PORTLAND – When Blanca Millan and Tanesha Sutton are at their best so is Maine women’s basketball. It’s how the script has been in each the Black Bears 22 wins this season.
But in wins 21 and 22 at the America East tournament this weekend, that script included an unsung hero. A familiar face that wasn’t even part of the picture last season.
“Yea I mean a year ago from now I was playing basketball at the rec occasionally but just really focused on school and other parts of my life. I was watching this team make their run in the tournament so it’s crazy how different it is this year,” guard Parise Rossignol said.
Mainers love their basketball. What they love even more is to see home grown talent go on to play at UMaine. Rossignol fit the mold as she was of the best high school basketball players Maine has ever seen.
She dominated in her career at Van Buren High School scoring 2,589 points, but that success placed a burden on the guard.
“I wasn’t having as much fun as I should have been, you know I had a pretty successful high school career and everyone had all these ideas of what I was going to do at Maine and I had them for myself too. I put way too much pressure on myself,” Rossignol said.
In her first year back with the team Rossignol has solidified herself as top player off the bench for Amy Vachon, but the junior elevated her game in the America East tournament scoring a career high 15 points against UMBC and 13 against UNH.
“She committed herself like she never committed herself before you know she competed. She earned that role. I mean when we talked about her coming back I told her ‘I can’t guarantee you any time’ and she said ‘I don’t care I want to be part of it,'” head coach Amy Vachon said.
“Playing time at this level is not guaranteed whether you took a year off or you’ve been playing for three year you have to earn it,” Vachon said.
And earn it she has as Rossignol is playing with newfound confidence right in time for the America East championship.
“I mean this is the time of year that matters all year we talk about we want to be playing our best basketball in March and my coaches and teammates show so much confidence in me. They tell me to shoot the ball and luckily it went in for me this weekend,” Rossignol said.