Women’s Tennis Team to Make First-Time Leap to NCAA Tournament
After wins in their respective Skyline Conference championships, the men’s and women’s tennis teams will be competing in the NCAA Division III tennis tournaments, which begin on Thursday, May 11. For the men, this will be their fifth consecutive appearance, while the women’s team will become the first ever female team in YU history to compete in a NCAA tournament. Their opponents and location of play will be revealed at noon Monday, May 7 via web stream.
“[Our success] comes from a combination of hard work and effort,” said Syms student and tennis team member Shani Hava. “I feel like in the last four years the team has gotten more and more eager to win the title and to make YU proud. I think the combination of support between the athletics department and our professors made this success possible.”
Hava, an athlete from Petah Tikva, Israel, is an example of the extra effort put in by the athletics program. Spearheaded by the efforts of Athletics Assistant Director of Recruitment and Alumni Affairs, Josh Pransky, YU has made an effort to recruit international students to play sports. Hava joined four other YU tennis players from outside North America as well as many other student-athletes scattered around Maccabee rosters.
Hava also mentioned the impact that she hopes to make as a female Jewish athlete playing for a competitive college program. “I hope this shows girls that they can come to YU and get good academics while also being a competitive athlete. I hope this success shows them that we are a great place to come to.”
“It’s wonderful for the University to be able to send female athletes to the NCAA National Tournament to represent the Department, the University and our people,” added Director of Athletics Joe Bednarsh.
While the women’s program makes history, the men will be continuing their four-year legacy.
“We all stepped up, helped each other out and worked together,” said men’s captain Adam Rosemblaum, who specifically emphasized the quality contribution from the first year players.
“We had a very strong roster built of seniors last year who graduated and it put a lot of pressure on the new guys on the team but in the end they stepped up and proved they were worthy of making the team.” Rosemblaum hopes that this year, the team can make it past the second round of the tournament. In the past four years there have been two first round exits, in 2014 and 2016, and two second round exits, in 2015 and 2017.
Photo Credit: YU Macs Website