Union City Tennis Teams Secure Spots in TSSAA Spring Fling in Murfreesboro
The Union City boys’ tandem of Charleton Wisener and Gavin Pledge joined Lady Tornado teammates Shelby Bondurant and Molly Kizer, in earning spots in next week’s Spring Fling after both teams won regional titles Tuesday afternoon.
School Communications Director Mike Hutchens said Wisener and Pledge became the first Union City boys’ doubles team to qualify for the state tournament since 2014 by impressively dispatching Gibson County’s Collin Skelton and Colton Lumpkin 6-4, 6-1.
The Tornado senior duo will face Blake Myer and Ben Purnell, of Watertown, May 25 at 9:00 in a Class 1A quarterfinal match at the Adams Tennis Complex in Murfreesboro.
The semifinals will be held that afternoon, with the tourney finals set for May 26 at 11 a.m.
Union City was already guaranteed a spot in the girls’ state doubles field with Bondurant and Kizer matched against teammates Dani and Davey Frankum in an all-Lady Tornado final.
Resuming a weather-suspended match from Monday that was tied at 2-all in the first set, Bondurant and Kizer repeated their district title-winning effort against the Frankum sisters, claiming a hard-fought 6-4, 6-3 victory.
Bondurant and Kizer, the first doubles team to make it to state in five years, also advance to a state quarterfinal date on May 25, facing a yet-to-be-determined foe at 9:00 at the Adams Complex.
The Final 4 is set for that afternoon, with the championship match scheduled for May 26 at 11 in the morning.
Union City freshman Bertie Jenkins fell short in her state qualifying bid, dropping a 6-3, 6-3 decision to Dyersburg’s Malym Morgan in the singles final. The match was picked up after being delayed on Monday, with Morgan up a set and 3-2 in the second set.
Tornado head coach Tom Sisco was understandably elated that Wisener and Pledge doubled Union City’s state tourney headcount, after they knocked off District 14 champs Daniel Pipken and Isaiah McLemore, of South Gibson, in Monday’s three-set semifinal.
“I’m thrilled that something good finally happened to Charleton and Gavin,” Sisco said. “They’d been so close in so many big situations during the year, and today, they finally got over the hump.
“We’d been pushing them, telling them their best was good enough. We saw today, and they saw today that it was. Gavin’s serve was just overpowering, and Charleton was steady and consistent all day. I’m so proud of them.”
The girls’ doubles final was filled with spectacular shot-making, long rallies, and all-out hustle on both sides – all of which Sisco expected.
“Shelby and Molly know they have to kick it up a notch when they play the (Frankum) twins, and they did,”.
“The resolve on both sides was absolutely amazing, and to watch those girls compete, and the tenacity that they bring was awesome. No doubt, Bondurant and Kizer are playing really well now and with a lot of confidence. It’s important that they remain focused, and I do believe they can make some noise on the state level.”
Union City’s girls will play Chester County Thursday in a sectional match, with the winner earning a spot in next week’s state team semifinals.