Penn Yan tennis

From left to right, Claire and Molly Pullen play in the Class B2 doubles championship against Pal-Mac’s Katie Smythe and Andra Savage. The Pullen’s defeated Smythe and Savage in straight sets 6-1, 6-2 to win their third straight doubles championship.

MENDON — Twin sisters Molly and Claire Pullen are hoping to qualify for the New York State Public High School Athletic Association championships.

Late this afternoon, they face their biggest obstacle yet in pursuit of history.

The Section V Class B2 champions from Penn Yan Academy advanced to the quarterfinals of the NYSPHSAA qualifying tournament with two victories Wednesday at Mendon Racquet and Pool Club.

Handed a tough opening-round draw, they rallied to outlast Our Lady of Mercy’s Tessa Hartzell and Alanna Jordan, 4-6, 7-6, 6-4. The Pullens won a second-set tiebreaker 7-3 to force a decisive third set.

The Pullens followed by steamrolling Class C2 champions Susie Moore and Kendra Pinckney of Prattsburgh, the No. 8 seed, 6-0, 6-0 in the second round.

Molly and Claire take on the top-seeded Pittsford Sutherland tandem of Josie Libby and Gwenneth Mattia, champions of Class B1, in Friday’s quarterfinal round. If they pull the upset, the Pullens will need one more victory to advance to states and become the first tennis players in school history to achieve the feat.

One other area doubles squad, Marcus Whitman’s Caty Goodman and Kaitlyn Hopper, captured a first-round victory Wednesday before bowing out in the second round.

In singles play, Penn Yan’s Abigail Garvey posted a first-round victory before falling to top-seeded Julia Andreach of Mercy in the second round. Whitman’s Alaina Dhondt also claimed a first-round triumph before being eliminated in the second round.

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