Hansen served up volleyball scholarship
With a smile and a stroke of her pen, senior volleyball standout Laura Hansen closed a glorious chapter of the North Tahoe prep sports storybook.Early last week, Hansen signed a national letter of intent to play Division 1 volleyball for Central Connecticut State University on a full-ride athletic scholarship.For the last three years Hansen has been the backbone of a talented North Tahoe volleyball program. Starting on the varsity team beginning her sophomore year, Hansen has been the pillar of the lineup for Lakers head coach Tom LeFevers.Laura has been the heart and soul of North Tahoe girls volleyball for the last few years, LeFevers said. Without her we would have been an average team.This past season was her best effort yet. She was captain of the team, as well as the team leader in aces, blocks and kills. In 28 matches, Hansen averaged 8.9 kills, 1.8 aces and 3.5 blocks. Twice she tallied more than 20 kills in a match.Hansens stellar ability at the net is in no small part due to her graceful 6-foot-2 stature and year-round zeal for playing volleyball. Since 2002 she has also played club volleyball for Capital City Volleyball Club. Traveling to out-of-state club tournaments increased her exposure on the national level. I found out about Central Connecticut State at the Crossroads Club Volleyball tournament in Colorado, Hansen said. Crossroads is one of the biggest recruiting tournaments in the country.After the tournament Central Connecticut coaches contacted her Capital City club coach, Anson Mullen.I went to Central Connecticut for an unofficial visit and met the team, coaches and academic advisor, Hansen said. It was a wonderful experience. When I got home they offered me a scholarship. The Central Connecticut State Blue Devils are located in New Britain, Conn., and compete in the Northeast Conference. CCSU coach Linda Sagnelli is well aware that she landed a real talent in Hansen.We are thrilled to have someone of Lauras academic and athletic ability join our program, Sagnelli said. She has tremendous potential and we will look to her to strengthen our team with her court presence.The feelings are mutual, as Hansen is ecstatic about the opportunity to play at CCSU.It feels unreal; not sure how to explain it. I cant stop smiling, Hansen said.Fitting for her insatiably competitive spirit, Hansen also has high academic aspirations at CCSU. She plans to study biology as a pre-med major.Moving from Nevada 2A volleyball to college Division 1 play will undoubtedly bring new challenges for Hansen.The level of competitive intensity will be tremendous, she said. All the girls are there to play volleyball.But despite what will surely be an overload of new experiences, Hansen feels ready.I am looking forward to the full experience of playing college volleyball, Hansen said. Living and playing with other girls who have played lots of volleyball should be really exciting.While swatting kills for the Blue Devils next fall, shell definitely be missed at North Tahoe. But she, and all her friends, family and teammates will always remember her Laker glory days. Im gonna miss playing with my childhood friends, Hansen said. We have had so much fun playing together, Ill miss our inside jokes.
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