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South’s Olivia Dorner makes history by winning 4th straight District 4 singles title

Olivia Dorner during her match against Avery DeFazio Wednesday afternoon. Dorner would go on to win another District 4 singles title. DAVE KENNEDY/Sun-Gazette

For the first time in the history of District 4, there is a four-time girls tennis singles tournament champion.

Olivia Dorner, the senior sensation from South Williamsport, swept Avery DeFazio of Selinsgrove and Jersey Shore’s Peyton Dincher to take the crown at the Central PA Tennis Center Wednesday to make history.

With the title, Dorner advances to the state tournament in Hershey on Nov. 6.

“It’s just really exciting. I’m really happy to be playing this year and I want to thank everyone that’s helped me,” Dorner said. “Central PA Tennis Center, my family, everyone that’s helped me.”

The No. 31 nationally ranked college recruit and No. 4 in the Mid Atlantic, Dorner has been a force of nature in District 4 throughout her high school varsity career. But in the midst of a pandemic where everything was up in the air last season and now, the moment was bigger for her.

Olivia Dorner during her match against Peyton Dincher Wednesday afternoon. Dorner would go on to win another District 4 singles title. DAVE KENNEDY/Sun-Gazette

“It was tough with COVID, so I’m excited this year for states. They’re not limiting it so my family could all go,” Dorner said.

Dincher, a freshman player for the Bulldogs, also punched her ticket to states now that the top two finishers per district are once again allowed to qualify after the first season in the COVID-19 era last year.

The semifinal round between Dincher and Selinsgrove’s Fiona Finnerty was a tight two-set contest. Finnerty had hustle and played defensively, while Dincher kept good control of the ball. After taking the first set 6-3, Dincher adapted to Finnerty’s game.

A long rally ensued halfway through the second set and Dincher took less aggressive hits and paced the play more to her opponent.

“I had to play like (Finnerty) did,” Dincher said. “Can’t hit it that hard.”

Olivia Dorner during her match against Avery DeFazio Wednesday afternoon. Dorner would go on to win another District 4 singles title. DAVE KENNEDY/Sun-Gazette

Dincher found success in the changeup and took the second set, 6-2. All season long, Dincher has been going through the motions of District 4. Her favorite aspect of her first year of varsity thus far has been sticking to the routine of going out and competing. She also knew she had the ability to make the deep postseason run she’s currently on.

“I believed in myself,” Dincher said. “I kept with it and kept playing strong.”

Dorner and Dincher will compete in the first rounds of the state singles tournament on Nov. 5 at Hershey Racquet Club.

While it’s Dincher’s first time at the big stage in Hershey, Dorner looks to repeat as a state champion.

“Just keep practicing how I am,” Dorner said of her preparation for Pennsylvania’s toughest competition. “Keep training.”

Peyton Dincher races down a volley during her match Wednesday afternoon. DAVE KENNEDY/Sun-Gazette

DISTRICT 4 GIRLS TENNIS

SINGLES TOURNAMENT

SEMIFINALS

1. Olivia Dorner (SW) def. Avery DeFazio (Selinsgrove), 6-0, 6-0; 2. Peyton Dincher (JS) def. Fiona Finnerty (Selinsgrove), 6-3, 6-2.

FINAL

1. Olivia Dorner (SW) def. Peyton Dincher (JS), 6-0, 6-0.

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