We report on the coherent control of terahertz (THz) spin waves in a canted antiferromagnet yttrium orthoferrite, YFeO3, associated with a quasiferromagnetic (quasi-FM) spin resonance at a frequency of 0.3 THz, using a single-incident THz pulse. The spin resonance is excited impulsively by the magnetic field component of the THz pulse. The intrinsic dielectric anisotropy of YFeO3 in the THz range allows for coherent control of both the amplitude and the phase of the excited spin wave. The coherent control is based on simultaneous generation of two interfering phase-shifted spin waves whose amplitudes and relative phase, dictated by the dielectric anisotropy of the YFeO3 crystal, can be controlled by varying the polarization of the incident THz pulse with respect to the crystal axes. The spatially anisotropic decay of the THz-excited FM spin resonance in YFeO3, leading to an increasingly linear polarization of the THz oscillation at the spin resonance frequency, suggests a key role of magnon-phonon coupling in spin-wave energy dissipation. 2013 American Physical Society.