Columbia football is coming off the team’s best two-year stretch since the Ivy League formed in 1954. Going into this season, the team is looking to win its first conference championship since 1961. Much of the team’s recent success can be attributed to head coach Al Bagnoli, who after serving as Penn’s head coach for 23 seasons, took the top job at Columbia. This season is a crucial one for Bagnoli, as this is the first season in which the team is entirely comprised of the head coach’s recruits. Some of the most important recruits are senior receiver and co-captain Josh Wainwright, who earned first-team All-Ivy League honors after a dominant sophomore season in 2017, and senior defensive lineman Daniel DeLorenzi, who broke the school’s single-season sacks record last season. The Lions are coming off a season defined by injuries—as 25 different starters missed time last season, and six different quarterbacks spent time under center. Notably, Wainwright suffered a torn ACL in the first half of the season opener after hauling in four catches, one of which went for 45 yards. Additionally, then-junior starting cornerback Benjamin McKeighan battled injuries all season long, missing two games against Penn and Yale. If the team is able to avoid injuries this season, it should be in contention for the League title.
The expectations were high for the Lions (10-5-1, 5-2 Ivy) coming into the 2018 season, and the team fell just short of the mark, finishing second in the Ivy League after a close final match against Cornell in which the Light Blue fell in overtime. The team had a five-game winning streak before losing to Cornell, blanking two of its Ivy League competitors. Following the departure of the team’s arguably two strongest players—goalkeeper Dylan Castanheira and midfielder Dylan Mott—it’s unclear whether Columbia will be able to win the Ivy League. However, many remaining veterans have the potential to carry the team to an Ancient Eight crown, such as senior midfielder John Denis, senior midfielder Vana Markarian, and junior defender Blake Willis.
Columbia (8-7-1, 4-3 Ivy) finished its season fifth in the Ivy League under the leadership of sixth-year coach Tracey Bartholomew. The team suffered a three-game losing streak in the middle of the season but defeated Yale for the first time since 2015. While the Lions were inconsistent, they were able to find some success on defense, as they managed to shut out four of their competitors. Though the women’s team may not have had the strongest season, players like senior defender Amalya Johnson, senior forward Emma Anderson, and sophomore midfielder Jessica Schildkraut make it more likely that the team will win an Ivy League title this time around.
Men’s tennis (19-4, 7-0 Ivy) triumphed over its Ivy competition to win its sixth consecutive Ancient Eight crown in legendary former head coach Bid Goswami’s final season. In a dual season riddled with injuries, the Lions’ success was unexpected, despite the tennis program’s stellar history. In doubles, William Matheson, CC ’19, and junior Jack Lin made it to the ITA National Fall Championships as well as the NCAA doubles championship. Lin and Victor Pham, CC ’19, qualified for the NCAA singles championship, where Lin advanced to the round of 16, establishing himself as an All-American. In the NCAA team championships, the Lions fell to Ohio State in the Sweet 16. This season, former associate head coach Howard Endelman will be taking the reins; the pressure is on Endelman to keep up the team’s winning streak. The remaining veterans on the team are powerhouses both in singles and doubles, so there is no deficit in talent. It will be interesting to see how senior Jackie Tang, junior Jack Lin, and junior Rian Pandole perform now that they are the players everyone will be watching.
Women’s tennis (15-4, 4-3 Ivy) finished the dual season fourth in the Ivy League under 13th-season coach Ilene Weintraub. The team began its season winning five singles titles and three doubles tournaments in the fall and blanked five of its competitors in the spring. This season, the players who will be crucial in determining the Lions’ success are junior Jennifer Kerr, sophomore Akanksha Bhan, and junior Paulina Ferrari.
Volleyball finished last season with a 10-14 record overall and a 4-10 mark in Ivy League play, tied with Brown for sixth in the conference. New head coach Allison Keeley was brought in to replace Brie Katz, who was the team’s coach for four seasons. Katz’s tenure included the 2016 season (14-10), the team’s first winning season since 2012. One reason to be excited for the upcoming season is the development of outside hitter Emily Teehan. The sophomore was named to the second-team All-Ivy League last season following a year in which she finished first among Ivy League rookies in kills, kills per set, total points, points per set, service aces, and aces per set.
Columbia (8-9, 2-5 Ivy) struggled during conference play under fifth-year head coach Caroline Nelson-Nichols. The team was often unable to overcome its league competitors, losing three matches in overtime. Players to watch are junior forward Megan Fahey and senior midfielder Jennifer Trieschman.
