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Lady Patriots in prime midseason form

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WAKE FOREST — Despite having no seniors on their starting six, Franklin Academy’s girls tennis team has started the season undefeated at 9-0 with three conference wins.

Going back to last year, the Lady Patriots have won 20 regular season matches in a row with their last regular season loss to Raleigh Charter Aug. 23, 2018. This year, Franklin Academy exacted revenge on their east region rivals by defeating them 5-4 Aug. 27. The Patriots are more recently coming off a 6-3 win against Voyager Academy at home Monday.

Franklin Academy head coach Gregg Duffy said the depth of his roster is the main reason the girls are still undefeated. Even when they don’t have all of their starters available to play, the reserves have stepped in to win some crucial singles matches.

“The girls have been doing great,” Duffy said. “We’ve already gone through the hardest matches of our season so far. Even with all the injuries, sickness and absences, the other players have risen to the occasion. We’ve beaten teams like Heritage and Raleigh Charter without all of our starters.”

The most amazing part of their win streak is that the majority of their singles wins are coming from freshmen and sophomores. Anisah Sison is 7-1 as a sophomore in the No. 1 spot and Abby Armistead, another sophomore, is 6-0 this season. Helen Brockmann, a freshman, is also undefeated this year at 9-0.

“We’re only going to get better and better,” Duffy said. “Most of the girls get private lessons and play in tournaments during the offseason. We’re going to be better in the future than we are today.”

Duffy is especially impressed with Brockmann’s play so far this year. The freshman has won all of her matches, even when she was down in several games. She won her most recent match against Voyager Academy 8-3.

“Helen Brockmann has an indomitable spirit,” Duffy said. “She has come back and won all of her matches no matter how much she was down by. She won one match that involved three tie-breakers. She just refuses to lose.”

There are only four other tennis teams in the 1A class in the state who are still undefeated and two of them are in the west. Duffy and his players are confident they can be a formidable opponent in the 1A state playoffs this season and make it to the championship game. Duffy pointed out some phases of the game the players can improve on in the second half of the season.

“We’re still learning how to construct a point,” Duffy said. “We’re also working on our doubles play. We have to control the play. We’re there to a degree, but we can do a lot better.”

Franklin Academy will play Cornerstone Charter Academy Friday at home at 4 p.m. Then the Patriots will travel to Roxboro Community Monday at 4:30 p.m.


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