Being recruited to play a varsity sport in college is no easy feat. In fact, only about 7% of high school athletes make it to the next level, and less than 2% go on to play at NCAA Division I schools. On November 8, 2023, National Signing Day, Merion Mercy Academy had nine girls commit to collegiate athletics—six of those at Division I schools—which is roughly 10% of the senior class.
During the ceremony, Director of Athletics Shannon Fisher said, “Today we honor these amazing, confident young women who have committed to furthering their athletic career beyond high school. We are celebrating their commitment to their future school and their dedication and contributions to the Merion Mercy Athletic Department.”
This fall’s signers were:
Dillan Grimes: College of Holy Cross (Rowing)
Dillan has been a member of the rowing program for four years and is serving as one of the captains this year. In 2023, our Varsity 4+ took first place at the Navy Day Regatta. In 2022, her lightweight 4+ boat took first place at City Championships, first place at Scholastic Nationals, and second place at the Stotesbury Cup. In 2021, her Novice 4+ boat took first at the Frostbite Regatta and her Novice 8+ boat took first at the Bill Braxton Regatta. Dillan also raced at the 2022 Royal Canadian Henley Regatta with Conshohocken Rowing Center, which is her summer team.
In addition to her athletic accomplishments, Dillan participates in Mathletes, National Art Honor Society, Environmental Club, and the Mercy Mission Corps. She has been on the Distinguished Honor Roll at Merion her freshman and sophomore year and on the Honor Roll for her junior year. She was also named to the USRowing Scholastic Honor Roll for the Class of 2024.
Sofia Henningsen: Temple University (Rowing)
Sofia has been a part of the rowing program for three years at Merion. In addition to a rigorous rowing schedule, Sofia is also the leader of the Latinx affinity group on campus.
Emily Kallmeyer: George Washington University (Rowing)
Along with Dillan Grimes, Emily is a team captain for Merion Mercy’s rowing program. She has also been a four year member of the team. During her sophomore year, Emily earned the Best Erg Time award and her 2nd Varsity 8 boat placed second at City Championships during the spring season. This past spring, her Varsity 4 boat took third place at City Championships.
In addition to being a dedicated rower, Emily holds a variety of leadership positions at the school, including serving on the Ministry Team’s core team and as the Ministry Team advisor. She is vice president of the Catherine McAuley chapter of National Honor Society, and student leader of Blue Key Society’s leadership team, Mercy Mission Corps, and Swole Sisters Society. She is service director of the Environmental Club and a member of Rho Kappa Honor Society.
Elle Kilgannon: University of Notre Dame (Rowing)
Elle’s rowing resume includes placing second in 2v at City Championships, third place in the Women's Youth Four at Mid-Atlantics and fourteenth overall in Women's Youth Four at Youth Nationals.
Elle has been on the Distinguished Honor Roll during her time at Merion and is a member of the National Honor Society, and the Rho Kappa Honor Society. She is the co-leader of Ricordia and is also involved in the Mercy Mission Corps.
Ella Cait Lisowski: Trinity College (Field Hockey)
Ella has been a member of the field hockey program for four years and served as one of the captains this fall. The team qualified for Districts all four years and for the PIAA state tournament in 2021 and 2022. In the fall of 2021, Ella received Merion Mercy’s most improved player award.
Ella is also a member of Merion’s lacrosse team and the Powerhouse field hockey club in which she was named to the Junior Premier Outdoor League selection team. The Powerhouse team qualified for the National Indoor Tournament for the past four years.
In addition to her athletic accomplishments, Ella is a member of the orchestra, handbells, the Blue Key Society, Ministry Team, and the Next Generation of Traditional Irish Music. She is also a member of the National Honor Society, and the Latin, Music, Science, and Math Honor Societies.
Molly Mishinkash: Juniata College (Volleyball)
During her journey at Merion, Molly has received honors such as First Team AACA League All Star in 2021 and 2022, Second Team AACA League All Star in 2023, Pennsylvania Volleyball Coaches Association All District Team in 2021 and 2022, Merion’s team MVP in 2022, Offensive Player of the Year in 2023, and PA Prep All Main Line Team for 2021 and 2022
Molly has been a four year member and starter for the volleyball program here at Merion, serving as a captain in her senior year. In addition to her volleyball contributions, she also swims for Merion and plays club volleyball, which spans the majority of the calendar year. She is an honor roll student, participates in Mathletes, and is in the National Honor Society, as well as the Math, Science, Social Studies, and Latin Honor Societies.
Grace O’Connor: Yale University (Rowing)
Grace has been a two-time team captain. Her successes include taking first place in the Women’s Lightweight 4+ at the 2022 Scholastic Nationals, first place in the Women’s Lightweight 4+ at the 2022 Philadelphia City Championships, second place in the Women’s U17 8+ at the 2022 US Rowing Summer Youth Championships, and third place in the Women’s Youth 4+ at the 2023 Philadelphia City Championships
Academically, Grace has been on the Distinguished Honor Roll all of the semesters of her high school career. She is a National Merit Scholar and a member of the National Honor Society. Grace was also named to the USRowing Class of 2024 National Honor Roll. She is a member of the Varsity Mathletes, Blue Key Society, and the Math National Honor Society.
Molly Romano: Catholic University (Field Hockey)
Molly has been a dedicated four year member of the field hockey team, and along with Ella, has served as a captain. Earlier this fall, she received the National Field Hockey Coaches Association High School Watchlist nod. She was also named AACA League Second Team All Star in 2022 and earned the team’s Golden Bear Award.
Molly is a Diocesan Scholar and has earned Distinguished Honors every semester since her freshman year. She is the vice president of student council, a Good Morning Merion broadcaster, and a member of Blue Key Society and the Mercy Mission Corps. Additionally, Molly plays club field hockey for the Main Line Field Hockey Club referred to as Mayhem.
Keira Vaughan: University of Rhode Island (Rowing)
Keira’s career highlights include second at Philadelphia City Championships (2v category) in 2022, third at Navy Day Regatta in the V8 in 2022, third at Bill Braxton Regatta in 2021 in the novice category, and first at Manny flicks 2, 3, and 4.
Keira is a member of the Blue Key Society and the Mercy Mission Corps.
Merion Mercy Academy congratulates all of our student athletes!
- College sports
- Merion Mercy Academy
- National Signing Day