Akron’s Walsh helps raise Wildcat fever

By on March 30, 2016

NOVA Cheer 4Meghan Walsh’s view of Villanova basketball games this season was much like the team itself: Tough to beat.

The junior honors student from Akron eyed Wildcats’ contests directly from the floor and even above it, sometimes acrobatically flipping, spinning and twirling as a member of Nova’s cheerleading squad.

“It’s been such an incredible year,” she said. “It’s special to be a part of it.”

Villanova’s magical season took a huge leap last weekend with a Final Four berth and a legitimate shot at its first national title since 1985, Meghan said.

Walsh, who attended Our Mother of Perpetual Help grade school in Ephrata and is a 2013 Lancaster Catholic High School grad, had participated on dance teams but had never been a cheerleader before her freshman year at Villanova.

“My friends went out for the dance team and didn’t make it so they decided to try out for cheerleading,” she said. “I said, ‘Oh I’ll come with you.’ And it ended up happening. It’s pretty crazy.”

Nova Cheer 20_FotorSome of her favorite games have been on the big stage at the Wells Fargo Center in Philadelphia. “The close ones were more nerve-wracking but also more fun,” Meghan said.

An excellent student who double majors in economics and environmental studies, Meghan is looking forward to beginning an internship in Florida this summer – immersed in supply-chain management.

Meghan will learn Saturday what bragging rights she’ll bring south when Villanova opens Final Four play versus Oklahoma in Houston.

Though disappointed she is not one of the 12 cheerleaders heading to Houston for the Final Four – Villanova chose by seniority a dozen cheerleaders from 45 co-ed members –  Meghan will be closely supporting her team from an as-of-yet-to-be-determined site on the Main Line.

“Am I disappointed? Yes but it’s how it worked out,” she said. “I was with (the squad) for to the Big East tournament at Madison Square Garden and the NIT preseason tournament in New York. It’s just how it worked out.”

Naturally, Meghan’s parents Kim and Robert Walsh are now die-hard fans and watch as many Nova games as possible.

However, Kim misses a few plays, Meghan noticed.

“My mom gets really stressed out watching (Villanova) games,” she said. “Sometimes she can’t watch…she’s been known to hide under a blanket during a close game.”Nova Cheer 20

Patrick Burns is a social media editor and writer for The Ephrata Review. He welcomes your questions and comments and can be reached at pburns.eph@lnpnews.com or at 721-4455

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Social media editor and staff writer for Ephrata Review and Lititz Record Express.

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