Calvert Hall stuns Gilman for tennis title

Malooly's win secures 1st MIAA crown since '85

High Schools

May 11, 2001|By Rich Scherr | Rich Scherr,SPECIAL TO THE SUN

Jon Malooly hadn't yet enrolled at Calvert Hall the last time the school's tennis team won a conference tennis title. He hadn't even been born.

Yesterday, however, the fast-improving sophomore may have played the biggest role as the Cardinals shocked defending champion and host Gilman, 3-2, at the Maryland Interscholastic Athletic Association A Conference final, giving them their first crown since 1985.

Playing No. 3 singles, Malooly defeated Gilman's Rohit Rao, 6-4, 6-2, to clinch the win over the defending champions, just three days after doing the same in a 3-2 victory over McDonogh, the league's other perennial power. The wins avenged earlier losses to both teams.

"I just felt more confident," said Malooly, whose father, Gerard, helped the Cardinals win the 1964 championship as a freshman. "Before, when I played Gilman and McDonogh, I was real hesitant, but [this week] I swung out of my shirt and I knew how to play these kids."

Calvert Hall also got straight-sets singles wins from sophomore Joey Atas, the Sun's City/County Player of the Year, ranked as high as No. 20 nationally in the 14-under division, and No. 2 player Gary Simonette, a regionally ranked freshman. The Greyhounds recorded wins in both doubles matches.

"Everybody overlooked us," said Calvert Hall coach Brendon Travis. "Gilman and McDonogh overlooked us, the press overlooked us, and I feel great for the kids."

Travis, a first-year coach, credited former coach Pat Barrows for laying the groundwork for a remarkable turnaround, as the team rebounded from last season's 2-6 mark to finish 6-2.

In the end, however, it came down to Malooly.

"We were a little nervous, but I had a lot of faith in Jon," said Atas. "He's been working his butt off throughout the whole season, and he really wanted this match bad."

B Conference

Led by its powerful freshman class, host Beth Tfiloh completed an undefeated season, topping Severn, 4-1, to win the MIAA B Conference championship for the first time since 1992.

The Warriors, 2-6 last season, got wins from freshman Ben Friedman (No. 1 singles), freshman Josh Sweren (No. 2 singles), the team of Gil Koretsky and Dan Gersten- blith (No. 1 doubles) and the team of Elon Walter and Dan Josephs (No. 2 doubles).

"It's really been a dream season," said Beth Tfiloh coach Mark Smolarz.

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