TIB Newsletters

February 2016 TIB Newsletter

Dan Aronovic - Monday, June 06, 2016
        Tal Ben-Artzi, Penn State 


GENEVA, OHIO – Penn State wrapped up day one action at the SPIRE Institute with 11 athletes qualifying for finals in their respective events and nine medal winners during the first day of the 2016 Big Ten Indoor Track & Field championships.

 Madeline Holmberg and Tal Ben-Artzi (Kibbutz Gazit, ISRAEL) got things going for the Nittany Lions, starting the meet off in the women’s pentathlon 60-meter hurdles.

Holmberg finished her heat of the hurdles clocking a time of 8.71, a new personal best, en route to a second-place finish in the event. Ben-Artzi would record a time of 9.38 in the short hurdles scoring 832 points in the event.

 Ben-Artzi and Holmberg wrapped-up the second event in the pentathlon posting marks of 1.64m (5’-4.50”) and 1.49m (4’-10.50”), respectively, heading into the third event with total scores of 1615 (Ben-Artzi) and 1581 (Holmberg).


Gilad Berman, Georgia Gwinnett College                     

The Georgia Gwinnett men's and women's tennis programs continued their quest for the NAIA National Championship Saturday as both squads defeated Middle Georgia State in head-to-head action in day two of the Green and Gray Invitational.

The top-ranked men's squad remained perfect, improving to 7-0 on the year with a 5-0 victory over the Knights.  Doubles play set the tone for the Grizzlies as they posted a 3-0 lead at the break.  The duos of Kevin Konfederark & Jordan Cox (8-1), Matias Hatem & Connor Clements (8-3), and Luke Morland & Lachlan McPhee (8-4) all contributed victories in the pro-set format.

GGC's Gilad Berman (Ramat Hasharon, ISRAEL) picked up the fourth victory of the afternoon over Alvaro Conesa (6-0, 6-0) at the number four singles slot while senior Matias Hatem clinched the match with a sweep of Octavio Tamola (6-0, 6-0) at the number three singles spot.





Who We Are:

Ross Greenstein, former Scholarship for Athletes President and Founder of The Israel Bridge, currently Assistant Tennis Coach the the University of San Diego

Dan Aronovic, Head of Operations, The Israel Bridge

Our Vision:
The Israel Bridge will work to be the largest resource for connecting and developing relationships between Israelis and Americans.

Current activities:
Finding athletic scholarships for deserving Israeli athletes in the US. We have helped over 120 athletes attending schools like Northwestern, Ohio State, University of Washington, UCLA, Maryland, UNLV, Rutgers, Arizona, Arizona State, University of San Francisco and many others.

Visit our website for more info:





Aviv Ben Shabat, University of North Carolina Wilmington

RALEIGH, North Carolina –  Feb. 25, 2016

UNCW won the critical doubles point and then added singles victories at the final three positions to upset No. 25 N.C. State, 4-3, in men's tennis action Thursday at the J.W. Eisenhour Tennis Center.

The Seahawks stand 4-3 after seven matches this spring and notched the fourth top-25 win in school history. The Wolfpack is now 10-4 this spring.

"I'm very proud of my team today and the heart they showed," said ninth-year UNCW Head Coach
Mait DuBois. "The intensity we showed on every court – no matter what the situation – means a lot to me. N.C. State is a very good team that we have a lot of respect for them because they always play very hard. This win means a lot and is a step forward for our young group."

UNCW won the doubles point with victories at the No. 2 and No. 1 positions to grab an early advantage. The No. 2 tandem of
Christiaan Van der Burgh and Aviv Ben Shabat topped Nick Horton and Simon Norenius, 6-2, before sophomores Xander Veys and Javier Restrepo clinched the doubles point with a 7-6 (5) victory over brothers Igor and Ivan Saveljic at the top of the lineup.

The Seahawks extended the lead to 3-0 with wins at No. 5 and No. 4 singles. Freshman
Aviv Ben Shabat beat Shoti Mepardize, 6-2, 6-3 at No. 5 singles and newcomer Antonio Savarino rallied for a 6-1, 2-6, 6-1 verdict over Ivan Saveljic at the No. 4 position.





                     Nir Barnea, Florida Tech U.                         

     Barnea Makes History on Opening Day of SSC Championships

ORLANDO, Fla. (Men’s & Women’s Swimming) – Florida Tech registered solid performances across the board on Thursday during the opening day of the 2016 Sunshine State Conference Championships at the Orlando YMCA Aquatic Center, with junior Nir Barnea (Omer, ISRAEL)

The junior Israeli narrowly out-edged Thiago Sickert of Nova Southeastern to take the gold medal in the 50 yard freestyle with a school record time of 19.98, one hundredth of a second faster than his previous top time.

