Monica Mesalles Nassi & '13 Purple Knights' Women's Gymnastics Enter Bridgeport Athletic Hall of Fame

The 2013 Bridgeport University Women's Team. Nassi top left in back row.
The 2013 Bridgeport University Women's Team. Nassi top left in back row.

Bridgeport, Conn.--Rhode Island College Head Women's Gymnastics Coach Monica Mesalles Nassi and her teammates from the 2013 Purple Knights women's gymnastics team were inducted into Bridgeports University's Athletic Hall of Fame on Saturday, Oct. 6.

The 2013 University of Bridgeport Women's Gymnastics Team set a standard of excellence against which every UB squad to follow will be measured.  In 2013, the Purple Knights made history becoming only the second non-Division I program in history to earn a spot in the NCAA Regionals, plus the team won the program's fifth consecutive USA Gymnastics Collegiate Team National Championship posting a school record score of 196.500 in Shreveport, La. and captured the program's fifth straight ECAC Division II team crown. 

The team won an impressive 10 meets during the magical 2013 campaign with their only regular season losses coming in road dual meets against Division1 powers, Ohio State and Arizona State, plus a second place finish at the University of Maryland Invitational.  For the NCAA Regional, Bridgeport traveled to the University of Florida, the eventual 2013 NCAA National Champions, and held its own on the national stage. 

The 2013 National Association of Collegiate Gymnastics Coaches Women's Awards were announced following the NCAA Regional in Gainesville, and Nassi was named the Division II Gymnast of the Year, plus head coach Byron Knox was named Division II National Coach of the Year and assistant coach Becky Ferraro was selected Division II National Assistant Coach of the Year.  After winning the USAG National Team title, several Purple Knights went on to take All-America honors in the USAG Individual Event Finals, plus graduate student Lorraine Galow, who battled back from injury to help UB reach new heights as a team in 2013, finished her stellar career at the University of Bridgeport by earning All-America accolades on the balance beam, plus she received the USAG's Mari-Rae Soper Spirit Award for her passion, dedication, and devotion to the sport of gymnastics.