Gilman and Roland Park Country School volleyball, Boys' Latin lacrosse, the accomplishments of Roland Park Country School squash player Casey Wong and Bryn Mawr freshman cross country runner Sophie Gitlin were among the 2014 highlights for North Baltimore-area high school athletes and their teams.
Gilman volleyball rolls on
The Greyhounds were perfect last fall for the first time in the program's 13-year history, as Gilman took advantage of the largest senior class coach Neil Gabbey has had.
Gilman won its second straight Maryland Interscholastic Athletic Association A Conference championship, finishing 18-0 with a 25-15, 25-22, 25-23 victory over Boys' Latin.
"We didn't have one star on the team, and I think that's what differentiated us from the last few seasons," he said. "As MIAA volleyball has progressed for the last dozen years, we never really had the best player in the league. But I think every coach in the league would maybe trade his best player for three or four of mine."
The Greyhounds' senior-led lineup were focused on success.
"We had been waiting for this since the summer," said Gilman senior hitter Zack Cohen, who recorded seven kills in the final. "We knew we would be in this position."
Torben Ginsberg (10 kills), Ben Moore (9 kills, 6 blocks), Jack Auen (25 assists), Charlie Darby (25 digs) and Michael Collins (22 digs, 8 kills, 3 aces) also excelled in the final for the Greyhounds. They helped Gilman sweep Boys' Latin for the third time this season.
"No one touched them this season," Boys' Latin coach Drew Haugh said.
The Lakers lost to Loyola in the 2013 MIAA A Conference lacrosse championship, and were determined not to let it happen again this year in the final against St. Paul's.
Boys' Latin took care of business, posting a 17-11 victory over the Crusaders in mid-May.
"In the back of everybody's mind was last year," said Boys' Latin coach Bob Shriver, whose team was named the 2014 LaxPower national champion. "We can put that demon to rest — they're 37-1 in two years. That's just remarkable stuff."
The Lakers' all-time leading scorer, Shack Stanwick (2 goals, 2 assists), Devin Howell (4, 2) and standout faceoff specialist Hunter Moreland led the Lakers.
Roland Park Country School junior Casey Wong isn't your average squash player; she was the nation's No. 1 player in the U17 age division.
Her play in the U19 older division — which included winning three tournaments — landed her a spot on the United States team that competed in August in the 2014 World Junior Individual Squash Championships in the Republic of Namibia, Africa.
"It wasn't a goal to make the world team because we thought it was unreachable," said Wong's mother, Pat, who is the squash coach at Roland Park. "But she had an incredible year."
Freshman runner earns championship
Nobody expected Bryn Mawr freshman Sophie Gitlin to be dominant right away.
Gitlin, a Roland Park resident, won the IAAM cross country championship in late October at Oregon Ridge Park in Cockeysville by 41 seconds over Maryvale's Emily Craig.