Boys Player of the Year: Mark Gober, McDonogh

When the season began, Gober was not one of the favorites to win the Maryland Interscholastic Athletic Association A Conference title. As the season went on, however, he just kept getting better and better. He defeated defending champion Brian Crooke midway through the season, then beat him again in the MIAA championship final, 6-2, 6-3.

Competing in the area's best tennis league, he posted a 12-2 record as the No. 1 singles player for the Eagles. He was a major reason why McDonogh was undefeated in team play during the regular season.

Gober, a junior, was ranked as high as 12th last year in the Mid-Atlantic section of the United States Tennis Association for 16-year-olds.

Girls Player of the Year: Beatrice Grasu, Franklin

After three straight years of losing in the state singles championship, Grasu finally captured the elusive title when she defeated Glenelg's Marianne Baker, 7-6 (5), 7-6 (5). A four-time Baltimore County and regional champion, she and teammate Brooke Rogers led the Indians to their sixth straight 4A-3A county title this season.

Grasu's three loses in state championship finals -with two of them coming to Baker - were the only losses of her high school career. Grasu is ranked fourth in the Mid-Atlantic section for 18-year-olds by the United States Tennis Association.

She will attend the University of Richmond next season on a full tennis scholarship.


Coach of the Year: Matt Graves, River Hill

In his fourth season at River Hill, Graves pulled off a first for a Howard County coach by leading his team to the boys title, girls title and team title in the same year. The boy's team was 14-0, while the girls finished 13-1. This season also marked the first time the Hawks won the county tennis title outright.

Since arriving at River Hill, Graves has done an excellent job recruiting within the school for the team. The Hawks had 44 boys and 26 girls try out for 10 spots on each team this season.


First team

Marianne Baker, Glenelg

To say that Baker dominated the competition would be an understatement. The senior won every match in her career until her final one, which she lost to Franklin's Beatrice Grasu in the singles state championship match, 7-6 (5), 7-6 (5). Until that match, Baker had never even lost a set at the high school level. In her sophomore and junior years, Baker beat Grasu in the state final.

Baker, whose career record in high school was 71-1, is ranked third in the Mid-Atlantic section of the United States Tennis Association among 18-year-old girls. She will attend the University of Maryland next season on a full tennis scholarship.

Brian Crooke, Loyola

A four year starter at No. 1 singles for the Dons, Crooke posted a 10-3 record this season and lost to McDonogh's Mark Gober in the Maryland Interscholastic Athletic Association A Conference final, 6-2, 6-3. A dominant player in the tough MIAA, Crooke won the conference title as a junior.

He is ranked 19th in the Mid-Atlantic section of the United States Tennis Association rankings for boys 18-and-under. Loyola coach Don Kraft calls him the cornerstone of the program. Crooke will attend Furman University in the fall on a full tennis scholarship.

Allison Daciek, Severna Park

Daciek had a tough act to follow when she was asked to replace Severna Park standout Susan Johnson, but the junior didn't miss a beat. She defeated Christine Aggabao of Old Mill to win the Anne Arundel County No. 1 singles title, 6-2, 6-1, and then won the regional title.

She was ranked No. 4 entering the state tournament before being upset by Quince Orchard's Alice Chen in the first round. Daciek was 13-0 in Anne Arundel County this season.

Julia Facchina, Glenelg

Often overlooked because she played No. 2 singles behind teammate Marianne Baker, Facchina proved to be a fine player in her own right. Although Facchina lost to Baker in both the Howard County and regional finals, she pulled one of the bigger upsets of the state tournament when she beat third-seeded Liezl Samios-Uy of Joppatowne in the second round.

Facchina, a junior, lost to Franklin's Beatrice Grasu in the state semifinals before beating Quince Orchard's Alice Chen in the consolation finals to take third in the state.

Matt Jacobson, Pikesville

A four-year starter for the Panthers at No. 1 singles, Jacobson made a run at the state title this season before settling for third place in the state. He is one of the few players in Baltimore County history to win a county title in all four of his years at Pikesville (mixed doubles as a freshman, boys doubles as a sophomore and No. 1 singles as a junior and senior).

He has received a partial scholarship to play at State University of New York at Stony Brook.

Rohan Nabar, Mount Hebron

Nabar compiled a 57-1 record as a singles player for the Vikings and never lost a Howard County match. He switched to doubles late in his senior year, and he and partner Kevin Norman won the county and regional crowns. They advanced to the state finals, where they were beaten by Cambridge-South Dorchester's Brendan Kincaid and Yusuf Shariff, 6-2, 6-3.

He will play tennis next year at Salisbury University.

Liezl Samios-Uy, Joppatowne

Her upset loss to Glenelg's Julia Facchina in the state tournament could not diminish her accomplishments during her four years at Joppatowne. She won the Harford County singles title all four years and posted an 81-0 record against county competition.

Last season, she advanced to the state semifinals before losing to eventually state champion Marianne Baker of Glenelg. She will play at Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University.

Roger Torres, C.M. Wright

The Mustangs dominated Harford County again this season behind Torres, a sophomore. A two-time county and regional champion at No. 1 singles, Torres compiled a 25-2 record this season and finished fourth in the state.

He did not lose a game in Harford County this season.


Note: Teams selected by Mike Frainie after consultation with The Sun staff and area coaches.