ON CAMPUS: Skinner on the road to recovery at Hartford
EDITOR’S NOTE: On Campus features graduates of area high schools who are playing college sports. This weekly installment appears every Friday in The Indiana Gazette throughout the school year. If you know of anyone who should be featured or included, email Mirza Zukic at firstname.lastname@example.org or call (724) 465-5555, ext. 267.
Katelyn Skinner is sticking to her commitment.
Although her first two seasons of college basketball haven’t quite played out how she envisioned them, the Homer City native is on the upswing and determined to see her plan through.
A sophomore guard on the University of Hartford women’s basketball team, Skinner is doing much better than she was at this time last season, but she’s still recovering from a painful foot injury.
“It took basically a whole year for my foot to heel from surgery last year,” Skinner said. “In the beginning of this season, I would have some problems here and there, but it wasn’t anything I couldn’t play through. It wasn’t bad like last year.”
Early in her freshman season last year, Skinner was bothered by a nagging ankle injury, and she had surgery on the ankle in October 2012.
She ended up appearing in four games, playing a total of 12 minutes and attempting one shot during her freshman season.
More than a year later, as the Hartford women prepared for their season opener on Nov. 9, Skinner was feeling a lot better.
Skinner has appeared in 14 of the Eagles’ 24 games, and she averages 2.3 points in 6.3 minutes per game.
Despite her limited playing time, the sharp-shooting Skinner believes her time will come to be a key contributor to the program, and she said she is not considering transferring somewhere in order to play more.
“I definitely think I’m gonna stay here,” the 2012 Homer-Center graduate said. “As far as my personal potential, having major surgery last year kind of set me back, and I’ve worked hard this year to get back to 90 percent. I’m still getting back to where I was. It’s a slow process.
“As far as my future here, I’m going to be even healthier soon, and my ability to do the extra workouts and go the extra mile will help me reach my potential and be the player I was recruited to be. I’m looking forward to it after sitting out a year and this year, still a rocky path. Each year is going to be a building step, but the end goal that I wanted when I came to Hartford was to play for coach (Jennifer) Rizzotti and to win, so I’m going to stick to that.”
She has made 11 of 26 field goal attempts (42.3 percent) this season, and she leads the team in 3-point shooting percentage, 43.5 percent (10 of 23).
A Division I program, Hartford competes in the America East Conference.
EMILY DAUGHERTY (Lock Haven, basketball): A fixture in the Bald Eagles’ starting lineup, Daugherty is one of the few bright spots for the struggling program.
A junior and a graduate of Ligonier Valley, she ranks second on the team in scoring with 13.5 points per game in 18 games, including 17 starts. She also averages 4.2 rebounds and 1.7 assists per game.
She’s shooting 41 percent on the season (88-for-213), and she leads the team in 3-pointers made (27) and 3-point shooting percentage (31.8 percent).
Daugherty scored a career-best 33 points in the Bald Eagles second game of the season against NYIT on Nov. 15. She has scored 20-plus points three times this season.
With three games remaining, Lock Haven (4-18) is closing out its eighth consecutive losing season.
The Bald Eagles have lost six straight games, including Wednesday’s 63-59 overtime loss to West Chester. They visit Mansfield on Saturday in search of a season sweep of the Mounties.
OLIVIA SIPOS (Washington & Jefferson, basketball): An Indiana graduate, Sipos has seen action sparingly in her sophomore season with the Presidents.
A backup guard, Sipos has appeared in three games and played 10 minutes, but she’s made the most of it, scoring nine points for a season average of 3.0 points per game. She has made both of her field goal attempts on the season, both 3-pointers, and she’s 3-for-4 from the free throw line.
She has not appeared in a game since Dec. 29, when the Presidents beat host school Lehman College in the Coaches vs. Cancer Basketball Classic in the Bronx.
A member of the Presidents’ Athletic Conference, Washington & Jefferson (15-7, 10-5) is in third place in the PAC with three regular-season games remaining. The Presidents visit Chatham on Saturday.
JEAN BUJDOS and KAYLA PERCIC (Seton Hill, track and field): A long-distance specialist, Bujdos had her best showing of the indoor season at the West Virginia Open on Jan. 18. She earned a fifth-place finish in the 3,000-meter run.
An Indiana graduate, Bujdos followed that up with a 12th-place finish in the same race on Jan. 25 at the Spire Open in Geneva, Ohio, with a season-best time of 10:51.60.
An Apollo-Ridge graduate, Percic posted a pair of top-30 finishes at the Youngstown State National Invitational a week ago. Additionally, she hit season highs in both the shot put and weight throw. She reached the 30-foot plateau in the shot put (30-0¼) for the first time this season while improving on her season-best throw in the weight throw by more than 3 feet (36-0¾).
In the season-opening Tiffin Open, Percic earned a seventh-place finish in the shot put for her only top-10 finish of the season.
IAN SHEPHARD (Bethany, soccer): An Indiana graduate, Shephard is a sophomore midfielder for the Bison men’s soccer team.
Shephard appeared in 14 games with one start last fall. He scored his first career goal in a 6-0 win over Penn State-Beaver on Oct. 19, and he registered a career-high three shots in that game.
Shephard finished with four points on the season (one goal, two assists).
As a freshman in 2012, Shephard appeared in nine games and made one start.
Bethany went 7-12-1 last season and didn’t make the playoffs.