Boys varsity tennis team falls to the St. Anselm Panthers


Max Schwartz

Freshman Yedidya Milner-Gillers and junior Aiden Melkin get ready for their match.

Max Schwartz, Reporter

The boys varsity tennis team had a rough time in their matches against the St. Anselm’s Panthers on Tuesday, losing four out of five. With the loss, JDS’s record dropped to 2-3 on the season. St. Anselm’s, one of the top tennis teams in the Potomac Valley Athletic Conference (PVAC), played up to their billing by easily holding their own against a formidable JDS squad.

Despite the Panther’s victory, JDS tennis coach Neale Castillo was impressed by how hard the Lions played. 

“Everybody gave great effort today,” Castillo said. “Not everyone won, but they gave it everything they had.”

The first finishers, the doubles tandem of junior Sam Berns and sophomore Todd Lazoff, provided JDS with their only win of the day, defeating their opponents 10-2. This result was nothing new to Berns and Lazoff, as they have yet to lose a PVAC match this season. Their 5-0 record has provided the team with much-needed stability at the bottom of the lineup. 

Unfortunately for the Lions, things quickly went downhill from there. The other doubles tandem, headed by freshman Yedidya Milner-Gillers and junior Aiden Melkin, suffered their first loss of the season today, losing 10-5. Both Milner-Gillers and Melkin were upset about the defeat but saw this as a good learning opportunity. 

“Melkin and I haven’t discussed many strategies yet this season because it’s been pretty easy for us so far,” Milner-Gillers said. “Now, we know what we need to work on and we’re gonna work hard to get it.”

Strong doubles play is essential to the future success of this team. Since the singles players have been struggling, the doubles teams have been carrying the brunt of the load. Castillo recognizes the importance of their contributions. 

“We have a really deep team and I think it will show in the playoffs,” Castillo said. 

Once again, however, the singles players continued to struggle. Junior Harry Davidson fought hard but ultimately fell to his opponent by a score of 10-3. Junior Matan Silverberg, who was visibly exhausted after the match, put up a strong push at the end, but still lost 10-7. After the final point of the match, Silverberg collapsed onto the ground, a testament to how hard he pushed himself. 

In order to allow Silverberg the opportunity to compete against a weaker singles opponent, freshman Evan Klepper was awarded the lead singles position today. He played impressively and stayed competitive against a tough opponent, but his strong effort wasn’t enough as he lost 10-6. Klepper is already looking ahead to his rematch against St. Anslem’s on Thursday. 

“There’s some stuff I still need to work on and if I work on those things I think I can do much better on Thursday,” Klepper said.

With the playoffs quickly approaching, Castillo is confident that the Lions can be one of the best teams in the conference. He has seen the team’s improvements in the second half of the season and wants to see them continue to play at a high level. 

“Today is the first loss that we’ve had in the second half of our season. We were undefeated in the second half,” Castillo said. “Going forward, honestly, we just have to keep doing things the same way.”