NEW YORK - The No. 9 Columbia men's squash team (3-2, 1-2 Ivy) competed three times over the weekend, defeating No. 18 Brown and No. 16 Navy, each by a score of 8-1. The Lions also faced No. 6 Yale, falling to the Bulldogs 8-1. No. 2 Ramit Tandon improved to 5-0 on the year with wins in each match for Columbia.
Taking on the Brown Bears Saturday in Stamford, Conn., the Lions had four student-athletes sweep matches en route to an 8-1 victory. Tandon and Mohamed AbdelMaksoud earned 3-0 wins in No. 1 and 2 matches, respectively. Tandon blanked Blake Reinson in the opening set and cruised to an 11-0, 11-6, 11-4 win, while AbdelMaksoud played a tight first set on his way to an 11-9, 11-3, 11-6 victory.
Daniel Saleem and Andrew Tan also captured 3-0 wins in the Columbia triumph. In the No. 6 match, Saleem took down Christopher Holter, 11-9, 11-7, 11-6. The opening set of the No. 8 match between Tan and Brown's Charles Lebovitz needed extra points to be decided, but it would Columbia's junior who would come out on top, 15-13. Tan took the final two sets, 11-4, 11-5, for the sweep.
Tony Zou, Graham Miao and Kyul Rhee each overcame first set losses in their respective matches to secure four-set wins Saturday. In the No. 9 match, Alex Nalle manufactured a two-set lead and closed out Avinash Bhavnani in the fourth, 11-3, 11-8, 8-11, 11-5.
Hosting the United States Naval Academy in a Sunday morning tilt, the Lions needed five sets in numerous matches, but were able to top the Midshipmen, 8-1, at the SL Green StreetSquash Center.
Tan provided an exciting comeback victory in the No. 8 match for the Columbia faithful. After falling behind by two sets, Tan found his stride and won the next three sets, including a tight 12-10 fifth-set decision, to knock off Mitchell Bottini. Miao and Rhee also found themselves in five-set battles in the No. 4 and 5 matches, respectively, but each secured their second wins of the weekend.
Two Lions, Tandon and Saleem, posted 3-0 wins against Navy. In the No. 1 match, Tandon eased past Andrew McGuinness, 11-4, 11-2, 11-2, while Saleem dominated John Richey, 11-3, 11-5, 11-6, in the No. 6 match. AbdelMaksoud, Zou and Nalle all notched four-set wins for Columbia against the Mids.
Columbia's winning ways were halted in the afternoon portion of Sunday's doubleheader, as Yale captured matches No. 2-8 for the 8-1 victory.
Tandon defeated Kenneth Chan in the No. 1 match, 11-4, 11-7, 11-7, for the Lions' only win of the match. The victory pushed Tandon to 5-0 on the year, with each win coming in the form of a 3-0 shutout.
Columbia has four matches slated for Jan. 18-20. A 3 p.m. matchup on Friday, Jan. 18 against No. 7 Franklin & Marshall will begin the weekend's competition. Matches against No. 10 St. Lawrence and No. 15 George Washington will follow on Saturday, before closing out the weekend Sunday versus No. 20 Bowdoin.