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by Becky Kimbrell-Norris
WAKE FOREST — With two victories to start the 2013 season, the Franklin Academy tennis team managed to win just one set against a stronger North Raleigh Christian Academy team during non-conference action Monday at the Flaherty courts in Wake Forest.
Freshman Kyrsten Le, playing No. 3 singles for the Patriots won her match 6-0, 6-0, defeating Jesse Dohringe.
“North Raleigh Christian was very good and likely to be the best we see this year,” said Franklin Academy coach Gregg Duffy. “Still we played well.”
A couple of singles matches were very competitive between the two teams.
Erin Connell, the Patriots No. 4 singles player, was leading 4-3 in the first set before losing 5-7, 3-6 in a match that lasted over two hours.
At No. 5 singles, Taylor Henrie of Franklin Academy rallied back after falling behind 1-6 in the first set to lose 5-7 in the second.
The Patriots Bonnie Morgan, at No. 6 singles, lost 1-6, 2-6 while Casey Langer of Franklin Academy was defeated 0-6, 0-6 to Tiffany Pyritz, one of the top 30 players in the nation in her age division.
At the No. 2 singles, the Patriots Kinsey Ness also lost by scores of 0-6 in both sets.
“Their top two players were dominant in singles,” Duffy said.
In doubles, Franklin Academy played better and Duffy called the No. 1 doubles the best doubles match he has ever seen.
Langer and Ness were tied at 6-6 before losing the last two games for a 6-8 loss.
“There were great shots and fierce rallies by both teams throughout the match,” Duffy said.
Franklin Academy’s No. 3 doubles team of Elizabeth Keel and Lauren Emer played their opponents close before they were defeated 5-8 and the two team of Le and Taylor lost 0-8.
“Playing good opponents helps identify what you need to work on and several things are apparent,” Duffy said. “With our conference schedule starting next week, we have to get some things right if we want to win.”
In a match against Greene Central High School, August 22, the Patriots won all nine matches.
“On a hot, humid day, our players were in good form,” Duffy said.
Greene Central won just six total games in all of the matches.
Duffy said Le and Morgan were especially impressive.
“Doubles was fun to watch too with much net action and good serving,” he said. “We were equally successful there.”
“Constant poaching and winner net shots gave their opponents no chance,” Duffy added. “The ladies did a great job.”
Franklin Academy will play two conference matches next week. They will be at River Mill Wednesday and will travel to Raleigh Charter on Thursday.