By Steve Svetovich
Abby Sempa is only a sophomore on the Holy Cross Lady Crusaders basketball team, but she fit in right away with her teammates.
And that is because she cares more about being a teammate than anything else.
Daughter of Fran and Mary Sempa, the sophomore starting shooting guard averages 8.3 points per game and adds an additional offensive threat to the team and the league’s leading scorer, teammate senior Abby Anderson. She was 50-61 from the free-throw line (82%) and made 27 three-point goals and a total of 58 field goals.
Abby, a two-year member of the Lady Crusaders, helped her team to a 15-5 record despite a 45-44 loss to Mid Valley in the first round of district playoffs.
The sophomore stalwart scored 10 points in the tough loss.
Abby, 16, is also a member of the cross country team at Holy Cross. She was a second-team all-star as a freshman cross country runner.
A scholar-athlete, Abby has an impressive 3.8 academic average. Her best subject is math. She will be joining the environmental club this month.
Abby talked about what it takes to be a successful shooting guard. “You need a lot of focus and situational awareness. And be ready for the ball all the time.”
She talked about the success of the team during the regular season. “It’s all about teamwork and being close to each other as a team,” she said. “No one is selfish. We work as a team. We work hard. We cheer each other on. We are always there for each other on and off the court.”
Abby said she learned a lot from Holy Cross girls’ basketball coach Barry Fitzgerald. “He taught me how to play better defense and how to play in tough situations.”
And she has learned plenty from her parents. “My parents taught me how to be a better person, how to be respectful and about sportsmanship.”
Abby has a couple older sisters to look up to. Mary Grace played basketball and is a 2011 Holy Cross graduate. Eileen played basketball and is a 2007 Bishop Hannan graduate.
Abby talked about her future goals. “I want to try to excel on the basketball court and play for my teammates. I want to keep up on my grades and academic subjects. I want to go to a good college.”
The talented guard said she likes listening to music in her spare time and would like to see Maroon 5 in concert.
Abby has totally enjoyed her experience at Holy Cross thus far. “It has been a very good experience,” she said. “I like it here a lot, but sports has played a big part of it. I really enjoy keeping up on my grades too. The entire Catholic experience has been a major part of it for me.”