By Anne Bello
Published Oct 28, 2012 at 3:00 PM ET; Updated Oct 5, 2012 at 8:20 PM ET

New York, NY — For the second year in a row, Columbia won the Barnaby Award as the most improved team in the nation. The Lions’ performance at the 2012 Men’s National Team Championships showed just how far the team has come. Seeded 14th coming into the tournament, Columbia pulled off not one but two 5-4 upsets. They knocked off 11th-seeded Navy and 10th-seeded Williams en route to the B Division finals, where they lost 1-8 to Penn. Can Columbia go three-for-three with the Barnaby Award, riding their improvement all the way into the A Division? With no players from the top 10 having graduated and five additions to the roster, the Lions should be deeper. “We’re adding new international and US talent to our roster and we’re excited to see their impact this year,” says head coach Jacques Swanepoel. The newcomers include two sophomore transfers, Mohamed Abdel-Maksoud (Rochester) and Alex Nalle (Tufts), as well as one sophomore, Marin Gorman, returning from time off. First-year players Avinash Reddy (Raffles Junior College, Singapore) and Sun Phatrprasit (Winchester College, UK) will also be joining the team. “Columbia squash has been on an upward trend since its inception and we’re motivated to continue the trend this year,” Swanepoel says.

2011-2012 SEASON RECAP

Season Record: 7-11

Final Ranking: 10

Team Championships: 2nd in the Hoehn Cup (B Division); Barnaby Award winner

2012-2013 SEASON PREVIEW

Program Status: Varsity

Head Coach: Jacques Swanepoel

Returning Players from Team Championships: 1. Ramit Tandon (Pool Trophy Finalist, 1st Team All-American, Ivy League co-Rookie of the Year, 1st Team All-Ivy); 2. Tony Zou (CSA Scholar Athlete); 3. Graham Miao; 4. Danial Saleem; 5. Kyul Rhee; 6. Alec Goldberg; 7. Andrew Tan; 8. Hyun-Ho Rhee; 9. Theo Buchsbaum; 10. Thomas Galluccio

Graduated/Non-Returning Players from 2011-2012 Team Championships: 11. Marvin So;  Anchit Nayar; Brandon Thompson

Additions to the 2012-2013 Roster: Mohamed Abdel-Maksoud, Alex Nalle, Avinash Reddy,  Sun Phatrprasit, and Martin Gorman

Captains: Tony Zou and Andrew Tan

Team Goals: To make the A Division

Key Matches: Dartmouth, Penn, Williams, Navy, F&M, Middlebury, and St. Lawrence

To read other team previews, please visit the 2012-2013 College Squash Season Previews page.