Donatelli making the most out of 1st season with CCAC-Boyce
Regan Donatelli decided to stay local when choosing a college, and CCAC-Boyce in Monroeville was the place for her.
The 2012 Plum graduate also wanted to continue playing basketball, and Boyce women's hoops head coach Dave DeVenzio had a spot for her.
So far, things are working out great for the 5-foot-6 freshman guard.
“The whole team gets along so well,” Donatelli said. “We respond to each other on and off the court. That helps a lot. We practice hard. We jelled so quickly.”
Donatelli averages 11.7 points per game, and, DeVenzio said, she contributes a lot in rebounding and on defense.
“A lot of the time, we put Regan on our opponent's best player,” he said. “She knows the game well and is very aggressive. I've been pleased with her help defense.
“Her rebounding is great. We're not a big team, but, thus far, knock on wood, that hasn't been a problem. We've out-rebounded almost everyone we've played, even though we're smaller. Regan has been a big part of that, because she understands positioning and really going after the ball.”
Boyce beat CCAC-Allegheny last week to improve its record to 10-4 overall and 2-0 in the Western Pennsylvania Collegiate Conference.
It is the first time in DeVenzio's nine-year tenure at Boyce that the team has won more than eight games in a single season.
“This is something new for us,” DeVenzio said.
“We're hoping for big things here.”
DeVenzio said Boyce entered the week not having yet played two of the top teams in the conference — Potomac State (W.Va.) and Westmoreland County Community College.
Boyce was scheduled to face Potomac State on Wednesday in a game that was to be played past the deadline for this week's edition.
A conference clash with Westmoreland CCC is slated for Monday.
Donatelli said a special relationship has grown between her and fellow local graduate Mary Andrejko of Riverview.
Andrejko leads the team in scoring at 19.5 points per game and is seventh in the National Junior College Athletic Association rankings.
“I met Mary at the Cager Classic (all-star) game (in March), and we've only known each other for a couple of months, but I feel like she is part of my family,” Donatelli said. “
“We get along so well on and off the court. It feels like we've been playing basketball together for a long time. I'm glad she made the decision to come here because without her, this season would be so different.”
Andrea Kaiser, a 5-10 forward from Cleveland and the team's leading rebounder, spent a couple of years in the Navy.
“She's shared all of her experiences outside of school with us,” Donatelli said. “She's 24, and it is interesting to play with someone that much older than me. She is a great player and brings a lot to the team.
There are only eight players on the team and a rotation of six or seven, so each player sees a lot of the court.
“We have a lot of talent this year,” DeVenzio said.
“A lot of girls have to go 40 minutes a game. It used to be a struggle, but it's not anymore.”
Donatelli likes that she is on the court a lot.
“I love playing 40 minutes,” she said. “I don't like sitting out. We had to condition ourselves and run a lot to get into shape, but that wasn't a problem.”
CCAC-Boyce has a little more than two weeks left in the regular season, and the WPCC Tournament is Feb. 15 to 17.
The NJCAA Region XX Division III Tournament is Feb. 22 to 24.
Michael Love is a staff writer with Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 412-388-5825 or at firstname.lastname@example.org.