Teaghan Vogelsong had been planning on playing college volleyball since she was a sophomore at James M. Bennett High School. But her ability to do so hinged on finding somewhere with an occupational therapy program and a volleyball team.
After applying to several schools that fit the bill, she almost had to make a choice of a school where she didn’t get into the highly competitive occupational therapy program.
But when you want something bad enough you figure out a way.
They still wanted her for volleyball, but not wanting to chance that she could get into the program later she started looking for options.
That was where Harcum College came into the picture, and it couldn’t have worked out better. The school offered a two-year associates degree in occupational therapy, and when she made contact, coach Jenn McKeighan was glad to have her come for a visit. She also got out to catch her play at a tournament in Philadelphia.
“I went and loved it and practiced with the team and I fell in love with it,” Vogelsong said. “I just knew that was the place to be.”
The setter has been a fixture on the Clippers squad since she was a freshman and has also played for an Eastern Shore Elite travel team coached by former Clipper coach Chris Emge.
“From the beginning, I knew that was a my position and that was what I wanted to play,” she said. “Being the setter you are kind of like the quarterback of the team. You have to be a really good leader and a team player, and I feel like I fit those qualities pretty well.”
She credits her time with the elite squad with helping to prepare her for the college game.
“It’s a more advanced level and it gets you ready for college,” she said. “Those are pretty much all people who want to play in college. It’s lot different than high school. You play multiple games a day and it is definitely something you need to be fully committed to. If you are not, you aren’t really going to get any use out of it.”
Emge said that having a chance to work with her since she was a freshman has given him the opportunity to see her blossom on the court.
“It all starts with her motivation and determination,” he said. “Over the last two years, she has just transformed her body into an athlete. She lost a ton of weight, put on a ton of muscle.”
“Student of the game”
The setter position she plays is a very athletic one, and people often don’t realize that.
“She was constantly running from sideline to sideline and just putting the ball in perfect locations,” Emge said. “She is a student of the game, always learning always wanting to know what she can do better, and she is a great kid.”
Emge expects her to start out as a leader at Harcum on day one.
That’s also what she did for the Clippers, and that was a big help to coach Yashica Smith
“My first year coming in she was one of the people who I could go to and ask what can I do to motivate or to get the team on track,” Smith said. “She was just the one girl who was wherever I needed her to be. She was one of my biggest supporters coming in as a new coach.”
Smith said she will miss having her presence on the court next year as well as the team will be forced to move forward without it’s floor leader.
Vogelsong’s goal is to transfer to a Division I or a Division II school and work toward a masters degree in occupational therapy and continue playing volleyball.
She doesn’t think she’ll have any trouble adjusting to college, and she’s used to juggling sports and school. And instead of playing high school volleyball and then juggling basketball and club volleyball, things may actually be easier.
“My biggest challenge will be being out of state and away from family can come up see me play,” she said. “Plus Harcum was like the home away from home that I was looking for. I had an instant connection with the team.
“They’ll be like my second family.”
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