Women’s cross country finished 18th out of 31 teams at the NCAA Cross Country National Championships after winning the Northeast region for the first time since 2002 and its second consecutive Ivy League Title. The men’s team finished fifth in the Ivy League. Director of Cross Country and Track & Field Dan Ireland received the Ray Treacy Award, making him the Northeast Regional Women’s Coach of the Year. This season, the Lions are returning two of their five USTFCCCA All-Region honorees: senior Katie Wasserman and junior Allie Hays.
Men’s basketball had another rough season under the guidance of head coach Jim Engles. The team finished 10-18 with a 5-9 record in Ivy League play in Engles’ third season. The men were led by sophomore guard Gabe Stefanini, who was selected for the All-Ivy League second team and is the Lions’ leading scorer at 13.8 points per game. This season, Engles will have to navigate the departure of sharpshooter Quinton Adlesh, who joined the University of Southern California this offseason as a graduate transfer. This season, the men’s team will take on defending national champion Virginia in Charlottesville on Nov. 16.
In head coach Megan Griffith’s fourth season at the end of the bench, women’s basketball finished with a 8-19 record overall and a 4-10 mark in Ivy League play for the most conference wins in over eight years. This season marked the first since the departure of the program’s all-time leader in scoring and rebounding, Camille Zimmerman, CC ’18. Key to the women’s team success this season will be the continued development of Sienna Durr, CC ’22, who was named Ivy League Rookie of the Year last season. Durr led the Lions with 14.5 points and 6.2 rebounds while shooting 48.7 percent from the field last season.
Fencing won its fifth co-ed team national championship, making it the team’s third title in the past five years after winning consecutive titles in 2015 and 2016. The school’s program has been rejuvenated since hiring head coach Michael Aufrichtig in 2011. This past season, the Lions achieved both individual and collective success, as the national championship team was led by 10 All-Americans, including two individual national champions: senior Anne Cebula and junior Sylvie Binder. The Light Blue also excelled in Ivy League play, winning both the men's and women's Ivy League titles for the first time since 2008 To date, the men’s team has won six consecutive Ivy League championships, while the women's side has won Ivy League titles in 2015, 2016, 2017, and 2019.
Men’s Swimming and Diving
Men’s swimming and diving (5-4, 3-4 Ivy) finished its season fourth in the Ivy League. Head coach Jim Bolster’s 34th season with the Lions was marked by the team’s win in the 3-meter diving competition by over 80 points. Swimmers to watch are senior Zac Pear and sophomore David Wang, and the diver to watch is junior Jonathan Suckow.
Women’s Swimming and Diving
Women’s swimming and diving (6-2, 5-2 Ivy) proved its dominance in the pool, finishing third in the Ivy League. Under the leadership of 28th-season head coach Diana Caskey, the team captured a silver and a gold medal at the Ivy League championships. Lions to watch are senior swimmer Helen Wojdylo, sophomore swimmer Briget Rosendahl, and sophomore diver Michelle Lee.
Head coach Jacques Swanepoel’s ninth season with the No. 6 Lions (8-5, 4-3 Ivy) once again saw a team that could compete at the national level. Men’s squash completed its season tied for third in the Ivy League, blanking three of its competitors 9-0. Senior Robin Mann, junior Krish Kapur, junior Velavan Senthilkumar, and sophomore James Wyatt will be players to watch in the coming year.
Women’s squash (8-8, 3-4 Ivy) finished its season sixth in the nation, the highest in program history. While the team did not have much success facing Ivy League competitors, it continues to improve in reputation and standing each season under the leadership of head coach Jacques Swanepoel. Based on their success on the court last season, junior Jane Pincus and senior Jui Kalgutkar will be the players to watch.
Archery finished another successful season under the direction of head coach Derek Davis. The season culminated at the National Outdoor Collegiate Championships in Dublin, Ohio, where the Lions’ recurve team finished as runner-up to the Texas A&M Aggies, making it to the gold-medal match for the fourth consecutive season. Junior Christine Kim, sophomore Meghan Collins, and Aileen Yu, CC ’19, were named 2019 All-Americans in recurve, and junior Sophia Strachan was named to her third consecutive All-American team in compound.
Staff writers Elizabeth Karpen and Harris Walker can be contacted at email@example.com and firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow them on Twitter @karpenlizzie and @harriswalker17.