Fall Sports


By Harris Walker

“A whole new passion for the game”: After a season lost to injury, star wideout Josh Wainwright is ready to get back on the field by Harris Walker

Bill Campbell gave Columbia his time and money, but his biggest gift was generations of mentorship

Looking back on the legacy of Columbia football’s 2016 recruiting class

Expectations were high for Columbia football going into this season, as the team kicked off its fifth year under the NCAA’s all-time winningest head football coach, Al Bagnoli. This fall marked the first season with a team comprised entirely of Bagnoli’s own recruits. Unfortunately for the Lions, the season did not go as planned as the offense struggled to get on the board all year, finishing with the fewest points scored in the Ivy League en route to a 3-7 season.

After a 6-4 2018 season that was defined by injuries, this year was supposed to be the culmination of everything that Bagnoli had been working toward over his first four years at Columbia. The return of senior receiver Josh Wainwright, a healthy quarterback situation, and a dominant defense gave the Lions a chance to secure their first Ivy League Championship since 1961. However, the Lions stumbled out of the gates with a 1-3 record to start the season, including a 21-10 loss to Princeton in their Ivy opener. The Ivy League season was filled with high highs, like the 44-6 win over Penn that marked the largest Homecoming victory in program history, and low lows, like the 45-10 loss to eventual Ivy League co-champion Yale. While the team did not succeed as a whole, there were moments of individual success, such as senior defensive lineman Daniel DeLorenzi breaking the program’s all-time sack record. Unfortunately for the Lions, individual success was not enough to make up for a disappointing season that left the Lions in the familiar position of once again hoping for a breakthrough next year.

Men’s Soccer

By Lizzie Karpen

Coming off a 2018 season in which the Light Blue lost the Ancient Eight title by just one goal in overtime, the expectations for men’s soccer to live up to last season’s potential were high. However, the season started slow, as the team did not win its first matchup until five games into the season. Senior midfielder and forward John Denis was the standout player throughout this stretch, sinking the equalizer in the team’s home opener against the U.S. Military Academy and helping to clinch the 3-2 win over the University of Connecticut with two goals.

Ivy play started in a promising fashion for the Lions with a 3-2 win over Brown, which was secured through strong teamwork between Denis and first-year midfielder Uri Zeitz. The team continued its unbeaten streak in the Ivy League with a 1-1 draw against Penn, during which Zeitz scored a goal within the opening minutes for the second time this season.

However, the team began to lose its defensive prowess after its first Ivy loss against Princeton, during which first-year goalkeeper Michael Collodi stepped too far out of the goal, allowing a Princeton forward to sink a shot into the empty net. The season took a turn for the worse when the Lions were shut out by Yale and lost any chance of winning the Ivy title. Despite a triumphant 6-1 victory over Harvard on Senior Day, the Light Blue found itself unable to salvage its season, falling to Cornell 4-0 in its last match.

Women’s Soccer

By Adam Lang

“One of the best players in the history of this program”: Amalya Johnson finishes a career filled with many accolades and even more memories

At the start of the 2019 season, women’s soccer secured five wins prior to Ivy play for the first time in a decade, and it had high hopes to obtain 10 wins by the end of the season. The team continued its strong form in the first half of Ivy League play, securing eight wins with four games remaining in the season. However, due to a sudden drop in momentum and controversial referee decisions, the Light Blue tied three times in its last four games, with a sole win against Yale. As the season concluded, the Lions finished with an overall record of 9-3-4. Though it was not able to reach double-digit wins, the Light Blue had its fewest losses since 1998.

First-year forward Shira Cohen led the team with four goals and 11 points. Five Lions were crowned with All-Ivy League awards: Senior captain Amalya Johnson received back-to-back first-team All-Ivy selections; Cohen and fellow first-year forward Ally Clark were among the second-team players; junior forward Jordyn Geller and first-year goalkeeper Liz Matei both earned honorable mentions.

The 2019 season was the last for eight seniors: forwards Emily Koe, Taylor Duran, and Bailey Peacock; midfielder Maddie Tamares; and defenders Reilly Lucas, Adriana Kuryla-Santos, Amalya Johnson, and Taylor Penn.


