Kaitlyn Hansen Wraps Up Volleyball Career With ECAC Gold

By Ryan Gaydos

There are not many accomplishments that Kean University Women’s Volleyball senior Kaitlyn Hansen has not completed. You can check off winning an Eastern College Athletic Conference championship offer of her list as well.

The Cougars defeated The Sages Colleges and Elmira College on the same day to win the program’s first ECAC championship. Kean defeated both teams 3-0 Nov. 16 after losing in the New Jersey Athletic Conference second round to Rowan. The Cougars were the No. 1 seed in the tournament.

This, along with a shopping list of milestones, has completed an unforgettable career for Hansen. Coming into the 2013 season, she already held the record in solo blocks, total blocks and blocks assists. She was creeping up on the service aces mark set by Loretta Zahn and on senior night, in front of her friends and family, Hansen broke the mark.

“I had mixed emotions about the game,” Hansen said. “I was sad because it’s one of my last games but I was happy playing with my team. It still hasn’t hit me that this season is almost over. I hate having to part with something that is such a big part of my life.”

Kean finished with a 24-14 record in a year that was mostly up and down. The Cougars started off the season winning its first 10 of 11 matches but started to fall against tougher opponents in the middle of the season.

As for head coach Don Perkins, he showed that not only that he could get it done with the men’s team, but he can do it with the women’s team as well. Earlier in the year, Perkins led the Men’s Volleyball team to its second straight NCAA Division III tournament berth after winning it all in 2012. An ECAC title with the women’s is another notch in his coaching belt in an already illustrious coaching tenure with both programs.

Next season, Kean will return five starters from its ECAC-winning team and look to contend for an NJAC title

For Hansen, her career may end on the court but it continues in the classroom. She is planning on getting her bachelors degree in Occupational Therapy and attending graduate school next fall.

“I’m going to miss seeing my team and playing a sport that I love everyday,” Hansen said. “Whenever I’m having a bad day, I know that at 3:30 I can walk into the gym and forget about everything else. This team means so much to me and when I look back at my experience at Kean, the best memories that I have are with them.”

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