Lake Forest’s Morris tasting success early in her senior season
Megan Morris, seen here during the New Trier Tournament earlier this season, took first at No. 2 singles in Saturday's Deerfield Invitational. | Joel Lerner~Sun-Times Media
Updated: November 10, 2011 9:48AM
Lake Forest High School senior tennis player Megan Morris has, in her opinion, a glaring weakness.
It’s not her serve.
“Megan’s serve,” said sophomore teammate Victoria Falk, “is a sonic serve.”
Added Cat Orfanos, another sophomore teammate: “It’s a sonic bomb, Megan’s serve. We like to say to her, ‘Throw down the bomb.’ ”
Morris’ limitation certainly isn’t her topspin forehand, a heavy shot she likes to hit because it often annoys her rhythm-seeking foes.
“I like to force my opponents out of their strike zones,” she said. “Make them hit a high ball, here and there.”
Morris’ weakness is actually a … fondness.
For ice cream.
“I eat ice cream for breakfast, sometimes,” admitted Morris, a co-captain and fourth-year varsity netter. “I had some for breakfast today (Sunday). It’s not that bad of a weakness, I guess. When I eat it, I am getting my calcium.”
She deserved every calorie of the treat, particularly after what she had accomplished the day before. Morris, a steady singles and doubles player, captured the No. 2 singles title at Saturday’s Deerfield Invite.
Her last match was the last match of the tournament.
The sweet result: a 4-6, 6-2, 7-5 defeat of New Trier’s Alana Peters.
Her win prevented NT from winning the eight-team invite outright; NT had to settle for a share of the championship with the host school. Lake Forest, like NT and Deerfield, also finished with 32 points, but the Scouts placed third because NT and Deerfield had won more flights (3 each) than LF (1).
“I didn’t want to know (what was at stake), during my final match,” Morris said. “And I’m glad I didn’t find out until after the match.”
Morris, in her final, had three match points … against her.
She ripped a winner on each of them, to erase a 3-5, love-40 deficit in the third set.
Clutch. Clutch. Clutch.
“I was thinking about the team the entire match,” Morris said. “I wanted to do my best for the team.”
One of her goals, this fall, is to hit winners for reigning state champ LF at next month’s IHSA state meet. It would be a first for her.
Morris played No. 3 doubles at each of the last two NSC Meets.
Only a team’s top two singles players and top two doubles teams vie for state berths at sectional meets.
“I love high school tennis, and to be able to play at state, for my school, and to help my team … that would be a thrill,” Morris said.
Morris suffered an abdominal strain last winter that lingered, annoyingly, until late July. But the injury didn’t keep her off the courts; she was able to work on essential aspects of her game, such as defensive shots, slices and footwork.
When she was pain free, finally, she didn’t celebrate by inhaling a couple of ice-cream scoops.
“I went out and worked on my serve,” she said.
Her service, as a co-captain (with classmate Erin Hart) in 2011, has been, well, ace-like.
“She has a unique approach to leadership,” said Scouts coach Denise Murphy. “Her teammates sense how positive she, how much energy she has. Megan then uses those qualities to lead.
“Megan,” she added, “doesn’t have to say a whole lot of words to be an effective captain.”
Doesn’t have to talk on the courts, either.
Her game, in singles and in doubles, has communicated plenty. It’s chatty.
“Her game has grown immensely since last year,” Murphy said. “She’s more confident, and she gets it done. Megan is also very coachable. You suggest something to her, point something out to her, and she pays attention. Then she executes. Immediately. She’s smart and she never gives up. What a fighter.
“She has won some tough three-setters for us.”
Murphy said that on Saturday, hours before Morris faced Peters in that lengthy No. 2 singles final.
Silver galore: Six LF entrants, including all four doubles teams, earned runner-up honors at Saturday’s Deerfield Invite: Elizabeth Zordani (No. 1 singles), Lucy Lincoln (No. 3), Falk/Orfanos (No. 1 doubles), Hart/Margaux Miller (No. 2), Haley Killam/Colleen Morris (No. 3) and Emily Kuchman/Madeline Miller (No. 4).
Scouts freshman Caroline Asmussen placed fourth at No. 4 singles.
“They’re all hard-working players,” said Murphy. “They’re all learning … constantly learning. It’s a process.”
Falk hero: Falk has already played doubles with four partners – Orfanos, Hart, Megan Morris and Margaux Miller – this fall. Falk/Orfanos, in a No. 1 doubles semifinal on Saturday, trailed Deerfield’s Jenna Borzak/Jorie Fox 3-0 in the second set after winning the first set, 6-4.
The pair regrouped and won seven of the next nine games to avoid a third set.
Falk was her typical fearless self at the net, punching and bashing a number of winning volleys all over the court.
“Victoria has very good doubles instincts,” Murphy said. “She has a nose for doubles, an aggressive style. And she anticipates so well up there (at the net).
“No fear factor with her,” she added.
Falk/Orfanos fell 6-4, 7-5 to Glenbrook North’s Anna Zelechonok/Katrine Zhadovich in the No. 1 doubles final.
Convincing: LF downed Vernon Hills 7-0 in an NSC crossover on Sept. 6.
The victors: Orfanos (No. 1 singles), Paige Douglass (No. 2), Margaux Miller (No. 3), Zordani/Megan Morris (No. 1 doubles), Hart/Killam (No. 2), Kuchman/Colleen Morris (No. 3) and Lincoln/Natalie Pollard (No. 4).
On the schedule: LF visits Zion-Benton at 4:30 p.m. Thursday, hosts Moline at 4 p.m. Friday, and competes at Saturday’s York Invite, beginning at 9 a.m.