EASTTOWN - Robyn Ferraro looked cold on a windy afternoon, but that was far from how she played.
Ferraro had some pride on the line in her No. 1 singles match against Amanda Cyr. Like Ferraro, Cyr was a quarterfinalist at the District 1 Class AAA singles championships last weekend.
The pressure of the match did not faze Ferraro, but ignited Conestoga's No. 1 player.
The senior used a dominant return game to defeat Cyr 6-7 (4), 6-3, 10-5 and lead No. 1 Conestoga to a 5-0 win over No. 9 Central Bucks West in the District 1 Class AAA quarterfinals Wednesday at the Upper Main Line YMCA. The win clinched a PIAA Tournament berth for the Pioneers.
Ferraro uses her emotions to ignite her play during a match, but didn't need to on this day. Her advantage on break threw Cyr off her rhythm, causing the C.B. West freshman to get frustrated with her game.
Ferraro and Cyr are friends off the court and know each other's games quite well.
"Amanda's composure is usually really good,' Ferraro said. "I was surprised (by her frustrations) today, but she still played pretty well. It was a good match.'
Ferraro had Cyr's number throughout the match, but Cyr managed to rally from a 5-2 first set deficit and win 7-4 in a tiebreaker.
The Pioneers senior used a rally of her own in winning the second set 6-3 and finishing off Cyr 10-5 in the tiebreaker to clinch the fifth and final win for Conestoga.
"My return surprised her a bit because (Cyr) has an amazing serve and a lot of people have trouble with that,' Ferraro said. "I was able to anticipate it well and that started the point off in my favor.'
"There was no question Robyn was more confident today,' Conestoga head coach Fran Tomaselli said. "She just worried about her game and wanted to win her match.'
The matchup between two of the district's top players was the most anticipated one of the quarterfinals, but Conestoga made sure the match did not come down to Ferraro.
The Pioneers never left the result in doubt as they won each of their matches in straight sets.
Lauren Banner defeated Kristi Kong 6-0, 6-1 to seal Conestoga's state berth in the No. 2 singles match. Banner felt as relaxed as any player on and off the court on this cold afternoon. She did not hold back on what clinching a PIAA berth meant to the team.
"It's awesome because (this team) all are at a similar level,' Banner said. "We can hit with really anyone and push each other to be better.'
The top-seeded Pioneers certainly have the talent to win the school's first district championship and believe they can accomplish that goal.
Tomaselli expects her girls to have the confidence to succeed in the pressure-packed matches in October.
"Our girls have been getting better along the course of the season, which is any coach's wish,' Tomaselli said. "All I tell the girls is to go out and do the best you can and good things will happen.'
Conestoga hopes the good times keep on rolling as they host No. 5 West Chester Henderson, a 3-2 winner over No. 4 Wissahickon, in their semifinal match today.
Ferraro believes the best is yet to come for the Pioneers over the next few weeks.
"It feels good to go to the semis and I'm excited for the next match,' Ferraro said. "We really want to go to Hershey and still have a lot ahead of us.'
Conestoga 5, C.B. West 0
1. Ferraro (C) def. Cyr 6-7 (4), 6-3, 10-5; 2. Banner (C) def. Kong 6-0, 6-1; 3. Gadila (C) def. Johnson 6-2, 6-3.
1. Yan-Ge (C) def. Gosher-Myers 6-0, 6-0; 2. Michel-Taaffe (C) def. Evans-Barnett 6-0, 6-0.