Top-seeded Amanda Austi of Bronxville was crowned Section 1 champ today after winning the finals match against Keio's Mako Tanaka, 6-2, 6-0.
Ursuline's Christina Sisti defeated her teammate, No. 2 seed Sabrina Barisano, in the section's consolation match 6-1, 6-4. She will join Austi and Tanaka in the state tournament Nov. 3-5 in Latham.
Austi served Tanaka her first lost of the season with a dominating performance. Tanaka went up early in the first set 2-1, but Austi turned her fortune around by winning the next 11 games.
"I just stopped making mental errors in the match," Austi said. "When she attacked I would hit the ball really short. So I focused on slowing down the pace a little bit."
Tanaka was not used to playing from behind and it showed. Once she lost the second straight game in the first set, she started to lose her composure and made some uncharacteristic, mental mistakes. Austi noticed it and took advantage.
Austi lost in the sections finals last year and ever since has been preparing for the moment when she would win the title.
"It feels really good," Austi said. "I'm really happy with the win and the chance to be in a good position for states."
Ursuline head coach Andre Sinclair had to deal with his two best players competing against each other for the final spot in the state tournament.
Sisti took control of the match early and won the first set smoothly.
The second set was a different story. Barisano led twice in the set and played Sisti very close. The two teammates tied four times before Sisti mustered up three straight wins to come out on top.
"I knew I had to be very focus with every point and that every point was going to count," Sisti said. "I knew the end of the match was going to be hard because that's when she fights the hardest. I had to stay strong and calm to finish the match strong."
After the final matches were played, Section 1 Coordinator Cal Kramer said this year's tournament had to be the best one he has witnessed.
"Next year, we have nine of the 11 semifinalists returning," Kramer said. "I'm excited about our chances in states."
"It feels good to go to states," Sisti said. "It was a little disappointing to lose in the semis, but I knew I had to keep my composure so I can compete and make it to states."