Life at Ellis


A Record of Health and Wellness

The athletics program at Ellis is strategically designed to support student growth outside of the classroom while complementing Ellis’ academic program. A variety of sports are offered each season, and by participating, girls uncover hidden talents and discover physical activities they love. They experience the joy of teamwork, grace in defeat, and the thrill of winning. Athletes also develop physical strength, mental toughness, time-management skills, and stress-reduction techniques that last a lifetime.
Our coaches are champions of integrity and resilience, and they encourage girls to become exemplary student-athletes. They prepare their teams for the season by challenging them to make it through tough practices that set them up for success in intense competition. Throughout the season, coaches will often re-evaluate team and individual goals to support girls as they grow in their athletic abilities. What is most appealing about Ellis’ robust athletics program is the fact that, as an all-girls school, girls’ teams receive 100% of the resources allocated to athletics and a girls’ team can always be found on the main playing field or court during prime practice and competition times. 

Each team and athlete is fully supported to feel successful and accomplished at the end of the season—regardless of their win/loss record. From this, Ellis girls develop into fiercely strong athletes who thrive on healthy competition and develop leadership skills that will impact their ability to use their voices and talents to solve complex problems, work with diverse groups of people, and bring about positive change in their communities.

List of 3 items.

  • Lower School (Grades 3 & 4 Only)

    • Field Hockey
    • Basketball
    • Lacrosse
  • Middle School

    • Cross Country
    • Field Hockey
    • Soccer
    • Basketball
    • Swimming
    • Lacrosse
    • Tennis
  • Upper School

    • Cross Country
    • Field Hockey
    • Soccer
    • Tennis
    • Basketball
    • Swimming
    • Lacrosse
    • Softball
    • Track & Field

Athletics News

List of 4 news stories.

  • Alumna Inducted Into PA Track and Field Hall of Fame

    Ellis alumna Heather HANCHAK Moss '97 has been elected to the Pennsylvania High School Track and Field Hall of Fame. An outstanding sprinter at Ellis, Heather’s athletic accomplishments include:
  • Senior Named WPIAL Scholar-Athlete

    Tegan Poerio, Class of 2021, has been named a Western Pennsylvania Interscholastic Athletic League (WPIAL) Scholar-Athlete. One of twenty students honored in the region, Tegan earned one of the ten spots for female high-school athletes across WPIAL sections and classes. She will receive a $1,000 scholarship and a commemorative plaque in honor of her hard work and commitment to Ellis Athletics.
  • Student-Athletes Start Middle School Field Hockey Clinic

    For grade 10 students Ilona Bender, Abby Fägersten, and Zoe Woon, field hockey season doesn’t begin in August and end in November—it’s a year-round commitment. Dedicated to the sport and to the Ellis team, Abby, Ilona, and Zoe took matters into their own hands this year to ensure that the Tigers continue their legacy of being a fierce WPIAL competitor. They decided to start a winter field hockey clinic at Ellis to introduce more girls to the game and to work on skill-building in the off-season. 
  • Student-Athletes Earn WPIAL Soccer Honors

    Three Ellis soccer players earned postseason honors in recognition of their excellence on the field this season. Seniors Alexis Crichlow, Miranda Lightner, and Dalia Milch were awarded spots on the 2020 WPIAL All-Section team in honor of their hard work, leadership, and athleticism. In celebration of these accolades, Head Varsity Soccer Coach Tim Howard shared his perspective on this year’s All-Section athletes.

Our Teams

Facilities and Resources

A World-class Athletic Field

In 2014, Ellis celebrated the grand opening of our new state-of-the-art turf field. Our new 72,600 square foot regulation-sized field is lined for soccer, field hockey, and lacrosse, and looks and feels like natural grass. The mix of turf and sand at Ellis was specifically chosen to minimize injury risk to young athletes. The field is a source of tremendous school pride, not just for our athletes, but for every member of our community. Though sports are not required, 70% of Ellis Middle and Upper School students play a team sport. This is much higher than the national average of 40% for girls (Women’s Sports Foundation).

