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Tennis

Abundant net gains for Villa Walsh

MORRISTOWN _ Villa Walsh's Quinn Akerman used to believe that the bulk of tennis took place 39 feet from the net. Akerman was wary of venturing to the frontcourt, perceiving it as a dangerous place to conduct business, so she settled in at the baseline, where it was safe and she was comfortable. Since playing under the direction of John Adams, Akerman, a senior, has changed her views. The second doubles player evolved into a quick-to-charge-in daredevil, rushing forward to literally make her point and unnerve opponents. Akerman wasn't the only one enthusiastic about ruling the net. All of the…

Mendham retains perfection

MENDHAM _ The achy legs and fatigue were understandable. Less than 24 hours before, Mendham's Isabella Scala and Amelia Paone engaged in a critical, hard-fought and high stakes second doubles match for Mendham when it opposed reigning seven-time Morris County Tennis Tournament champion Chatham. Scala and Paone, who had a first-set tiebreaker, prevailed, helping the Minutemen stun the Cougars. On Thursday, Oct. 15, the duo found it difficult, mentally and physically, to maintain consistency against Morristown, another top opponent, and were defeated, 6-2, 6-3, by Alex Fisher and Madison Silver. The setback, though, didn't ruin the elation of the previous…

Cougars run MCT streak to six

RANDOLPH _ Chatham's Sydney Berkson and Emma Sheldon were sweating through a first set tie-breaker at second doubles when players began finishing their matches during the Morris County Girls Tennis Tournament finals. Berkson and Sheldon consider every point, every match, important but had no idea how critical their match was until they prevailed, 7-6 (7-3), 6-0, over Morristown-Beard's Sophia Maney and Emma Duffy and their coach, James Cai, approached them. "High five," a smiling Cai said, putting his right hand up. "You just won the county title." The Cougars' sixth consecutive championship, attained on Sunday, Sept. 23 at County College…

Cougars take fifth MCT crown

RANDOLPH _ Lena Parsch of Chatham was in a Morris County Tennis Tournament final as a freshman, vying for top honors at third singles, but that moment seemed so long ago. Parsch, who now plays second singles, got a second chance as a senior and wasn't going to be satisfied going home as the runner-up. The last one on the courts at County College of Morris, Parsch battled the heat and coped with the slowdown tactics of Kinnelon's Agatha Malinowski and prevailed, 6-2, 4-6, 6-3, to take the second singles title on Sunday, Sept. 24. The victory was doubly sweet…

Montville is doubly good in MCT

RANDOLPH _ Montville's Danielle Langer and Leah Mazie assumed they'd be on the outside of the chain-link fence cheering on their teammates on the second day of the Morris County Girls Tennis Tournament. Instead, Langer and Mazie, the Mustangs' unseeded first doubles team, will be on the court at County College of Morris battling it out in the semifinals in hopes of gaining a title. Langer and Mazie, both seniors, buzzed through their preliminary, first round and quarterfinal matches versus Mount Olive, Mendham and Villa Walsh on Saturday, Sept. 23 to advance to the semis. "I'm excited, really excited," Langer…

Lau stuns Blydenburgh

RANDOLPH _ "Get Laud" read one of the posters held up by Britany Lau's cheering section at the Morris County Girls Tennis Tournament. Lau, a Kinnelon sophomore, complied, pleasing her supporters with a resounding 6-2, 1-6, 7-6 (8-6) upset of three-time defending champion and top-seeded Scarlett Blydenburgh of Chatham in the first singles final on Sunday, Sept. 25 at County College of Morris. The duo spent nearly two and a half hours on the court, engaging in a match that was hard fought and riddled with twists and turns. Blydenburgh escaped the 2015 title match with a 6-4, 7-6 (6-4) victory. The tiebreaker and…

Elling back in MCT semis

RANDOLPH _ Morristown's Stef Elling arrived at the Morris County Tennis Tournament with absolutely no expectations. Elling, a senior, has been a semifinalist all three times she competed in the MCT yet isn't seeking a berth in the first singles final. She is grateful simply to be here and to exhibit her serves, volleys and net game. After suffering a fracture to her left tibial plateau, most commonly known as a broken knee, in May, Elling didn't anticipate being fully recovered by now and back to swinging a racket. That's why her goal is simply to enjoy her last MCT without pressure. Despite the…

Mtn. Lakes went the distance

MOUNTAIN LAKES _ Ginny O'Donnell has immense faith in and respect for the Mountain Lakes girls tennis team. No way, though, did O'Donnell think the Lakers, younger than they've been in awhile, would be vying for a sectional title.

Third MCT title for Chatham

RANDOLPH _ Chatham girls tennis coach James Cai was supposed to be sleeping. Instead, Cai spent much of Saturday night wide awake trying to take a peek at the near future. Cai was worried about what would happen on the second day of the Morris County Tournament.

Acampora moves into semifinals

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.