CAMBRIDGE, Mass. - The Columbia men's squash team, competing in its first year as a varsity program, will travel North this weekend to take part in the 2011 Men's National Team Championships.  The tournament is set for February 25-27, with matches being played at Harvard, MIT, Northeastern, Belmont Hill and the Union Boat Club.

The Lions will be one of the 63 teams participating at the Team Championships this year, divided among eight divisions: Potter Cup (A Division), Hoehn Cup (B Division), Summers Cup (C Division), Conroy Cup (D Division), Chaffee Cup (E Division), Serues Cup (F Division), Hawthorn Cup (G Division), and the Emerging Teams Division.

Columbia, who finished the regular season 11-4 overall and ranked No. 20 nationally, will compete in the Summers Cup (C Division) along with No. 17 George Washington, No. 18 Amherst, No. 19 Bowdoin, No. 21 Wesleyan, No. 22 Colby, No. 23 Stanford, and No. 24 Hamilton.

The Lions begin the tournament with rival Wesleyan on Friday morning at 11 a.m. at Harvard on courts 6-8.  The two teams have battled each other twice already this season, with Columbia winning round one 5-4 on January 16, but the Cardinals recently edged the Lions 5-4 in the final match of the season to even the series this year.

First-years Theo Buchsbaum and Alec Goldberg have both posted a team-high 11 wins this season, playing primarily at No. 4, 5 or 6. Senior Clayton Dahlman and sophomore Tony Zou each have 10 wins a piece, while sophomore Graham Miao and first-year Andrew Tan each own nine wins.

This year has seen the Lions improve a great deal overall, as one year ago when they were competing as a club team, the Lions finished ranked 35th in the nation with a 7-9 overall record after placing third in the Chaffee Cup (E Division).

The College Squash Association will be providing live updates throughout the tournament at every level.