Women’s Basketball Senior Night

Somehow, someway, Rachele Fitz has played her last game as a Marist Red Fox at the James J. McCann Center. What a fantastic career she has had as a Red Fox! In addition to being the third 2,000 point scorer in Marist College history, she is also Marist’s all-time leading scorer and rebouder. Rachele was the Rookie of the Year for the MAAC her freshman year, and continued her dominance in the league with back-to-back MVP awards her sophomore and junior year (She is also heavily favored to win it again this year!).

To honor her remarkable career, the Marist College Athletics Program gave away Rachele Fitz Bobble head dolls to the first 1,000 fans in attendance at Sunday’s Game. It is a rarity for the NCAA to allow a school to use a promotion with a players name, but the NCAA realizes just how big of an icon Rachele is to our “Harvard on the Hudson” here in Poughkeepsie.

I was so glad to see the Foxhole packed for Sunday’s game. In addition to it being Rachele Fitz’s last home game, it was also Brittany Engle and Lynzee Johnson’s last game as well. I looked around and almost shed a tear, as did most others in attendance, when Coach Giorgis pulled the seniors out of the game with about two minutes to go in the second half to honor the three players. Fitz got her last standing ovation as a player she will ever hear at the McCann Center; the crowd stood on their feet for over a minute just clapping and applauding her for the things she has done for the team over the last four years.

Before the game started on Sunday, the Marist Athletic Department officially announced that they will be retiring Rachele Fitz’s jersey next year. By doing so, Fitz will be the first women’s basketball player in Marist College history to have a jersey number retired. And her number 12 will forever hang over the McCann Center. Every player in the future will be able to look up at her jersey hanging on the wall every game and just remember how almost single-handedly one player changed the face of Marist Women’s Basketball, forever.

The Marist Community is sure going to miss you, Rachele. I am just glad I was here for two years to watch you play.

Pack the House Night

Pack the House night is tomorrow night already. I cant believe it; I feel like it was just yesterday I was going to Pack the House Night as a freshman. The atmosphere for Pack the House Night at the McCann Center was nothing like I’ve ever experienced before, with a combination of extreme school spirit and a sold-out gym yielding a truly unforgettable experience.

A pic from last year's game

The “Pack the House” theme is something that the NCAA does for every Division 1 school in the country that has a women’s basketball team. Essentially, the NCAA designates a game for every school to try and sell-out. Marist, remarkably, is the only school in the nation to sell out their Pack the House Night two years in a row, and there are many indications that Marist will “three-peat” Friday Night.

So, what are we doing differently to sell the game out again? This year, unlike last year, is going to be themed – in retro 1980’s style, that is. The Communications Department and the Marist Athletics Department is working closely to theme-out the week, with some events including a “dive-in” movie, the Dance Team performing “Thriller” in the cafeteria, and an 80’s themed trivia night. The theme week is going to culminate at the game on Friday Night, where we are going to be having an 80’s dress competition, and all hit songs from the 80’s will be played during the breaks and timeouts.

On another note, Friday night could quite possibly be the biggest game this season for the women’s basketball team. After losing a heartbreaker this past weekend in Niagara, the women are now tied a top of the MAAC with Iona, who we are coincidentally playing on Friday. It is the last time we will be playing Iona at home this season, so it is pretty much a must-win game to keep our conference title hopes alive.

Our girl’s team is doing extremely well, and people are starting to notice, too; this past week we received votes for the AP top 25 poll. So come down this Friday night, and you will get to see first-hand at just how amazing our women’s team can play ball. I’d get there early though, because if last year’s game was any indication, this game is going to be sold out. And it’s going to be sold out early.

Marist Basketball Blog

http://maristhoop.blogspot.com/

This blog is written and maintained by the Poughkeepsie Journal. The sideline reporter updates the blog almost ever game, and has some general notes and some behind-the-scenes information. I like reading this right before I go down to the McCann Center to watch the men and women play ball.

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