College Corner: Exeter grad Hangen setting the stage for Shippensburg volleyball

Shippensburg's Emily Hangen (Exeter).
Shippensburg's Emily Hangen (Exeter).
Katrina Balatgek (Berks Catholic)
Katrina Balatgek (Berks Catholic)

The Shippensburg women’s volleyball team is off to a big start this fall and a key component on the squad is freshman setter Emily Hangen.

The 5-foot-7 Hangen, from Reading (Exeter Township), has 724 assists which places her tied for 19th in NCAA Division II. She also has 181 digs, 43 kills, 21 total blocks and 12 service aces to help the Raiders get off to a 14-5 start with a 7-0 record in PSAC Central Division play after a 3-1 league victory at Millersville on Oct. 10. It was the team’s eighth straight victory.

Hangen was named PSAC Central Athlete of the Week on Oct. 10 after leading the team to league victories over East Stroudsburg and Kutztown the previous week.

“Emily has definitely improved since the start of the season,” coach Leanne Piscotty said. “She is looking at the opponents’ court more often, improving her offense and catching opponents out of position. And, she’s using all of her hitters very well, especially the middies. She’s also playing better defense and her serving is so much better.”

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Hangen feels that playing club volleyball has helped her adjust to the speed of Division II volleyball.

“The girls are bigger, faster, stronger and much quicker than the ones I face in high school,” she said. “Coach Piscotty really knows how to turn up the intensity in practice and pushes us past our limits every day. There are pressures to winning for sure but that’s what makes it fun. We all expect nothing but our best efforts at practice and during games.”

Jared Luckanitz (Governor Mifflin) >> The Kutztown sophomore kicked off the cross country season by posting a personal record time at the Salisbury Fall Classic on Sept. 2 in Salisbury, Md. His 8,000 meter time was 26:29.96 and was good for 17th out of 57 runners. He finished 128th out of 209 runners in the Brown Division II/III race at the Paul Short Run in Bethlehem on Sept. 29 with an 8,000 meter time of 26:56 and was 60th out of 268 at the DeSales Invitational on Oct. 7 in Center Valley with an 8,000 meter time of 28:05.7.

Rachel Eidson (Daniel Boone) >> The sophomore made her first start of the fall for the East Stroudsburg women’s cross country team at the Salisbury Invitational on Oct. 7 in Salisbury, Md. She finished 17th out of 106 runners, sixth best on the team, with a college career best 6,000 meter time of 23:14.67. As a freshman, Eidson finished 41st out of 163 runners at last year’s PSAC Championships with a 6,000 meter time of 24:10.20 and went on to finish 73rd out of 144 runners at the NCAA Regionals with a time of 25:28.0.

Rachel Richards (Exeter) >> The freshman forward has started all 11 games for the Muhlenberg field hockey team. She recorded her first collegiate goal and it was a game-winner in a 4-1 victory over Bryn Mawr on Oct. 4 in Allentown. She’s one of eight freshmen on the roster, the team 2-9 overall and 1-5 in Centennial Conference play after a 2-1 home loss to defending league champion Ursinus on Oct. 12. The Mules have scored just 12 goals and have been shut out five times.

Madison McGowan (Daniel Boone) >> The freshman defensive specialist has played in 16 matches and 57 sets for the Cedar Crest volleyball team. She has 78 digs, seven assists and three service aces and had a college career high 11 digs in a 3-0 victory over Wilson on Sept. 5. The Falcons are 13-4 overall and 3-3 in the Colonial States Athletic Conference after a 3-2 league victory over Gwynedd Mercy on Oct. 11 in Gwynedd Valley. McGowan had nine digs in the match.

Marcus Frangakis (Oley Valley) >> The senior has scored five goals for the Millersville men’s soccer team. He had two goals in a 4-1 victory over Mercyhurst on Oct. 7 and a goal in a 3-2 loss to West Chester on Oct. 4. Earlier, he had goals in a 3-2 victory over West Virginia Wesleyan on Sept. 17 and a 3-2 triumph over East Stroudsburg on Sept. 24. The Marauders are 9-3-1 overall and 5-2-0 in PSAC play after a 4-1 league win over Slippery Rock on Oct. 13 in Slippery Rock.

Skyler Fretz (Oley Valley) >> The senior is the top defender on the Penn State field hockey team. Having started all 14 games, the 5-foot-4 back leads NCAA Division I with seven defensive saves. She had just two defensive saves in 37 games and 20 starts heading into this season. Fretz leads the team in minutes played with 979 and has helped the sixth-ranked Nittany Lions post a 12-2 overall record and a 4-1 mark in the Big Ten Conference. The defense has given up 17 goals and has six shutouts.

