Hansen finds progress in a lackluster season

Jacob Fyock, Reporter

Freshman outside hitter Lauren Hansen has become one of the top players on the Buffalo State women’s volleyball team this season. Her time here at Buffalo State has shown her that there is a bright future on the team.

Hansen grew up in Blue Point, NY, a town in the Long Island region. While growing up, her mother was fond of the sport and it inspired Hansen to play.

“She always played volleyball at the YMCA and I would always watch her,” Hansen said. “My mom was my role model, so I wanted to be like her.”

Her success in high school volleyball interested Buffalo State head coach Maria DePeters. However, she was unsure if she wanted to take her talents to the college level.

“I didn’t know that I wanted to play in college,” Hansen said. “My dad really pushed me towards it; he sent out emails to every coach and I got in touch with coach DePeters, and she really wanted me to play, so I visited here and I really loved it.”

DePeters convinced her to come to Buffalo State and had junior outside hitter/defensive specialist Riley Chapman as Hansen’s campus tour guide. Since then, they have become close friends.

So far this fall semester, Hansen is enjoying the college experience and has gotten to know her teammates very well.

“I like college a lot more. I find it easier and I find it you have more time to do your work,” she said. “At the beginning, we didn’t really know each other, but they are who I hang out with, they’re who I do everything with on and off the court.”

There are a couple of people that have given Hansen guidance on becoming a successful volleyball player. One of them is junior middle hitter Allie Harford.

“Allie, our captain, is a really good role model,” Hansen said. “She knows how to give the right speeches and knows how to inspire us.”

DePeters has been there from the start and she has been pushing her every day to get better.

“Her as a coach and as a person are so different. I have found that out with every coach I ever had,” Hansen said. “Off the court, she is a fun person, but when it comes to practice and game she is very serious and doesn’t fool around.”

When it comes to game time, DePeters takes her job very seriously. Despite having a rough season, her overall record in the past five seasons is 103-67.

Former outside hitter Hannah Renaldo has met with the team several times, and has given the players confidence and hope that they will become stronger in the next couple of years.

Hansen leads the team in points with 312 and in kills with 262. She also has 197 digs, which is third on the team behind Chapman and sophomore defensive specialist Victoria Rigler.

The last time a freshman has recorded more than 250 kills was Renaldo back in 2012. Hansen is also getting close to 300 kills. The last time a freshman recorded 300 kills was when former middle hitter Sam Parente had 303 kills in 2011.

“I’m so happy to be on the court,” Hansen said. “In the game, it is so different than being in practice. I get to learn what is going on on the other side of the court, and get to pick up my volleyball IQ.”

This past week, Hansen put up good numbers. Her 14 kills and 16 digs helped the team run over Medaille in straight sets. This ended the Bengals’ 13-game losing streak.

The Bengals then traveled to Cortland to participate in the final round of SUNYAC play. Hansen had a good weekend with a combined 36 kills, but it wasn’t good enough as the team ended up losing to New Paltz, Geneseo and Plattsburgh.

The volleyball team is 6-23 overall and 0-9 in conference play. They are in last place in the SUNYAC and have been eliminated from playoff contention.

Next up for the Bengals is their final three games of the season. They will go to New York City to participate in the New York Region Challenge at NYU. They will play Rowan on Friday and then Montclair State University and New York University on Saturday.

Hansen’s passion for volleyball and skill set has led to her early success. It hasn’t led to wins, but she believes this team can be at a championship-level down the road.

“The more we play with each other the more consistent we will be,” Hansen said. “We know we are going to get there eventually, we definitely have the talent, we’re just trying to find that one thing that connects it all.”


email: [email protected]


Twitter: @Jacob_Fyock