Nine Virginia Academy Student Athletes to Play in College

ASHBURN, VA – Virginia Academy recently celebrated the class of 2024 graduation, and are sending nine student athletes to play at the collegiate level. This group includes our first football player, Matthew Harper; three volleyball players, Sydney Douglas, Hailey Piccirillo, and Jessica Choe; one soccer player, Valentina Nardone; and four basketball players, Riley White, Kristina Rakotobe, Sajol Thornhill, and Elyse Autrey. We look forward to seeing these students succeed as they take their athletic careers to the next level.

Matthew Harper will be playing Division I football at Saint Francis University. Harper is making Virginia Academy history as the first student athlete to sign to play football in college.

After an excellent season, including a Northern Virginia Independent Athletic Conference (NVIAC) championship win, three varsity volleyball players have signed to continue their athletic career. Varsity co-captain Jessica Choe will be joining her sister at Penn State Harrisburg, co-captain Sydney Douglas has signed to the United States Merchant Marine Academy, and Hailey Piccirillo will be playing at Penn State Brandywine.

Valentina Nardone will be playing Division I soccer at Saint Joseph’s University. During her season, she was selected for the Virginia Independent Schools Athletic Association (VISAA) all-state first team.

This year, the girls varsity basketball team earned a record-breaking fourth VISAA championship win and saw four athletes commit to play basketball in college. Kristina Rakotobe will be playing at University of North Carolina Greensboro, Riley White has signed to play at Randolph-Macon College, Sajol Thornhill will be playing at Queens College, and Elyse Autrey has committed to Augusta University. Autrey and Thornhill were recognized earlier this year for earning first and second team all state honors, respectively.

“It’s a great thing to be a part of,” Virginia Academy Athletic Operations Coordinator Adam Staats shared, “to see all those kids go and get to fulfill their dream and play college sports.”

Read this story in the Loudoun Times Mirror >>>

About Virginia Academy

Virginia Academy was founded in 1997 as a preschool and kindergarten of 25 students, and has grown to one of the largest preschool through 12th private schools in Loudoun County. Virginia Academy is a ministry of Community Church, which exists to prepare students for their best life through faith, scholarship and purpose. To explore who we are and how we’re growing, visit  

Amber Lambie, Marketing and Communications Coordinator

Virginia Academy

19790 Ashburn Road,

Ashburn, VA 20147

Phone: 571-209-5500 [ext: 220]