SMITHFIELD, R.I. -- In their first match as a top-25 team, the Brandeis men's tennis squad fell to a Division I opponent, Bryant University, 7-0.
The Judges, who moved up eight spots in the ITA Division rankings on the basis of wins over fellow ranked squads MIT and Bates, picked up a victory at No. 2 doubles, where the senior tandem of Steven Nieman (Forest Hills, N.Y./Benjamin Cardozo) and Nick White (Wellesley, Mass./Wellesley). Sophomore Josh Jordan (Northboro, Mass./Algonquin Regional) and rookie Michael DeFeo (Towaco, N.J./Delbarton School) nearly claimed the doubles point for Brandeis, but fell at No. 3, 9-8.
In singles action, Bryant won four matches in straight sets. Senior Ezra Bernstein (Buffalo, N.Y./City Honors School) had a chance to take a point at No. 3 singles after winning the first set, but ultimately fell, 0-6, 6-0, 7-5. Nieman forced a tiebreaker in the second set at No. 5 before falling, 6-3, 7-6. At No. 1, White retired five games into the first set.
The Judges, who fall to 10-9 with the loss, will take on No. 4 Amherst College on Saturday.