CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. – Virginia head coach Mark Allen announced CJ Baldini (West Hartford, Conn.), Charles Braff (Locust Valley, N.Y.) and Evan Hajek (Charlottesville, Va.) will join the men’s squash team for the 2021-22 season.
“With this incoming men’s class we welcome two very familiar faces, and one new one,” said Allen. “I’m always grateful for an opportunity to bring a Virginian onto the squad, so it will be a pleasure to welcome Evan Hajek, a graduate of local Western Albemarle School. He will be the first Virginian on our men’s program since we became a varsity sport! In Charles Braff we welcome a new member of the Braff family to UVA Squash. His older twin brothers Andrew and William are now graduating after four successful years on the team. Charles has big shoes to fill but I’m confident he is up to the task. CJ Baldini is the third and final member of our incoming class, joining us from West Hartford, Connecticut. CJ has impressed me so much through the entire recruiting process. I’m really looking forward to seeing what these three players add to our program this coming season and how they help move this program forward.”
CJ Baldini (West Hartford, Conn.) is a two-time MVP at Avon Old Farms School, moving up to No. 1 on the ladder his senior season after only losing two matches his junior season playing at No. 2. Baldini has been a top ten ranked squash player in every age group in US Squash and is the No. 1 U19 junior in Connecticut. He was a member of the 2018 US Junior National Team that competed at the British Junior Open and trained at the US Squash National Camp at Trinity College in 2019. He also earned the US Squash sportsmanship award for the U17 age group, an award given to the best competitor on the court and the most respected sportsman for that age group. Baldini also played two years of lacrosse at Northwest Catholic before transferring to Old Avon Farms his junior year.
Charles Braff (Locust Valley, N.Y.) was a four-year starter and junior and senior captain at Deerfield Academy, helping the team finish third in the nation in 2019 and seventh in 2020, earning All-New England honorable mention as a sophomore. He also ran cross country for two years and played JV lacrosse at Deerfield. He is a veteran of international competition, competing at the 2016 British Junior Open and the 2017 Dutch Junior Open. Charles is the younger brother of Andrew and William Braff, who played for the last four years for the Cavaliers.
Evan Hajek (Charlottesville, Va.) is the top-ranked junior player in the Commonwealth of Virginia and was ranked as high as No. 29 nationally in U-17 and No. 42 in U-19. The Charlottesville resident graduated last year from Western Albemarle where he was a member of the cross country team. He was also the sports editor of the school newspaper for two years.