SU sports briefs: Three Raiders honored for achievements

Feeney hired

Three Raiders earned honors this week as Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference Athletes of the Week.

Hayden Hunt (Shippensburg, Pa./Shippensburg Area), senior Jenna Sluymer (Nieuw-Vennep, The Netherlands/Haarlemmermeer Lyceum, Hoofddorp), and junior defensive back Dante Witcher (Camden, N.J./Timber Creek) received the student awards, according to SU Sports Information Director Bill Morgal.

Men’s Cross Country

Hunt was SU’s pacesetter at the Paul Short Run

three Raiders

Shippensburg University’s Hayden Hunt (Shippensburg, Pa./Shippensburg Area) repeated as the Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference (PSAC) Men’s Cross Country Athlete of the Week after pacing the Raiders at the Paul Short Run last weekend.

Competing in his second collegiate cross country 8K, Hunt toed the line in a Division I-laden field. He posted a time of 25:09.9 in which he averaged around 5:03 per mile. He has served as SU’s No. 1 runner in all four of the team’s races this season.

Shippensburg was one of two NCAA Division II teams that competed in the elite ‘Gold’ race at Lehigh’s prestigious Paul Short Run. The Raiders placed 37th in the team standings.

Field Hockey

Sluymer totaled five goals and two assists in a 2-0 week for the Raiders

READ: Shippensburg University sports: #1 Field hockey defeats Millersville

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Shippensburg University senior Jenna Sluymer (Nieuw-Vennep, The Netherlands/Haarlemmermeer Lyceum, Hoofddorp) is the Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference (PSAC) Field Hockey Athlete of the Week for totaling five goals and two assists in a two-game span.

Both game-winning goals in a 2-0 week came from Sluymer.. Those included a 12-0 home victory over Mercyhurst and a 3-1 road victory at No. 6 East Stroudsburg.

The victory over Mercyhurst saw Sluymer post career highs of four goals and two assists in the Senior Day triumph. She scored a goal in all four quarters, including the only goal of the first quarter. It is her first hat trick of the season and the third of her career.

The victory at East Stroudsburg saw Sluymer score the opening goal of the match just 2:11 into the contest.

Through eight games this season, Sluymer has totaled 10 goals and five assists. She has now scored at least one goal in five consecutive games.

It is the second time in Sluymer’s career that she earned a PSAC Field Hockey Athlete of the Week award. She was recognized Nov. 6, 2018 as a freshman.

National Field Hockey Coaches Association Offensive Player of the week

Shumer  is also this week’s National Field Hockey Coaches Association (NFHCA) Offensive Player of the Week.
 
Sluymer totaled five goals and two assists in a 2-0 week for the Raiders that included a 12-0 home victory over Mercyhurst and a 3-1 road victory at No. 6 East Stroudsburg. Both game-winning goals came from, Sluymer.
 
In Saturday’s victory over Mercyhurst, Sluymer posted career highs of four goals and two assists. She scored a goal in all four quarters, including the only goal of the first quarter. It was her first hat trick of the season and the third of her career.
 
Sluymer scored the opening goal in Wednesday’s match just 2:11 into the contest at East Stroudsburg.
 
It is Sluymer’s first career national honor and the third time this season that a Raider has been honored. Jazmin Petrantonio earned the award on Sept. 8 and Sept. 22.

READ: First in 6 years: West Chester defeated by Raiders

Football Special Teams Athlete of the Week

Witcher returned the opening kickoff 99 yards for a touchdown Saturday at Shepherd

Shippensburg University junior defensive back Dante Witcher (Camden, N.J./Timber Creek) is the Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference (PSAC) Eastern Division Football Special Teams Athlete of the Week for his work as a return specialist on Saturday at Shepherd.

Witcher returned the opening kickoff 99 yards for a touchdown, highlighting a day in which he averaged 54 yards per kickoff return. He had just one kickoff return on the season prior to his breakthrough on Saturday.  

Witcher’s kickoff return touchdown is SU’s first since Andrew Smith in 2014; and its longest since NFL standout Brent Grimes had a 99-yard return for a score at Shepherd in 2005. It is the first time SU took the opening kickoff back for a touchdown since Jeff Fertig (91 yards) at LIU Post on Oct. 3, 2009.

It is the first weekly award for Witcher and the second time this season that an SU football player has been named the Eastern Division Special Teams Athlete of the Week; freshman kicker Jaxson Montross was recognized on Sept. 6, 2021.

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