If Saturday's county tennis tournament needed a theme, it would have been, "Out with the old, in with the new."
Nine of the 10 champions crowned at Chesapeake High School were first-time winners, and Old Mill stopped Severna Park's string of three consecutive team championships, taking a 32-30 decision from the Falcons.
"You had to give this one to the players. They hung in tough all year in spite of obstacles, and they came through when they had to," Patriots coach Richard Hobbs said.
Upsets were plentiful throughout the tourney, most notably in the boys and girls singles events and the mixed doubles.
While top-seeded boys singles champ Matt Servinsky of Old Mill was the favorite, his opponent in the finals, 15-year-old freshman Jay Kimmel, was a surprise.
Servinsky, a senior playing what he called "the best tennis I've played all year," picked the lanky youngster apart in the finals, taking a 6-4, 6-1 decision.
"I was hitting shots in this match that I've never hit before," said Servinsky, who placed third in the county tourney last year in his junior season.
"His shots weren't bad," he said of Servinsky, "but I think it was my experience that won it for me. He's going to be a monster for the next couple of years."
The fourth-seeded Kimmel earned his finals berth by routing second-seeded Wade Berusch of Broadneck, 6-4, 6-1. The Broadneck senior had beaten him in straight sets during the regular season.
Berusch managed to salvage his second consecutive berth in the regionals, slated for Friday and Saturday at Chesapeake, by defeating Arundel's Jason Kasselman, 7-5, 6-1, for third place.
In girls singles, second-seeded Priya Vajani of South River, a regular-season straight-set loser to top-seeded Jen Whitley of Arundel, reversed the tables on her nemesis in a 6-4, 6-0 win.
"Priya played a great match," said Whitley. "I think I was worn down from the semifinal match -- I stayed out on the court a little longer than she did, but overall, she took my game plan away from me by moving me all over the court."
Mollie Benz of Southern, who upset third-seeded April Quigley of Broadneck in the quarterfinals, secured third place and a regional berth by besting freshman Bronwyn Fulton 6-4, 6-4, in the consolation match.
Senior Phil White, the lone defending state champion present at the tourney, won the boys doubles title with new partner and classmate Matt Pharr in a tough, three-set match against Severna Park's second-seeded duo of Joe Laidley and Andy Smith, 1-6, 6-4, 6-2.
"We started playing better when we started to hit wide instead of down the middle. They were getting to everything we hit to them in the first set," said Pharr, a senior who, with Beth Zawislak, won the county's mixed doubles championship in 1991.
In an all-Arundel consolation match, Pat Sullivan and Dave Townsend bested Jay Gelman and Andy Touma, 6-3, 6-3, to move onto regional play.
The unseeded combo of Sarah Keller and Allison Milchanowski gave Severna Park the first of its two doubles titles, turning back the eighth-seeded pair of Janine McMillan and Teri Long of Chesapeake, 3-6, 7-6, 6-4.
Lucinda Galles and Andrea Melocik of Old Mill upended teammates Amy Hefflefinger and Leigh Brockovich, 4-6, 7-6, 6-4, in a battle for the third regional spot.
In mixed doubles, third-seeded Ben Rawitt and Erica Fulton of Severna Park garnered the mixed doubles crown in a 6-2, 6-3 triumph over fourth-seeded Mark Meyer and Staci Jenkins of Chesapeake. Unseeded Josh Jeffords and Judi Tucker of Broadneck tripped the top-seeded team of Inkyu Sorenson and Beth Zawislak, 7-6, 6-3, for third
Arundel, co-champs during the regular season with Old Mill, took third in the team standings with 26 points, while Chesapeake finished fourth with 22. Broadneck finished with 12 points; South River, 10; Meade, 7; Southern and North County, 6 each; Glen Burnie, 5; Annapolis, 3; and Northeast, 2.