Butler County makes impact on Point Park women's basketball program
College Football Videos
The Point Park University women's basketball team has built a powerhouse program.
Butler natives Tony Grenek and Katresa Savisky have played big parts in the Pioneers' transformation.
Grenek, in his third year as head coach, helped guide Point Park to a 77-19 record during his tenure, which has included three consecutive conference tournament championships and trips to the NAIA Division II National Championship tournament.
This year, the Pioneers (29-5) fell to second-seeded Morningside in Sioux City, Iowa, but finished the year with a program-best 29 wins.
“I keep telling people, we are 77-18 the last three years with three conference championships, three tournament titles and three appearances in the national tournament. I don't know another women's program in city that has accomplished that,” Grenek said. “We're hoping these young ladies in the WPIAL might pick us as a place to go to get a successful education and play in a great program.”
Eleven of Point Park's players hailed from Western Pennsylvania, including Savisky, who was one of the team's leaders.
“She is probably the toughest kid I have ever coached. Her engine never quits. She is a hardworking kid,” Grenek said. “She is a great kid, a straight-A student. On the basketball floor, she is always diving for loose balls. She does whatever it takes to win, whether that's playing defense or hitting big shots.”
Savisky, a 2010 Butler graduate, averaged 8.7 points per game this season. She added 5.0 rebounds and 1.8 assists per outing. The senior guard scored 10 points in the team's loss to Morningside.
“She does a little bit of everything for us,” Grenek said. “It seems like she plays her best games when championships are on the line.”
Savisky, a psychology major, has been a key contributor since she transferred to Point Park after her freshman season at Butler County Community College. That season, she led the Pioneers in scoring at 17.2 ppg and helped the squad capture the NJCAA Region 20 championship.
“I have been very fortunate to be part of such great teams the past four years,” she said. “I can't believe I played my last basketball game in Iowa. Everything seems like it's flown by. I had three great years here.”
She has witnessed the Point Park program flourish.
“We're getting a lot of recruits around the WPIAL and we have two from a state championship team,” she said. “Even next year, girls from around the area are very interested. I think it'll be a really good option for girls. Being in the NAIA offers a different type of situation, too.”
Grenek hopes to keep building the program. He had success as the Butler County Community College men's head coach and as an assistant women's coach at Seton Hill.
“We have some nice players coming in next year,” he said. “That's one good thing; if you have a successful program, word starts to spread. Now, we're seen as a first option for a lot of girls. I don't know if it was like that in the past.
“I never want to be in a rebuilding mode. I always want to be coaching for a conference championship. It doesn't matter if we have injuries or we're young, etc. We always want to put ourselves in a position to play for a championship. We never want to rebuild; we want to reload.”
Joe Sager is a freelance writer.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.