The Yeshiva University men’s tennis team, the Maccabees, made University history, again—this time by being the first Yeshiva University team to win an NCAA Division III tournament match. The Maccabees defeated Colby-Sawyer College, 5-3, in the first round of the NCAA Division III men’s tennis championship on Thursday morning.
The Maccabees took control of the match from the outset by sweeping the doubles matches and jumping ahead 3-0. At number one doubles, Skyline Conference Player of the Year, David Papis Elon and Eitan Rudansky earned an 8-5 victory over the Colby-Sawyer duo of Rico Bailey and Cass McCann. At number two doubles, the game ended with the same score of 8-5, as Steven Jemal and Charles Saka (both representing New Jersey) earned the win over Colby-Sawyer’s Justin Pinard and Andrew Peloquin. At number three doubles, Robby Rubin and Dmitri Lebedyev earned a 9-7 victory over the Chargers’ Dean Boodakian and Sergio Spassof.
When the match moved to singles competition, the Chargers earned the first two wins to make the score 3-2. Boodakian earned a 6-0, 6-0 win over Robby Rubin at number six, before Spassof beat Adam Wannon 6-0, 6-1 at number four. After Colby-Sawyer narrowed the gap, the Maccabees went ahead 4-2 when Lebedyev got a win at number two singles (6-0, 6-2) over Bailey. This left Yeshiva just one point away from securing the first NCAA tournament win in Yeshiva athletics history. The Chargers, though, pulled closer and made the score 4-3 when Peloquin beat Jemal 6-4, 6-4 in the number three slot, leaving just number one and number five singles.
The final two matches both went into deciding sets. At number one, Papis Elon had won 6-4 over McCann in the first set, before losing to him 6-4 in the second set. At number four, Charles Saka won 7-5 in the first set against Ryan Broderick and lost 6-4 in the second. Papis Elon, who had been undefeated all season long, remained so by blowing away McCann 6-0 in the deciding set to secure the win and improve to 15-0 in singles play.
The victory advanced the Maccabees into a second round matchup this past Friday against defending NCAA Division III national champion Amherst College. Amherst entered the match ranked number two in the nation in the most recent NCAA Division III / ITA poll.
Unfortunately for the Yeshiva University faithful, this is where the historic run came to an end. The Maccabees lost to Amherst College, 5-0. Yeshiva’s season ends with a 13-4 overall record, champions of the Skyline Conference, and the first Yeshiva University program to win an NCAA tournament contest in any sport.