2016-04-08 / Sports Spotlight

Red Storm senior will attend Emmanuel

By Michael Kelley Staff Writer


Emily Hanson shares a laugh with Scarborough High School volleyball coach Jon Roberts and Emmanuel College women’s volleyball coach Denitra Seals as she signs an athletic form to play volleyball at the Division 3 college in Boston in the fall. (Michael Kelley photo) Emily Hanson shares a laugh with Scarborough High School volleyball coach Jon Roberts and Emmanuel College women’s volleyball coach Denitra Seals as she signs an athletic form to play volleyball at the Division 3 college in Boston in the fall. (Michael Kelley photo) When Scarborough High School senior Emily Hanson was looking for a college to attend next year, it was all about chemistry. Luckily for Hanson, she was able to find that both academically and athletically at Emmanuel College, a Division III Catholic liberal arts school in Boston.

Last week, Hanson officially decided to play volleyball at Emmanuel College in the fall by signing a celebratory athletics form.

Hanson said she originally intended to go to college in the south and was looking at Duke University and High Point University in North Carolina, where she was born. Her search, however, eventually led to schools in the Northeast and finally Boston.


The defensive skills of Emily Hanson helped the Scarborough High School volleyball team win its first Class A state title in October. Next fall, Hanson will be suiting up for Emmanuel College (File photo) The defensive skills of Emily Hanson helped the Scarborough High School volleyball team win its first Class A state title in October. Next fall, Hanson will be suiting up for Emmanuel College (File photo) “When I got to the school, something just clicked. It felt like home,” said Hanson, who due to an interest in genetics will study biochemistry in college. Hanson, who is also passionate about ceramics, painting and photography, said she was also interested in the college’s art offerings.

Hanson said she originally wasn’t looking to play volleyball in college, but changed her mind after further reflection.

“I knew I couldn’t be me without it. It keeps me structured. It keeps me balanced. I owe so much about me to this sport,” said Hanson, who help lead Scarborough to its first volleyball title in October.

A visit to Emmanuel College earlier this year reinforced that thought. During her overnight visit, Hanson was able to take in a men’s volleyball game and play with some of the women’s team.

“We just clicked immediately,” Hanson said of her future teammates. “Usually chemistry is a hard thing to build. You need to get to know them as a person and as a player.”

Scarborough head volleyball coach Jon Roberts, who attended the signing along with many of Hanson’s Red Storm teammates, said he is glad Hanson is getting a chance to take her game to college.

“She’s been a great player for a long time,” Roberts said. “She’s played on a lot of good teams and waited, worked hard and earned her spot. This year she just grabbed it and ran with it, made the most of it and really made it her team.”

After taking part in a series of sports over the years, including basketball, swimming, dancing and soccer, Hanson fell in love with volleyball after being introduced to the sport five years ago.

“It has this electricity to it. You can’t do anything without your team. You need the defense. You need the setter to set up the ball, you need a hitter to execute the play. You can’t just rely on one player or a small group. You need the entire team,” said Hanson, who played libero, a defensive specialist position that can substitute for back row players at will.

Emmanuel College women’s volleyball coach Denitra Seals, who also attended the signing, said she likes to recruit versatile athletes like Hanson.

“She’s a great passer. She has great intuition on the court, but most important she is very versatile,” said Seals, who has been coaching the Emmanuel team for the last 14 years, including the last nine as head coach. “I’ll probably use her as a defensive specialist. If we need to put her in as a setter, she said she is willing to do it.”

Seals saw Hanson play, both in person and via video and thought “she should be part of my team and would be a strong asset to my program.”

Next year Hanson will join freshman Sarah Bradley (Kennebunk High School Class of 2015) as the only two Mainers on the team. Seals said she has been “successful with Maine players” and although the state is not noted for volleyball, it still produces athletes like Hanson who can help shape college volleyball programs across the country.

The Emmanuel College women’s volleyball team is coming off a 12-16 season (8-3 within the Great Northeast Athletic Conference).

Staff Writer Michael Kelley can be reached at news@scarboroughleader.com.

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