By Clara Ence Morse

Victory screams and silent smiles: How Cheng and Ikwuazom have changed volleyball’s team culture

After head coach Allison Keeley saw the team finish seventh in the conference in 2018 with a 10-14, 4-10 Ivy record, Columbia volleyball knew something had to change. With the graduation of two of their top three offensive players and a huge incoming class of nine first-years, the Lions wanted to find a new way to play, one that embraced their tradition of camaraderie while adding accountability. In Keeley’s words, Columbia was looking for a culture of “love and excellence.”

With this mindset, the Lions worked—with newly-recovered sophomore outside hitter Emily Teehan and standout first-year outside hitter Kiara Robichaud—to secure their best season in three years. They finished at 12-12 and 3-9 Ivy, placing sixth in the Ivy League. The Light Blue also won both of its matches against Penn, whose season was voided after vulgar and offensive posters were found in their locker room. A 5-9 record could have put the Lions into the conference’s top half.

Throughout the season, the Lions struggled to find a balance between the drive to develop the first-year class and the need to win. As first-years adjusted to the team, senior middle blocker Chichi Ikwuazom stepped up and dominated the conference. Her 495 kills this season were the most by any player in one season in Columbia’s history, and her 6.02 points (kills and blocks) per set established her rank as third in the nation. Working closely with junior setter Audrey Cheng—one of the Ivy League’s best assistors—Ikwuazom led by example.

But with nearly every attack running through Ikwuazom some nights, Columbia struggled early on to find a solution when she left the court. Some nights, Teehan was able to make an impact. Other nights, first-years stepped up, like outside hitters Robichaud and Pierce Woodall. Sometimes, senior libero Kalie Wood’s digs and aces energized her teammates. But often, the team floundered.

Next year, Cheng—as a seasoned senior captain—will lead a talented sophomore class that is better prepared to step up during big moments. After Ikwuazom defined 2019′s squad, the Lions must find a way to win without “the Chichi show.”

Field Hockey

By Miles Schachner

Alone in the cage: How the “relentlessly confident” Alexa Conomikes has overcome adversity to step into the role of goalkeeper

Columbia field hockey entered the 2019 season with a .500 record over the past four years, and coaches were looking to develop a young team with no shortage of talent. With the departure of Katie Dempsey, CC ’19, and Danielle Buttinger, CC ’19, the Lions lost their goalkeeper and second-highest scorer, leaving the 2019 team with an opportunity to prove itself in uncharted territory. This year’s campaign began with the addition of seven first-years who helped to fill the spots that the four seniors had vacated.

The Light Blue immediately demonstrated the promise of its roster, knocking off ranked opponents No. 22 Boston University and No. 24 Maine. These wins marked the first time in program history that Columbia had defeated a ranked foe. The Lions would go on to post a 3-4 record in Ivy League play, besting Brown, Penn, and Dartmouth while falling to Yale, Harvard, Princeton, and Cornell. Columbia also demonstrated a flair for the dramatic: The team played a total of six overtime games, and its wins against Dartmouth and Penn were capped by overtime game-winners. In that victory over the Big Green, first-year forward Ellie Decker earned the second hat trick in Columbia history. But struggling in close games proved to be a persistent narrative, as losses in six games in which the Lions were only able to score one goal contributed to their overall losing record of 7-9.

With top performers returning in the years to come, it’s easy to be optimistic about the future of this roster. Junior midfielder Kelsey Farkas emerged as a dominant authority, leading the team with 20 points and eight goals and earning a spot on the first-team All-Ivy League in the process. Sophomore midfielder Allison Smith provided a consistent scoring threat, matching Farkas’ team-leading eight goals and winning an All-Ivy honorable mention nod. On the defensive end, junior goalkeeper Alexa Conomikes established herself as a steadying force in goal, notching 6.19 saves per game, which was good for second in the Ivy League and 10th in the nation. Conomikes also earned a spot on the second-team All-Ivy squad. Decker’s late-season heroics also won her a spot on the second-team All-Ivy. Next year’s squad will hold a host of promising talent that has amassed valuable experience this year, and Columbia will look to jump past the middling records of the last five years.

