There was a nip in the air and all of Marx's teammates were long done and were relaxing and watching her marathon match from a small hill.
Marx, a sophomore, wanted to win badly to avert a shutout so she dueled with Millburn's Maddie Stearns for two hours and 52 minutes on the Gimelstob Courts at Newark Academy.
Despite a stellar performance, Marx lost, 4-6, 6-3, 6-7 (8-10), to Stearns, also a sophomore, and the Minutemen were swept 5-0 by Millburn in the Section 2, Group III final.
"We knew Millburn was tough," said Marx, the Morris County Tournament champion at first singles. "We weren't really expected to win. We needed to get a point against them. I'm happy I made it a close match."
She sure did, fighting for each and every point against Stearns, whom she trains with at Mountain Lakes Racquet Club.
After Stearns took the first set, Marx took charge in the second set, gaining a 5-2 lead. She won two of the next three games to close it out and brought that momentum into the third set.
Marx hit a difficult stretch in the seventh game of the third set, double faulting three times, to fall behind, 4-3. She evened it, 5-5, before having her service broken, enabling Stearns to go ahead, 6-5. Marx broke back, forcing the tiebreaker. Among her winners in the 12th game of the third set was a well-placed backhand to the sideline and an overhead smash.
In the tiebreaker, played in the shadows, the battle continued to rage. Marx and Stearns had lengthy exchanges. Several unforced errors and another double fault hurt Marx. Still, she stretched it to the limit.
"(Stearns) got better at passing shots so I couldn't work at the net as much," Marx said.
All of Marx's teammates exited the court in a little over an hour as the efficient Millburn players dominated. Coach Ed Chando knew Mendham was in for a tough match versus undefeated Millburn yet that didn't keep the veteran coach, who attained his 300th career victory recently, from believing it could pull off an upset.
"My attitude was that Millburn hasn't lost all year and it was a good time for them to lose one," Chando said. "My girls have a good attitude no matter who they play. Millburn's a great team, the best in the state."
Katie Gutknecht, the Minutemen's second singles player, was defeated by Alex Stone, 6-2, 6-0, and marveled at her opponent's topspin and other attributes.
"You normally don't see that in girls," Gutknecht said. "Girls hit the ball flat and boys hit with topspin. She hit well. She moved me around the court."
Michelle Miller and Gabriella Coradini of Mendham were dispatched by Millburn's Lauren Cohen and Patricia Chau at second doubles, 6-1, 6-1.
"We tried our best," Coradini said. "Our shots were not at all today. The winds and the thought process was tough to take in. Millburn didn't do anything wrong. We couldn't keep up with them."
Jane Bary defeated Tara Buchney of Mendham, 6-2, 6-0, at third singles. Millburn's Jenna Berkenkamp and Stephanie Chen Schmidt dispatched Hayley Keith and Veronica Fojtu at first doubles, 6-1, 6-2.
Being ousted from the state tournament didn't leave the Mendham players devastated. The Minutemen claimed the Morris County Tournament title and are soon to wrap up the NJAC-National Division championship.
"We were consistent all year," Gutknecht said. "We can't be angry. We had a lot of fun and cheered each other on. We're happy for one another.