New York, NY — The Columbia women’s squash team ended its existence as a club program on a high note. The Lions had their second-best finish in program history and won the Epps Cup (“D” Division) at the Women’s National Team Championships (Howe Cup). As Columbia begins its first season as a full varsity program, the team is looking ahead to being more competitive with “B” and “C” Division teams.
Columbia has hired Kelsey Engman as head coach of the women’s team. “In our first season as a varsity team, we hope to show that Columbia is enthusiastic and supportive of the new squash teams,” she says. “With the strength of our freshmen added to our more seasoned players, we hope to make great improvements this year.”
The Lions will return all but three players from last year’s championship roster, and the top four will all be back. Six first-year players will be joining the team, and all have high school squash experience. The new players are Skylar Dickey and Morgan Strauss from Penn Charter, Monica Stone from Episcopal Academy, Katie Quan from Exeter, Mahima Chablani from Shady Side Academy, and Jenny Schroder from Lawrenceville.
Anne Cheng will repeat as captain and will be joined by Liz Chu. The team will also continue to be involved with StreetSquash. “We believe that one of the best parts of our program is that we are very closely affiliated with StreetSquash,” Engman says. “Each member of our team volunteers there at least once a week, both mentoring and teaching the members of StreetSquash how to play. This is a very important and rewarding part of the Columbia squash program.”
Columbia squash started as a student-run program, and as a club Columbia reached as high as 21st in the nation. Now that they have full institutional support behind them, it will be interesting to see how far the Lions will go in the coming years.
2009-2010 SEASON RECAP
Season Record: 5-10
Final Ranking: 25
Team Championships: 25th Over All; 1st in Epps Cup (D Division)
2010-2011 SEASON PREVIEW
Program Status: Varsity
Head Coach: Kelsey Engman
Returning Players from Team Championships: Anne Cheng (3; 2009-2010 Captain); Liz Chu (1); Kate Hansen (9); Lindsey Harris (8); Yoo-Na Kim (4); Alexa Mouta (7); Mahrah Taufique (10); Annie Tickell (2)
Graduates on Last Season’s Team Championships Roster: Tara Banani (6; 2009-2010 Captain); Monica Gorman (5); Danielle Jacob (10/11)
Additions to the 2010-2011 Roster: Skylar Dickey, Morgan Strauss, Monica Stone, Katie Quan, Mahima Chablani, and Jenny Schroder
Captains: Liz Chu and Anne Cheng
Team Goals: Show Columbia’s support of the new varsity program and continue to improve
Key Matches: Matches with “B” and “C” Division teams
To read other team previews, please visit the 2010 – 2011 College Squash Preview Page.