CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. – Virginia head coach Mark Allen announced Maureen Foley (Buffalo, N.Y.), Annabelle MacTaggart (Greenwich, Conn.), Caroline Pellegrino (New Canaan, Conn.) and Nicolina Tessitore (Wallingford, Conn.) will join the women’s squash team for the 2021-22 season.
I’m excited to welcome these four student-athletes into our squad in August,” said Allen. “Each of them will be competitive for a place in the front 9 of our roster and together they bring exceptional depth to our program. With Annabelle, Caroline, Mauren and Nicolina – all ranked in the top 25 on the US National U19 rankings – I think that the competition to win a place in the starting lineup is going to be fiercer than it’s ever been. This internal competition is a great thing for us and has the potential to propel the team to new heights. After a year without competition and with limited opportunity to get out on the court, I know that they will be coming in ready to go and eager to make a valuable contribution.”
Maureen Foley (Buffalo, N.Y.) played on the varsity team for five years at the Nichols School, helping to lead the team to the 2017 Division 4 Championship at the US Squash High School nationals as an eighth grader. The 2018 Buffalo Top Prep Player of the Year is currently ranked No. 11 nationally in Girls U-19 after previously rising to as high as No. 6 in the U-15 and U-17 rankings. She is a veteran of international play as a member of the US U-13 and U-15 junior national teams, competing twice at the British Junior Open and also competing on the winning side in the 2018 USA vs. Canada tournament. She also played lacrosse and golf and ran cross country at the Nichols School while earning highest academic honors in her freshman through senior years.
Annabelle MacTaggart (Greenwich, Conn.) helped lead Greenwich Academy to back-to-back High School Team National Championships and Fairfield Athletic Association (FAA) Championships in 2018 and 2019. MacTaggart went undefeated in conference matches, playing at eight in 2018 and nine in 2019. She represented the US at the Battle of the Border in 2017, leading the American squad to a first-place finish. MacTaggart was ranked as high as No. 6 in the U-15 national rankings and No. 16 in the U-17s. She had a fifth-place finish at the 2018 Mid-Atlantic Junior Championships.
Caroline Pellegrino (New Canaan, Conn.) was a three-time all-conference honoree by the Fairfield Athletic Association, also receiving the FAA Coaches Award to recognize top HS girl athlete in division in 2018-19. Pellegrino helped lead St. Luke’s to a runner-up finish at the 2017 Head U.S. High School Team Squash Championships in Division III. She was awarded the 2014 U.S. Squash’s William T. Ketchum Jr. Most Improved Player Award. She has been ranked as high as No. 8 in the national U-17 rankings and No. 16 at U-19.
Nicolina Tessitore (Wallingford, Conn.) helped lead Choate to a runner-up finish at the 2019 Girls II Class A New England Prep Championships. She was the 2018 recipient of the Choate Athletic Department’s Wallis/Sullivan Award for Greatest Contribution to Athletics and the 2019 Choate Squash Tom Generous Award. She has played for US Squash since 2013, including being a top-10 finisher at the 2018 Hong Kong Open.
Nicolina has been ranked as high as No. 8 in the U-17 national rankings with a seventh-place finish at the 2019 West Coast Junior Championship and sixth at the 2019 Spector Philadelphia Junior Championship. She is a former Choate teammate of current Cavalier freshman Meagan Best.