Men’s Tennis

By Lizzie Karpen

Bidding farewell: After 37 years and over 500 wins, a legendary men’s tennis coach retires

Alex Keyser’s season ended before it ever really began

When one speaks of the fall 2019 men’s tennis season, the first name to come up is typically that of No. 6 junior Jack Lin. After becoming an All-American at the NCAA Singles Championship last May, Lin has continued to dominate the court in the fall tournament season. While simultaneously achieving his highest singles ranking since coming to Columbia, he and senior Jackie Tang achieved the highest doubles ranking in program history at No. 3.

Following the retirement of Bid Goswami—the team’s head coach of 37 years—former associate head coach Howard Endelman took the reins as Rich Bonfiglio succeeded Endelman. In addition, Tang returned to the court after sitting out the spring season due to a foot injury. The fate of the tour season still remained up in the air, but at the Farnsworth-Ivy Plus tournament, Lin took home the Tiger Draw title, an indicator of strong play to come. At the ITA Oracle Masters Tournament, Lin rallied his way into the semifinals but fell to USC’s No. 8 Daniel Cukierman. That same weekend, junior Rian Pandole went 3-0 in his matches at the Orange & Blue Classic, and first-year Alex Kotzen went home undefeated.

Tang and Lin clinched the doubles title at the ITA All-American, a program first. No. 77 Tang doubled his luck at the ITA Northeast Regional, successfully battling through seven rounds of singles play before being defeated in the finals by Dartmouth’s No. 41 Charlie Broom. Tang and Lin closed out the fall season at ITA Fall Nationals. Tang fell in the first round of play while he and Lin were both defeated in the doubles bracket. Lin went on to defeat three ranked players in the tournament, concluding the fall season with his loss in the semifinals to Texas’ No. 4 Yuya Ito.

Men’s tennis kicked off its fall season with a win at the ITA Kick-Off Weekend, and advancing to the ITA National Team Indoor Championships. At the tournament, the Lions lost their first match to No. 53 University of Florida but came back to clinch two top-15 wins over No. 13 University of South Carolina and No. 8 Baylor University. After splitting matches in Evanston, Illinois, the team came back to Dick Savitt Tennis Center to blank Florida International University 7-0; junior Austen Huang was the only member of the Light Blue to remain undefeated in singles play.

After the cancellation of the Ivy League season due to the coronavirus pandemic, it will remain unknown until 2021 whether the Lions can clinch their seventh consecutive Ivy League championship.

Women’s Tennis

by Lizzie Karpen

Bhan’s historic performance offers extra hope for the already bright future of women’s tennis

Women’s tennis began its season on its home court, clinching 10 titles at the Columbia Invitational to set the tone for a successful fall season. The team’s first-years were dominant forces on both the doubles and singles courts as Julia Haynes and Michelle Xu won the Flight B doubles title at the Cissie Leary Invitational hosted this fall by Penn. However, the trajectory of women’s tennis was stymied as the team failed to win a title at the West Point Invitational.

At the ITA-All American Championships, sophomore No. 65 Akanksha Bhan became the first player in program history to compete in the main draw. After capturing five consecutive wins, Bhan triumphed against three ranked competitors.

Bhan and junior Paulina Ferrari continued the season with dominant play as they rallied to the final four of the ITA Northeast Regional, where the tandem eventually fell in a 1-6, 6-1, 10-8 superset. Sophomore Melissa Sakar also had a successful run at the regional tournament, making it all the way to the semifinals.

Coming into the dual season, the Lions were primed for success. They returned after winter break with two consecutive trounces of their opponents before winning the program’s fourth ECAC championship against Ivy League competitors Brown, Harvard, and Yale.

Moreover, the Light Blue ended its season with eight consecutive wins, including four shutouts. It also defeated No. 34 Washington State and No. 25 Syracuse, its highest-ranked opponents in history. What could have been the strongest Ivy season for the Lions to date ended up being canceled due to the coronavirus pandemic, so it has yet to be seen whether women’s tennis can clinch its second Ivy title.

