May 22, 2012
EASTON, Pa. -
The Lafayette women's basketball team held its year-end banquet on Sunday, April 29 celebrating its 2011-12 season as well as the career of an accomplished three-member senior class. Head Coach Dianne Nolan also presented a pair of team awards: The Pat Fisher "Hold the Rope" Award and the Hannah Hart Inspiration Award.
The Pat Fisher "Hold the Rope" Award, named in honor of the legendary Lafayette women's basketball and softball coach, is presented to the player who exemplifies Coach Fisher's commitment to Lafayette women's basketball. As voted upon by her teammates and the coaching staff, the award was presented to senior Sarah McGorry for the second consecutive season.
Nolan describes the award winner as the player who "played with poise, did what was asked and never shorted her commitment to get better. She gave it her all in every workout and game, held the rope when the going got tough and continually helped her teammates do the same."
McGorry ranks ninth all-time with 115 games played at Lafayette, tallying over 500 points and 400 rebounds in her career. As a senior co-captain this past season, she averaged 5.2 points and 4.2 rebounds per contest.
The Hannah Hart Inspiration Award, also awarded via a team vote, was presented to senior Melissa Downey.
A two-year captain, Downey finished her career ranked seventh in program history with 116 games played and 15th in assists with 223. In 2011-12, she led the Leopards in assists for the third consecutive season while contributing 2.6 points and 2.0 rebounds per game.
Hannah Hart, a local teenager with neurofibromatosis, has been a member of the Lafayette women's basketball family since 2009. She and Gracie Loose, whose sister Lauren is a pediatric brain tumor survivor, sit on the team bench at home games to assist the players and coaches and to cheer for the Leopards. The women's basketball team met Hannah and Gracie through the Friends of Jaclyn Foundation.
The award is described by Nolan as "presented to the player who exemplifies Hannah's will to persevere through hardship with a positive spirit - the person who brings joy, energy and a willingness to always perform at her highest level."
Prior to the end of the banquet, Downey, McGorry and fellow senior co-captain Alexandra Serowoky were each given an opportunity to address their teammates. Serowoky, a three-time member of the Patriot League Academic Honor Roll, appeared in 27 games while battling with a series of injuries throughout her Lafayette career.
The 2011-12 Leopards, playing in their second season under Nolan, posted an 8-22 mark while introducing several promising newcomers to the collegiate game. Emily Homan was named Patriot League Rookie of the Year after leading all freshmen in points, rebounds, blocked shots and free throw percentage during league play. The 2011-12 Leopards also established a new program and Patriot League record with 188 blocked shots. The club ranked second in the nation, trailing only national champion Baylor, with 6.3 rejections per game. Individually, Danielle Fiacco established new Lafayette and Patriot League records with 112 blocks - slotting at second in Division I with 3.7 stuffs per game.
Lafayette is tentatively scheduled to open its 2012-13 campaign at Kirby Sports Center on Nov. 9 against Loyola Chicago.