FCHS Lady Lions tennis has perfect region record

The Franklin County Lady Lions tennis team has just completed an amazing run through region play and the 8-AAA tournament, winning every meet played against region opponents and claiming the regular season and tournament championships.

Head Tennis Coach Chuck Holland talks about the team’s regular season.

The girls ended up 12-0, undefeated in region play, 17-1 overall in our regular season and tournament matches and are currently on a 17 game winning streak. They’ve played really well and won some tight matches. Out of our 17 wins, eight of them have come by a 3-2 margin, We’ve had different girls step up throughout the year and get that clutch win for us so I’m extremely excited about our year,” said Holland.

The coach then talked about his players. He started with the seniors.

As far as our seniors go, we’ve had great senior leadership. We have Haley Gaines, who plays No. 1 singles for us. She’s been in the program ever since middle school. Taylor Sorrells played No. 3 singles for us. She’s had some huge wins and is 11-1 overall in region play. Kayleigh Isom. She’s been lock-down at No. 1 doubles all year- her and her partner Alissa Drake are 11-1 on the year. She’s another one who’s been in the program ever since middle school. Krina Patel played No. 2 for us and is 7-4 in region play. She didn’t get started playing tennis until her sophomore year so this is only her third year playing tennis,” said Holland.

Holland said all four seniors have advanced to the state tournament every year of their high school career.

Holland then talked about the underclassmen.

The other two main starters we’ve had are Bailee Breedlove and Diana Fowler. Both played basketball so they didn’t get out until halfway through the season, but they’re actually undefeated in region play and clinched a few deciding matches for us as well. Megan Ledford, she’s a sophomore and played in some competition matches for us, and also Madison Simms and Macie Norton have stepped up and got a couple of wins and both of those are freshmen,” said Holland.

The coach then talks about the region tournament. With a No. 1 seeding the team was guaranteed a state playoff berth, but still had the tournament title and seeding on the line.

We played our rivals, Hart County, first and won both sets against them. They’re a great team but our girls just really stepped up and had an amazing match for us. Our No. 1 doubles, Drake and Isom, got a win. No. 2 doubles, Breedlove and Fowler, got a win in straight sets. Then Taylor Taylor Sorrells came through with another win to clinch the win for us,” said Holland.

Franklin County faced Morgan County for the championship. Despite Franklin County being the top seed, Morgan County was actually the “home team” since this year’s tournament was played there. Even Morgan’s home court advantage could not derail the Lady Lions.

Taylor Sorrels got a straight sets win for us. No. 2 doubles, Breedlove and Fowler, also got a straight sets win for us. With No. 1 singles, Gaines, and No. 2 singles Patel, fighting their tails off but losing, we were tied up 2-2. It came down to our No. 1 doubles, Drake and Isom. They won their first set 6-0, but fell to a little bit of adversity in the second set, losing 4-6. They actually went down 0-4 in the third so it looked kind of like we were going to lose that but those girls got it back together mentally, emotionally and those girls played some great tennis those final games and ended up clinching a win for us 7-5,” said Holland.

The team will host the first round of the state playoffs as they host Dawson County on Wednesday. Should the Lady Lions prevail on Wednesday, they will host the second round as well, however the opponent will be much tougher.

It’s just one of those years where the playoff bracket was not kind to us. In that second round we’re either going to have to play one of the Atlanta private school teams, which will be either Westminster, Lovett or Pace Academy. You know, they’re always the top teams in the state. Or, we’re going to have to face Calhoun City Schools so it’s definitely a brutal draw in that second round,” said Holland.

Be sure to tune in to tomorrow’s news for a look at the 2018 season for the boy’s tennis team.