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Mynderse Academy Wins Sectional Championship

In 1998, Mynderse Academy (the public high school in the Seneca Falls Central School District) came very close to dropping its Girls’ Tennis team. Ten years later, the Blue Devils are celebrating their first Sectional Championship. They went on the road and beat previously undefeated East Rochester 4-1 on October 17 to claim the title. Kate Fragnoli and Megan Allen each rallied after losing the first set to win their respective singles matches.

The victory came just days after Mynderse captured their first Finger Lakes High School Athletic Association League Championship since 1979.

Without the efforts of Jamie Flanders, Adrienne LaValley, and Heather Garnsey in 1998, the League and Sectional Championships may not have been possible. They fought to keep girls’ tennis at Mynderse when the outlook was bleak. They convinced Mike Marriam, the Boys’ Varsity Tennis Coach since 1980, to take over the Girls’ Tennis program and went classroom to classroom to recruit enough players so they could field a team. They ended up with 11 girls, and that number nearly doubled the following year when a Junior Varsity team was added under the leadership of Volunteer Coach Bob Nearpass.

Numbers have grown steadily each year, and in 2004, Coach Marriam and his assistants petitioned the school board for the addition of a Modified Tennis Team. Around the same time, USTA Eastern Clinicians Shawna Macfarlane and Steve Pekich visited Mynderse. They conducted an in-service for the PE staff, an assembly for all of the Middle School students, and Pekich even stayed to work with the modified team. Several more seventh and eighth grade girls signed up for the modified team thanks to the enthusiasm and excitement that resulted from the assembly. Among the players on that first modified team were Kayla Kline, Kaylee Eamer, and Fragnoli, three leaders from this fall’s championship team.

Coach Marriam and his staff practice a no-cut philosophy, going the extra mile to make both the Girls’ and Boys’ Tennis programs a success. They began to offer a summer program in 2004 that has grown each year. The Boys’ Tennis team has won three League Championships and five Sectional titles in the last 8 years. In addition to the success of the Girls’ Varsity team, the 2008 Junior Varsity team finished its season 11-0. The future is bright for both of the tennis programs at Mynderse Academy.Mynderse Girl's Varsity Team

Bottom, L-R: Kaylee Eamer, Kate Fragnoli, Tracy Adler, Ashley Garrett, Jennifer Wood, Abby Smith. Top: Coach Mike Marriam, Hillary Oddo, Megan Allen, Becca Switzer, Kayla Kline, Coach Gus Garnsey