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Bishop Canevin duo finds success with Point Park

| Wednesday, Dec. 18, 2013, 9:00 p.m.
Photo courtesy of Point Park Athletics
Carly Forse has averaged 9.2 points and 6.9 rebounds per game as a freshman for Point Park.

Stepping onto the court with a college basketball team and finding a role as a freshman can be a challenge for any basketball player.

Bishop Canevin alumni Carly Forse and Celina DiPietro have made it look easy.

The freshman duo cracked the Point Park starting five and has been a major part of the Pioneers' 10-0 start, which is just three games shy from breaking the school's record win streak.

“It was really unexpected,” Forse said. “You come into your first year of college not knowing how the team will play. But once we got on the court, we realized we had a chance of being successful.”

Both players said the biggest adjustment has been getting used to the speed of the college game.

Forse has averaged 9.2 points and 6.9 rebounds — second on the team in boards. She also leads Point Park with 24 steals this season.

“I am used to being a big contributor,” Forse said. “It's kind of like what I did at Canevin. The only difference is I need to box out more in rebounding because there are taller girls in the league.”

DiPietro has averaged 8.6 points.

DiPietro suffered a tear in her knee ligaments eight games into the season. The injury occurred Nov. 25 in a 67-51 win at Wilberforce, where she recorded four points, two rebounds, a pair of assists and a steal.

“I finished the game,” DiPietro said. “I expected to be fine. I had some pain the next day. But then I went for an MRI, and the results showed a tear.”

She is out for six weeks while undergoing physical therapy. If there is no improvement, she will need to undergo surgery that will sideline her for the rest of the season.

Alexa Xenakis — a 2012 Keystone Oaks grad — has filled in for DiPietro and averaged 9.6 points. Ten of the 17 players on the roster have a background in the WPIAL.

“It makes you feel more comfortable,” DiPietro said. “A lot of my teammates come from the same competition and have had the same experience as I have.”

Point Park entered the week ranked No. 21 in the NAIA Division II coaches' top-25 poll and is one of four undefeated teams. The team is 2-0 in Kentucky Intercollegiate Athletic Conference play.

The strong start has given the team a taste of success it doesn't want to lose

“I just want to keep doing my job,” Forse said. “I want to contribute as much as I can as a freshman. The goal is to win the conference and go further. I will do anything I can as a freshman to help the senior go out as winners.”

The Pioneers return to the court at 2 p.m. today, Thursday, when they host Mt. Vernon Zararene.

Nathan Smith is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. Reach him at nsmith@tribweb.com or via Twitter @NSmith_Trib.

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