With the win, Barnea became FIT’s very first men’s gold medalist and just the second gold medalist in the history of Panther swimming, matching the feat by countrywoman Dar Raz (Ramat Gan, ISRAEL) at last season’s conference championships.

The event win was just one of many exciting moments on the meet’s first day. In total, the Panthers broke three school records and set nine NCAA B Cut times.

“It was a great start to the meet,” said head coach Justin Andrade. “I think we are carrying a lot of momentum into tomorrow. Nir swam a great race in the 50 free. I’m so happy for the men to get their first gold medalist. The team has a lot of good energy heading into Day Two and we’re excited to see what they can do.”

Two other school records fell by the wayside Thursday. The men’s 200 medley relay team of Eric Berg, Brian Dumont, Barnea and Filip Dujmic just missed the podium, placing fourth with a 1:29.71. Lauren Suarez was the fastest woman in the “B” final of the 50 free, breaking Raz’s FIT record after timing in at 23.97. The time was the first B Cut time of the year for the Panther women.

The Panther men took places four through six in the 1,000 free. Swimming during the morning session, Ferruccio Rossi blitzed his previous best time from the season, dropping more than 13 seconds to come in at 9:21.43 for fourth. Yagoh Kubagawa was close behind at 9:21.82 for fifth, while Emanuele Rossi grabbed sixth with a time of 9:23.53.

Nathan Hufnagel impressed in the 200 IM, snagging a seventh place showing after timing in at 1:51.15. FIT also received a seventh place finish in the 200 medley relay as Raz, Christie Deflumeri, Trista Phelps and Liana Soileau teamed up to register a 1:49.00.     



                   Or-Ram Harel, University of Tulsa 

TULSA, Okla. – After last weekend's performance, The University of Tulsa men's tennis team moved up seven spots to break into the top-25 nationally earning a No. 22-ranking, the Intercollegiate Tennis Association announced Wednesday.
Last weekend, TU dominated Santa Clara in a 4-0 decision before losing to in-state rival and No. 8-ranked Oklahoma in a 4-1 decision. The Golden Hurricane is 4-2 against ranked opponents this season. Since beginning dual play, TU has posted an impressive 30-17 singles record and a 14-12 mark in doubles.
Junior Or Ram-Harel (Kiryat Tivon, ISRAEL) is now ranked No. 39 in singles play, while senior Carlos Bautista is ranked No. 110.
The ITA will publish the next official team rankings on March 1.                                            


                       Dar Raz, Florida Tech U.                                            

ORLANDO, Fla. (Men’s & Women’s Swimming) – Florida Tech junior Dar Raz (Ramat Gan, ISRAEL) garnered her second Sunshine State Conference Championships medal in the 100 yard backstroke, taking third with a time of 56.34 on Saturday at the Orlando YMCA Aquatic Center.

The performance brings the Panthers’ medal count up to four for the meet, one more than the program had accrued in its entire history previously. FIT also set five NCAA B Cut times on Saturday, making the total for the championships 23 provisional qualifying times.

The Panthers broke two school records during Day Three. Adi Davidov (Herzeliya, ISRAEL) timed in at 1:49.81 in prelims to best his own top mark then came back with a 1:50.89 in the finals to garner sixth. Nathan Hufnagel was close behind Davidov, making the final touch in 1:52.00 for eighth.

Later on, Victor Rocha Furtado, Emanuele Rossi, Yagoh Kubagawa and Thomas Steenberg grabbed fifth in the 800 free relay, breaking the FIT record with a time of 6:39.02.

Brian Dumont claimed sixth in the 100 breaststroke, touching in 57.28. Freshman Drew Bastian was the fastest swimmer in the “B” final, setting a 57.49.

Joining Raz in the “A” final of the 100 back, Julie Coen earned seventh place with a time of 58.20. Paulina Bjorkbacka took ninth after finishing first in the “B” final in 58.12.

                      Map of Israeli Students in the US



                      Ekaterina Tour, University of Maryland 


                      TERPS WIN OVER TERRIERS, 6-1

Maryland improves to 2-6 this season by taking down Boston University at the Boston Athletic Club.

Maryland started strong in doubles play with Alexandra Stanova and Kristina Hovsepyan beating Johanna Hyoty and Sabrina Faybyshev of BU with a score of 6-3. Ekaterina Tour (Tel Aviv, ISRAEL) and Arnelle Sullivan continued the Terps momentum by defeating Terriers duo Iryna Koutirko and Barbara Rodriguez with a 6-2 score.

The Terps finished up the afternoon with Tour winnning a tiebreakerover Ramos 6-1,6-7 1(6). Williams sealed the win for the Terps on the last court against Boston’s Rodriguez, 6-4, 6-2.

“Today was a step in the right direction”, said Coach Daria Panova. “I think this team is capable of much more and they are starting to realize that. We have a week of practice ahead of us and we are really looking forward to next weekend”.



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