UC girls’ tennis team earns Spring Fling spot
By KEVIN WEAKS
The Twins, for the win.
Twin sisters Davey and Dani Frankum rallied to beat Chester County’s E.G. Miller and Brooke Ketchum 8-5 at the No. 2 doubles spot to secure a 4-2 team win for Union City in the sectional round of the postseason Thursday afternoon at the UC Middle School courts.
The Lady Tornadoes, last season’s state runner-up team, return to the Class A state tournament next week in Murfreesboro and will face University School-Johnson City in the semifinal round 1 p.m. Tuesday at the Adams Tennis Complex.
The Frankum sisters, now 11-4, fell behind 4-1 before battling back for the clinching victory.
“As usual, they just don’t give up,” UC head coach Tom Sisco said. “Both of them are that way in singles, and then they just double that when playing doubles. There’s no quitting. So, even when they get down the way they did, you can just see that they’re not going to give up.”
Union City had a 3-2 lead after singles play as Shelby Bondurant posted a 7-5, 6-4 win over Grace Compton at No. 1, Molly Kizer took a 7-5, 6-2 verdict over Miller at the second seed and Davey Frankum earned a 6-4, 6-2 win over Cecily Davis at the third spot.
That Lady Twister trio continue their late-season run through the competition.
Bondurant has now won six straight singles matches and 10 of her last 11. All three of her postseason wins have been in straight sets.
Kizer has also won six consecutive singles matches, and each of her three postseason matches have been decided in straight sets as well. Twice she has won the opening set by a 7-5 score.
“We felt confident coming into the match that we could win at the one and two spots,” Sisco said. “We’ve watched our girls at the one and two all year, and we believe they can play with anybody in Class A in the state of Tennessee with the way they play. Even when they got down at the start of their matches today, they had tenacity, fought and took control of their matches. You can see how much better their shot-making has gotten from last year and even the first of this year.”
Davey Frankum, who missed part of the season due to an injury, is riding a seven-match win streak, a run that includes a three-set victory in the district championship match followed by back-to-back straight set victories.
Dani Frankum and Bertie Jenkins forced tiebreakers in their respective second sets before losing to Katie Lovelace and Ketchum.
When the match ended, Bondurant and Kizer were up 6-2 on Compton and Davis at the top doubles spot.
Tied at 1-1, the UC pair was down 40-love in the third game but then reeled off eight straight points to take a 3-1 lead.
“When you talk about a doubles team peaking at the right time, you can see it with these two,” Sisco said of Bondurant and Kizer. “They’re just on their game. They’re communicating well. Coach (Monty) Mooney has been working with them on adjusting their net play, which has really helped them. They’re just playing with a tremendous amount of confidence.”
Bondurant and Kizer have now played five postseason matches, winning them all, while the twins have won three of their five doubles matches in postseason. The sectional, however, marked the first time in postseason team play that both tandems have taken the court.
“In our other matches, we have been able to close things out in singles,” Sisco said. “So, we were kind of happy to get to doubles because we felt they needed to play this kind of competition, and under this kind of pressure. It was good for us.
The Lady Tornadoes, who played a tough regular season schedule, are now 13-7 and have won six straight matches and 12 of their last 15 following a 1-4 start.
Looking to next week, University is playing tennis for the first time in about 30 years but has an experienced team after a co-op with Unicoi County. Several members of last year’s Unicoi team, including juniors Lily Mefford, Jordan Havert and Kaylee DeGennaro, played against Union City in the state semifinals last season.
Shelby Bondurant (UC) d. Grace Compton (CC) 7-5, 6-4
Molly Kizer (UC) d. E.G. Miller (CC) 7-5, 6-2
Davey Frankum (UC) d. Cecily Davis (CC) 6-4, 6-2
Katie Lovelace (CC) d. Dani Frankum (UC) 6-2, 7-6 (8-6)
Brooke Ketchum (CC) d. Bertie Jenkins (UC) 6-4, 7-6 (7-2)
Frankum/Frankum (UC) d. Miller/Ketchum (CC) 8-5
• Bondurant/Kizer (UC) led Compton/Davis (CC) 6-2 when Union City clinched the team win.
Sports editor Kevin Weaks can be contacted by email at email@example.com.