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LIers Cheng, Torres to meet in state tennis final

Syosset senior Vivian Cheng returns a volley in

Syosset senior Vivian Cheng returns a volley in the first singles match during the Nassau County varsity girls' tennis team championship against Port Washington at the Wheatley School. She won her match 6-1, 6-0 en route to Syosset's 5-2 win. (Oct. 17, 2012) Credit: James Escher

Nassau girls tennis players continue to dominate at the individual state championships.

For the second straight season, two players from Nassau will meet in the state singles title match, as Syosset senior Vivian Cheng and Great Neck South senior Nicholle Torres both won their quarterfinal and semifinal matches Sunday to set up another intra-county battle for the state championship Monday in Latham.

Syosset's Hannah Camhi beat Garden City's Morgan Herrmann in last year's state singles final.

"I'm really excited. Last year I came in fifth and I wanted to do a lot better this year," Torres said. "I'm happy that I made it this far and hopefully it'll be a good match."

Torres, the fourth seed, topped fifth-seeded Amanda Austi from Bronxville in the quarters, 7-6 (4), 6-0, and then upset Garden City's Alexa Graham, the Nassau singles champion and the tournament's top seed, 6-4, 6-1, to reach the finals.

"It was a really intense match. I feel like I was just really focused and into it," Torres said of her semifinal match. "The score may not have looked like it but each game was a battle."

Cheng, the second seed, beat seventh-seeded Mako Tenaka from Kelo Academy in the quarterfinals, 6-0, 6-2, and then handled third-seeded Claire Minnoe from Auburn in the semis, 6-2, 6-1.

"I'm really excited to play in the finals, I've been playing really well this tournament," Cheng said. "I was expecting to play [Graham], but it will still be a great match."

In doubles, the three remaining pairs from Long Island were eliminated. Hewlett's Gabby Leon and Veronika Paikin won their quarterfinal match but lost in the semis, while Herrmann and Brittany Burke and Port Washington's Lauren Livingston and Emma Brezel both lost in the quarterfinals.

Graham, Leon and Paikin will also play today for third place in singles and doubles.

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