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Landon Shorts arrived in York from Des Moines, Iowa, at about 1 a.m. Monday. Twelve hours later, his phone lit up.

A few Northeastern boys' volleyball players, rivals during the high school season, wanted to know if he wanted to play some sand volleyball at Cousler Park because someone else couldn't get there. Shorts, a recent Central York graduate, agreed to fill in despite the aches from a week of volleyball in Iowa.

He just spent the last week playing for a Keystone Region Volleyball Association team that traveled to Iowa for the USA Volleyball High Performance Championships. It's the same event that Northeastern's Reese Devilbiss competed in for a chance to make a national team that will compete next month in Argentina.

Shorts and his KRVA team performed well, finishing 6-2 and third in its bracket. Shorts received all-tournament honors.

"This Iowa tournament was an eye opener for me," Shorts said. "I was joking with my mom (Jennifer Shorts), 'I'm pretty sure I was the only kid going Division III there.'"

His own KRVA team, coached by Central Dauphin's Josh Brenneman, included Cumberland Valley's Michael Fisher (the tournament MVP), Central Dauphin's Jacob Kerschner and Penn Manor's Sam Greenslade. All three, like Shorts, were all-state selections this spring by the Pennsylvania Volleyball Coaches Association.

Players from the two U.S. national teams could not make the all-tournament team, Shorts said. They auditioned for a chance to represent the U.S. in next month's FIVB Boys' U19 World Championships. Devilbiss is one of 25 boys competing for that opportunity, which will be decided by mid-August.

Fourteen teams competed last week in Des Moines. In addition to the U.S. teams, national squads from Canada and New Zealand and regional programs from California and Florida participated. Shorts and KRVA lost a five-set match early to Devilbiss' team and beat New Zealand and Canada. They closed the tournament by beating Canada to finish third in one of two brackets.

Shorts accumulated 51 kills, 29 service points, 23 digs and six aces along the way.

Dallastown coach Lance Ranck, who helped KRVA with practices before it left for Iowa, called Shorts' play "stellar."

"This is a huge accomplishment on an international stage," he said.

Shorts split time at multiple positions this spring for Central York and isn't sure where he will fit next year at Stevenson University. One thing is for sure: the last week provided an intangible.

"I know that I can hang with these kids," he said. "I don't talk myself up, but I didn't do too bad against these kids. Looking back, comparing myself to a Division I player and going Division III gives me a lot of confidence."

When Shorts arrives at Stevenson, he will join former Central teammate Alex Klunk. Central's Jason Gardner, Dallastown's Owen Terroso and Northeastern's Philip White are among Stevenson's incoming freshman class with Shorts.

White was the one who couldn't make it to Cousler Park on Monday afternoon.

Contact Matt Goul at 771-2045.

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