WHITE PLAINS After handily winning their first-round match on Tuesday, Anika and Akemi Dwyer ran into a bit of a snafu against Ursuline’s Brittany Sedlak and Marisa Magliato in the quarterfinals of Section 1’s Conference II tournament at White Plains High School on Wednesday.
The senior duo from North Rockland, who are the first No. 1 seed the school has had since Margaret Iliev and Diana Lorentz in 2008, struggled in the first set and barely came away with a 7-6 win. The pair re-focused and handily won the second set 6-1.
“We weren’t used to their pace and playing the baseline, so we had to think smart,” Akemi Dwyer said. “We had to adapt quickly.”
One adjustment that worked was their unconventional formation changes to give their opponents a different look. One of them saw the sister line up directly in the center instead of staggering themselves in the orthodox manner.
“Every year, we’re the only ones in the section who do it,” Anika Dwyer said of their formation changes. “It’s intimidating, and it’s one of our best weapons.”
Ursuline did have one doubles group survive into the next day; freshman pairing Laina Campos and Vanessa Ciano , the second seed of the bracket, defeated Harrison’s Jess and Sydney Saviano in the quarterfinals.
“We wanted to play to our full potential,” Campos said. “We wanted to rally a lot, get every shot in instead of making unforced errors.”
“We want to get as far as we can,” Ciano added. “We want to try to get to states.”
The singles bracket of the tournament also started. Suffern sophomore Sydney Kaplan, the top seed in the bracket, handily won her two matches, defeating Clarkstown South’s Sydney Harfenist 6-0, 6-0 and Scarsdale’s Jessica Tsai 6-1, 6-1 to clinch an appearance in the semifinals.
Last year Kaplan, along with senior Courtney Ollis, won the doubles title, but theduo decided to give the singles bracket a try this year.
“We wanted to try singles this year because this is (Courtney’s) last year, so we wanted to go our own ways and see how we would do in singles,” Kaplan said. “I was making my shots and my serves were really good. I love playing with Courtney, but I like singles, too.”
Several of the semifinal matches for both singles and doubles were suspended due to the sunlight fading. Campos and Ciano were down to Mamaroneck’s Alison Zerbib and Catherine Drgielewicz 6-5 in the first set, while the Dwyer sisters were up on Byram Hills’ Devon Wolfe and Dana D’Onofrio by one set and were tied 1-1 in the second set.
Play will resume on Thursday at 3 p.m.
“We’re going to play like we did in the first set,” Akemi Dwyer said of Thursday.
“We’ll dominate, hopefully,” her sister Anika said.