FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WANE) – Back in her hometown of Fort Wayne, Maria Marchesano marches on as the Elmhurst High School graduate gears up for the second season leading the Mastodons women’s basketball program at Purdue Fort Wayne.

Marchesano and the Dons are hosting kids camp this week at the Gates Center. Fort Wayne is coming off a 9-21. Those nine wins are the most the program has had in a single season since the 2014-15 campaign when the Dons went an identical 9-21 that year. It was also an eight-game improvement from former coach Niecee Nelson’s final season when the Dons went 1-22 for 2020-21.

Marchesano returns her top eight scores off last year’s team, including leading scorer and Homestead grad Sylare Starks who tallied 11.7 points a game. Shayla Sellers (10.8 points) and Riley Ott (10.0 points) both averaged double digits last year.

The Dons will also add Homestead grad and former Indiana All-Star Sydney Graber into the mix. The 6-foot-1 forward played her first two seasons of college basketball at Central Michigan University.