Zebra Stampede on St. Marks’ Day

The Varsity Baseball team had a solid season, going 9-6 in league play. The team cemented its reputation as a force to be reckoned with this year by finishing sixth in the ISL, punctuating the season with a 3-0 victory over St. Mark’s. Pitcher Ben Osterholtz’15 dominated all game long, throwing a shutout while only allowing three hits. Indeed, with a productive group of returning players, such as rising seniors Ejaaz Jiu’15 and Johnny Lamont’15, along with rising juniors Arthur Jelin’16 and Ward Betts’16, the team should once again be in contention for a top spot in the league standings next season.

The Groton Track and Field team improved considerably over the course of the season, culminating with a great showing at the NEPSTA Division 3 Championships. The 4 x 400 team of Frazer Wright ’15, Cam Cullen ’15, Stefano Viacava ’16, and Chris Higginson ’14 took home first place, beating Middlesex by three tenths of a second. The girls 4 x 400 team (Ali Lamson ’16, Alexandra Connor ’16, Kristie Chen ’16 and Emma Keeling ’17) also ran terrifically at the championships, coming in fourth place. When asked about the season, Stefano Viacava said, “We had a small number of kids so we didn’t win any meets, but everyone worked hard and by the end of the season everyone was beating their personal bests.”

The Boys Tennis team enjoyed a terrific season, entering the final weeks of play in contention for a first place ISL finish. Even though they lost a close match to Milton in the penultimate week of the season, they regrouped to dominate St. Marks 12-3 to end their spring on a good note. Captain Charlie Oberrender ’14 said that the team “had a great season. Even though last year was not our best, the team was confident that this [one] would be different.” The team ultimately finished with a 13-2 record and third place in the ISL, a marked improvement over the previous season’s 5-10 record. The Zebras expect to contend for a title again next spring with the growth of lower schoolers Macgregor Beatty ’17 and Sam Girian ’18, along with upper schoolers Michael You ’16 and Peter White ’15.

The Girls Tennis team greatly surpassed expectations this past season. With only three returners from the previous year’s team, the season was supposed to be a rebuilding one. However, the team instead finished 11-4, coming in fourth in the ISL standings and earning a berth in the Class A New England’s. Coach Dave Prockop said that “the three returners went right to work, and their five teammates from last year’s JV stepped up quickly. All of these girls showed themselves to be excellent competitors who exceeded their billing again and again.” Maddy Forbess’16 added, “GVT has grown so much stronger as a team. We’ve come so far throughout the course of the season and are able to put up hard matches against the top teams in the league.”

The Boys Lacrosse season was epitomized by a “never say die” attitude. After a sluggish start, the boys capped the season with three victories in their final five contests. Coach Robert Low credits this improvement to “focus, teamwork, and work ethic.” Big wins against St. Paul’s and St. George’s, and a narrow defeat to Rivers–a perennial powerhouse–solidified the boys as a legitimate force in the ever-competitive ISL. This St. Mark’s game was certainly a memorable conclusion for such a season. Groton led 8-1 after the first half but faced a furious St. Mark’s comeback in the second, but nevertheless held on to win 8-7.

Girls Lacrosse was defined by leadership this spring, as eight seniors helped to post an almost even record on the season. Captain Addie Ewald ’14 was particularly supportive of the team’s performance in a win over Andover earlier in the year: “We’ve always had close games with them—last year we lost in the last few seconds. But this year we came out really strong and were able to shut down their best attackers and also make every one of our attackers a threat on offense.” While the girls dropped a tough contest to St. Mark’s as well, Addie was pleased by the strong performances of Tess Despres ’14 and Annie McElgunn ’15. The girls will undoubtedly miss the leadership of their seniors next season, but are looking to keep on playing strong.

The Boys Crew team had an exceptional season, finishing second overall at the NEIRA championships. At the event, Groton’s fourth boat finished fourth overall, its second and first boats each finished third overall, and its third boat finished first overall, capping off an undefeated season for the boat. A defining moment for the season came during a race at Brooks, where captain Shangyan Li ’14 said that “the conditions were rough with choppy water, but the team as a whole finally took off there, with third boat beating Belmont[Hill], and first and second giving a good fight.” Even with the departures of Shangyan and fellow captain Wyatt Prill ‘14, the program is looking strong for years to come.

The Girls Crew team has finally fallen back down to earth after a second place finish at the 2013 NEIRA championship.The girls had another strong campaign, with a majority of their races resulting in victories–including a sweep against Nobles. However, the team’s finish this year at NEIRA was below expectations, with only third boat medaling. As Ross Ewald ’16 put it: “This season really was about working harder than everybody else out there in order to be competitive. We had mental toughness, and everyone was proud of the work we put in.” The girls will look for a strong finish at the 2015 NEIRA championships as a more experienced team returns next season.

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