Riley Lorenz proved Monday there's only room for one unbeaten player at Oneonta High.
Lorenz, a junior, made quick work of teammate Emerson Kelby, winning, 6-3, 6-0, in the Section Four Class B title match on a warm afternoon at Wilber Park.
Lorenz improved to 18-0. Kelby, an eighth-grader, fell to 16-1.
"It's so tough (to play a teammate)," Lorenz said of the match that took about an hour. "Right before the match started, I was nervous. I wasn't sure how I'd do. It worked out in the end."
OHS coach Paul van der Sommen said he wasn't sure if teammates had ever faced in a sectional final but was sure no tandem in OHS history had done so.
"Besides it being a rare thing, they aren't seniors," van der Sommen said. "It might happen again next year. They are very good. ... These two kids are higher quality than the rest of the league."
Lorenz and Kelby advance to the Section Four State Qualifier, which is Friday and Saturday at the Binghamton Tennis Center.
"This gives me a lot of confidence," Lorenz said of the qualifier, where the top three in the section _ combined in all classes _ advance to the state tournament. "A sectional win is a big deal. Knowing I am one of the best at the state qualifiers helps a lot."
So is it out of the question for these two to meet again?
"Riley will make it to the finals," van der Sommen said. "I think he has a chance (to win it). Emerson, I wouldn't be surprised. But I'd like to see him make it to the semifinals and at least play for third place."
The Yellowjackets had already clinched the Class B team championship with 49 points to Elmira Notre Dame's 36.
Lorenz, who started the season with a 112-game undefeated streak, broke Kelby in the second game en route to a 3-0 lead.
See FINAL on Page 13