HARRISON – It was a long first day of the Section 1 tennis tournament at Harrison High School on Tuesday.
Especially for John Jay’s Anya Ivenitsky.
The senior played a total of six sets over her two matches of the day, scoring a 6-1, 4-6, 7-5 win over Ursuline’s Kiera Tobia and then following that up with a 3-6, 6-1, 6-2 upset win over Keio’s Mayu Tezuka, who was seeded second in the bracket.
“I was feeling a little tired,” Ivenitsky said. “But once I started playing, I forgot about it.”
Despite losing the first set, Ivenitsky felt that she had what it took to defeat one of the top players in the area.
“After the first set, I realized I could beat her, I could do it,” she said. “It got me the energy to focus and push through.”
Tezuka was one of three seeded singles players to fall on the first day.
Yorktown’s Caitlyn Ferrante, the top seed, fell to Arlington’s Miranda Sears and her powerful strokes 7-5, 6-3 in the quarterfinals.
“I played amazing, one of my best matches in a while,” Sears said. “I have a lot of power, so I just wanted to use that against her.”
Suffern’s Courtney Ollis, who is making her first appearance in sectionals as a singles player, defeated the third seed, Mamaroneck’s Emma Lella, in the quarterfinals 6-4, 6-4
The senior had to grind out a long deuce point in the final game against Lella, who beat Ollis’ teammate, Sydney Kaplan, in the conference finals on Friday.
“Sydney told me to just stay focused and she gave me some pointers,” Ollis said. “It’s my senior year, so I’m super psyched trying to get to states. I want it really bad.”
Kaplan, the lone seeded player to make it through the first two rounds, easily won her two matches, beating Pleasantville’s Olivia Ashton 6-0, 6-0 and then defeating Horace Greeley’s Carly Levitz 6-1, 6-2 in the quarterfinals.
In doubles play, only one of the seeded pairings, Bronxville’s Christina Brumbaugh and Caroline Schetlick, was eliminated in the first day. That duo was upset by Edgemont’s Rabashruti Kanna and Ariella Zagorsky 3-6, 6-1, 7-5 in the first round.
The rest of the seeded teams, North Rockland’s Anika and Akemi Dwyer, Rye Neck’s Clemence Balzano and Mizuki Shionoya, Ursuline’s Laina Campos and Vanessa Ciano, along with Mamaroneck freshman duo Alison Zerbib and Catherine Orgielwicz, all advanced to the second day.
“It was really nerve-wracking, but once we got to the second match, it was really fun,” Orgielwicz said.
“We wanted to show what we could do, even though we weren’t seeded,” Zerbib added.