Tennis Season Preview


Maryland has become a talent-rich state when it comes to tennis, a fact that’s evidenced by the recent rise of stars such as Frances Tiafoe. The Severna Park area is no exception to that rule, with Broadneck, Severna Park, Archbishop Spalding and Severn all having plenty of reasons to be optimistic about their teams heading into the spring season.

All eyes are on Broadneck, coming off of an incredible 2023 season where they took home a laundry list of hardware. But you can never write off Severna Park, the team that gave the Bruins their toughest run of the season, and that has been much better than Broadneck historically.

As for the private schools, Severn and Spalding also have several intriguing players on their rosters, and they should be competitive in their respective conferences going into 2024.

Severna Park

At the conclusion of the 2023 season, head coach Mark Bieberich stepped down after a five-year run with the team. Losing a head coach is usually a cause for concern, especially in this case with Bieberich coming off another successful season, highlighted by a win over Broadneck at the county tournament. But with assistant coach Heather Herman being promoted prior to the 2024 season, Severna Park is hoping for a smooth transition into this new era of Falcons tennis.

Senior Charlie Herman, the Capital Gazette’s 2023 Boys Player of the Year, is a crucial piece of that puzzle. As a junior, Herman won the boys singles county championship, the boys doubles regional championship and finished as a runner up in the boys doubles state finals.

It was an incredible season for Herman, but one that ended on a bittersweet note, with his longtime doubles partner, Lucas Fuhrmann, graduating from Severna Park at season’s end. The graduations of Fuhrmann and fellow senior Chris Preston will force the team to make some adjustments going into next season, but coach Herman is confident that the team can continue their success.

“We lost two of our top senior boys, Lucas Fuhrmann and Chris Preston, but our remaining boys are very strong and deep,” coach Herman stated. “We are looking forward to seeing the younger players shine.”

Outside of Charlie Herman, Severna Park has several key players returning: All-County junior Carys Preston, along with underclassmen Gavin Gerard and Ty Maddox. The team has the depth to return to their winning ways, and they have the best chance of any team at stopping Broadneck this season.


Everyone in the county wants to knock off Broadneck this season, and for good reason. Last year, the Bruins interrupted Severna Park’s run of dominance, going 13-0 to claim the regular season county championship, winning the Class 4A East Region II championship, and also taking home the Class 4A state championship. The cherry on top was their regular-season win over Severna Park, a feat the Bruins hadn’t accomplished in 17 years.

The only blemish on an otherwise spotless season was the aforementioned county tournament, where Broadneck was narrowly outscored by Severna Park. Thus, it’s no surprise that head coach Kathleen Perrotta had that moment fresh on her mind when she was asked about the team’s goals going into the season.

“Now, we won the regular season county championship, because we had the best record and we beat Severna Park during the regular season. But we did not beat them at the county championship, so they actually won the county championship,” Perrotta stated. “So another goal, I think, would be not just being regular season county champion because of our record, but to also be the county champion from that tournament.”

The team is highlighted by Olivia Mellynchuk, the junior who’s a nationally ranked tennis recruit, the reigning 4A girls singles state champion, and the two-time Capital Gazette Girls Player of the Year. But one player can’t win a match alone, and Broadneck’s robust depth is really what sets them apart from the rest of the competition. Graduating key players such as Gustav Kemp and Elicia Aponte will hurt, but those losses are mitigated by rising seniors Charlie Ernst and Natalie Hosie, who are expected to step up as captains this season.

“We’re looking forward to another strong year,” stated Hosie. “We have a solid amount of new players trying out from all grades, and we’re adding some talented freshmen that we know can help fill the shoes of our strong seniors from last year.”

Broadneck’s doubles teams are also a strength for the team, with the Bruins returning All-County pairings of Ryan Sar, Koa Hamilton, Anissa Jean-Claude and Hadley Crooks. Although Perrotta is expected to leave for Old Mill at the end of the season, Broadneck tennis is in position to contend for championships through 2024 and beyond.

Severn School

After going 7-2 and challenging for the MIAA A Conference championship in 2022, Severn’s tennis team fell flat in 2023, putting together a mediocre 2-5 season. Head coach Bill Gilroy hopes the Admirals can return to their winning ways in 2024.

“Hopefully, we’ll be able to compete in the MIAA conference; they usually have pretty good tennis teams,” Gilroy said. “We’ve been competitive in that league now for the last couple of years, so maintaining our competitive streak is important for us.”

Even in a somewhat lackluster season, the talent on the roster was still evident. The Admirals consistently featured strong performances from Daniel McNair and Aiden Gilroy, both of whom were named to the Capital Gazette’s All-County tennis teams at the conclusion of the season. McNair lost only three matches throughout the season, one of which was to Gilman’s Andrew Hannan, the eventual conference champion.

The loss of Aiden Gilroy will sting, but he was the only senior Severn lost to graduation last year, with the rest of the roster remaining intact. The team has several freshmen with potential who can fill that void, such as Hunter Gilroy and Ryan Forgione, and they also have a strong senior class as well. Seniors Jack Shenk, Charles Friedrich and McNair should provide a strong leadership presence on the roster.

The depth might not be there for Severn to make a return to the conference championship just yet, but the team should be able to get back to a winning record, putting them in position to contend for MIAA A Conference championships in the near future.

Archbishop Spalding

Spring 2023 was a season of growth for Spalding, as they managed to improve upon a nightmarish 2022 season when the team won one out of their seven matches. The team wasn’t able to win their conference championship, but they earned a winning record, going 4-3 across their seven matches. Making a run at the MIAA A Conference championship might be an uphill battle for the Cavaliers, but there are certainly reasons to be optimistic about their success.

“Our goal every year playing-wise is to be competitive in the league,” coach Jon Jacobson said. “Aside from playing goals, we want every player to improve their skills and have an enjoyable experience.”

The team graduated two of their top singles players, as well as one of their top doubles teams at the conclusion of the 2023 season. However, they are set to return All-County players in Mike and Moe Lonergan, with the two expected to play a significant role in Spalding’s success in 2024. Jacobson’s team also features more depth than in years past, with several underclassmen such as Alex Fatula and Cody Winn expected to be key contributors as well.

They’re not the preeminent favorite to win the MIAA A Conference heading into 2024, but Spalding has the talent needed to continue their progression. If the chips fall in their favor, the Cavaliers figure to string together their second consecutive winning season.


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