The independent student newspaper at Goucher College

Athlete To Watch: Gabe Naftoly ‘26

Featured Image of Gabe Naftoly ’26 by Jess Sharp ’27
Article by Shelby Meek ’25

Gabe Naftoly, a sophomore engineering major from Newburyport, Massachusetts, currently playing for the Goucher Men’s Tennis team, has been playing the sport since he was a child.  He stares off into the distance as he shares fond memories of him and his dad tapping a tennis ball back and forth to one another in their driveway.

“My dad was always playing tennis and was always gone to play tennis… I kind of want[ed] to do that, so I started hitting with him in the driveway and the court.” Naftoly recalls when his passion and love for the sport began to grow.

“I [had] always grown up playing it with my dad and he was the one who taught me how to play… ” Naftoly said. “My two sisters play the game as well. My dad loved the game, and it is something we can both enjoy, watch it, and play it together.”

Naftoly played tennis throughout his time in high school and carried huge success in competitions and was captain for two years. 

His sophomore year on the tennis team has brought even more success after beating Salisbury and Virginia Wesleyan at No.2 singles. He beat Virginia Wesleyan 6-2, 7-6, and Salisbury in a forfeit with the score 5-7, 4-1.

“I had gone into the weekend with a lot of confidence and have been playing great,” he said. “I knew that this weekend, we will be playing some really good schools. I’m just going to go out there, have fun, and play free, and I ended up playing some of the best tennis I ever played at Goucher.”

Salisbury is regionally ranked in the top 12 for men’s tennis, while Virginia Wesleyan is ranked No.2 in their ODAC conference. 

“I want to support my teammates and help them improve to find their next level because I think I have taken a step forward this season because of my progression as a player,” he said. “The goal for the next match is to ride the wave of momentum, keep it going.”

PC: Jess Sharp ’27

Men’s tennis next matches will be on March 10th against Marymount, and will be traveling to Orlando, Florida for their spring break at the USTA National Tennis Center. After their spring break ends, they will start their first conference match against Wilkes University on March 23rd. 

“Let’s just keep getting better and hopefully get a few rings here in the future,” Naftoly said.

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