Jamie Campisi simply would not be denied her shining moment on the court on Sunday.
The Villa Walsh senior overcame a rally by her opponent Kirstin Godau of Montville, a rain delay and subsequent change of venue to capture the Morris County Girls’ Tennis Tournament first singles championship.
For Campisi, who missed nearly all of her junior season due to a broken wrist, the 6-1, 6-7 (2-7), 6-2 victory over Godau in the final allowed her to achieve the one goal that had eluded her over her previous three varsity seasons.
“This has always been the goal since my freshman year,” said a relieved Campisi following the victory over Godau. “I’ve been looking forward to this moment for four years. It definitely is a culmination of my high school career.”
Campisi cruised through the first set against the top-seeded Godau, dropping only one game while using her big inside-out forehand to deliver winners. She continued her domination early in the second set by winning the first two games before Godau found her game and rallied to force a tiebreaker.
That’s when the skies at the County College of Morris opened up and the rain forced a move down the road to Brundage Park. Following a 32-minute delay, play resumed and Godau dominated the tiebreaker, winning seven of the nine points to force a third and decisive set.
Deadlocked a 2-2 in the third, Campisi began to take control once again with a strong serve and forehand. She reeled off the final four games and served out the match only after a game Godau had fought off two match points.
“It’s not how it was supposed to go, especially after the first set,” Campisi said. “I was in a groove early and everything was working. I had an opportunity up 5-4 in the second set and that’s the first time I really started to feel the pressure. Kirstin is a great player and fought back and won the tiebreaker. I knew in the third I just had to be more consistent, stay patient and wait for my opportunities.”
For Godau, winning the second set tiebreaker gave her an opportunity to make a run at Campisi in the third set.
“I felt good going into the third set after winning the tiebreaker,” Godau said. “She started playing better again in the third and I missed some shots.”
The other big story of the day was Mendham capturing its third consecutive MCT team championship. The Minutemen won the third singles flight as well as sweeping the doubles to hold off Montville and outdistance the rest of the field. Mendham finished with a total of 22 points, three points better than Montville and six ahead of third-place Villa Walsh.
Mendham junior Katie Gutknecht defeated Montville freshman Erin Sanzone, 6-0, 6-4 to capture the third singles title while the Minutemen’s first doubles team of senior Veronika Fojtu and freshman Lauren Hernandez posted a 6-1, 6-2 victory over the Mustangs’ top seeded duo of Jillian Garfunkel and Joanna Fass to win the first doubles crown in a pair of key head-to-head final matchups. Mendham’s second doubles team of Michelle Miller and Abby Grabow completed the doubles sweep with a 6-4, 3-6, 6-2 win over Meghan Lewis and Alexa Kapuscinski of Villa Walsh.
“That’s the strength of our team from the bottom of the lineup up,” said Mendham head coach Ed Chando. “We knew it was going to be close with Montville and I think in the end our depth came through.”
Montville, which will return nearly its entire lineup to the court next fall, picked up its lone individual championship at second singles where junior Kaitlin Sanzone defeated Mendham’s Tara Buchney, 6-3, 6-2.
Morris County Girls Tennis Tournament
Team scores: Mendham 22, Montville 19, Villa Walsh 16, Mountain Lakes 13, Chatham 12, Morristown-Beard 12, Randolph 10, Parsippany 7, West Morris 6, Kinnelon 5, Mount Olive 5, Hanover Park 4, Madison 4, Saint Elizabeth 4, Morris Knolls 3, Parsippany Hills 3, Morris Hills 3, Whippany Park 3, Morristown 3, Roxbury 1, Boonton 0.
First singles: Jamie Campisi (Villa Walsh) def. Kirstin Godau (Montville), 6-1, 6-7 (2-7), 6-2.
Second singles: Kaitlin Sanzone (Montville) def. Tara Buchney (Mendham), 6-3, 6-2.
Third singles: Katie Gutknecht (Mendham) def. Erin Sanzone (Montville), 6-0, 6-4.
First doubles: Veronika Fojtu and Lauren Hernandez (Mendham) def. Jillian Garfunkel and Joanna Fass (Montville), 6-1, 6-2.
Second doubles: Michelle Miller and Abby Grabow (Mendham) def. Meghan Lewis and Alexa Kapuscinski (Villa Walsh), 6-4, 3-6, 6-2.
First singles: Godau def. Lauren Hassell (Mendham), 6-1, 6-3; Campisi def. Emily Eckert (Mountain Lakes), 6-1, 6-2.
Second singles: Sanzone def. Megan Reiling (Morristown-Beard), 6-0, 6-0; Buchney def. Emily Krupnick (Mountain Lakes), 6-0, 6-0.
Third singles: Gutknecht def. Allison Reiling (Morristown-Beard), 6-1, 6-0; Sanzone def. Alison Ramsland (Chatham), 6-3, 6-3.
First doubles: Fojtu and Hernandez def. Sam Rollins and Katie Mulcahy (Villa Walsh), 6-0, 6-2; Garfunkel and Fass def. Julia Edgar and Jess Sullivan (Chatham), 7-6 (7-4), 6-1.
Second doubles: Miller and Grabow def. Daniela Rosen and Kim Chan (Mountain Lakes), 6-3, 6-0; Lewis and Kapuscinski def. Amanda Luong and Kasy Chu (Randolph), 1-6, 6-4, 7-6 (7-3).