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Tennis

Acampora moves into semifinals

Featured In the slideshow, fifth-seeded Stef Elling of Morristown gained the MCT semifinals. Photos by Maryann Harlow In the slideshow, fifth-seeded Stef Elling of Morristown gained the MCT semifinals.
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RANDOLPH _ Morristown second singles player Meghan Acampora thrives with her forehand, which features abundant topspin, and a nasty backhand slice.

Acampora, a junior, typically is consistent with her serves and rarely double faults. Earlier this season, her high-level game enabled her to triumph in 69 consecutive games.

One more attribute makes Acampora ultra tough.

"Being a lefty is a big weapon," said the third-seeded Acampora, who advanced to the semifinals of the Morris County Girls Tennis Tournament on Saturday, Sept. 26 with a 10-1 victory over sixth-seeded Kim Yi of Mountain Lakes.

It certainly is. Acampora hits her forehands crosscourt to her opponent's backhand. Her serves are wide to the ad side and often are difficult to return.

She's hoping to use those elements of her game to get the better of Montville's Erin Sanzone, a four-year letterwinner, in a semifinal on Sunday, Sept. 27, also at CCM. The semifinals are set for 9 a.m. Finals should get underway by 1 p.m.

"I like my chances," Acampora said. "I've never played (Sanzone) before. I should do pretty well. I beat the girl who beat Sanzone last year."

Not only is Acampora formidable with a racket in hand, she excels at softball, too, playing first base and batting cleanup for the Colonials. She earned NJAC honors last spring.

When asked what sport she likes better, Acampora, who trains at Center Court with Rich Reyes and Clay Bibbee, isn't sure.

"They're completely different so it's hard to choose," she said. "Everyone asks me but it's really difficult to answer."

Acampora said tennis helps her with softball, making her a strong hitter. She struck out only twice. By playing softball, she developed her hand-eye coordination and became physically stronger.

In school, Acampora has high standards as well. Her grade point average is 4.6 in honors classes. She's interested in studying business or biochemistry in college.

Kinnelon freshman Brittany Lau prevailed, 10-1, to set up a semifinal match versus Mendham senior Lauren Hassell at first singles. Hassell was the runner-up in 2014 and 2013.

"I'm excited to play her," Lau said. "I'm a little nervous. It should be a good match."

Lau, the second seed, defeated Parsippany's Nisha Godbole, 10-1, in her quarterfinal-round match. Hassell registered a 10-2 win over Montville's Alice Liu, the sixth seed.

Up 3-1, Lau was a bit frustrated because she was making a lot of errors, sending the ball long and wide.

"I had to keep my shots in," Lau said. "I couldn't miss or anything."

Lau, whose sophomore sister, Christy, is the fourth seed at third singles, likes to venture to the frontcourt.

"My net game is good," Lau said. "At first, I wasn't that good at it but I began to work at it. I've played plenty of doubles, too."

Karoline Xiong of Parsippany Hills battled her way out of the preliminary-round bracket by prevailing in a pair of matches. That put Xiong, who recently qualified for the state tournament, opposite two-time defending champion Scarlett Blydenburgh in the quarterfinals. Xiong's effort impressed her coach, Dave Bongiovanni.

"Karoline has a great all-around game," Bongiovanni said. "She thinks out there. She studies her opponents. Karoline plays like a coach would. She comes to the net, slices the ball. She has a lot of variety to her game."

Heading into the second day of competition, Mendham has 15 points while two-time defending champion Chatham and Montville have 14.

Last modified onSunday, 27 September 2015 20:41
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