High school tennis: Union City girls clinch state tournament berth

 High school tennis: Union City girls clinch state tournament berth

Photo by Mike Hutchens, Union City Schools Communications Director

Dani and Davey Frankum fought back from a 4-1 deficit to beat Chester County’s Emma Grace Miller and Brocke Ketchum 8-5 to help the Union City Lady Tornadoes clinch a Class A State Tournament berth with a 4-2 victory Thursday at the Middle School Courts.

School Communications Director Mike Hutchens said Union City’s girls’ program, winners of six straight matches and 13-7 on the season, will compete in the state tourney for the 10th time in program history on Tuesday at 1 p.m. in Murfreesboro against University School of Johnson City or Kingston in one of two semifinal matches. Reigning champion Summertown – which beat UC in last year’s finals – will face either Watertown or Signal Mountain in the other semi, with the championship match slated for Wednesday at 9 a.m. at the Adams Tennis Complex.

The Lady Tornadoes stormed to a 3-0 lead in Thursday’s sectional before Chester County forced a pair of doubles matches to decide the winner.

Union City’s top-seeded doubles tandem of Shelby Bondurant and Molly Kizer were well on their way to clinching the match if the Frankum sisters hadn’t – up 6-2 against the Lady Eagle duo of Grace Compton and Ceili Davis when their match was called.

Bondurant and Kizer – both of whom won at the No. 1 and 2 singles spots – dropped their first game in doubles before hitting their stride with near-flawless play that led to five straight games won. During that period, the twosome won eight consecutive points and dominated with their respective serves.

Union City fell behind early in every one of their five singles matches, but Bondurant and Kizer each won hard-fought encounters with Compton and Miller.

Bondurant was down 2-0 before winning three of the next four games in her first set. She broke a 5-all deadlock and claimed the opener 7-5 before getting off to a great second-set start by taking five of the first six games with several powerful groundstrokes.

Kizer was down 2-1 early but rallied to win 7-5, then dominated in the second set with a 6-2 triumph.

The Lady Tornadoes got a third win in singles play when Davey Frankum fell behind 2-0 and 4-3 before winning six of the next seven games on her way to a 6-4, 6-2 victory over Davis.

Union City fell at the Nos. 4 and 5 seeds, but not without a fight.

Dani Frankum lost a second-set tiebreaker 8-6 after winning four straight games to erase a 4-1 deficit in her match against Katie Lovelace. Lovelace took the first set 6-2.

Freshman Bertie Jenkins also had a spirited rally in her match to force a tiebreaker (7-2) in what was eventually a 4-6, 6-7 setback.

In addition to next week’s state team event, Bondurant and Kizer will play in the individual doubles championship on Thursday. They’ll be joined by the boys’ tandem of Charleton Wisener and Gavin Pledge, who’ll also play Thursday at 9 a.m. at the Adams Complex.