On the strength of a 4-0 sweep by its boys contingent, Old Mill (10-1) staved off 8-2 Broadneck, 5-4, in a crucial county tennis match yesterday.
In the showcase matchup between the two top boys singles players in the county, the Patriots' Matt Servinsky (11-0) won the big points he needed to fight off Wade Berusch in three sets, 3-6, 7-6 (7-5), 6-3.
Berusch (7-1) came out hot, forcing the issue by crushing his ground strokes and pinning Servinsky to the baseline. Servinsky, who wasbothered by a case of nerves in the first set, regrouped during the second set by doing a little attitude-adjusting.
"During the firstset, I was really nervous, and I wasn't hitting out. So I just started saying to myself that I had to start playing to win, not to stay in the match," said Servinsky. He will attend Mount St. Mary's Collegewith the help of a $5,000 academic scholarship, while vying for at least a partial athletic scholarship from the college's tennis squad.
With Servinsky up 4-2 in the second set, Berusch battled back to take a 5-4 lead. But he failed to seize the opportunity to close out the match.
"I went for too much, that was my problem. I had a 5-4 lead in the second set, and a 5-4 lead in the (second set) tiebreaker,and I couldn't win the big points. He played very well. I'm sure I'll see him again," said Berusch, who is now 1-3 against his rival.
Berusch continued to make unforced errors by over-hitting in the final set, and Servinsky produced some superb shot-making, which helped him take a 5-2 advantage.
Servinsky said, "My calves started to cramp a little toward the end. I'm glad the match was over when it was, (or) I may not have been able to make it."
The slender senior mustered enough energy to win the final game, finishing off the match with a short topspin forehand down the line past his opponent.
"That was not the Wade of old, I think that was the new Wade," said Servinsky, who was physically drained after the two-hour match. "He's reallyimproved since last year. He kind of surprised me during the first set. But I feel like I'm playing a lot better now."
With the match score at 4-4, Jason Reynolds nudged Josh Jeffords, 6-4, 2-6, 6-3, in the No. 2 boys matchup, sealing the win for the Pats.
In boys doubles, Phil White and Matt Pharr improved to 11-0, drubbing the 8-2 team of James Bae and Mike Smith, 6-2, 6-1, in the No. 1 match.
BrianOndrovik and Andy Servinsky easily defeated Keith Fritz and Josh Good, 6-3, 6-2.
Old Mill's lone girls win was the No. 2 duo of Amy Hefflinger and Leigh Brokovich, who rallied to take a 4-6, 7-5, 6-2 winover Amy Castelano and Jen Baker.
In other action, April Quigley turned back the Pats' Heather Wright, 4-6, 6-1, 6-3, while the Bruins' Jessica Parks upended Tina Rock, 6-3, 6-1.
Broadneck's Leah Schmidt and Melanie Earle beat Lucinda Galles and Andrea Melocik, 6-4, 6-1, and Judi Tucker and Jonathan Smith (8-2) gave Old Mill's Beth Zawislak and Inkyu Sorenson their first loss of the season, 6-4, 5-7, 6-4.
"I'm really happy for the kids. They stuck in there till they managed to get the job done," said Old Mill coach Dick Hobbs. "My No. 2girls doubles team deserved lots of credit for hanging in there and winning. It's always nice to have those wins over high-quality teams like Broadneck."