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Four PYA seniors sign for college athletics

Rob Maeske
The Chronicle-Express

PENN YAN – Four seniors from Penn Yan Academy have recently signed their National Letters of Intent to join college athletic programs in the spring.

Claire and Molly Pullen

Sisters Claire and Molly Pullen have signed their NLIs to play tennis for Nazareth College in Pittsford. Despite a relatively short time playing the sport -- the Pullens picked up tennis in their freshman year -- Claire and Molly have highly distinguished themselves since grabbing their racquets. With four consecutive sectional Ddoubles titles under their belts and leading Penn Yan to three consecutive Sectional championships in the last three years, the Pullen sisters are truly rising stars in the sport of tennis.

Claire finished her high school career with an overall singles record of 41-1 and a doubles record of 28-6 as well as winning 472 of her 541 total games played, a game-win percentage of 87.2%. Molly ended her time with the Mustangs with an overall singles record of 52-4 and a doubles record of 27-6 as well as winning 620 of her 794 total games played, a game-win percentage of 78%.

Through the majority of their time on the court, the Pullens have played standing side by side, losing a total of only six sets while playing together as doubles partners.

Nazareth is a Division III college located in Pittsford. As to what led to their decision to sign with Nazareth, said Claire, “The great sense of community that Nazareth had and the really great educational programs for both of us.”

“We love the head coach, he’s a really great guy. He brings a family-type atmosphere,” Molly Pullen added.

Four-time Section V double champions, sisters Claire and Molly Pullen have signed their NLIs to play tennis for Nazareth College in Pittsford. With them are their father, Penn Yan Academy Principal Dave Pullen, and mother, Sarah Pullen.

Ayden Mowry

Ayden Mowry has signed his NLI to play D2 Lacrosse at Lenoir Rhyne University. The COVID-19 pandemic put the brakes on lacrosse last year, which robbed Mowry of the junior year of play, which college recruiters weigh the most when reviewing players. However, the two previous years he played and excelled in for Penn Yan were enough for the multiple schools that offered him a spot in their program.

Mowry started for the Mustangs in his freshman year, scoring a total of 44 points that year and 49 in his sophomore year. During that first year, he scored six points in Sectionals, which earned him a spot on the All-Tournament Team.

Lenoir Rhyne is a Division II school located in Hickory, Kentucky. In recent years, Lenoir Rhyne has had a rising lacrosse program with their sights set on competing for a national championship, a goal that several college pundits believe is within the school's grasp. At Lenoir Rhyne, Mowry joins fellow Mustang Dylan Stape, who graduated in 2018 and played in all six of LR's lacrosse appearances in 2020. The school's lacrosse program has snagged several Section V alums, with three former Section V players currently on the team.

"Really, it came down to their academic program," said Mowry at his signing. "... and knowing that I have other alumni from Penn Yan down there to surround me with good energy. Just knowing I have them down there, I'll be right at home."

Ayden Mowry has signed to play D2 Lacrosse at Lenoir Rhyne University. His proud family include mother, Erin Mowry; brother, Jayce Dailey; sister, Hayley Godfry; and grandma and grandpa, Joan and Mickey Orr

Devon Gerhardt

Devon Gerhardt signed his NLI to play lacrosse for SUNY Oswego next year. Like the rest of New York's varsity lacrosse players, Gerhardt hasn't played a single game of interscholastic lacrosse in the last year and a half. However, he distinguished himself in his freshman and sophomore years, leading the Mustangs in assists in 2019 and catching the eyes of several college recruiters.

SUNY Oswego is a Division III college located in New York State, just north of Syracuse. Oswego finished 8-6 in 2019 and boasted a winning record in 2020 until the season was ended prematurely by the COVID pandemic.

Devon Gerhardt signed to play lacrosse for SUNY Oswego as parents, Bill and Stacey Gerhardt; brother, Craig Gerhardt; grandpa, Dan Banach; brother, Billy Gerhardt; and sister, Melissa Gerhardt came to cheer him on.