When the Morris County Tournament kicks off this weekend, there will be a new face on the court who likely won’t go unnoticed for too long.
While all eyes will be on Chatham junior Scarlett Blydenburgh, who will be attempting to capture her third straight MCT first singles title, it won’t be until the end of Day 1 on Saturday that area tennis fans will get their first look at Kinnelon freshman Britany Lau, who earned the second seed in the first singles draw behind Blydenburgh.
Lau, whose older sister Christy plays third singles for the Colts, is unbeaten and yet to drop a single set this fall. Her biggest victory of the young season came in straight sets over Mendham’s Lauren Hassell, an MCT first singles finalist in each of the past two seasons. Lau has also topped Mountain Lakes’ Emily Krupnick and is looking to make a name for herself this weekend in Randolph.
“It was a big win for me and for our team against Mendham,” Lau said. “It’s exciting going into the (county) tournament as the second seed and if I end up playing Scarlett in the final I think it would be a good match. I’m a little nervous about playing in my first tournament but I think it’s going to be a great experience.”
The MCT will be played at County College of Morris and Brundage Park in Randolph this weekend. The preliminary draw and the quarterfinals in all five flights will take place on Saturday with the semifinals and finals slated for Sunday at CCM.
Lau adds intriguing to an already interesting first singles draw, where Blydenburgh, now a seasoned veteran, continues on her quest to win four consecutive MCT titles. She has defeated Mendham’s Hassell in the final each of the past two years and will meet the winner of the preliminary draw on Saturday in her opening match. If the seeds hold, Lau and Hassell will meet for a second time this year in the semifinals. Lau and Blydenburgh have never met on the court.
Chatham and Mendham enter the weekend as co-favorites to capture the MCT team title, with the Cougars looking to add their third straight team championship to their resume. Chatham has the top seed at first singles in Blydenburgh and at second singles in freshman Seden Agar while the Minutemen own the top seed at third singles in Lindsey Hernandez and at both doubles positions.
Other contenders for the team title include Mountain Lakes, Montville, Morristown, and Kinnelon.
“We’ve been talking about our goal of winning the counties and it’s going to be an exciting weekend,” Lau said.