Dacko Inks Five In Early Signing Period
AMHERST, Mass. -- University of Massachusetts head women's basketball coach Marnie Dacko announced today that Kate Mills (Wilmington, Del.), Pam Rosanio (Southampton, Pa.), Kaylie Schiavetta (Northport, N.Y.), Whitney McDonald (Ossining, N.Y.) and Alisha Tatham (Brampton, Ontario) have signed national letters of intent and will play for UMass beginning in 2004-05.
"The early signing class is one that my staff and I are very pleased with," said Dacko. "There were definite needs to address and we feel that we filled the necessary holes. The players are a versatile group able to play different positions. Next year's freshman class will play a major role in determining the future of UMass women's basketball. Each of these young ladies has a passion for the game and the work ethic necessary to put this program in a position to challenge for a league title down the road. The five young women that we signed are quality individuals that will represent the University of Massachusetts well."
Mills is a 6-2 forward out of the Ursuline Academy in Wilmington, Del. Last season, she averaged 18 points, eight rebounds, two steals and three blocks per game en route to All-State honors. For her career, Mills has recorded 1,122 points, 733 rebounds and 272 blocks. As a freshman, she was an honorable mention All-State pick, while earning third-team All-State accolades as a sophomore. Mills is a member of the National Honor Society and has also been a part of two volleyball state championship teams.
"Kate Mills has the ability to play with her back to the basket as well as facing up," said Dacko. "She runs the floor well and is aggressive on the boards. She will help us get some second-chance scoring opportunities."
Rosanio is a 5-10 guard out of Archbishop Wood High School in Southampton, Pa. Last season, she averaged 15.5 points, four rebounds, four assists and three steals en route to All-Philadelphia Catholic League North first-team honors. She also helped the Vikings advance to the Catholic League semifinals. Rosanio currently has 851 career points and is on pace to score over 1,000 points. The school record is 1,296 points.
"Pam Rosanio is a swing player who loves to take the ball to the basket," said Dacko. "She also has a pretty shot and will be expected to bolster our outside scoring. Pam definitely works her heart out and will take on anyone."
Schiavetta is a 5-7 guard from Northport High School in Northport, N.Y. Last season, she averaged 17.8 points per game en route to Class A third-team All-State accolades. In 2001-02, she averaged 14.2 points per game and was a member of the Suffolk County All-Star team while her squad won the league championship. As a freshman in 2000-01, Schiavetta was named to the All-County team.
"Kaylie Schiavetta is a nice fit for us because she handles the ball and passes like a point guard, but is also a very consistent outside threat and has shown good range," said Dacko. "I am really impressed with the intensity that Kaylie brings to our program."
McDonald is a 6-2 forward from Ossining High School in Ossining, N.Y. Last season, she averaged 14.5 points and 10 rebounds per game and was an All-League, All-Section and All-State selection. She is a two-time member of the Gold Empire State team.
"Whitney is another player that can fill the lanes and get out and lead our break," said Dacko. "At 6-2, she has the ability to wear people out down low and then step out and hit the outside shot. Our guards will like playing with her as she posts up well and really demands the ball in the post."
Tatham, a 5-11 guard out of Chingaucousy Secondary School in Brampton, Ontario, averaged 25 points, nine rebounds and four steals this past season which just wrapped up. She is also the sister of current UMass freshman Tamara Tatham (Brampton, Ontario). Last season, she led her high school to its first-ever OFSAA Tournament. Tatham was also a member of the Ontario Juvenile Provincial team which captured the gold medal in the Provincial Games held in Manitoba in August of 2003.
"Alisha is the sister of our freshman post player Tamara and her brother, Patrick, is a freshman at Cleveland State so you can see that this is a basketball family," said Dacko. "Alisha is a talented swing player with as good a first step as I have seen. She gets up and down the floor with the best of them and I think she will become a real defensive stopper for our team."
The Minutewomen, who are coming off of a 14-14 season, open up the 2003-04 campaign on Friday, Nov. 21 at Sacred Heart. Tip-off is slated for 7:00 p.m. The home opener will be Sunday, Nov. 23, against Holy Cross. Tip-off at the Mullins Center will be 4:00 p.m.
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