As a team with an emerging profile in the CSA and around the squash circuit, we are seeing significant interest from all corners of the squash world. Here are some frequently asked questions and responses regarding the teams, applying to UVa, and the squash experience at the University. Please take a read and don’t hesitate to be in touch.
Q: Are the teams seeking varsity status? If so, what is the timeline for a move toward that status?
A: Whilst our long term aim is to achieve full varsity status there is currently no definite timeline in place. Fortunately, CSA does not differentiate between varsity and club squash programs. Our current trajectory has brought us into the top 20 on the men’s side and the top 16 for the women. And we anticipate that this trend upward will continue in the coming seasons regardless of our formal status at the University of Virginia.
Q: Are scholarships for squash players available?
A: Not yet. Private squash scholarships are possible even without achieving varsity status but our priority over the next three to five years is to secure the program’s essential functions (coaching, travel, facilities). After we achieve the goal of fully endowing the program, we will begin to explore options for scholarships.
Q: What specifics can you offer on the academic standards that the University looks for in its applicants?
A: Applicants should familiarize themselves with the admissions process and criteria available on the UVa Admissions homepage. To have a realistic chance of securing admission, prospective applicants should anticipate meeting the minimum requirements set forth on the Admissions Page. Information on criteria for in-state and legacy candidates is available here.
Q: What is the level of commitment expected of players on the Virginia squad? How does it stack up to sanctioned varsity programs?
A: The level of commitment for the UVA squad is equal to that expected at other leading squash programs. Our student athletes are expected to prioritize their squash commitment as second only to their academic progress. A full practice schedule is here and match schedules are here. The in-season commitment averages out to approximately 12 hours per week.
Q: What does a typical schedule for the Virginia squash teams look like? How many matches do you play in a season and against what sorts of opponents do you compete?
A: We work hard to put together a competitive schedule based on the anticipated strength of our team–we want close matches. So our opponents aren’t dictated by varisty or club status, but instead by who we think will be our closest rivals. Like most college squash teams, our match schedule consists primarily of weekend round robin events at various venues on the East Coast. Players should expect to travel to at least two to three such weekend events during the regular season. In addition to these away matches, we generally hold one triangular weekend match in the early part of the season and the Virginia Squash Invitational (a larger event involving primarily ACC teams) the first weekend in February. Both the men’s and women’s teams also attend CSA/WCSA Team Nationals in mid February. Match schedules for previous seasons are available here.
Q: How do the teams travel to practices and matches?
A: Players coordinate with one another to carpool to and from practices. Travel to matches, including accommodations and meals, is arranged and funded by the teams. Typically we travel to matches via private transportation which depends on the match destination.
Q: How many players does the Virginia squash team carry?
A: The top 15 players form the official “squad” and players from the squad are required to come to all practices. They receive funding for all team squash-related activities and are selected to play in the official CSA/WCSA matches. In addition to the squad, we also carry a group of reserves that are invited to attend practice should one of the top 15 not be available.
Q: I’m interested in pursuing admission to the University of Virginia and am interested in being a member of the team while there. What are the next steps?
A: The first step is to fill out the applicable “Prospective Player Interest Form,” which you can find here. We also suggest that players contact us by email up-to-date transcripts and SAT/ACT scores. Once we have initial contact with you via email or our prospective interest form we can follow up by phone or in person. If you are planning to visit and would like to schedule a meeting with Coach Allen, please provide us with at least two to three weeks prior notice. When possible (see below, “When should I start the process?”), we will use the info you provide on the prospective player forms/transcripts to get some feedback from the admissions department on the strength of your application. If you are planning to visit UVa and would like to meet with a member of the coaching staff, please notify us at least two weeks in advance of your visit.
Q: When should I start the process?
A: Formally we encourage prospective players to begin the process in the late fall of their junior year of high school. For players we determine to be leading candidates, we will need to see unofficial transcripts for first semester (or first two trimesters) and standardized test scores. Informally, we encourage players who are interested in UVA to come for tournaments, camps, and other events at any point in their high school careers. It helps to put a face to a name early in the process and visiting grounds and the facility is a great way to get a sense of what the squash program, the University, and the region have to offer. But keep in mind that not much can move forward until we have a player’s mid-point junior year transcripts and at least one set of ACT or SAT scores.
Q: For international students, what information can you provide on the application process and/or the student-athlete evaluation process?
A: As noted previously, we are unable to offer scholarships for squash at this point. Moreover, because UVA is a state school and receives public funding, financial aid is not available for international applicants. As a starting point, we recommend that you click here to read more about UVA Admissions for international applicants. Be sure to click through the links and documents provided. There is NOT a separate application to UVA for international applicants, although some supplemental materials such as TOEFL scores may be required. With regard to our evaluation of prospective student-athletes, our metrics for standard of play are based primarily on the US Squash rating and ranking system. So anything you can do to help us understand your level in terms of the US Squash system is most appreciated. Matches vs US players at international events are helpful, as are any exposures in sanctioned events in the United States. If you have these, please provide notable results with name(s) of event(s), date(s), and opponent names.
Q: For in-state and legacy candidates, what information can you provide on the application process?
A: In-state and legacy applicants should click here to learn more about how their applications will be reviewed by Admissions. As mentioned elsewhere in this section, tryouts and team order are determined strictly by order of merit.
Q: I am not an undergraduate or potential applicant but I am interested in the Virginia squash program. What is the best way to keep up to date with the teams?
A: There are several ways to keep up with Virginia squash. First of all, you’ll want to sign up for our mailing list to receive regular bulletins with match recaps, news, and upcoming events. We also encourage you to click around this site, where you can find a range of current and archival info: a team history, current season match schedules, photos from past seasons, player bios–it’s all here. You can also check us out on a variety of social media platforms. You can like Virginia Squash on Facebook (also accessible via the “Follow Us” link at the bottom of this page). We are on Twitter (@UVaSquash), where we post live results during matches. And we stream home matches played at MSC via Livestream; create and account and follow UVaSquashClub.
Q: What other squash programming is offered at McArthur Squash Center?
A: In addition to serving as the home of the Virginia squash teams, MSC is also a fully functioning squash club open to Boar’s Head Sports Club members and IM-Rec pass holders. There are clinics for all ages and skill levels, private and semi private lessons, US Squash-sanctioned tournaments, ladder play, a weekly club night round robin, and more. For more information about the opportunities to play, learn, and spectate at MSC, visit Director of Squash Mark Allen’s website, lobtohisbackhand.com. Be sure to check out the newsletter sign up page, where you can choose to receive info on any or all of the “branches” of MSC squash.
Q: Are there opportunities for UVa students who are ineligible or unable to play for the official teams?
A: Absolutely. As mentioned above, all students with IM-Rec privileges can use McArthur Squash Center and take full advantage of the services offered. UVa students interested in picking up the sport or pursuing it independently of the teams can find matches and opponents by joining the MSC ladder and attending the Thursday night round robins. For more info on the ladder, the round robins, and setting up an account for booking courts, contact the MSC at BHSC squash desk (434.972.6009). Note also that there are two brand new squash courts located at the North Grounds Recreation Center. For more info on the North Grounds courts, including reservation info, click here.