CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. – The Virginia men’s and women’s squash teams welcome the class of 2024 as eight student-athletes will join the Cavaliers in the fall of 2020, the program announced on Wednesday (April 29).
The men’s team adds Andrew Barr (Bloomfield Hills, Mich.), Myles McIntyre (Andover, Mass.) and Maxwell Velazquez (Brooklyn, N.Y.) to its roster, while the women’s team welcomes Griffin Dewey (New Canaan, Conn.), Erin O’Connor (Greenwich, Conn.) and Olivia Walsh (Bryn Mawr, Pa.) to the program. Taha Dinana (Cairo, Egypt) and Meagan Best (Christ Church, Barbados) will also compete with the Cavaliers in the fall after being announced as signees earlier in the season.
“I’m looking forward to welcoming this class of 2024 to Charlottesville,” head coach Mark Allen said. “Having just had their senior squash season cut slightly short, I know they will be raring to go and it will be interesting to see where they end up in our opening roster order by the time our first match against Franklin & Marshall rolls around on November 7. I’m anticipating a few of these players to challenge for a position in the front five on our teams, and the rest to bring significant depth to the squad. Historically, we have always had a great deal of success at the back end of the order – because of just how fierce the internal competition is for a position in our front nine. With the strength in depth of this group, I feel confident that this will continue to be a key component of our success going forward too.”
Andrew Barr • Bloomfield Hills, Mich. • Detroit Country Day
Barr posted a career-high BU19 age group ranking of 26th during his senior year of competition. He fought his way through the 2019 U.S. Junior Squash BU17 Singles Championships, capturing a top-eight finish after competing in the Classic Plate semifinal match. Barr represented the U.S. team at the 2019 British Junior Open. He was the runner-up at the 2018 Mid-Atlantic Junior Championships and won the 2018 Hunter Lott Junior Gold, the 2018 St. Louis Junior Gold and the 2018 GCC Junior Gold tournaments. Barr is a three-time scholar athlete.
Griffin Dewey • New Canaan, Conn. • Deerfield Academy
Dewey, a three-year letterwinner with the Deerfield women’s squash program, helped her team to a second-place finish at the 2019 Class A New England Championships by recording a second-place finish in her draw. She competed as the program’s No. 2 at the 2020 New England Preparatory School Athletic Council (NEPSAC) Class A Squash Championships, finishing fourth in her position. The New Canaan Country School Squash team captain was named the Karinne Heise recipient, an award given to the team’s female athlete that exemplifies skills, dedication to the sport and team-first leadership.
Myles McIntyre • Andover, Mass. • St. Paul’s School
The 2020 U.S. Squash DeRoy Sportsmanship Award winner, McIntyre was named a member of the U.S. Junior National Team in 2019 and represented the U.S. at the World Junior Championships. He qualified for the U.S. Junior U19 Open where he advanced to the fourth round of competition. McIntyre was a three-time all-New England Prep School Athletic Conference first-team honoree. He recorded St. Paul’s senior championship titles for the 2017-18, 2018-19 and 2019-20 seasons in addition to winning the junior title in 2017-18. He concluded his senior year undefeated.
Erin O’Connor • Greenwich, Conn. • Sacred Heart Greenwich
O’Connor was a Fairchester Athletic Association All-League honoree in 2019 and an honorable mention recipient in 2017 and 2018. She was named the 2019 GU19 William T. Ketcham Jr. award winner for having the largest ranking increase during the 2018-19 season and for competing at the National Juniors. O’Connor placed third in her draw at the 2019 NEPSAC Championships. She was named Most Accomplished Athlete for Sacred Heart Greenwich in 2019. The Sacred Heart Greenwich five-time varsity letterwinner served as captain of the team from 2019-20.
Olivia Walsh • Bryn Mawr, Pa. • The Agnes Irwin School
Walsh led the country as the No. 1 GU17 player and ranked 19th in the world for the age bracket. She represented the U.S. at the British Junior U17 Open and also competed at the U.S. Junior U19 Open, advancing to the fourth round of competition. Walsh won the women’s A Division National Doubles Championships and Junior Doubles Squash National Championships, in addition to placing second in two High School National Championships. She was awarded the GU17 Sportsmanship Award by US Squash.
Maxwell Velazquez • Brooklyn, N.Y. • Leman Manhattan Prep School
Velazquez was a national champion, winning the U.S. Closed title in BU17 in 2018. He was a two-time representative for the U.S. at the British Open. He recorded a 2019-20 season-best national junior ranking of 29th. He competed with the U.S. national team at the 2018 British Junior BU17 Open. Velazquez advanced to the finals at the 2020 INFINITUM Squash Junior Gold Tournament, finishing as the tournament runner-up. He placed in the top 12 at the 2019 U.S. Junior Squash Championships.
Meagan Best • Christ Church, Barbados • Choate Rosemary Hall
Best was a three-time Barbados Olympic Association Junior Female Outstanding Athlete of the Year and a three-time National Sports Council Junior Outstanding Sportsperson. A 2018-19 All-American, Best earned a silver medal in the women’s individual competition and a gold medal in the mixed doubles at the 2019 Junior Pan American Championships. Over the course of her career, Best captured a U.S. Junior Open title, a Canadian Junior Open title, two Caribbean Senior titles, four Barbados Senior National titles, seven Caribbean Junior titles and fifteen Barbados Junior National titles. She was a three-time gold medalist and two time silver medalist at the Junior Pan American Championships, including her run at the 2019 international tournament. In addition to a silver medal in 2019, over the years she has also claimed three bronze medals at U.S. Junior Opens and a silver medal at Canadian Junior Open Championships.
Taha Dinana • Cairo, Egypt • Masters Schools
Dinana won the 2018 Arlen Specter Philadelphia Junior Championships and the 2018 Midwest Junior Championships in addition to finishing as a Greenwich Junior Gold U19 finalist and a 2019 Ardic Egyptian Junior Open finalist. The wins earned him the ranking of No. 1 for the BU17 age group according to US Squash. Dinana captured three titles in 2017, topping the Baird Haney Brooklyn Junior Gold, New York Regional Championships and the Westchester Winter Junior Gold Championships. He was named the 2018 Masters School Junior Athlete of the Year and a 2017 MVP.