Swanepoel Adds Four in Men's Squash Class of 2015
Courtesy: Columbia University Athletics/Gene Boyars
NEW YORK - Head coach Jacques Swanepoel has recently announced the four student-athletes that will join the Columbia men's squash team in the fall of 2011.  The four student-athletes bring loads of national and international success to the Lions' roster.

"I expect our incoming players to have a strong impact on the middle to top of our ladder," said Swanepoel.  "With the addition of these players we are set for another big jump in the national rankings as all four players are likely to be in the starting lineup in their first year. This class brings exactly the personality and work ethic that we strive for on our team and they will fit in perfectly with the rest of the group. I believe they will add a great deal to the chemistry of our team and I can't wait for them to arrive on campus."

Thomas Gallucccio comes to Columbia after a successful high school campaign at Rye Country Day School.   The Greenwich, Conn., native earned three letters in squash and captained the team his senior year.  He compiled a 42-12 record over those three seasons, including an impressive 13-5 record at the No. 2/3 spot in 2010-11.

Kyul Rhee will join three other Phillips Andover alums on the Lions' roster (Graham Miao, Alex Park and Tony Zou) next season.  Rhee earned three varsity letters in squash and captained the team his final year.  Named the 2010 Fagan Cup Trophy Winner at Andover, Rhee's top U19 ranking was No. 24 nationally.

The third member of the class of 2015 is Daniel Saleem from Alpharetta, Georgia. Saleem ranked as high as No. 9 in the U19 national rankings in 2011.  Though his high school did not offer a squash team, Saleem had a number of top finishes at tournaments across the country.  He won the 2010 DragonDoc Squash Championships Men's 5.5, and placed sixth at the Italian Open (U19).

The final member of Swanepoel's incoming class brings a wealth of international experience to Columbia's lineup.  Ramit Tandon was the top-ranked junior player in India in 2010-11 and captain for India in junior squash.  He was a national champion in 2001, 2003, 2005, and 2010, and represented India at the World Juniors in 2008, 2010 and 2011.  Tandon helped India win gold at the Asian Junior Team Championship, and was runner-up in the Asian Individual Championship.

Columbia will look to build on its solid first varsity season in which the Lions finished 13-5 overall, won the consolation bracket of the Summers Cup, and was named the Most Improved Team at the National Team Championships.