Cross Country

by Mackenzie George

Ireland highlights individuality to build a cross country team for success

The women’s cross country team continued to assert its dominance in the Ivy League this year as it locked up its third consecutive Ivy League Heps title and secured an at-large bid for the NCAA National Championships. Paced by senior Katie Wasserman and junior Allie Hays for much of the year, the Lions rarely faltered in competitions. The women’s team earned two team titles this season—one at Heps and the other at the Iona Meet of Champions—and consistently found itself within the top 25 teams in the nation in the U.S. Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association rankings.

After battling sickness, the men’s team improved for the latter half of the season, earning a fourth-place finish at Heps. Senior Kenny Vasbinder consistently led the Light Blue. In his final cross country season, Vasbinder secured an individual Ivy League Heps title, a first-place finish at the Roy Griak Invitational in Minnesota, and a second-place finish at the Iona Meet of Champions. Vasbinder, along with Wasserman, Hays, senior Emily Acker, first-year Tyler Berg, and sophomore David Vorbach earned All-Ivy honors.

New talent also emerged for Columbia, setting up the program for success in years to come. Berg made waves in his first race as a Lion at the Roy Griak Invitational, in which he placed 16th in a field of 117 runners. Sophomore Sofia Camacho also wowed in her first-ever collegiate cross country race. She claimed gold at the Metropolitan Cross Country Championships in Van Cortlandt Park and later propelled herself to a spot on the Nationals team. These individual successes, coupled with the fact that director Daniel Ireland was awarded Ivy League Women’s Cross Country Coach of the Year for the third season in a row, make clear that Columbia cross country will continue to be a force to be reckoned with.

What happened off the court

By Lizzie Karpen

The man, the myth, the mascot: Roar-ee the Lion’s role in championing a stronger athletic culture at Columbia

Three days before football’s home opener, Columbia Athletics announced that it would ban the Columbia University Marching Band from performing at all athletic events and stripped the CUMB of its remaining $10,000 of University funding. This followed Columbia College and the School for Engineering and Applied Science’s decision to no longer contribute their $15,000 portion of the band’s budget last fall. The cut followed disagreements that arose when the band stormed Butler following its ban from performing in the library for Orgo Night.

Coming into football season, new rules stated that if any band members attempted to bring instruments into Wien Stadium, they would be subjected to individual sanctions through Dean’s Discipline.

The band responded by demonstrating in front of Low Library and continuing to perform from the bleachers of football games sans instruments. In order to cover its expenses, the band proceeded to raise over $25,000 within five days onGoFundMe. However, in the week following the band reaching its fundraising goal—and on the day before Homecoming—it was announced that the CUMB and Columbia Athletics had come to an agreement over the band’s future: The band would be allowed to play at Homecoming and all subsequent events. Since that October, the band has become a spirit group under Athletics, and the department will now oversee its travel, funds, and arrangements.

On the national side, in October, the NCAA voted to allow student-athletes to profit off of their name, image, and likeness. This choice followed proposals from states like California and New York, which called for student-athletes to act as free agents and mandated that schools give athletes a portion of their Athletics revenue.

The NCAA model went against the penned “California model” in regard to regulating and overseeing the types of endorsements onto which athletes could sign. Previously, college athletes were not allowed to seek any sort of endorsement deals. This bill will relieve some of the financial pressures experienced by college athletes, many of whom are unable to get jobs due to the high time commitment of their sports.

On May 2, the NCAA’s highest body officially approved its NIL bill, which will be slated to take effect in the 2021-22 season.

Winter Sports


By Mackenzie George

Everyone matters: How Aufrichtig built a fencing dynasty centered on teamwork

“Unfinished”: Fencing seniors struggle to find closure after COVID-19 erases chance at second straight national title

Even before the coronavirus put a wrench in the Lions’ plans to defend their national championship title, the fencing team had some ground to make up. After a powerful showing at the Ivy League Men’s and Women’s Fencing Round-Robins, where the women’s team won and the men took second, the Light Blue experienced a tough regional tournament. The taxing day of fencing concluded with 11 members of the Light Blue qualifying for the NCAA tournament, which is one member short of a full team. Though it is notoriously difficult to win a national championship without 12 fencers, head coach Michael Aufrichtig and his team were set on trying.

