December 20, 2004

Holy Cross Inks Two for 2005-2006 Season

Nov. 18, 2004

Worcester, Mass. - Holy Cross women's basketball head coach Bill Gibbons announced that two recruits have signed national letters of intent to attend Holy Cross in the fall of 2005. Six-foot-two forward Kathy Gruzynski of James B. Conant High School in Illinois, and 6-foot-3 forward Jessica Merrihue of Sachem High School in Ronkonkoma, NY will both be donning the purple and white next season.

"The frontcourt was the top priority for us in this recruiting class," said Gibbons. "We feel that we have two terrific players from two of the country's premier AAU programs in Kathy and Jess."

Gruzynski is coming off a stellar junior season for the Pacesetters in which she averaged 17.2 points and 5.4 rebounds per game, earning First Team All-Area and All-Conference honors. The native of Elk Grove, IL was also a Daily Herald All-Area First Team selection, and was named Most Valuable Player at the highly regarded Waubonise Valley Thanksgiving Tournament, and the War-Hawk Thanksgiving Tournament.

"Kathy keeps our Chicago connection alive. She is a big, strong rebounder who is athletic enough to play both the four and five positions up front," said Gibbons. "In addition, Kathy is a great defender who should excel in our man-to-man pressure defense."

Merrihue is a two-year captain for Sachem, earning Reebok All-America honors as a junior. She averaged 16 points, eight rebounds, and three blocks per game last year, and was an honorable mention for Street & Smith. The native of Holstville, NY is a two-time All League I and All-Suffolk County selection, was a Second Team All-Long Island pick as a sophomore.

"Jess was an integral part of the Liberty Belles AAU team that won the National Championship in Washington, D.C., last summer. At six-foot-three, she is a tremendous shooter, passer, and ballhandler who is versatile enough to play both the three and four positions in our system," said Gibbons.

"We are thrilled to have these two outstanding young ladies committed to be a part of our program starting next September."

The Crusaders open up the 2004-05 regular season this weekend. Tomorrow, November 19th they host Providence College of the Big East Conference at the Hart Center. Tip-off is slated for 7:00 p.m. On Sunday, the Crusaders host the University at Buffalo in a 1:00 p.m. match-up, also at the Hart Center.