First Row: Abby Batdorf, Morgan DeMann, Helen Doolittle. Second Row: Lindsey Hanks, Alex Hibbs, Megan Johnson. Not Pictured: Rachel Couch.
Liberty field hockey head coach Jodi Murphy has announced the first wave of student-athletes who have signed national letters of intent to participate in the Lady Flames' inaugural season of competition. The seven signees are all 2011 high school graduates and will enroll at Liberty for the 2011-12 academic year.
Regarding the initial seven signees, Murphy commented, "We are incredibly blessed to welcome this first wave of signees to the Liberty University Women's Field Hockey Program. This recruiting class marks the beginning of what I believe is going to be a very exciting journey. Each of these young ladies embodies the characteristics of what it takes to start a program. They have excelled on the field, in the classroom and within their community. They carry with them a strong desire to be leaders committed to cultivating our tradition of excellence."
Murphy has also provided reflection on each signee, describing their skills and how she foresees them making an impact during Liberty field hockey's first season.
Abby Batdorf (F, 5-3, Pottstown, Pa.) Batdorf will come to Liberty after being a three-year letter winner and two-year starter at Owen J. Roberts High School. During her junior and senior campaigns, she helped her team finish as PAC-10 Conference Champions, leading to district qualifications each year. In 2009, her squad also qualified for the Pennsylvania state tournament and finished the year with a 17-4-1 record. As a senior, she led her team in scoring while serving as team captain. Batdorf also brings a variety of club experience, as she has competed on an indoor team, participating in the Disney Showcase (2010), National Indoor Tournament (2007, 2009-11) and the National Field Hockey Festival (2010). Batdorf is a National Honor Society member.
"Abby will be a great addition to our first incoming class. She has a tenacious spirit and is a true competitor. She sees the game very well and will be an asset for us on the forward line."
Rachel Couch (D/M, 5-7, Camp Hill, Pa.) A three-year letter winner and starter, Couch has been honored on several occasions during her time at East Pennsboro Area High School. In 2010, as a senior, she was named to the Mid-Penn All-Star first team, while also earning Pennsylvania field hockey Academic All-State honors. In 2009, Couch helped her team advance to the district finals. She also competes on the club level, serving as captain in 2009 and 2010 for her East Coast club team. Additionally, the Camp Hill, Pa., native has competed at the Field Hockey Festival in 2009 and 2010 and in 2011 traveled to Barbados to compete against their national team.
Couch also holds a variety of academic accomplishments, including being her class valedictorian, and being a member of the National Honor Society. She is also very active in the community, being involved in clubs and organizations such as Key Club and The United Way.
"Rachel comes to Liberty ready for the Division I challenge. I am very impressed with her commitment to excellence in striving towards being the best she can be in all realms of her life. She has a "don't settle" mentality that I think others will latch onto and follow."
Morgan DeMann (D, 5-4, Marathon, N.Y.) DeMann, a four-year varsity starter at Whitney Point High School, has helped lead her team to the sectional finals in each of her four seasons. In 2007 and 2008, the team finished as runners-up before being champions in 2009 and 2010. She has been honored as MVP at the Greene Tournament. DeMann has competed for several club teams and has taken part in the Disney Showcase (2009-10), National Indoor Tournament (2011) and the Field Hockey Festival (2009). She is a National Honor Society member while also lettering in indoor track and softball, both in 2010.
"Morgan comes from a great hockey region. She has a wealth of experience playing against some of the best high school talent. She is a strong defender that will make big plays for us in our inaugural season."
Helen Doolittle (D, 5-9, Lancaster, Pa.) Doolittle has lettered and started at Penn Manor High School two years while earning numerous personal and team accolades. She has been selected as a first team All-Star for Section I, in addition to being named second team All-State and to the Lancaster-Lebanon All-League team. Her team has been Section I champions four-straight years while claiming the Lancaster-Lebanon Championship in 2009 and 2010. The team has also been to the PIAA District III finals the last two years, coming out victorious in 2009 and earning runner-up honors in 2010. Doolittle has competed on the PennLanco Club team, taking part in the Disney Showcase, the National Indoor Tournament and the Indoor Keystone Games.
She has also lettered four years with track and field, including being a discus district qualifier. Doolittle is a National Honor Society member and has held several All-Academic honors. Her sister, Ruth, plays field hockey at Houghton and will enter her senior season in the fall.
"Helen knows what it takes to win. She comes from an excellent high school and club program where she has had superb coaching. She is a student of the game and will certainly help anchor our backfield in the fall."
Lindsey Hanks (F, 5-1, Midlothian, Va.) Hanks is a three-year letter winner and two-year starter at Cosby High School. She has been given the best offense award on her team, while being named to the second team All-Dominion district. Her team has finished as Dominion District champions on two occasions, while being two-year Central Region runners-up and two-time quarterfinalists at the state level. The Midlothian, Va., native is a member of National Honor Society and has lettered one year for soccer.
"Lindsey is full of energy. She is a feisty, scrappy forward that has a strong work ethic. She has the potential to develop into a real offensive threat that will push our tempo in the right direction."
Alex Hibbs (F/M/D, 5-5, Coatesville, Pa.) Hibbs comes to Liberty as a three-year starter at the varsity level for Downington West High School. This year, she served as a senior captain and helped lead the team to its sixth-consecutive Chesmont Championship, four of which she was a part of. She has been named as a "Player to Watch" by the Daily Local News and holds second team All-Chesmont and honorable mention All-Area honors. Her club team has competed at nationals on three occasions. Hibbs is a National Honor Society member while also taking part in Fellowship of Christian Athletes.
"Alex will be a player to watch in the future of Liberty Field Hockey. She is a versatile player that has good speed and size. Her competitive spirit coupled with her confidence will serve her well at this level."
Megan Johnson (D, 5-5, Suffolk, Va.) Johnson has earned three letters and been a three-year starter while at Lakeland High School. She has been named to the All-Southeastern team each of her years, including to the first team in 2010. As a senior, she was also named to the first team All-Eastern Region, first team All-Tidewater, first team All-State and as a defensive MVP. Her team has been Southeastern District Champions each of her years on the team, while reaching the AAA State quarterfinals in 2009 and being AAA State champions in 2010. Playing as a defender, her team only allowed three goals during all of 2010.
Johnson is a National Honor Society member, and also lettered and started in softball (three years), soccer (one year) and cross country (three years).
"Megan is coming off an undefeated season that led to a state championship in the state of Virginia. She knows what a competitive, winning culture looks like and will definitely be a leader among her peers. She is a fierce defender that has great passion for the game. Her positive attitude and commitment to excellence are unprecedented in a player her age."
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