Unfortunately, the Lions never got their chance to compete. COVID-19 ended all winter sports’ postseason competitions and cut off spring sports before they could even begin. Despite the blow of missing the NCAAs, the Light Blue had plenty to be proud of from the 2019-20 season.

Sophomore Natalie Minarik came in clutch for the Lions during Ivies. In a tied match against Penn, Minarik pulled off a 5-4 victory to keep the campaign for the Ivy title alive. At Regionals, senior Gianna Vierheller capped her final college season with a first-place finish in épée. First-year Christopher Walker shined in sabre, also claiming gold. With strong performances from young athletes and the Lions’ consistency, the team will no doubt be prepared to defend its national title in one year’s time.

Men’s Basketball

By Harris Walker

“I’m not going to change because of a losing record”: Why the men’s basketball team’s faithful keeps coming back

Heading into the fourth season under head coach Jim Engles, expectations were high for the Lions. The team anticipated the return of star senior point guard Mike Smith after a season during which he only played in eight games.

While the Burr Ridge, Illinois native lived up to the high expectations set for him, the Light Blue as a team did not. Instead, after a relatively promising first half of the season gave the Lions hope heading into Ivy League play, the team finished the season on a 13-game losing streak against its rivals in the Ancient Eight to finish dead last in the conference.

The team’s 6-24 record is its worst finish under Engles—and its worst record in recent history. That being said, the team’s mediocre performance could not prevent Smith from finishing with a stellar season that saw him rank sixth in the nation in points per game with 22.8. All told, Smith finished his career with the Lions ranked fourth all-time in scoring, second in assists, and fourth in steals. Despite Smith missing significant time last season, Ivy League rules require him to transfer if he wants to play another season of college basketball. Smith announced recently that he plans to play next season at the University of Michigan.

Women’s Basketball

By Adam Lang

How coach Megan Griffith and first-year Lions are turning women’s basketball into a different breed

“I haven’t reached my potential”: After leading her team to a cancelled postseason, Janiya Clemmons weighs basketball and banking

How Janiya Clemmons left the bench to lead women’s basketball to its first winning season of the decade

At the start of the season, the Lions were not expected to significantly improve their record. Their start was nothing impressive, as they went 1-3 in the first two weeks. However, the team quickly found its stride, winning the next six games. This was a complete turnaround from the 2018-2019 season when it lost nine straight in pre-conference matchups. But the program’s real test was in Ivy play, where the competition was stronger and each win counted toward the Ivy tournament.

A key scorer, rookie Abbey Hsu, went through a tough shooting streak as non-conference games concluded and gradually gained momentum going into Ivy play. Despite Hsu averaging 18.8 points through the first four weekends, the Lions went 2-4 and seemed to miss qualifying for the tournament again. However, after captain Janiya Clemmons’ 19-point night against Dartmouth, Columbia won six consecutive matchups in the next three weekends, beating seeding opponent Harvard twice in the stretch and effectively eliminating the Crimson from the postseason run.

In the final weekend, the Lions, shorthanded with sophomores Sienna Durr and Mikayla Markham down due to injuries, matched up against Princeton and Penn with high expectations. However, the Light Blue lost both matchups and finished fourth in the league. In the game against Princeton, however, the Columbia defense limited Bella Alarie, the 2020 WNBA fifth overall pick, to 1-7, so the Lions were ready to take on the Tigers again in the tournament.

Unfortunately, the COVID-19 pandemic forced an early end to the season and Clemmons’ senior year, but with a strong young core, the Lions are looking like they will be competitive in the future.

Men’s Swimming and Diving

By Clara Ence Morse

“It’s unmatched”: How swimmer Helen Wojdylo’s determination won her an Ivy League title and an Olympic trial berth

After finishing fifth in the nation in the 3-meter dive, then-junior Jonathan Suckow took a gap year to compete for a spot on the Swiss Olympic team, leaving Columbia men’s swimming and diving without its strongest performer. Although the young diving team struggled throughout the year, many swimmers were strong, especially in the sprint and relay events.

