Tennis fans might be treated to a preview of the upcoming county boys singles final at tomorrow afternoon's Old Mill-Broadneck match.
Matt Servinsky of Old Mill will attempt to stretch his series record against Wade Berusch of Broadneck to 3-1 in the No. 1 boys singles match.
The Patriots (8-1) and the Bruins (7-1) both are looking to enhance their chances to finish the regular season as the No. 1 team. Severna Park (6-1) and Arundel (7-1), who square off tomorrow, also are in the hunt.
Servinsky (9-0) finished third in the county tournament behind Berusch (7-0), succumbing to severe muscle cramps in their semifinal match with the Patriot senior up 5-1 in the third set. He later avenged his defeat by downing Berusch in two sets in the regionals.
Neither athlete has seen the other play since 1991, but both know they'll be in for a long afternoon.
"I'm basically concentrating on my own game, not worrying too much about his," said Servinsky, who also played for Old Mill's soccer team this past fall. "I know it's gonna be a tough match, and it'll probably boil down to the two of us again in the county tournament. I think the big difference this time is that I'm in a lot better shape, and I'm really psyched to play him."
Berusch, the team's captain, will have half of his tuition paid during his first semester at Towson State. He may earn a full scholarship if he makes the Tigers' starting lineup next spring.
"I know it'll be a good match, but I heard he's been having trouble in some matches that I haven't had too much trouble winning. I beat Chris Kwak (Meade) in two sets, and took him three sets. I think (Arundel'sJason) Kasselman even had match point against him. So I think it'll be interesting."
Broadneck coach Phoebe Kelly said, "I'd put my money on Wade. He, along with the rest of the team, is very prepared both physically and mentally. We have lots of veteran players, and they've all come through during the whole season. I think if we had played Severna Park later in the season, we could very well be undefeated now."
Among those vets are the No. 1 girls doubles tandem of Leah Schmidt and Melanie Earle, who are 8-0; the No. 1 boys doubles pair of James Bae and Mike Smith (7-1) and No. 2 singles player Jessica Parks (8-0).
Old Mill boasts unbeaten doubles teams in Phil White-Matt Pharr (No. 1 boys) and Beth Zawislak and Inkyu Sorenson (mixed doubles). White, along with Brent Layman (now at Maryland), won the statedoubles championship last season.
Pharr and Zawislak teamed up towin the county tournament last year. Servinsky's younger brother, Andy, and Brian Ondrovik are 8-1 at No. 2 boys doubles.
"We're all pretty psyched about the match, especially the guys," said Matt Servinsky. "It may come down to us as far as the whole match goes."
The Patriots won their first three matches (including a 5-4 win over Severna Park, snapping the Falcons' 69-match win streak) before being upended by Arundel, 5-4, on April 6.
"It's now or never for us," saidBerusch. "Monday will be a big day for all four (top) teams, but I think this will be our year."