Shore’s Peyton Dincher secures spot at states, finishes second at District 4 tennis tournament
Peyton Dincher knew she had to dial it back and settle in.
Against Selinsgrove’s Fiona Finnerty in the District 4 girls tennis singles tournament, Dincher took the first set, 6-3, by keeping good control of the ball and matching up well against Finnerty’s defensive play.
But in the second set, Dincher took softer hits and paced her rallies against Finnerty.
“I had to play like (Finnerty) did,” Dincher said. “Can’t hit it that hard.”
Dincher found success in the changeup and took the second set, 6-2, to earn an automatic bid to the state tournament on Nov. 5 in Hershey.
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.”
Dincher fell in the District 4 title game to South Williamsport’s Olivia Dorner, 6-0, 6-0. Both Dorner and Dincher have bids to go to states now that the top two finishers are once again allowed to advance after only one was allowed the automatic bid in the first season of the COVID-19 era.
Dorner — who also swept Selinsgrove’s Avery DeFazio in the semifinal round — is the first player to win four consecutive District 4 titles.
“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.
“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.
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.”
DISTRICT 4 GIRLS TENNIS
1. Olivia Dorner (SW) def. Avery DeFazio (Selinsgrove), 6-0, 6-0; 2. Peyton Dincher (JS) def. Fiona Finnerty (Selinsgrove), 6-3, 6-2.
1. Olivia Dorner (SW) def. Peyton Dincher (JS), 6-0, 6-0.