Steve Krulevitz said that ever since his first two Gilman teams did not win championships, "the tennis gods have shined their light on us."
The Greyhounds continued that trend by capturing their eighth straight MIAA A Conference crown by edging Severn, 3-2, in Roland Park on Thursday afternoon.
Krulevitz admitted that, although his team was favored to prevail again, he was worried about the strength of the Admirals' singles players.
"It was concerning," the coach said. "Their singles (players) were very dangerous."
While that proved to be the case, considering that Severn won two of three singles matches, Gilman's doubles helped to get the Greyhounds over the top.
"Once the No. 2 singles won, and we were ahead in both doubles, we started to feel pretty good," Krulevitz said. "But you can never feel like you have it all the way.'
Severn, which has only lost three matches — all to Gilman — since moving up to the A Conference two years ago, made it close by winning the No. 1 and No. 3 singles behind seniors Matthew McNair and Nate Krall, respectively.
McNair topped Gilman senior Rohan Milak, 6-3, 6-2, while Kroll, who finished the season undefeated, outlasted Greyhound senior Ben Cordish, 10-2, in the tiebreaker after splitting the first two sets 4-6, 6-4.
Although Milak had handed McNair his only defeat in two years during the season, Severn coach Bill Gilroy said that McNair has what it takes to succeed.
"He's very determined and intense," Gilroy said. "Matthew is tenacious and he knew what he needed to do to win the match."
Fortunately for Gilman, sophomore Andrew Hannon recovered enough for a sore back to defeat Severn sophomore Daniel McNair, 6-3, 6-1, in No. 2 singles.
Krulevitz said that Hannon's blistering backhanders were a little surprising after he sat out of practice on Wednesday. In a recent match against McDonogh, Hannon mostly used backhand slices in deference to his back woes.
"Andrew's backhand was unbelievable," Krulevitz said. "He was hitting the ball hard with two hands. Nobody knew how he was going to play coming into the match — but he gets the game ball. The doubles (teams) got us to the door. Andrew took us through."
Gilman senior Andy Brinckerhoff and freshman Alex Nabit defeated Severn juniors Aiden Gilroy and Alan Tchamourliyski, 7-5, 6-0, in No. 1 doubles. Junior Luca Paulovich and freshman George Khairallah produced a 6-1, 6-1 triumph over seniors Luke Fromal and Chris Sixbey to complete the doubles sweep.
Despite losing in the final, Bill Gilroy said that the Admirals "have had a great run," in the A Conference.
Even without tennis courts at their disposal on campus, Severn has been more than just making do.
"It says a lot about these boys and their talent," Bill Gilroy said, noting that having to practice at Cypress Courts and Truxton Park has not stopped his team from excelling. "We go out and do the best we can, and we're usually better than every other team — except Gilman."