Back In Time - Reviewing Maryland's Winter Sports Teams

USA TODAY Sports

Wrestling and Women's Basketball fought through injuries to have successful seasons while gymnastics had two All-Americans on the squad for the first time since 1994.

Wrestling and Women's Basketball fought through injuries to have successful seasons and gymnastics had two All-Americans on the squad for the first time since 1994.With back to back ACC Championships to their credit, and a strong core of returning wrestlers, Coach Kerry McCoy's squad looked for a banner season. Facing a challenging schedule that included eight ranked opponents on their out of conference schedule plus two very strong ACC opponents in Virginia and Virginia Tech, the Terps got off to a strong start edging fourteenth ranked Purdue in a November match while falling to number eight Illinois that same weekend. Maryland also managed a split with two other future Big Ten opponents taking a one point win over number twelve Nebraska while being routed by the sixth ranked Ohio State Buckeyes. The Terps were slowed by the injury to heavyweight Spencer Myers who wrestled only in non-team meets to preserve his red shirt season. Josh Asper, whose injury likely cost the Terps some dual meet wins, also missed some crucial time in December and January though he had an outstanding season finishing 21-3 winning his second ACC championship and falling just shy of All-American status with two NCAA Tournament wins. Junior Christian Boley repeated as ACC Champion and, with 27 victories had the third most wins on this year's team. Jimmy Sheptock garnered All-American honors bu finishing sixth in the NCAA Tournament. Sheptock also successfully defended his ACC crown finishing the year with a 40-6 record. The junior from Northhampton, PA was name All-ACC along with his teammates Boley and Asper.

On a mat of a different kind, Terrapin gymnasts looked to stretch their run of consecutive NCAA Tournament appearances to five. With Coach Brett Nelligan at the helm, and led by junior Katy Dodds and up and coming sophomore Stephanie Giameo, the Terps did just that. Ranked as high as fourteenth during the season, Maryland won the regular season East Atlantic Gymnastics League title before being edged by NC State by .075 for the tournament championship. The Terps were placed in the Gainseville regional facing the top ranked and eventual national champion Florida Gators among the six teams. Maryland posted their second highest score in NCAA championship competition while placing fourth - their highest finish at an NCAA regional since 2001. Dodds and Giameo each finished the regular season ranked eighth in their specialties - vault and balance beam respectively - earning All-American honors from the National Association of Collegiate Gymnastic Coaches/Women.

Finally, what a season it was for the women's basketball team. Despite losing three players - starting point guard Brene Moseley and backup center Essence Townsend in the pre-season and starting guard Laurin Mincy in the fifth game - to ACL injuries, the Terps managed a 14-4 record that tied them for second place in the ACC, finished 26-8 overall before losing to eventual national champion Connecticut in the Sweet Sixteen in Hartford. In addition to the three injuries noted above, up and coming freshman Tierney Pfirman also lost part of her season to a dislocated knee before being sidelined by illness for the ACC and NCAA Tournaments. Masterfully managing a roster that early in the season had only eight healthy players, and later included Caitlin Adams - a walk-on from the volleyball team who hadn't played competitive basketball for six years - Coach Frese and her staff got unexpectedly strong play from freshman Chloe Pavlech and Xavier transfer Katie Rutan. Of course the heart and soul of the team were senior Tianna Hawkins and junior Alyssa Thomas. Hawkins who is currently playing for Seattle in the WNBA, averaged 18 points and 9.7 rebounds per game and earned All-ACC honors for the second consecutive year. Thomas went her teammate one better averaging a double double. She also led the Terps in assists and notched two triple doubles including going off for 32 points, 13 rebounds, and 10 assists in Maryland's overtime win against Wake Forest in the ACC Tournament. Thomas, who was the only player to rank in the top fifty nationally in scoring, rebounding and assists, was named to three All-America teams and won her second consecutive ACC Player of the Year Award. Coach Frese was named ACC Coach of the Year.

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