This will be a season of transition for the Our Lady of Mercy Academy girls basketball team.
OLMA graduated eight seniors from last season’s 12-14 team. Coach Chip Reitano stepped down for personal reasons a few weeks before preseason practices started. Long-time assistants Tom McCarville and Jerry Covella will take over the program. Covella will be the head coach.
The Villagers will be young and inexperienced.
“We’re loaded with freshmen and sophomores,” McCarville said. “They’re young and quick. We want them to use their speed as much as they can.”
Katie Kavanaugh, a 5-foot-9 sophomore, is one of the team’s few experienced players.
“She’s the only one who’s been through high school games as a starter,” McCarville said.
The Villagers will start a pair of freshmen at guards in Hayley Fralich and Ashley Mannion. Fralich is quick and McCarville has nicknamed her “comet.”
Senior Nina Cirucci is a team captain, while senior Jackie Battaglia, a top lacrosse player, returns to the team after taking last season off.
McCarville said he hopes the players just gain experience this season that benefit them in the future.
“The kids are nice. They’re working real hard,” McCarville said. “They’re going to try and battle every night. If they can learn and not give up on themselves, maybe they can come up with some surprises.”
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