Columbia’s strong regular season (6-3, 5-2 Ivy) was highlighted by a victory over Princeton, Columbia’s first dual meet win against them in forty years. Led by senior Nian-Guo Liu, who won all four events that he swam in, and strong backstroke performances from senior Cole Stevens and junior Baptiste Leger, the Lions triumphed in their last meet before the Ivy League Championships.

However, the Ivy championship this year was a letdown. Although junior Albert Gwo earned four gold medals and qualified for the NCAA Nationals with a scorching 19.32 time in the 50 freestyle, the team’s other standout, Liu, had a heartbreaking meet. Liu was questionably disqualified in two events he’d dominated in the regular season— the 200 breaststroke and 200 IM— and the team fell to fifth in the standings.

If Liu’s times had counted, the Lions could have come in third behind powerhouses Princeton and Harvard. Instead, Columbia was left looking forward to Gwo’s performance at Nationals, a trip that never came.

Women’s Swimming and Diving

By Miles Schachner

After its first Ivy League champion in years, women’s swimming and diving entered the 2019-2020 season boasting a roster brimming with proven seniors and promising first-years. While no Lion captured an Ancient Eight championship this season, the program posted an encouraging year, as evidenced by a number of stellar individual performances. However, the teams were ultimately defined by an inability to top conference heavyweights.

Throughout the regular season, the Light Blue managed a 4-3 record across its Ivy League dual meets, falling only to Princeton, Harvard, and Yale. Senior breaststroker Helen Wojdylo led the team in first-place finishes throughout the year, dominating the 100- and 200-yard breaststroke contests in almost every meet she competed in. First-year freestylers Olivia Jubin and Karen Liu broke out as consistent and versatile performers, as Jubin shone in multiple freestyle events while Liu impressed during individual medley and butterfly races.

However, in the end, the Lions failed to match their regular season pace during the Ivy League Championships, placing sixth at the end-of-season meet, two spots away from the fourth-place finish their regular-season record would have suggested. Perhaps the most memorable moment of the season was Wojdylo’s quest to retake Ivy League glory with another championship in the 100-yard breaststroke. Ultimately, the senior could not replicate her past success, falling tenths of a second behind the first-place finisher to earn a silver medal.


By Juliet Tochterman

Wrestling finally achieved team success this year after a decade marked only by individual talent. This year, the wrestling team obtained eight Eastern Intercollegiate Wrestling Association wins, the most in program history, and finished with a respectable 8-6, 2-3 Ivy record, leading to it placing third in the league.

The wrestling team’s successful 2019-20 season reflects years of team-building initiated by current head coach Zach Tanelli. Upon his entrance to Columbia in 2016, Tanelli found himself tasked with reuniting a fractured team. However, over the past four years, the team has settled into a regular middle-of-the-league position. The team consistently garnered EIWA championship podium finishes and has sent wrestlers to the NCAA championships each year.

In the beginning of the season, the wrestling team appeared poised to finally operate as a unit and achieve collective conference success. The Light Blue started off the EIWA season with energy, comfortably vanquishing Binghamton by a wide margin of 24-15.

The break-out performance of sophomore Sam Wustefeld, who took out his opponent in the last three seconds of the bout, guaranteed Columbia’s successful season opener, but the win could not have been accomplished without additional wins by five other wrestlers.

The rest of the early wrestling season featured continued EIWA success, as the team achieved three more EIWA wins in the next four competitions. However, Columbia paired this success with Ivy League mediocrity. Conference matchups haunted the Light Blue for the rest of the season, as Ancient Eight Losses often followed Ivy wins. The Lions posted their first Ivy win against Penn in February only for it to be followed by a crushing 28-9 loss at Princeton; the Lions responded to the loss with an impressive 29-6 win against Brown, which in turn was succeeded by a 25-13 loss against Harvard.

At the end of the season, the wrestling team cemented its standing as successful in the EIWA and average in the Ivies, finishing 8-5 in the EIWA and 2-3 in the Ivies. Although by no means the best in the league, the wrestling team’s ability to achieve collective results speaks to its improved cohesiveness.

