The McDonogh tennis team made no secret of its goal this season, telling anyone who asked that beating Gilman in the Maryland Interscholastic Athletic Association A Conference finals was its only wish.
The reason - the Greyhounds pulled a mild surprise in beating the Eagles in last year's title matches. But McDonogh got its revenge yesterday, recording a 4-1 victory over visiting Gilman to reclaim the A Conference championship.
McDonogh had posted an 11-0 record in winning the A Conference regular-season title last year. Gilman took second and then pulled out a 3-2 victory in the title matches. The Eagles then began pointing to next year right away.
"The only focus of the year was beating Gilman in the final," McDonogh coach Laddie Levy said. "They didn't even care about the regular season. They were devastated after last year."
McDonogh got its wish after again going 12-0 in the regular season, including a 4-1 victory over the Greyhounds on April 20. The Eagles again played well in scoring the win yesterday.
"Last year was absolutely horrible," McDonogh senior Corey Chow said. "We wanted Gilman in the finals, and we got it. It was our main goal."
McDonogh (13-0) got wins from senior Mark Gober and freshman Andy Peters at Nos. 1 and 3 singles, respectively. Chow and sophomore Matt Ford combined to win at No. 1 doubles, and teammates Joel Posner and Austin Brodie did the same at No. 2.
Gober actually had the toughest time. Playing against Gilman sophomore Chris Mason, Gober won the first set, 6-2. But Mason out-dueled Gober for a 6-4 victory in the second set.
McDonogh had clinched the match at that point, so Levy, Gilman coach Jim Busick and the two players agreed just to play a 10-point tiebreaker to decide the match instead of going to a third set. Gober won, 10-3, to take the match.
Peters had to outlast Gilman senior Josh Sweren for a 6-3, 6-3 win. Sweren played doubles in last week's match before Busick moved him up, and he played well, but Peters simply made too many good shots.