Seton Hill’s Megan Marecic makes most of only chance with Griffins
Megan Marecic won a WPIAL basketball championship at Bethel Park, and she hit double-digit scoring in six consecutive games during her senior season at Drexel.
Still, those impressive accomplishments didn’t soothe Marecic’s nerves when she decided to join the team at Seton Hill.
“I was very nervous,” Marecic said. “I’m a grad student, and I’m only going to be here one year. I wasn’t sure what their reaction would be.”
Marecic, a 5-foot-11 guard/forward, had a year of eligibility remaining after graduating from Drexel — she received a redshirt her sophomore year to treat a couple of medical problems — but she was not certain if playing college basketball remained an option.
She looked at schools with physician assistant grad programs. The majority did not allow students to participate in athletics.
“Seton Hill was one of the schools that allowed people to play,” Marecic said.
That made Seton Hill the top choice for Marecic, but the Griffins roster for this season was already in place when she got together with coach Mark Katarski in late June to discuss joining the team.
After a few logistics were figured out, Marecic started familiarizing herself with her future teammates.
It was an easy transition.
“Those players welcomed her right away,” Katarski said. “Of course, Megan’s also done her part to assimilate quickly. She’s a grad student, but she’s definitely made an effort to be a part of this team.”
Marecic, who is pursuing an MBA in health care management while waiting to get into the physician assistant program, has been an integral part of Seton Hill’s success.
The Griffins are 9-4 and 3-3 in the rugged West Division of the Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference after having a three-game win streak snapped Saturday at Edinboro. Marecic scored 24 points in the loss — the fifth time she has scored 20 points or more in Seton Hill’s last seven games — and collected a career-high 15 rebounds for her fourth consecutive double-double. Her 17.8 scoring average leads the team and is tied for ninth in the PSAC.
“There’s two things that come to mind that she’s brought to this team,” Katarski said. “Her experience was something we were open to from the start. She went through four years of Division I basketball, and she has a knack for scoring, which has certainly fed into this group.”
Marecic has contributed more than offense.
She leads the Griffins in rebounding (8.7 average), 3-pointers (36) and free-throw percentage (88.6). Her 20 steals are tied for the team lead, and her 33 assists rank third.
Marecic quickly adjusted to Seton Hill’s fast-paced style — the Griffins average 81 points — but becoming part of the team fabric is where she displayed the most speed. Marecic is just as excited to talk about team movie nights as she is recalling Seton Hill’s record-setting 127-99 win against West Virginia State on Dec. 14 at McKenna Center.
“I’m only playing on this team for a year, but these are the people I’ll still be talking to after I’m done playing,” Marecic said. “Basketball has taken me to so many different places. I’ve been really lucky, and I really appreciate that it’s brought me here.”
Navigating the PSAC West won’t be easy. Seton Hill’s final two games of the regular season are against nationally ranked Cal (Pa.) and IUP.
Still, Marecic’s presence has added to Seton Hill’s depth and chemistry, and the Griffins are eyeing a deep run in the conference tournament, which could lead to a Division II Tournament berth.
“She came in here with so much experience and so much knowledge,” teammate Cheyenne Trest said. “She’s a great shooter and a great hustler. Her leadership and her mentality for her first year being here, it’s like she’s been here for years.”
Mike Kovak is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Mike at email@example.com or via Twitter @MKovak_Trib.