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April, 2015

Happy Easter to All

Tomorrow begins the Holy Week, and I wanted to start this month's newsletter with a message to our entire Seton Hall University family of student-athletes, coaches, administrators, faculty, alumni and fans: I wish you all health, happiness, and love and hope that you are able to celebrate Easter with your families and loved ones.

Introducing our new varsity weight room & team film room

Last week was another milestone in our Pride & Excellence Campaign as we opened the doors to our new varsity weight room and team film room. Our new weight room is over 7,500 square feet, triple the size of our old facility, and features the latest in weights, benches, platforms and cardio equipment. Our new team film room is built amphitheater style and has the latest technology for our student-athletes to be able to study their play and that of their opponents.

As I have always said, our student-athletes are our number one priority and it's our job to provide them the best possible experience both on and off the field/court and we feel that we now have one of the best weight rooms and film rooms in the BIG EAST. Combined with our other facility upgrades we have made in the last two years, including the Charles W. Doehler Academic Center, the Center for Sports Medicine, the new Varsity Locker Rooms and the new Fitness Center, prospective student-athletes will see how serious we are about developing leaders and winning championships.

Once again, these projects would not be possible without the generous support of our Pirate Blue donors, and I'd like to thank them for all that they do to ensure our student-athletes receive the best experience possible.

Please take a moment to watch this video and view our photo gallery of the two new facilities.

Women's Basketball completes historic season

Congratulations to our women's basketball team, which received an at-large bid into the NCAA Tournament to cap what was an incredible year. The team finished with a school-record 28 victories, including 17 wins at home, was BIG EAST regular season co-champion and tournament runner-up and cracked the national rankings. I could not be more proud of the hard work and effort our young women put in all year to reach their goals, and if you haven't seen the video of the team learning of its NCAA Tournament bid (WATCH HERE), then I highly recommend you take a look and smile. Under head coach and BIG EAST Coach of the Year Tony Bozzella, our women's basketball program is poised to continue its success into the future.

Special congratulations to Ka-Deidre Simmons, who was named an Associated Press honorable mention All-American yesterday!

We had tremendous support from our season ticket holders, who helped us set an all-time high in women's basketball season tickets sold, and we encourage you to renew your season tickets in May. More information to come in the next few weeks.

Donor Matching Day coming April 30

We are excited about our fourth annual Donor Matching Day, which will take place on Thursday, April 30. It has become an integral part of our athletics department and arguably is the most important day on the Pirate Blue calendar. All donations made to Pirate Blue on April 30 will be generously matched by one donor at 30 percent. In addition, an anonymous donor will also give an additional $50,000 if at least one person from each of the 50 U.S. states donates on that day.

Last year, Pirate Blue set a single-day record for contributions, raising over $193,000 for the benefit of enhancing the Seton Hall student-athlete experience. With your generosity and support, we hope to exceed that total this year. And if you are able to visit campus on April 30, I encourage you to stop by Walsh Gymnasium to participate in our Donor Matching Day festivities.

Men's Basketball season ticket renewals in May

We have a very loyal men's basketball season ticket holder base, and we're excited to announce that season ticket renewals will take place in the month of May, when we will be introducing “Win it Wednesdays.” We will have prizes each week for fans who renew their men's basketball season tickets, and the sooner you renew, the more chances you'll have to win one of the grand prizes that will be awarded each Wednesday in the month of May.

Last season, we averaged 7,998 fans, our highest average attendance since moving into the Prudential Center, and with a talented Pirates team coming back next season, we look forward to raising that number next season with your support!

Be on the lookout for more information on season ticket renewals later this month.

Student-Athletes in the community

Our student-athletes always do an outstanding job of giving back to the community and raising awareness for good causes. Last week members of our men's golf and volleyball teams visited Rosa Parks Elementary School in Orange, N.J., to read to over 250 students as part of the Read Across America initiative. "Reading with the Pirates" is a fun and rewarding experience for our student-athletes, and I am grateful for having such outstanding young men and women eager to participate. For more information on this event, click here.

Also last week our Student-Athlete Advisory Committee (SAAC) hosted its fourth-annual Gatorade Pong Tournament helping to raise awareness about the dangers of drinking and driving, with all proceeds going towards Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD). It's another example of how our student-athletes are leaders among their peers as they step up to promote a worthy cause and try to make a difference in the world. For more information on this event, click here.

Spring Sports update

Our spring sports are off to a strong start, and we're only a couple of weeks away from championship season!

Our baseball team has won five games in a row and 11 of its last 13 as it has gained momentum heading into BIG EAST play, which kicks off Thursday at Xavier. The team has nine home conference games coming up, beginning April 17 vs. Butler, so don't miss out on the action!

Our softball team is coming off an important sweep of Villanova at home last weekend to even its BIG EAST record at 3-3 as the team chases a spot in the BIG EAST Championship. The team is headed to Providence and Creighton next week, but be sure to catch them in action at home April 18 vs. St. John's!

Our women's golf team is gearing up to defend its BIG EAST title with a home invitational tournament this weekend at the Trump National Golf Club in Bedminster, N.J. If you have a chance to visit the course, I highly encourage you to check it out. The Pirates will then compete at the BIG EAST Championship in Daytona Beach, Fla., April 16-18 at the LPGA International. Best of luck to the team and hope they bring home the trophy once again!

Our men's golf team is coming off a strong performance in Baltimore at the Towson Invitational last weekend, led by Lloyd Jefferson Go's individual title. The Pirates have two more tournaments to play in before the BIG EAST Championship in Callawassie Island, S.C. April 26-28 at the Callawassie Island Golf Course. Best wishes and good luck to the team as they chase the championship!

Lastly our women's tennis team has posted conference victories over Villanova and Providence over the last 10 days and will compete against St. John's DePaul and Marquette in the coming weeks. The Pirates will then head to Indianapolis to compete in the BIG EAST Championship April 23-26. Best of luck to the team and hoping they too can bring home the trophy!