In the spring 2016 edition of Sports Shorts, we cover SU's selection as a finalist for the Division II Award of Excellence, volleyball's best season in school history, the wrap-up of another successful football season, and impressive finishes by both men's and women's cross country at the end of their seasons. Several Ship coaches have made school history and have received honors as well. For the most up-to-date sports, visit shipraiders.com.
For the second consecutive year, Shippensburg University has been selected
as one of 25 finalists for the Division II Award of Excellence. The selection is based on the work of SU’s Student-Athlete Advisory Committee (SAAC) for its Don’t Say campaign, which launched in March 2015 in conjunction with SU’s annual Day of Human Understanding. Don’t Say was created to educate the campus community and the public regarding inappropriate language directed toward various groups both in and out of the realm of sport.
Shippensburg had its best season in school history, winning the Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference (PSAC) Championship for the first time and matching a school record for victories (30). SU finished 30-9 overall and 16-6 in the PSAC Eastern Division (East No. 2 seed) in qualifying for the NCAA Tournament.
Head Coach Leanne Piscotty was named the 2015 American Volleyball Coaches Association (AVCA) Atlantic Region Coach of the Year. SU has reached the PSAC Tournament in nine consecutive seasons and in 10 of 12 seasons overall during her tenure, and in 2015, earned its highest-ever NCAA Tournament seed (No. 3). SU lost in the opening round to rival Gannon in four sets.
Freshman Morgan DeFloria was named the PSAC Tournament MVP and was selected to the NCAA Atlantic Region All-Tournament Team. Junior setter Maura Nolan was named to the All-PSAC East First Team, American Volleyball Coaches Association (AVCA) Atlantic Region Team and Division II Conference Commissioners Association (CCA) All-Atlantic Region Second Team, with Gottshall earning All-PSAC East Second Team honors, AVCA Atlantic Region Honorable Mention, and CCA All-Region Second Team plaudits. Gottshall finished her career as the PSAC’s all-time record holder for career block assists, totaling 476 in 147 career matches. She is one of just four players ever in PSAC history to total more than 600 total blocks.
SU finished 8-3, marking the first time since 1974-78 that the Red Raiders have had five straight winning seasons. Head Coach Mark Maciejewski is the second coach in school history to begin his SU tenure with five straight winning seasons.
Eight players earned All-PSAC East honors, with senior Sheldon Mayer earning First Team merits as both a wide receiver and return specialist. Senior Cortlin Dell, junior Allen Holman, and sophomore Billy Deane earned First Team accolades along with redshirt freshman Richard Nase, who was the first rookie from any school named to the All-PSAC East First Team Defen-sive squad since 2004 and the first rookie defensive lineman to be honored in more than 20 years. Senior Andrew Smith, sophomore Schuyler Harting, and junior Hayden Rigo earned Second Team honors.
Mayer was named to the 2015 Associated Press Little All-America Third Team as an
all-purpose player and to the 2015 Division II Conference Commissioners Association (CCA) All-America Football Second Team as a return specialist. Nase earned CCA All-Region Second Team honors.
SU set 19 new school records in 2015, including just ten team giveaways, twelve sacks by Nase, three punt-return touchdowns by Mayer, 92 points by Deane, and 1,831 all-purpose yards by Mayer.
Shippensburg finished with a 13-5 overall record, reaching the PSAC Quarterfinals but losing in overtime to Bloomsburg, 3-2. For the first time in 15 years, SU did not reach the PSAC Semifinals.
SU had five players named to the All-PSAC squads. Sophomore forward Emily Barnard, sophomore midfielder Kylie Huffman, junior defender Taylor Fisher, and senior defender Ari Saytar were named to the Second Team, while junior forward Katelyn Grazan was picked for the Third Team.
Saytar and Barnard were named to the NFHCA All-America Second Team, while Huffman was selected to the Synapse Sports All-America Second Team. Barnard led SU in scoring this season, totaling nine goals and five assists. Saytar had three goals and two assists.
Women's Cross Country
SU qualified for its eighth consecutive NCAA Division II Championships race and its 13th overall after achieving third-place finishes at the 2015 NCAA Atlantic Region Championships and the 2015 PSAC Championships. SU finished 22nd overall at nationals.
Junior Casey Norton was SU’s No. 1 runner in all of her races this season. She earned her first All-PSAC First Team honor, placing ninth at the conference championships before finishing fifth at the regional championships for her third consecutive All-Region performance and her best appearance to date at the Regional Championships.
Four Raiders earned All-PSAC Second Team honors: sophomore Bryanna Dissinger (20th), sophomore Caity Reese (23rd), redshirt freshman Hannah Fulton (29th), and sophomore Emily Kachik (30th). Reese (22nd) joined Norton as an All-Region honoree.
Men's Cross Country
SU posted its third-best finish in history for the men at the NCAA Division II Cross Country Championships, and the best finish by a PSAC school in 15 years. SU placed fifth, just nine points shy of a Top 4 trophy finish.
Senior Austin McGinley earned All-American honors, placing 32nd overall. All five SU scoring runners finished among the Top 75 overall at the NCAA Championships. SU won its second NCAA Atlantic Region Championship in school history, defeating No. 1 regional seed Lock Haven on its home course (35-41). All seven SU runners achieved Top 20 All-Region finishes.
Head Coach Steve Spence was named the 2015 PSAC and USTFCCCA Atlantic Region Men’s Cross Country Coach of the Year. SU had five different No. 1 runners in eight races this season, including a different top finisherin all three postseason races.
Dominic Stroh was named the 2015 PSAC Men’s Cross Country Freshman of the Year. Stroh was the fastest freshman in the Atlantic Regional field, finishing 11th overall.
Four Raiders earned All-PSAC First Team honors: sophomore Alex Balla (4th), junior Kieran Sutton (5th), junior Braden Bruning (7th), and sophomore Calvin Conrad-Kline (13th). Five men earned All-PSAC Second Team honors: sophomore Cole Nissley (17th), Stroh (18th), McGinley (19th), junior Harrison Schettler (24th), and senior Bernard England (26th).
SU posted a 7-9 overall record and 3-8 conference record to finish tied for ninth in the PSAC. Redshirt junior forward Robert Furfaro was named to the 2015-16 Academic All-District 2 Men’s Soccer Squad for NCAA Division II as selected by the College Sports Information Directors of America (CoSIDA). Furfaro, a sup-ply chain management major with a 3.93 GPA, led the team in scoring this season with seven goals and two assists for 16 points.
Furfaro finished ninth in the PSAC in goals and 11th in the PSAC in points. Senior James Connor and sophomore Colten Arnold tied for the team lead with three assists.
SU finished with an 11-7-1 overall record and 9-6-1 PSAC record to finish sixth in the PSAC. SU qualified for the PSAC Tournament for the fourth time under head coach Rob Fulton, losing in double over-time to Slippery Rock in the quarterfinals.
Senior defender Brianna Brancato was named to the 2015 All-Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference (PSAC) Women’s Soccer Second Team. Brancato scored two goals, had two assists, and was one of four players for the Raiders this season to start all 19 games. She was an anchor on defense that yielded slightly more than one goal per game and pitched six shutouts.
Fulton became the all-time coaching wins leader for women’s soccer. Through 10 seasons, he has compiled an 85-85-18 record.
SU was recognized with a 2014-15 College Women’s Team Academic Award by the National Soccer Coaches Association of America (NSCAA), with a 3.42 team GPA.