Women’s basketball freshmen

By Diana Campeggio
January 12, 2011

Lady Cavs welcomes Class of 2014

Maggie McElroy #20:

Coming from a family of athletes, basketball was something that seemed to come naturally to McElroy.  A Baltimore, M.D., native, McElroy, a forward for the team, has spent the last 14 years playing basketball throughout different teams in Baltimore, including her high school team at Maryvale Prep in Brooklandville, M.D.

After visiting Cabrini College, McElroy fell in love with the small-school atmosphere of the college and after meeting with the coaching staff, she made the decision that Cabrini was where she wanted to play.  McElroy values the competitive nature of the game, as well as building a family within her teammates.  In her time at Cabrini, the team has played games in Madison Square Garden, as well as several games in San Juan, Puerto Rico.  The traveling is the something that McElroy enjoys most about playing for Cabrini.

Balancing a rigorous practice schedule with school work is something that has helped McElroy with time management skills.  “You just need to learn time management and find the time to have a social life,” McElroy said.

Annie Rivituso #35:

Having a father for a basketball couch influenced Rivituso to become interested in the game of basketball at a young age.  After her father pushed her sister to play, Rivituso followed suit and also has been playing for the past 15 years of her life.  She attended St. Mark’s High School in Wilmington, D.E., where she played as a guard and forward.

This early education major became interested in Cabrini after being recruited by the couching staff.  Rivituso was first influenced by the great education programs that exist at Cabrini, and then was won over by the campus.  Traveling with the Cavaliers to play in both San Juan, Puerto Rico and Madison Square Garden has been the most memorable experiences since the start of the her freshmen year.

Rivituso describes herself as a competitive person and fell in love with the competitive nature of the games.  “When I’m on the basketball court, I forget everything and can get all my frustrations out,” Rivituso said.

Leithie Faison #33:

This political science major values the fun of the game of basketball over all else.  Faison, a guard on the team, grew up in Lebanon, P.A., where she played basketball for 10 years, primarily outside of any sports organizations.  She then attended Cedar Crest High School in Lebanon, where she played basketball for two of the four years there.

Faison grew interested in basketball because of her love for a particular player.  “I thought Allen Iverson was the greatest player in the world and I wanted to be the female version of him,” Faison said.

Faison values the experience she is getting by playing for Cabrini and building the friendships of the team.  To Faison, the girls on the team make playing worthwhile and the fun of playing the game is what makes her such a dedicated player on the team.

Being able to balance schoolwork and her practice schedule is something that Faison continues to keep under control.  “Being able to play basketball in college is a privilege and you need to get school work out of the way in order to enjoy it,” Faison said.

Colleen Stewart #21:

The love of basketball runs in Stewart’s family and this exercise science major developed an interest for the game at a young age.  Stewart, a forward for the team, is an Eastchester, N.Y., native and has been playing basketball for 14 years.  She attended Eastchester High School in her hometown and played as a forward there for four years.

The feeling of winning a game and her competitive nature is what drives Stewart, as well as the connection she has with her teammates.  She enjoys the camaraderie of the women’s team.  “The girls made it easy to transition coming from high school and not knowing anyone and we have a lot of fun together,” Stewart said.

After being recruited, Stewart toured Cabrini and enjoyed both the coaches and atmosphere of the campus.  She also was interested in the opportunities that Cabrini offered for her.  Stewart continues to keep her priorities straight and focuses on getting her schoolwork out of the way so she can place all her attention on playing the game.

Michelle Petronaci #10:

Petronaci, a forward on the team and business major, lives for the adrenaline rush that pulses through her while she is on the basketball court.  She describes herself as emotional about the games she plays and the excitement she feels while on the court.

Petronaci’s father, who was a couch for a local team, is credited for introducing her to the sport of basketball.  “My father was really big into couching basketball so he just threw me in,” Petronaci said.  She has been playing basketball for 14 years in her hometown of Verona, N.J., and attended Verona High School, where she continued to play.

Upon visiting Cabrini, Petronaci instantly felt comfortable.  “I didn’t feel like I was just being recruited.  I felt like Coach Kate wanted me on her team,” Petronaci said.

Petronaci appreciates the bond she has gained with her teammates and has enjoyed becoming a family with them.

Amanda Cundari #12:

Cundari, a guard for the team, has spent the last 10 years focusing her life around basketball.  After a push from her parents at a young age, basketball became a large part of Cundari’s life and she played on several travel and AU teams.  “It just stuck,” Cundari said.

Cundari, a communication major, is from Howell, N.J., and attended Howell High School, where she played as a guard for four years.  After being recruited to play for Cabrini, Cundari favored the small-school feeling of the campus.

Cundaris’ love for the game is very strong and she enjoys the fun she has playing. “I enjoyed scrimmaging and being able to play freely, I just love the game,” Cundari said.

She also enjoys being able to play with her teammates and the friendships that have been created on this team.  Cundari values her teammates the amount of time they spend, on and off the court, has made them become very close.

Brittany Sandone #22:

Sandone, an elementary education major, has spent practically her entire life involved in the game of basketball, being that she has been playing since the age of 4.  Influenced by older cousins that had played, Sandone has had basketball in her life since she was a child growing up in Harleysville, P.A.  Sandone attended Souderton High School and played as a guard for all four years there.

Once she was recruited, Sandone toured the campus and fell in love with the basketball program.  “I talked to coach and I loved the way that she runs her program, so it seemed like a perfect fit,” Sandone said.

Being part of the basketball team made the transition from high school to college smoother for Sandone and she found it easier to feel at home.  “I think that being on a team made it easier to meet people than just coming to a school,” Sandone said.

Sandone loves the competition of the game of basketball and found it easy to balance both a social life and a practice schedule.  “The group of basketball girls are my social life,” Sandone said.

MaryKate McCann #23:

McCann, a guard on the team, has found the time in her college career to balance basketball practices, schoolwork and working two jobs.  Unlike some of the other players on the team, McCann works at a local pizzeria, Pat’s Pizza of Drexel Hill, as well as spends time babysitting for extra money.   To balance all of her responsibilities, McCann said she has to prioritize and make many sacrifices to get what is important out of the way.

McCann, a communication major, has been playing basketball since she was five years old and came from a family of female basketball athletes.  Her aunt and mother influenced McCann to begin playing at a young age and the game stuck with her.  She attended Archbishop Carroll High School of Radnor, where she played as a guard for all four years.

McCann is a commuter to Cabrini and after being recruited by Cabrini coaches, she enjoyed the idea of staying close to her hometown of Drexel Hill.   Upon joining the team, McCann found it easy to get to know the players on the team, on and off the court.  She enjoys working together with her teammates during a game.

“When you are on a team, you get to know people faster,” McCann said.

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Diana Campeggio

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