| Sports

Larger text Larger text Smaller text Smaller text | Order Photo Reprints

Young players to play key role for Seton Hill women's basketball team

Eric Schmadel | Tribune-Review - Seton Hill women's basketball coach Ferne Labati talks with her squad during a timeout against California (Pa.) on Nov. 25, 2012.
<div style='float:right;width:100%;' align='right'><em>Eric Schmadel  |  Tribune-Review</em></div>Seton Hill women's basketball coach Ferne Labati talks with her squad during a timeout against California (Pa.) on Nov. 25, 2012.
Eric Schmadel | Tribune-Review - Seton Hill guard Kelly Brennan is fouled by Cal U guard Chelsea McKnight during their November 25, 2012 contest in Greensburg.
<div style='float:right;width:100%;' align='right'><em> Eric Schmadel  |  Tribune-Review</em></div>Seton Hill guard Kelly Brennan is fouled by Cal U guard Chelsea McKnight during their November 25, 2012 contest in Greensburg.

College Football Videos

Email Newsletters

Click here to sign up for one of our email newsletters.

'American Coyotes' Series

Traveling by Jeep, boat and foot, Tribune-Review investigative reporter Carl Prine and photojournalist Justin Merriman covered nearly 2,000 miles over two months along the border with Mexico to report on coyotes — the human traffickers who bring illegal immigrants into the United States. Most are Americans working for money and/or drugs. This series reports how their operations have a major impact on life for residents and the environment along the border — and beyond.

Wednesday, Nov. 28, 2012, 12:01 a.m.

It's Meghan In The Middle for the Seton Hill women's basketball team.

The Griffins entered the season as an intriguing melding of four experienced upperclassmen — a group of five players who had combined for a grand total of 383 college minutes — and Meghan Mastroianni.

Mastroianni, a 5-foot-8 guard, was Seton Hill's first option off the bench last season and has moved into the starting lineup this season.

Taking her out of the narrative for the Griffins' 2012-13 campaign, Seton Hill needs its younger players to seize supporting roles around a solid veteran nucleus of Paige Alviani, Tiara Stossel, Katie Gattuso and Clare Berenato.

“We feel if we can be deep, we will be a very good team,” coach Ferne Labati said.

“If our freshmen mature — they're very good players — we will have an opportunity to be very successful in the WVIAC this year.”

Seton Hill's season is its final one in the West Virginia Intercollegiate Athletic Conference before joining the Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference in 2013.

With four of the top five scorers back, the Griffins believe their farewell tour can be a fruitful one.

“We really want to win the WVIAC title and go out strong,” Alviani said.

Alviani, a Hopewell High School graduate, led Seton Hill in scoring as a sophomore last season with 15.5 points per game. The 5-8 Alviani serves as the Griffins' point guard and top assist player.

“Paige can shoot the 3-point shot, Paige can penetrate and get to the rim and Paige can pass the basketball,” Labati said. “So she's very important in our offense in all aspects.

“Last year, everybody keyed on Paige, and this year with the increased depth, we're trying to alleviate that and create more opportunities for her to get a good look at the basket because last year it was very difficult for her to get a good look at the basket.”

That depth was fortified by the addition of freshmen Geena Shrader, Jharrin Gill and Kelly Brennan. Brennan, a 5-7 guard and North Allegheny alum, redshirted last season due to injury but started the first two games of this season.

Monessen graduate Shrader is a 5-8 guard and Hopewell alum Gill is a 5-5 guard.

Guard Megan Mignogna and 5-10 guard/forward Mallory Sanner, a Uniontown native, are sophomores who played sparingly as freshmen last season but are taking on increased roles.

“The freshmen and sophomores are stepping up,” Alviani said. “We've really come together as a team and helped the freshmen pick up the system. ... They don't really act like freshmen.”

Seton Hill needs its younger players to act older because there is only one senior on the roster. Berenato, a 5-10 forward, is the daughter of Pitt women's basketball coach Agnus Berenato. She and Alviani share the role of the Griffins' vocal leaders, Labati said.

Another Seton Hill player who has a coach parent is Gattuso. A 6-0 forward and Seton-La Salle graduate, her father, Greg, is the defensive line coach for the University of Maryland football team.

Katie Gattuso leads Seton Hill in scoring through four games with 14.3 ppg. Stossel, a 5-8 junior guard from Indiana High School, is third on the team behind Alviani with 9.3 ppg.

“When you've got a team where you have a lot of young kids, they've blended in extremely well off the court with the upperclassmen,” Labati said. “It's just a matter of time and getting game experience before they really, really jell.”

Chris Adamski is a freelance writer.

Subscribe today! Click here for our subscription offers.




Show commenting policy

Most-Read District

  1. Shasko aims for fitness, improvement in 2nd season as St. Vincent women’s soccer coach
  2. W&J’s Crossey receiving preseason All-American honors
  3. EF big man Prota part of Pitt-Johnstown’s incoming hoops class
  4. College notes: Harbert honored by D-III coaches
  5. Slippery Rock’s McGraw wants to put program on solid ground