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Patriots rise above Phoenix

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RALEIGH — Franklin Academy’s girls tennis team pulled off a historic upset over their eastern region rivals Raleigh Charter by beating them 5-4 Tuesday Aug. 27 on the road.

Raleigh Charter is the defending three-time 1A state champion. This is Franklin Academy’s first win over the Phoenix since 2014, a team who has constantly ruined their playoff run in the past.

Anisah Sison achieved the first victory for Franklin Academy. At the No. 1 singles spot, the sophomore defeated Raleigh Charter’s Vedika Birla 6-3, 6-4.

In the No. 2 singles match, Franklin Academy’s Helen Brockmann took down Raleigh Charter’s Keerthi Avula. The two freshmen battled it out in three sets. Avula took the first set 7-6 off a 7-2 tie-breaker. Then Brockmann stormed back with a 6-1 victory in the second set. Brockmann took the successful outcome by winning the third set 10-7.

Franklin Academy’s Erin Elsberry beat Raleigh Charter’s Samantha Levine in the No. 5 singles match. The freshman won the match with a score of 6-4, 7-6 (7-3).

Raleigh Charter won the other three singles matches, which meant that the overall contest was determined in doubles play.

Sison and Brockmann won the first doubles match by winning 8-3. In the second doubles match, Isabelle Murphy and Elsberry brought the win home with a thrilling 9-8 (7-5) win to give the Patriots a 5-4 victory over Raleigh Charter.

“We won this match without four of our normal top seven players, who were all out due to sickness and injury,” Franklin Academy head coach Gregg Duffy said. “Playing our backup players in their place we brought home the win, a win that took four and a half hours, had five tie-breakers and had everybody biting their nails. It all came down to our doubles team of Isabelle Murphy and Erin Elsberry, who won in a tie-breaker 9-8. This was our most feel-good win ever.”

Franklin Academy will be back at home to play Roxboro Community Tuesday Sept. 3 at 4 p.m.

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