November 12, 2015
Tech inks six signees
The class includes players from five states and Washington, D.C.

BLACKSBURG – Virginia Tech lacrosse head coach Megan Burker has announced the signing of six players to their National Letter of Intent.

Payton Beach, Sydney Gagnon, Jenna Martinelli, Mary Clare McCarthy, Mailynn Steepe and Sarah Vanadia all signed with Tech on Thursday and Friday. The group of newcomers hail from five different states as well as the District of Columbia.

"I’m excited to welcome this 2016 class to the Hokie Family. This is a strong group of girls who bring a high level of athleticism and drive to their play and will make an immediate impact next fall," Burker said.

Sydney Gagnon joins the Hokies from The Episcopal Academy in Downingtown, Penn. A team captian, the goalie is a three-year letter winner for coach Josie Ferri. Gagnon was named the 2015 EA Defensive Player of the Year. Also for her efforts, she was named to the 2015 All-Main Line Second Team and the All-INTER-AC Second Team as she helped lead her team to a runner-up performance at the 2015 PAISAA Pennsylvania Championship. She also ran cross country and played paddle tennis at Episcopal. She played club for the BrandyWine Majors for coach ChristyAnn Morello as the team won the 2015 IWLCA Champions Cup and the 2015 Lax Inception. She also played for Turf Dogs Lacrosse and for Downingtown East High School before transferring to Episcopal.

Jenna Martinelli, a defender, hails from Moorestown, N.J. She played at Moorestown high school and a two-time letter winner for coach Deanna Knobloch. She played club for South Jersey Select Lacrosse for coach KC Knobloch. She was named an academic all-American while at Moorestown. Martinelli also played soccer as a three-time letter winner for coach Bill Mulvihill. Martinelli’s brother, Alex, is a senior lacrosse player at the University of Delaware and her sister, Katrina, played lacrosse at Rutgers University.

Mailynn Steppe signs with Tech from Gordonsville, Va. where she played as a defender at St. Anne’s Belfield. She played club lacrosse for the Storm Elite 2016 under coach Christina D’Angelo. Steppe was also a standout basketball player at St. Anne’s under Phil Stinnie. She was a team captain and named first team all-state, All-LIS First Team and to the All-Scrimmage Play First Team. Prior to St. Anne’s, she lettered in lacrosse and basketball as a freshman at Godwin High School.

Sarah Vanadia is a native of Medina, Ohio where she plays at Medina Senior High School for coach Nikki Boltja her senior season and Amanda Wilson her first three seasons. She is a three-time letter winner and has been named a U.S. Lacrosse All-American as well as a two-time member of the OSLA Division I All-State First Team and received multiple all-district honors. She has helped lead her team to two OLSA Division I State Semi-Finalist finishes and one OSLA Division I State Runner-Up finish. Vanadia played club lacrosse for Ohio premier for four years under coaches Kim Russell and Persey Sample. She was a member of the Under Armour All-American Underclass Tournament Midwest Team the past two years.

Payton Beach joins the Hokies from Grasonville, Md. and plays at Kent Island High School. She was a four-year letter winner for coach Bev Altig. She was named All-Bayside Conference every season and her freshman season helped the team to a district championship. She played club lacrosse for Maryland United Lacrosse Club for Elizabeth Eshlemen. Beach also played basketball for David Plummer at Kent Island.

Mary Clare McCarthy signs with Tech from Washington, D.C. where she plays at the Connelly School of the Holy Child for coach Sarah Aschebach. She is a four-year letter winner in midfield. She played club lacrosse for Capital Lacrosse Club for coach Christine Rogers. McCarthy was also a standout field hockey player as a forward for coach Emily Trees. She was a four-year letter winner and named All-ISL Field Hockey her junior year.

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