For Maranda Sears, making it to the state tennis tournament had been a goal even before high school — from before she even knew she would be good enough to fulfill that dream. Her older brother, Jarrett, made it there for Arlington High School, Sears said, and she had hopes of doing the same.
She got there. And on Saturday, she earned the right to extend the stay.
Sears, an Arlington junior, notched two victories in advancing to the quarterfinals of the state girls tennis tournament at the Tri-City Tennis Center in Latham.
She will face third-seeded Merri Kelly Hannity of Cold Spring Harbor (Section 8) on Sunday.
Sears defeated Ashley Lessen of Wheatley, 6-2, 6-4, in the first round, rallying from down 1-4 in the second set. She then topped Lisa Marchelska of Mary Louis Academy, 6-3, 6-3.
Sears qualified for states by winning the consolation match of the Section 1 tournament. She became the first Arlington girl to accomplish that feat in “at least 15 years,” Admirals coach Gail Lynch said.
“Maranda is right up there with the best of the best,” Lynch said. “I’m a Section 1 chaperone at states, so I’m here even if my players don’t qualify. I’d watch and think to myself, ‘Maranda could compete here. She deserves to be here.’ She’s proving it now.”
Stephen Haynes: [email protected], 845-437-4826, Twitter: @StephenHaynes4