One year ago, Montville's Kirstin Godau was one of only a handful of second singles players to qualify for the NJSIAA Girls Singles Tennis Tournament, but fell in the opening round.
What a difference a year makes.
Now the top singles player for the Mustangs, Godau has already reached the quarterfinal round of the NJSIAA state singles tournament. The junior, seeded 5-8 in the tourney, will take the court this morning at Mercer County Park in West Windsor against second-seeded Kate Fahey of Rumson-Fair Haven with a berth in Sunday's semifinals on the line.
"I'm happy to be playing in the quarterfinals, especially after losing in the first round last year," Godau said. "There's really no pressure from this point on. I'm just going to go out and try to play my game."
Godau has compiled a 17-2 record this season, including a run to the Morris County Tournament first singles final, where she lost in three sets to Villa Walsh's Jamie Campisi, who will also be competing in this weekend's tournament.
"I think we're both good players and it's good for Morris County to have us both playing in the tournament," Godau said.
Campisi, the Morris County Tournament first singles champion also seeded 5-8, will take the court this morning against an unfamiliar opponent in Moorestown's Breezy Maravich in the round of 16 as she attempts to move on to the quarterfinals. The senior, who missed the majority of last season due to a broken wrist, including the state singles tournament, will get her shot to make a run at another individual title.
"My game has been in a good place the last month or so and my stamina has been there so I feel pretty good," Campisi said. "I didn't get a chance to play here last year and I'm really looking forward to it. It's not the same pressure as the county tournament so I can be loose and play my game. I'm not satisfied yet."
Both the NJSIAA singles and doubles tournament continues today at Mercer County Park in West Windsor with play through the quarterfinal rounds. The semifinals will be played out on Sunday at the same site with the finals scheduled for Tuesday.
Five area teams will compete for state sectional titles on Monday with a trip to the group championships on the line. The winners will head to Mercer County Park next Wednesday to take part in the group championships.
Highlighting Monday's schedule will be the battle for the North 2 Group III championship when three-time defending Morris County Tournament winner Mendham is challenged by Chatham. The favored Minutemen appear to have a path to the group championships now that nemesis Millburn has moved to Group IV.
In North 1 Group II, top-seeded Mountain Lakes will look to get past Pascack Hills, while upstart Madison will look to continue its run in North 2 Group II when it challenges top-seeded West Essex.
Finally, Montville will look to repeat its feat of last year when it challenges top-seeded Northern Highlands in the North 1 Group III final. The Mustangs defeated their Bergen County rival to advance to the group championships last fall.