Coming back from a one-set deficit in tennis can be tough. Finishing off an opponent can be tougher.
Franklin County’s doubles team of Brooke Barber and Sydney Preston did both, winning its quarterfinal match Tuesday at Western Hills in the Region 8 tournament.
Barber and Preston, seeded eighth, defeated South Oldham’s Anna Townsend and Josie Olliges, the third-seeded doubles team, 4-6, 6-1, 7-5 Tuesday.
The victory puts the FCHS team in the semifinals today at 4:30 p.m. at Franklin County, where its opponent will be top-seeded Taylor McGuire and Nicole Walton of North Oldham.
They are the only local players who have advanced to the semifinals.
Frankfort High had two singles players in the quarterfinals Tuesday. FHS’ Jenna Miller, seeded fifth, lost to No. 2 seed Paige Kregor of Collins 6-1, 6-2, and Lydia Miller fell to fourth-seeded Stephanie Pitts of South Oldham 6-2, 6-1.
Western Hills’ doubles team of Megan Farney and Angel Mitchell lost to McGuire and Walton 6-0, 6-2 Tuesday.
At the boys tournament at FCHS Tuesday, WHHS’ Robert Greenwell was the only local player still competing.
He completed his second-round match that was postponed from Monday because of bad weather, defeating Oldham County’s Payton Roberts 6-4, 6-7 (4), 7-6 (2). Roberts was seeded fourth.
That put Greenwell in the quarterfinals, where he lost to fifth-seeded Sergio Pascual of Carroll County 6-3, 6-2.
For Barber and Preston, they found themselves in a hole after the first set, but they cruised through the second.
“We decided to bring it back in,” Preston said.
“We just don’t like losing to anybody,” Barber said. “We made some errors on our own that we needed to fix, and that’s what we focused on. We didn’t want to give them points and make it easier.”
They didn’t, and the third set started like the second set ended, with the FCHS team in control.
Barber and Preston were up 5-2 in the third set, but Townsend and Olliges took the next three games to tie the set at 5-5 and they were serving for the 11th game, leading 40-love, when the FCHS duo rallied to win the game and take a 6-5 lead.
Barber served out the match with Franklin County winning the last set 7-5.
“I had a little adrenalin going,” Barber said about South Oldham’s comeback in the third set. “We wanted to smash the ball, get a point as fast as we possibly could and get off the court.”
“We were too excited,” Preston said. “We decided to calm down, keep it in, and not try to smash every ball.”
The strategy worked, and berth in the semifinals is the reward.