By: Paul Stoller
Maintaining the success that the Gilman tennis team has been so accustomed to for the last four years is no easy feat, but it is one that the members of the 2018 tennis team are more than willing to undertake. The 2017 season saw the squad of thirteen players start by winning a California invitational event and finish with an undefeated record accompanied by their fourth consecutive MIAA championship. The team had successfully broken the MIAA record for consecutive titles won and tied the long-standing Gilman record set by the 1966-’69 teams during the times of the MSA conference, but the recent success of the Gilman tennis program has allowed their own expectations to grow.
Steve Krulevitz, the Gilman tennis varsity head coach, expressed his desire to both sustain and build upon the success of previous seasons. “We’re going to be going for history this year,” Krulevitz said, “so we’re pretty excited to be a part of that. No Gilman team has ever won five in a row and it may never happen again, but our long range goal is to try to get that fifth title.” Backed by the leadership of seniors Derrick Thompson and Will Rende and the talent of younger members such as Nick Boucher (20’) and Dylan Walters (20’), the team expects to go farther than ever.
Derrick Thompson, when asked about his excitement level entering the season, described his anticipations. “I’m looking forward to being a captain this year, Derrick said, “and leading the team to hopefully a fifth consecutive title.”
The tennis team will be opening their season by taking eight players to the Rotary Invitational Tennis Tournament held at Baylor High School in Chattanooga, Tennessee, a fairly large tournament that will see eight teams participating from throughout the southern region. “They start earlier down south” Coach Krulevitz said, “The weather breaks. So we’re going to have our hands full down there, but I think that’s going to be a good trip.”
Following the event, the team is scheduled to face some of the most competitive teams in the Mid-Atlantic, including Sidwell Friends and Landon, Virginia state champions Potomac, and Southern New Jersey champions Dell Barton. With an extremely competitive schedule and expectations for success at a point of culmination, the tennis team is prepared to burst onto the scene rackets ablazed in order to vy for their chance at MIAA tennis history.