Sign of the times: St. Mary’s Girls Hoop Stars Rudolph, Sanders, Mucciarone Make College Choices Official

November 19, 2013
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Seated are St. Mary’s seniors Sharell Sanders, Brianna Rudolph, and Jennie Mucciarone. Standing are St. Mary’s Principal Dr. Mark DiFabio, Athletic Director and Girls Basketball Coach Jeff Newhall, and Head of School Grace Regan.

Seated are St. Mary’s seniors Sharell Sanders, Brianna Rudolph, and Jennie Mucciarone. Standing are St. Mary’s Principal Dr. Mark DiFabio, Athletic Director and Girls Basketball Coach Jeff Newhall, and Head of School Grace Regan.

St. Mary’s girls basketball standouts Brianna Rudolph, Sharell Sanders and Jennie Mucciarone made their college choices official in a letter-of-intent signing ceremony at the school Thursday.

“This is one of the proudest days we have had in our program,” said girls basketball coach and Athletic Director Jeff Newhall. “It is very gratifying to see three outstanding players and young ladies achieve at such a high level.”

Rudolph accepted a scholarship from UMass Lowell, becoming the first St. Mary’s basketball player ever to receive a Div. 1 full scholarship. Sanders is headed to Div. 2 Caldwell College in New Jersey, where she will also receive a full scholarship. Mucciarone is going to Tufts University and submitted her early-admission application last week.

“Playing at the top level of women’s basketball has always been a goal of mine, but I was never really sure if that would happen,” said Rudolph. “I am extremely grateful that Coach (Sarah) Behn and UMass Lowell have given me this opportunity.”

Rudolph is coming off a spectacular year in which she set the school record for points in a season with 402, averaging 16.8 and scoring more than 20 eight times. She ranks fifth on the all-time scoring list (738 points), despite missing 18 games with an injury her sophomore year.

Sanders, who is only 5-1, averages 12 points and eight assists per game and is seventh on the all-time scoring list at St. Mary’s with 604 career points (Tori Faieta is No. 1 with 1,471). Last year, she was a Catholic Central League All-Star and earned MVP honors in the Walter Boverini Tournament in Lynn and the Hoophall Classic in Springfield.

“I am really excited to be going to Caldwell and relieved that the process is over so I can focus on my senior season,” said Sanders. “I have had a great experience at St. Mary’s and am very thankful for everything the school and the basketball program have done for me.”

Mucciarone is a 5-7 shooting guard who has averaged 16 points a game the last two seasons. At that pace, she will become the program’s third 1,000-point scorer, joining Robyn Mazin and Faieta. She has started all 76 games since arriving at St. Mary’s, helping the Spartans win a state championship her freshman year. St. Mary’s is 58-18 with her in the lineup.

“I just got the feeling that Tufts is where I belong, and not just for basketball,” Mucciarone said.

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