Emily Hepner (Schuylkill Valley) >> The 5-foot-4 junior defensive specialist leads the Lycoming women’s volleyball team with 393 digs. She had a season-high 38 digs in a 3-2 victory over SUNY-Canton on Oct. 6 and 34 digs in a 3-2 loss to Arcadia on Oct. 10. Hepner also has 46 assists and 20 service aces and has played in all 24 matches and is the only player on the squad to have played in all 84 sets. The Warriors are 12-12 overall and 1-5 in MAC Commonwealth play after a 3-0 non-league victory over Lancaster Bible on Oct. 12 in Williamsport.

Cody Hunsicker (Tulpehocken) >> The senior has played in all 12 games with 11 starts on defense for the Lafayette field hockey team. She’s scored two goals. She had the second score in a 3-0 victory over Hofstra to open the season on Aug. 25 and the game-winner in a 2-1 triumph over Appalachian State on Sept. 2. Hunsicker has played in 53 games with 37 starts in her career with the Leopards who are 5-7 overall and 1-2 in the Patriot League after a 1-0 non-league loss to Villanova on Oct. 8 in Easton.

Rebecca Hauser (Schuylkill Valley) >> The senior midfielder has started all 14 games for the Sacred Heart field hockey team. She picked up her first point of the season when she had an assist in a 2-0 non-league victory over Brown on Oct. 1. She has started 46 games in her career with the Pioneers and has seven goals and three assists for 17 points. Sacred Heart is 5-9 overall and 1-1 in Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference play after a 3-0 non-league loss to No. 20 Albany on Oct. 11 in Albany, N.Y.

Katrina Balatgek (Berks Catholic) >> The senior is starting at forward for the Richmond field hockey team, the Spiders 4-9 overall and 3-1 in Atlantic 10 Conference play after a 6-2 non-league loss to No. 15 Wake Forest on Oct. 8 in Winston-Salem, N.C. Balatgek had both scores in that game for Richmond, her first goals of the season. She also has an assist and has played in 74 games with 41 starts for the Spiders in her career and has scored 12 goals and seven assists for 21 points with two game-winners.

Meg Donohue (Berks Catholic) >> The senior forward has started all 12 games for the Monmouth field hockey team. She has six goals and three assists with a game-winner when she scored the first goal in a 7-0 victory over Lehigh on Sept. 8. She had three goals in a 9-0 triumph over Brown on Sept. 10. Donohue earned Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference first team honors the past two years and was the league’s Rookie of the Year as a freshman. The Hawks are 9-3 overall and 1-1 in league play after a 3-0 non-league victory over Hofstra on Oct. 8.

Tyler Rapposelli (Fleetwood) >> The 5-foot-10 junior has scored four goals for the West Chester men’s soccer team and he got them all in two games. Rapposelli had three goals in a 4-0 victory over Pitt-Johnstown on Sept. 22 and came back with a goal in a 4-1 triumph over Bloomsburg on Sept. 24. Freshman Jamison Burns (Daniel Boone) has played in six games off the bench for the Golden Rams who are 8-2-1 overall and is second in the PSAC with a 6-0-0 record.

Beckham Sibiski (Kutztown) >> The 6-foot-2, 180-pound freshman continues to come up big for the Lock Haven men’s soccer team. He had the only goal in a 1-0 victory over West Virginia Wesleyan on Sept. 30 and both goals in a 2-2 tie with St. Thomas Aquinas on Sept. 19 and he had the only goal in a 3-1 loss to East Stroudsburg on Oct. 4. Sophomore Kyle Hartman (Kutztown) has played on 13 games with nine starts on defense for the Bald Eagles who are 6-4-3 overall and 3-3-1 in PSAC play after a 3-2 league loss to Seton Hill on Oct. 7

Marisa Lizins (Twin Valley) >> The 5-foot-6 sophomore midfielder has played in all 13 games with eight starts for the Pitt-Johnstown women’s soccer team. She collected her first goal of the season on a 5-2 loss to Shippensburg on Oct. 7. Lizins played in 18 games with 14 starts as a freshman and had a goal and an assist. The Mountain Cats are 1-11-1 overall and 1-9-1 in PSAC play after a 2-0 non-league loss to Alderson-Broaddus on Oct. 10 in Johnstown.