By Anne Bello
Published Oct 5, 2010 at 7:00 AM ET; Updated Oct 22, 2010 at 6:17 PM ET

New York, NY — Columbia’s November 20th season opener against George Washington will mark a new era for the Lions: it will be their first official match as a varsity team.

The Lions won two out of their three matches at the 2009-2010 Men’s National Team Championships, closing out their season with a 7-2 win over Washington. Columbia finished 35th in the nation, and since the 1999-2000 season they’ve consistently finished within the top 40. They reached 30th several times but have never made it into the 20’s. Now that the team has gone varsity, head coach Jacques Swanepoel is pointing the team toward the top 24.

Three first-year players will be joining the team. They are Theo Buchsbaum, who played number 1 for Lawrenceville and was ranked 73rd BU19 last season; Alec Goldberg, a graduate of Ramaz Upper School; and Martin Goman, who played number 1 for St. Luke’s as a senior.

Sophomore transfer Tony Zou will be another key addition to the team. Zou did not compete during the regular season because NYU does not have an established team, but he did compete in the Molloy Cup (“B” Division) at the Individual Championships. He made it to the consolation semifinals, beating 17th-ranked Middlebury’s top two players along the way. Graham Miao, another sophomore, will also be joining the team.

The team will continue to practice at the StreetSquash facility, where they will also host a round robin in January. The players volunteer weekly at StreetSquash, and several volunteered there over the summer.

The Ivy Scrimmages in November are on Columbia’s schedule, but the team won’t be taking on all the other Ivy teams in official matches — yet.

2009-2010 SEASON RECAP

Season Record: 7-9
Final Ranking: 35
Team Championships: 35th Overall; 3rd in Chaffee Cup (E Division)

2010-2011 SEASON PREVIEW

Program Status: Varsity

Head Coach: Jacques Swanepoel

Returning Players from Team Championships: Zach Ali (5); Clay Dahlman (1); Dan Gentile (3); Anchit Nayar (9); Alex Park (8); Brandon Thompson

Graduates on Last Season’s Team Championships Roster: Eddie Choi (10); Danny Lipsitz (6); Will McDavid (7); Adish Uberoi (4)

Additions to the 2010-2011 Roster: Theo Buchsbaum, Alec Goldberg, Martin Gorman, Tony Zou, and Graham Miao

Captains: Zach Ali, Clayton Dahlman, Dan Gentile

Team Goals:
Reach the top 24

To read other team previews, please visit the 2010 – 2011 College Squash Preview Page.