RANDOLPH _ The frontcourt appealed to Hannah Simonson as a doubles player so it's no surprise that she remains fond of the net when competing in singles.
Simonson, of West Morris, excelled there in her first-round third singles match at the Morris County Tournament when she defeated Whippany Park's Jennifer Kim, 10-4, on Saturday, Sept. 27 at County College of Morris.
"I go to the net a lot," Simonson said. "I played doubles so I like it. It works for me."
The tournament resumes Sunday, Sept. 28 at 8 a.m. at CCM. The quarterfinals and semifinals will be contested.
Initially, the eighth-seeded Simonson, a junior, was nervous and played defensively versus Kim, seeded ninth. She settled in and began to capitalize but then felt sick. After her match, Simonson, who built a 6-1 lead, went off to have something to eat, hoping that would alleviate the queasiness she was experiencing.
"I warmed up pretty quickly and felt strong," said Simonson, who will meet top-seeded Lena Parsch of Chatham in the quarterfinals. "I hung back then stepped it up a bit."
Simonson, who played first doubles for the Wolfpack last fall, not only is strong at the net, she possesses a solid backhand. She'll need to her entire arsenal of shots working when she goes up against Parsch, a talented freshman.
Morristown-Beard's first singles player, Allison Reiling, will meet Mountain Lakes' Emily Krupnick in the quarterfinals. Reiling, the fourth seed in the bracket, advanced by ousting Amanda Luong of Randolph, 10-1, in the opening round.
Reiling was pleased with her aggressiveness and backhand.
"I felt pretty good," she said. "I think I played well overall."
She realizes she'll have to be at her best against Krupnick, seeded fifth. Reiling is confident, having already beaten Krupnick this season, 7-5, 6-4.
"(Krupnick) is a pretty good hustler," Reiling said. "She gets to a lot of shots."
Sophomore Meghan Acampora of Morristown was one of the players to move on at second singles. Acampora, the third seed, dispatched Morris Knolls' Esther Chia, 10-0, in her first round match. Acampora will take on Nisha Godbole of Parsippany in the quarterfinals.
Godbole is a familiar opponent for Acampora. They've already shared a court this season, with Acampora coming away with a 6-2, 6-0 victory.
In the quarterfinals, Acampora will rely on her serve and forehand. Her backhand slice is another effective tool.
"I'd rather play someone I know," said Acampora, also a first baseman for the Colonials' softball team. "I'm expected to win again so there's a little more pressure this time."
Last season, Chatham claimed the team championship, unseating Mendham, which enjoyed a three-year reign. It was the first MCT crown for the Cougars since 2000.
Two of the Cougars' three singles players are back. Scarlett Blydenburgh, a sophomore, is out to defend her title at first singles. Bridgette Hickey, the runner-up at third singles, now holds the No. 2 spot. Sophia Fredriksson, runner-up at second singles, and her family moved back to Sweden. Parsch is at third singles.
"We're still very solid all around," Chatham coach James Cai said. "I don't want to put pressure on my players. I told them to forget about last year. The trophies and titles are past tense. We were the underdog but not anymore."
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