Summit Country Day’s Steele wins state singles title, beats Dayton Oakwood’s Haviland in three sets

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Division II State Tennis
The theme of the Division II finals at the 2007 OSHAA girls tennis championships was one of redemption. Both singles champion Gabby Steele of Summit Country Day and the
Hathaway Brown doubles team of Morgan and Cameron Dorsey were able to
avenge past runner-up performances Saturday at Hilliard Davidson.


HILLIARD – The theme of the Division II finals at the 2007 OSHAA girls tennis championships was one of redemption.

Both singles champion Gabby Steele of Summit Country Day and the Hathaway Brown doubles team of Morgan and Cameron Dorsey were able to avenge past runner-up performances Saturday at Hilliard Davidson.

Steele came back from a set down to defeat Kelsey Haviland of Dayton Oakwood 4-6, 6-4, 6-2. After finishing second as a freshman and fourth last year, Steele was finally able to help Country Day to the school’s first-ever state title in tennis.

“It’s a good feeling, winning states,” said Steele. “Kelsey’s a very good player and she played well. I just tried to be more aggressive and stay focused.”

Haviland, an Ohio State recruit, won the first set, the first time this season Steele had dropped a set. After that, Steele said she tried her best to pretend the opening frame wasn’t part of the match.

“I thought of the first set as a practice set and told myself I still had two more to go,” said Steele, who finished the season 19-0. “I just kept that in my mind.”

Down a set and 3-0, the match really turned after Steele won three straight games to even the score. From that point Steele won 12 of the last 15 games.

“The momentum definitely changed when she tied it up 3-all,” Haviland said.

Country Day coach Joy Albi said she though some of Steele’s early struggles were due to the moment.

“This is states, everybody’s nervous,” Albi said. “By the third set I think Gabby settled in, figured out her pace and played the balls she needed to play.”

Steele reached the finals by defeating Katherine Bulling of Cincinnati Hills Christian Academy in the semifinals 6-3, 6-4, while Haviland beat Sabrina Jetti of Orange 6-0, 6-2.
In doubles, the Dorsey sisters of Hathaway Brown were able to remove the bad taste of losing in straight sets to Elyria Catholic in the ’06 final.

On Saturday the Dorseys recovered from squandering second-set match points to beat Lexington’s Torrie Goudy and Courtney Schaub, 6-4, 5-7, 6-2.

“We hated the feeling we had last season,” said the older Morgan Dorsey, a senior. “We knew we could do it this time.”

Hathaway Brown coach Don Stevens said his players may have been thinking about the trophy too soon, failing on two chances to win the match in the second set. “We were opening the champagne too early,” he said.

The Hathaway Brown team did not drop a set on the way to this year’s final, beating Bishop Fenwick in Saturday morning semis 6-3, 6-3. Lexington beat Columbus Academy in its semifinal by an identical 3 and 3 score.

Stevens said he though the difference in the third set was that his team took the match too their opposition.

“The only way to win at states is if you are aggressive,” Stevens said. “So we went on the offensive.”

Morgan Dorsey said she thought the lessons learned at last year’s tournament paid dividends this time around.

“We’ve been in this position before,” she said. “We knew the kind of pressure you’re going to feel and it was a lot easier this year.”

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