By Michael T. Bello
Published Oct 12, 2016 at 3:00 PM ET; Updated Oct 10, 2016 at 7:43 PM ET

Columbia University New York, NY — Columbia returns a talented roster of players that finished last season ranked 8th in the nation. The team graduated a single player from last season’s starting line-up from the Men’s College Squash Association National Team Championships. The Lions’ strength is at the top of its line-up. To improve, Columbia must strengthen the middle and lower thirds of its ladder. Head coach Jacques Swanepoel has added Alister Walker, winner of over ten Professional Squash Association tournaments, as an assistant coach. According to Walker, “Yale, Penn, Harvard and Dartmouth make up the Ivy League matches that we expect to be extremely challenging. Trinity, Rochester and Drexel are teams we have had extremely tight matches with or lost to previously, and we hope to gain a victory or improve on scorelines from last season.” The Lions will once again be working with StreetSquash, Harlem’s urban squash program.  Walker adds that the Lions are “a collective group of outstanding individuals from around the world, who come to Columbia with great talent and individual drive, and are looking to propel this team forward to win of the Ivy League Championships.” One of this year’s tri-captains will be Rishi Tandon. The three-time Second Team All-American will be key to the Lion’s success this season. If the Lions can avoid the injury bug and improve their win percentage towards the bottom of the ladder, Columbia could be in contention for an Ivy League title.

2015-2016 SEASON RECAP

Season Record: 7-8

Final Ranking: 8

Team Championships: 8th in the Potter Cup (A Division)

By the Numbers (From US Squash): 5-4 Matches Won: 2 of 5… Top 3 Win%: .733… Middle 3 Win%: .489… Lower 3 Win%: .200…

2016-2017 SEASON PREVIEW

Program Status: Varsity

Head Coach: Jacques Swanepoel

Returning Players from Team Championships: 1. Osama Khalifa (2018 – All-Ivy League Team; Ivy League Player of the Year; Academic All-Ivy; MCSA First Team All-American); 2. Rishi Tandon (2017 – All-Ivy League Team; MCSA Second Team All-American); 3. Adham Madi (2019); 4. Carter Robitaille (2019); 5. Arhum Saleem (2018); 6. Josh Sekhar (2018);  8. Salmaan Amin (2019); 9. Richard Soper (2017); 10. Chris Choi (2017);

Graduated/Non-Returning Players from Team Championships: 7. Jonathan Gill (2016); Avinash Reddy

Additions to the 2016-2017 Roster:

  • Robin Mann
  • Rahul Sehrawat
  • Sambhav Anand

Captains: Arhum Saleem, Osama Khalifa, and Rishi Tandon

Team Goals: Win the Ivy League

Key Matches: Yale, Penn, Harvard, Dartmouth, Trinity, Rochester and Drexel

To read other team previews, please visit the 2016-2017 College Squash Season Previews page.