Fontana Named Vellaccio Award Winner

May 7, 2005

Worcester, Mass. - Senior Maggie Fontana (Barrington, Ill.) has been named the Samantha Vellaccio Award winner, which is presented annually to the varsity women's basketball player who best exemplifies the mission of Holy Cross both on and off the court. In addition, juniors Shannon Bush (Doylestown, Pa.), Jessica Conte (New Canaan, Conn.) and Sarah Placek (Alexandria, Va.) were elected tri-captains for the 2005-06 season, as announced by head coach Bill Gibbons.

A tri-captain of this year's team, Fontana finished her career with 1,556 points (sixth all-time at Holy Cross, 10th all-time in Patriot League), 767 rebounds (fourth all-time at Holy Cross, 11th all-time PL), 420 assists (seventh all-time at Holy Cross, eighth all-time PL) and 251 steals (third all-time at Holy Cross, 10th all-time PL). She is one of only five players in Holy Cross women's basketball history to collect more than 1,500 points and 750 rebounds in their career.

Fontana also played in 119 career games (116 starts), which tied for fifth all-time at Holy Cross, and had a .817 career free throw percentage and a .488 career field goal percentage.

A three-time All-Patriot League selection, the 2003 PL Tournament MVP and the 2002 Patriot League Rookie of the Year, Fontana also served as co-chair of Purple Pride Day and on the Fairy Godmother Committee, in addition to taking part in Holy Cross Cares Day.

A five-foot-11 junior guard, Bush appeared in 30 games this season, making one start. She averaged 5.9 points per game and 1.8 rebounds per game, while recording 49 assists and collecting 30 steals. A member of the 2003 Patriot League All-Rookie Team, Bush finished fourth on the team this season in three-point field goals made.

Conte played in 31 games and made four starts this year, averaging 6.9 points per game as the team's sixth man. The 2005 Holy Cross Club of Worcester Homecoming Game MVP, Conte earned Patriot League Player of the Week honors after scoring a career-high 18 points on 6-of-8 shooting, including three three's and three steals in a six point win over Colgate on February 19. She also finished the season ranked fifth in the Patriot League with a .365 three-point percentage.

A former Patriot League All-Rookie Team selection, Placek started 28 out of 31 games this season and led the team in steals (59) and was second on the team in assists (80), two categories she also finished the season ranked in the top 11 in the Patriot League. The five-foot-three guard has a 9.1 points per game career average and is just 190 points shy of reaching the 1,000 point plateau.

The Crusaders finished the season with a 20-11 overall mark, the program's 16th twenty-win season in Gibbons' 20-year career. With a 12-2 conference record, Holy Cross clinched the Patriot League regular season title and went on to claim the conference tournament title, earning a trip to the NCAA Tournament, before being knocked out by second-seeded Ohio State in the first round of the Philadelphia Region.