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Friars’ Morena DeVito eyes CHSAA state tourney after winning qualifier

Morena DeVito just had everything working on Sunday.

The junior on the St. Anthony’s girls tennis team won more matches Sunday than she had all season en route to victory in the CHSAA state tournament qualifier at North Shore Tennis & Racquet Club in Flushing.

She defeated teammate Ivana Nikolic in the final, 8-3. Each match of the tournament was played as a pro set to eight.

“Everything was clicking for her yesterday,” coach Carole Quinn said. “She was making very few errors. She was serving as good as she had to serve. She definitely was maintaining her composure through every match.”

DeVito played first singles for St. Anthony’s and went 3-4 because of the high level of play. But she learned something from each match, which helped her succeed on a larger stage.

She played three of the four matches Sunday against familiar opponents. The only one she had never faced had DeVito in a 5-1 hole in the semifinals until she turned the corner. “I wait for the perfect moment, then when they’re off balance, I go the other way,” she said of how she finished the comeback.

DeVito will play in the state tournament on Nov. 5 on Randall’s Island.

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