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South’s Dorner, Shore’s Dincher advance to semis of District 4 singles tournament

EVAN WHEATON/Sun-Gazette South Williamsport’s Olivia Dorner competes in the second round of the District 4 girls tennis singles tournament at Williamsport on Monday.

Sometimes, after a big workout, it’s nice to have a good meal.

That postgame grub is even better after a hard-fought win.

“I would be a lot happier if I could get a burger right now,” Loyalsock’s Mia Blas said. “But I’m pretty good. It’s exciting.”

Blas won her first match in the District 4 girls tennis singles tournament at Williamsport on Monday over North Penn-Liberty’s Marissa Griess, 6-1, 6-1, to advance to the second round.

That second round consisted of a much more back-and-forth contest against Central Columbia’s Megan Minnig. Both were red in the face, battling for every point. Huffing, serving, returning, puffing. Blas took the tight duel in a three-set victory, 5-7, 6-3, 7-5.

“It was really just trusting my game and knowing everyone’s beatable,” Blas said on the second round. “Me, her, I just have to play my game.”

Blas ultimately fell in the quarterfinal to Selinsgrove’s Fiona Finnerty, 6-4, 6-0. The Seals have another semifinalist in Avery DeFazio, who downed Hughesville’s Kylie Kilgore, 6-3, 6-1.

Freshman Peyton Dincher will represent Jersey Shore in the semifinals on Wednesday at the Central PA Tennis Center at 1 p.m. Joining her will be three-time District 4 champion and Class AA state champion Olivia Dorner of South Williamsport, DeFazio and Selinsgrove’s Fionna Finnerty.

Dincher defeated Montoursville’s Kara Mann (6-2, 6-2) to keep her season alive.

“It always feels good to beat Montoursville,” Dincher said with a smile. “It’s our rival, so.”

Mann started the tournament with a bye in the first round and took down Danville’s Mariana Arnabar (6-0, 6-3) to reach the quarterfinal against Dincher.

“I knew I was going to see her, and I just had to stay motivated and play her well,” Dincher said on Mann.

The first player to qualify for the semifinals was Dorner. The senior and returning state champion has won three previous District 4 titles and looks to earn her fourth straight.

“I’m just really excited to be playing this year because I know with COVID last year, we weren’t sure whether we were going to have a season or what was going on,” Dorner said. “I’m really excited to be playing this year with my team and competing in Districts this year for singles.”

After a year of pandemic high school sports, the competition today feels more normal now for many players. Dorner making another deep postseason run, however, feels just as normal as well.

“Last year was just chaos with everything going on,” Dorner said. “It’s definitely nicer this year, you can relax a little bit more.”

DISTRICT 4 GIRLS TENNIS

SINGLES TOURNAMENT

ROUND ONE

1. Olivia Dorner (SW) bye; Riley Noss (Central Columbia) def. Abby Burrell (Bloomsburg), 6-1 6-0; Celia Shemory (Jersey Shore) def. Bekah Rosario (Muncy), 6-0 6-0; 8. Anna Hall (Loyalsock) def. Adelyn Dawes (St. John Neumann), 6-1 6-0; 5. Hannah Ryck (Towanda) bye; Avery DeFazio (Selinsgrove) def. Mallorie Myers (Montgomery), 6-4 6-0; Sarah Bhanushali (Danville) def. Brooklyn Wade (Milton), 6-2 6-1; 4. Kylie Kilgore (Hughesville) bye; 3. Kara Mann (Montoursville) bye; Mariana Arnabar (Danville) def. Sam Ulrich (Montgomery), 6-2 6-2; Grace Hilkert (Lewisburg) def. Hannah Risch (Towanda), 6-3 6-4; 6. Peyton Dincher (Jersey Shore) bye; 7. Fionia Finnerty (Selinsgrove) bye; Mya Coyne (Bloomsburg) def. Eve Jackson (South Williamsport), 7-5 6-2; Mia Blas (Loyalsock) def. Marissa Griess (NPL), 6-1 6-1; Megan Minnig (Central Columbia) bye.

ROUND TWO

Dorner (South Williamsport) def. Noss (Central Columbia), 6-0 6-0; Shemory (Jersey Shore) def. 8. Hall (Loyalsock), 0-6 6-1 6-2; DeFazio (Selinsgrove) def. Ryck (Towanda), 6-4 4-6 7-5 (7-2); 4. Kilgore (Hughesville) def. Bhanushali (Danville), 7-6 (7-4) 6-1; 3. Mann (Montoursville) def. Arnabar (Danville), 6-0 6-3; Dincher (Jersey Shore) def. Hilkert (Lewisburg), 6-1 6-1; 7. Finnerty (Selinsgrove) def. Coyne (Bloomsburg), 6-4 6-4; Blas (Loyalsock), 5-7 6-3 7-5.

QUARTERIFNALS

Dorner (South Williamsport) def. Shemory (Jersey Shore), 6-0 6-0; DeFazio (Selinsgrove) def. Kilgore (Hughesville), 6-3 6-1; Dincher (Jersey Shore) def. Mann (Montoursville), 6-2 6-2; Finnerty (Selinsgrove) def. Blas (Loyalsock), 6-4 6-0.

SEMIFINALS

(Wednesday at Central PA Tennis Center)

Dorner vs. DeFazio; Dincher vs. Finnerty.

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