After a program-best second-place finish in the Ivy League last year, the Columbia volleyball team kicks off its preseason with the Wildcat Challenge tournament in Evanston, Ill.
With 11 of the 14 players on the roster underclassmen, the team will look to seniors Colleen Brennan and Savannah Fletcher for experience and leadership.
Still, head coach Jon Wilson expects everyone on the roster to step up and reach the goal of bringing home the program’s first Ivy League title.
“We have a very balanced team this year, and we’re trying to be a good team and depend on each other,” Wilson said. “On any given night, there are any number of players that can lead us and not just in one position. Our first contact is better, setting is better. Physicality is as good as it has ever been.”
The Lions lost three All-Ivy selections from its roster. Megan Gaughn and Heather Braunagel both graduated after being named to the All-Ivy first team, an d junior Caitlin Brenton transferred to University of California, San Diego.
The Lions play their first match of the tournament on Friday at 1 p.m. against Northwestern, followed by matches against Boise State later that night and Belmont on Saturday. The Light Blue is facing these teams for the first time in program history.