On the strength of its doubles teams, Old Mill did what no other county tennis squad has done in more than six years -- beat Severna Park.
Yes, the Falcons' highly publicized 69-match winning streak finally has ended. Defending state doubles champion Phil White and last year's state mixed-doubles participant Matt Pharr combined to down Severna Park's Andy Smith and Tony Somers, 6-2, 7-5, to give the visiting Patriots a 5-4 win.
"During the first set, there was no pressure at all, we were justhitting the ball and not over-thinking," said White. "Then, we heardeveryone cheering after Andy (Servinsky) and Brian's (Ondrovick) match. We did feel a little pressure once everyone came over to watch our match. But I knew that if we kept our concentration and didn't makecareless mistakes, we would come out on top."
Old Mill coach Richard Hobbs praised his mixed doubles team of Beth Zwaslik and Inyu Sorenson -- 6-3, 6-3 victors over Erica Fulton and Bennett Wise.
"They took charge early in the match, and they just kept it going. They're playing state-level tennis right now. They're just a real strong team," he said.
Ondrovick and Servinsky claimed a hard-fought 6-4, 6-7, 6-2 win over Taycen Culp and Rich Wright in the boys No. 2 doubles match, while teammates Amy Hefflefinger and Leigh Brokovich took a 7-5, 6-2 decision in the girls No. 2 battle.
Matt Servinsky notched the only Patriot singles win, dumping Ben Rawitt, 6-2, 7-5 in the No. 1 match. The Falcons' Joe Laidley beat Jason Reynolds, 6-2, 6-1, while Severna Park's Brownowyn Fulton topped Andrea Melocik, 6-0, 6-2 in the boys No. 2 and girls No. 1 matches, respectively.
It took three sets (6-1, 4-6, 6-2) for the Falcons' Sarah Keller to turn back Jan Laning in the No. 2 girls singles duel, while only two sets were needed in teammates' Jenny Weitz and Trisha Cornelius' 6-3, 6-4 triumph.
"I can't say anything bad about our team. I was very happy with the way they played; they played their hearts out," said Severna Park coach Marge Nicholson.
"I didn't even talk to them about the streak before the match because most of my kids are freshmen and sophomores. They weren't even a part of any of it, so it really doesn't even affect them."
Hobbs said, "I have mixed emotions. I felt for Marge, but I'm just really happy for our kids. It's a big deal when you beat a team of Severna Park's caliber."