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By Brian Fees
Southern Tier Sports Report
CORNING — There was hardly an empty seat in the room as it seems like every student at Corning was in attendance as Jenna DiNardo held her college signing to go to Virginia to play lacrosse.

There were some tears as she talked about what her parents have done for her, and a huge gathering of teammates and friends after her signing as the Corning senior got her chance to sign to play at the next level.

“I have been waiting for this day,” DiNardo said. “Honestly, it’s weird, because for years I was watching my cousins come up and do this, or watching my older teammates come up and do this. And, now I’m finally here and was able to do it and it means a lot and I’m excited for the next chapter in my life. I’m so excited to go to Virginia and I cannot wait.

“Lacrosse has been my passion for such a long time, even though yes, volleyball and basketball are also so much fun, but lacrosse has my heart and I can’t wait to go to Virginia.”

 DiNardo, the daughter of Dom and Emmie DiNardo, is a five-year varsity player, who has been on varsity since eighth grade. The senior plays attack and midfield and during her career she was Section IV all-league first-team, first-team midfield, offensive player of the year and female athlete of the year. She also received the Twin Tiers Highlight of the Year and made the Under Armor 150 team and was US Club Lax — American Select — Players that impressed.

DiNardo played travel lacrosse year-round with Monster Elite out of Rochester and has traveled and competed against the top club teams in the nation.

DiNardo’s dad played Division I lacrosse at Hofstra, and the Corning senior just knew when she went to Virginia that was the right fit.

Virginia is currently the 10th ranked team in the nation in Division I.

“The process, the whole recruiting process was a little scary,” she said. “You visit teams and colleges, when I went on my visit to Virginia I knew right away. I knew I wanted to go here. I loved the atmosphere and I loved everything about the team and the coaches and they just really grabbed me and pulled me in as one of them. I love Virginia and I can’t wait.”

DiNardo has been a three-sport star throughout high school.

In addition to lacrosse she was a standout in volleyball and basketball for the Hawks. She was a four-year varsity starter in both sports. During her volleyball career she was a setter of the yea, STAC all-division team, all-conference team, player of year, The Leader — all star team and second team all-state. She helped her team compete in the state finals during the fall 2022 season.

Her basketball accolades include defensive player of the year, BCANY first team, all section IV team, STAC all-conference selection, Elite Winter all-star team, girls all-region breakout star of the year, all-region first team, 2022 all-tournament team Class AA, team sportsmanship award, 7th team all-state for 2022, Josh Palmer All-Tournament team and the Corning Leader’s — Players with an Impact. During the 2021-22 basketball season she helped her team compete at states as a final four team. She was also recently named as a recipient of George Bacalles Award for 2023.

Away from sports DiNardo is a member of the National Honor Society and holds a 97% GPA. She maintains this GPA while taking college level classes through Syracuse University’s SUPA program and is also an 1B candidate. She is very active in her community and volunteers at many different organizations.

While DiNardo has been a standout in three sports, and has been to the state final four in both volleyball and basketball and won sectional titles in all three sports, she does feel like in college she can really get even better in lacrosse when all her focus is on one sport.

“I’ve actually been hearing that a lot,” she said. ‘I think if I focus on lacrosse more than I already do and I don’t have any other conflicts all the time I can always just be lacrosse. I’ve got a lacrosse game, not basketball, or volleyball, I really think me focusing 100% and putting in all my effort toward lacrosse will make me excel so much as an athlete.”

Balance all three sports through high school has required a lot of effort from DiNardo, along with her family and coaches.

“It wasn’t the easiest thing, but me and my family and my coaches made it work so hard, so it worked out for us,” DiNardo said.

A lot of the success for DiNardo comes from how competitive she is.

“Honestly, I think I get a lot from how I grew up,” DiNardo said. “We have all been competitive. If it was a board game, we were all going after each other. We event wanted to win at that. I’ve just always had the mentality of I want to win at everything I try, everything I play, so that’s where it came from.”

For DiNardo lacrosse has always just been a huge part of her life. It’s a sport the community embraces, and one DiNardo always loved.

“From my dad and around my parents time lacrosse was a big deal,” DiNardo said. “I feel like this is kind of a lacrosse town. Everyone knows about the lacrosse teams, how they are doing. I have just always grown up around lacrosse. Everything I was doing lacrosse was always something in the back of my head. Everyone kind of knew lacrosse and knew lacrosse players.”

While next year she will be playing at Virginia, there is still one more season of high school lacrosse first.

“This senior year I’m so excited, I can’t wait to play with all my friends,” DiNardo said. “Our lacrosse environment is so nice and so special. Coach (Kevin) Scanlon does a really nice job of bringing all of us girls together and performing together and I can’t wait to play with my friends.”

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