Junior Lucy Friedman played her way into Sectionals.
Rye Neck Girls’ Tennis
Panthers Take Conference Crown, Send Three to Sectionals
by Mitch Silver
Mark Canno has one of his most successful tennis teams in his 15+ years as head coach of Rye Neck’s tennis team. After easily winning their League title, the 2019 edition of the Panthers advanced to the finals of Conference play October 11 by sweeping North Salem, 5-0. Junior co-captain Lucy Friedman, playing first singles, and the first doubles team of senior co-captain Sarah Paumier and sophomore Katie Lipman, won their matches without yielding a game.
The next morning, the team took the courts against a strong Bronxville squad. Paumier and Lipman won in straight sets, 6-1, 7-6. Canno’s second doubles team of sophomore Lily Peterson and freshman Carolina Doherty breezed, 6-0, 6-3. So, the Panthers needed only one victory in singles to take the crown. But they faced a real roadblock on the number one court.
The Broncos’ Rebecca Lim took the Section 1 singles title two years ago as a sophomore. Lucy Friedman played her on even terms through two sets, dropping the first 6-2 before winning the second set 6-1. The tiebreaker was a hard-fought affair, with Lim coming back to win it and the match, 10-6.
While junior Elona Sebbane had her hands full at third singles, freshman Olivia Tobin shook off her nerves on the number two court and won the first set by 6-2. The final set was a seesaw affair, with Tobin finally prevailing, 7-5, to win her match and the first Conference 3 team title ever for Rye Neck.
In the ensuing Conference singles tournament, Sebbane won her opener by 8-3 over the Valhalla girl. Paumier and Doherty combined to take a three-set nail-biter over a pair from Hastings with an 11-9 tiebreaker win. Katie Lipman and Olivia Tobin, a newly-constituted post-season pairing, won their first match handily as the number four seeds over the team of Raxenberg and Galinsky from Ardsley, 6-1, 6-0. When they went on to defeat a Haldane duo 6-1, 6-4, they qualified for Sectionals.
Meanwhile, third-seeded Lucy Friedman met Edgemont’s Dani Friedman, bageling her in the all-Friedman affair. She next went up by 6-0, 4-1 against Mai Tanaka from Keio—the player who eliminated her teammate Elona Sebbane 24 hours earlier—before the match was suspended due to darkness. She wrapped up the set and the match the following morning, sending her into the Conference singles finals against that Lim girl again.
Even though she lost that match, and Lipman/Tobin fell to Edgemont in their semis, all three Rye Neck players qualified for Section play that starts Wednesday at Harrison High School.