up state playoff wins over Crestwood, Allentown Central Catholic and West Chester Bayard Rustin by a collective score of 39-9.

Mars (20-3) battles Marple Newtown (21-3) at noon Saturday at Panzer Stadium at Penn State.

Titans-Trojans Take II

For the second year in a row, the PIAA Class 3A boys volleyball championship comes down to Parkland and Shaler.

A year ago, the District 11 champion Trojans swept the Titans, winning in three games by scores of 25-15, 25-18, 25-17.

The state crown was the second for Parkland, which defeated Fox Chapel to win the 2015 PIAA 3A championship.

Parkland needed five games to beat Red Lion in the first round and Pennsbury in the quarterfinals before sweeping Central York in three games in this year’s semifinals.

Shaler returns to the finals with wins over Carlisle, State College and a three-game win over Warwick in the semifinals.

The match between Shaler (19-1) and Parkland (20-3) takes place at 1:30 p.m. Saturday at Penn State’s Rec Hall.

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