TIB Newsletters

May 2021 TIB Newsletter

Dan Aronovic - Tuesday, June 01, 2021


                    Deniz Khazan

    Avi Kigel

Barry University

Barry University's Deniz Khazan of Netanya, ISRAEL defeated the University of Indianapolis #1 Nikol Alekseeva to clinch Coach Avi Kigel's (Tel Aviv, ISRAEL) 6th National Team Championship for Women's D2 tennis with a score of 4-0.  Deniz, a first year student at Barry, was ranked #2 in women's D2 tennis and defeated the #1 ranked player.  This is Barry University's 6th overall championship and 4th in a row.


            Yannai Barkai, NC State

COLUMBIA, S.C. - The 25th-ranked NC State men's tennis team's season drew to a close on Saturday as it fell to No. 13 South Carolina (17-9, 7-5 SEC), 4-0, in the second round of the 2021 NCAA Championship.

NC State concludes its season with an 11-9 overall record and a 7-3 ACC record.


South Carolina took the doubles point with wins on courts two and three.

The first doubles win of the day went to 30th-ranked Tadas Babelis and Yannai Barkai (Kiriyat Ono, ISRAEL), who took down No. 13 Daniel Rodrigues and Connor Thomson, 6-3. The victory marked the highest-ranked win of the season for the duo.

       Orel Ovil, Wichita State University

Shockers Exit NCAAs with Tight Loss to Sun Devils

FORT WORTH, Texas - Wichita State men's tennis showed their worth against the Pac-12 runner ups Arizona State, with only a tough break here and there giving the Sun Devils a 4-3 victory at the Bayard H. Friedman Tennis Center during the first round of the NCAA Men's Tennis Tournament.

Orel Ovil (Petach Tikva, ISRAEL) was the 4th Israeli men's player to get his team to the NCAA's.  This represents the strongest contingent of Israeli men's college players in history, with Daniel Cukierman, Mor Bulis, Yannai Barkai and Orel Ovil all making the ultimate tournament of the D1 tennis season.







                  Daniel Cukierman (right) and Riley Smith (left), USC

May 26, 2021

ORLANDO, FLA. — USC's decorated and dominant senior doubles duo of Daniel Cukierman and Riley Smith found themselves edged out of NCAA action in the quarterfinals, having become the first Trojan pair since 2012 to make such a deep run at the event. Up against an upset-minded Auburn tandem today at the USTA National Campus in Orlando, Fla., #10 Cukierman/Smith recovered from a first-set loss with a strong second-set showing to force a deciding 10-point tiebreaker. There, the Tigers got some wind in their sails and secured the semifinal slot with a 7-6 (2), 3-6, 1-0 (10-3) decision that brought a close to the USC playing careers for Cukierman and Smith.

Once ranked #1 in the nation in doubles together this season, Cukierman and Smith remained a force to reckon with throughout their final campaign together as Trojans. Having secured ITA All-American honors with their journey to the NCAA Quarterfinals, Cukierman and Smith collected a 23-5 record together in doubles action in 2021. Cukierman closes out his USC career with an 82-23 overall doubles record in his four seasons as a Trojan. And in five seasons at USC, super senior Smith boasts a 116-35 career mark in doubles play.

Cukierman and Smith were instrumental in helping the Trojans reach the NCAA Quarterfinals as a team, as USC finishes 2021 ranked No. 10 in the nation in the final round of team rankings.

The last USC pair to reach the NCAA doubles quarterfinals was Steve Johnson and Roberto Quiroz in 2012.

Cukierman (Tel Aviv, ISRAEL) reached the round of 16 in the NCAA singles tournament and led USC to the quarterfinals of the team championships.

   Etamar Bhastekar, University of Arkansas

COLLEGE STATION, Texas – Gilbert Boit advanced to Eugene in the 10,000m with a runner-up finish in the distance race on the first evening of the NCAA West Preliminary round held at E.B. Cushing Stadium. Boit becomes the third Razorback to earn a trip to Oregon for the NCAA Championships.

Etamar Bhastekar (Mitzpe Ramon, ISRAEL) equaled his career best of 17-6 ½ (5.35) in the pole vault and had a very close third attempt at 17-8 ½ (5.40) in placing 19th overall among the field of 48. Bhastekar’s performance equaled his No. 5 position on the UA all-time list.






                  Map of Israeli Students in the US



                                       ABOUT THE ISRAELBRIDGE

Who We Are: 

Ross Greenstein, former Scholarship for Athletes President and Founder of The Israel Bridge

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 180 athletes attending schools like Harvard, Princeton, Northwestern, Michigan, Ohio State, University of Washington, Cal-Berkeley, USC, UCLA, Maryland, UNLV, Rutgers, Arizona, Arizona State, Georgia Tech, University of San Francisco and many others.

Visit our website for more info:




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