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Local Sports

June 1, 2010

Lorenz best in Section Four

Oneonta High junior Riley Lorenz avenged a loss to Binghamton's Alex Tsai in last year's Section Four State Qualifier en route to winning his first overall sectional crown Saturday at the Binghamton Tennis Center.

"When Riley gets in a groove, he's very, very tough," OHS coach Paul van der Sommen said of Lorenz' 2-6, 6-4, 6-4 victory over Tsai in the sectional final. "He has a very hard service and that gives him an edge. His groundstrokes are getting better by the minute and he has a strong net game."

Lorenz, Tsai and third-place finisher Jannick Schultze of Moravia qualified for the state meet, which runs Friday through Sunday at the National Tennis Center in Flushing Meadows. Schultze beat Oneonta High eighth-grader Emerson Kelby, 6-1, 6-0, in the third-place match.

Van der Sommen said Lorenz left for New Jersey to play in a youth tournament after winning his first two sectional matches Friday. After losing in New Jersey, he returned to Binghamton on Saturday morning to play Tsai.

"He had to adjust again and get used to the court," van der Sommen said of Lorenz's slow start. "I talked to him after the first set and he said, 'I think I can do it.'"

Lorenz got ahead early in the second and third sets and held on.

Tsai, also a junior, beat Lorenz, 4-6, 6-2, 6-4, in last year's sectional final.

Van der Sommen said the draw for the state meet will be announced Wednesday. Oneonta's first-year coach added that he won't attend the state meet because of a prior commitment. Van der Sommen said he thought Jess McCue _ the former doubles partner of Lorenz _ might coach in his place. McCue just completed her sophomore season at Willam Smith College.

"If he has some good practices this week, he'll be a tough," van der Sommen said of Lorenz, who is 21-0 this season. "He has the game to compete. The greatest thing is he's only a junior."

Kelby beat Binghamton's Keith Jensen, 6-2, 1-6, 6-2, on Saturday to reach the consolation final before falling to Schultze. Like Kelby's first opponent in the State Qualifier _ Bainbridge-Guilford's Lennart Seidel _ Schultze is a German exchange student.

"He had a remarkable run," van der Sommen said of Kelby.

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