Not only did Columbia wrestling achieve unprecedented collective results this year, but it also continued a tradition of producing spectacular individual talent. Columbia sent five wrestlers to the EIWA Championships in 2020, including sophomores Matt Kazimir, Joe Manchio, and Joe Franzese and first-years Angelo Rini and Kyle Mosher. Two of those wrestlers, Kazimir and and Manchio, further qualified for Nationals.

Unfortunately, NCAA cancellations to winter and spring championships prevented Kazimir and Manchio from having their national debut. However, they still received proper recognition, as they both were consistently nationally ranked throughout the season.

Men’s Squash

By Wick Hallos

Before the season’s first serve, men’s squash was sixth in the nation and in contention for the Potter Cup—college squash’s highest prize, which eight top teams compete for at the end of regular season play. Expectations were high and the Lions were excited to see their young talent develop.

The Light Blue suffered from up-and-down play throughout the year. It began with two sweeping victories, then two losses to lower-ranked teams. Then, the team strung together three wins and five losses, dropping to 11th in the country. By the end of the season, the Lions were left out of competition for the Potter Cup for the first time in six years.

Although the Lions’ overall record (10-8, 4-3 Ivy) was their worst in four years, they finished by defeating No. 4 Princeton on Senior Day and going 3-0 in CSA National Championship matches. The Lions won the ninth place prize, the Hoehn Cup, for the first time. Young talent led the way, with sophomore Callan Hall and first-years Chaitanya Shah and Hugh Camiener winning four-straight individual matches against Princeton, Brown, Western Ontario, and Cornell.

After the CSA National Championships, sophomore James Wyatt was named a second-team All-American. In the CSA Individual Championships, Wyatt placed in the top twelve of the National Championship bracket. Sophomores Justin Ghaeli and Aditya Kankariya finished ninth in the Molloy East and North brackets, respectively.

Women’s Squash

By Wick Hallos

The women’s squash team began the 2019-2020 season with six new, talented players to compete with—and they did not disappoint. The Lions had finished sixth the year before, and they began the season ranked the same.

The Lions swept unranked Fordham and NYU, but then lost to eighth-ranked Drexel. After gliding by four opponents and upsetting fourth-ranked Yale, the young squad lost a few tough matches to higher-ranked opponents: Trinity, Stanford, Harvard, and Penn. They finished the season ranked eighth, with their best record (11-7, 4-3 Ivy) since 2011.

The Light Blue entered the postseason ranked high enough to compete for the Howe Cup, but it was immediately swept to the consolation bracket by Harvard. However, the Lions regained momentum and defeated fifth-ranked Penn, 5-4.

The Light Blue continued its revenge tour against Stanford and concluded the season with its best finish ever. After losing 5-4 to the Cardinal in the regular season, the Lions won 5-4 in the postseason and claimed fifth place in the nation.

In individual play, seniors Jane Pincus and Nicole Kendall made it to the top four of the Holleran South and Holleran West divisions, respectively, and first-year Ellie McVeigh placed ninth in the Holleran West division. Junior Habiba Mohamed made it to the top-eight of the main draw. Mohamed was named a first-team All-American.

Sports during COVID-19

By Lizzie Karpen

The Ivy League announced the cancellation of the Ivy League men’s and women’s basketball tournaments on March 9, ending the women’s team’s first shot at an Ancient Eight crown. Initially, Columbia Athletics stated that it would let all athletes continue to travel and compete in postseason tournaments and spring matchups. Three days later, the Ivy League canceled all remaining athletic events for the year.

The turn of events prevented the fencing team, the reigning national champion, from attempting to win yet another title; stopped the six-back-to-back-Ancient-Eight-crown-winning men’s tennis team from breaking the record for winning the most consecutive Ivy tennis titles; and robbed senior athletes of their final season, especially after the Ivy League made the decision to not extend an extra year of eligibility to those who lost their seasons due to the coronavirus pandemic. All the athletes affected lost an opportunity to represent their university and prove themselves on the field.

However, players like men’s basketball superstar Mike Smith, CC ’20, and Patrick Tapé, CC ’20, will have the chance to once again compete at the highest level as they transfer to the University of Michigan and Duke, respectively, to play out their remaining eligibility.

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