Training and Equipment

Ellis athletes train under the supervision of certified athletic trainers from UPMC Sports Medicine. Our trainers assist with conditioning and injury management and oversee every game. They are nationally certified both on the state level and by the National Athletic Trainers Association Board of Certification. Our UPMC Sports Medicine team provides onsite medical care and rehabilitation programs for all Ellis athletic teams. They also offer on-campus concussion baseline testing by season and grade level. Uniform and safety equipment lists are detailed on the MyEllis intranet site. Every sports season begins with a “Meet the Coach session” where coaches provide detailed information about practice and games and set the tone for an exciting season.

Shayla Scott

Director of Athletics

Commit. Compete. Repeat. The foundation of Ellis Athletics is built around the idea that once you commit, the expectation is to compete, every day. All Ellis athletes and coaches are multidimensional and multitalented, which means we can do it all. Our student-athletes are also class presidents, workshop facilitators, leads in plays, peer-tutors, orchestra members, artists, and more! From single-sport athletes to tri-sport athletes, the Ellis Athletics program encourages leadership, sportsmanship, and good character amongst the near 75 percent of Middle and Upper School students who make up our teams. Our coaches range from our beloved faculty members to passionate and well-qualified individuals who join our community after their workday. It is the natural ability of all our coaches to consistently teach while coaching and to do so in a competitive environment. Our coaches focus not only on fun but on supporting each athlete's commitment to play and practice hard for herself, her team, and her school. Ellis athletes know what it feels like to work hard, play hard, and win championships. It all starts with commitment.

Meet Our Coaches

List of 9 members.

  • Photo of John Albright

    Mr. John Albright 

    Varsity Basketball Assistant Coach
  • Photo of Amanda  Banachoski

    Ms. Amanda  Banachoski 

    US Health/P.E.; Varsity Soccer Head Coach; MS Varsity Basketball Head Coach; Varsity Lacrosse Asst C
  • Photo of Doug Brooks

    Mr. Doug Brooks 

    Varsity and JV Tennis Head Coach
  • Photo of Danae  Burgwin

    Danae  Burgwin 

    Varsity Track Head Coach
  • Photo of Caitlin Burns

    Caitlin Burns 

    Varsity Soccer Assistant Coach
  • Photo of Michelle Cook

    Ms. Michelle Cook 

    LS Physical Education Teacher; MS Field Hockey Assistant Coach; MS Intramural Basketball Head Coach
  • Photo of Abbe Dirling

    Abbe Dirling 

    Varsity Field Hockey Head Coach
  • Photo of Meghan Gorman

    Meghan Gorman 

    Middle School Soccer Coach
  • Photo of Nathan Iverson

    Mr. Nathan Iverson 

    Varsity Softball Head Coach

List of 9 members.

  • Photo of Brianne Kelly

    Mrs. Brianne Kelly 

    Middle School Physical Education Teacher, Middle School Soccer Assistant Coach
  • Photo of Daniel LaGamba

    Mr. Daniel LaGamba  

    Varsity Basketball Head Coach
  • Photo of Caroline Lynett

    Ms. Caroline Lynett 

    Grade 1 Teacher; MS and Varsity Cross Country Head Coach; Varsity and MS Swimming Assistant Coach
  • Photo of Tiffany McDowell

    Mrs. Tiffany McDowell 

    UPMC Certified Athletic Trainer
  • Photo of Erin McGann

    Ms. Erin McGann 

    Middle School Field Hockey Head Coach
  • Photo of Alexx Miller

    Alexx Miller 

    Upper School Field Hockey Assistant Coach
  • Photo of Jordan Narr

    Mr. Jordan Narr 

    Varsity Basketball Assistant Coach
  • Photo of Mark Rauterkus

    Mr. Mark Rauterkus 

    Varsity and Middle School Swimming Head Coach
  • Photo of Shayla Scott

    Ms. Shayla Scott 

    Director of Athletics, Physical Education Department Chair