Lady Flyers lead the way into tennis regional

Matches begin Monday with boys at Franklin County and girls at Western Hills

By Linda Younkin, Published:

So far this year, Franklin County’s girls tennis team has had a successful season, and the seedings for the Region 8 tournament bear that out.

FCHS seniors Lili Williams and Mary Grace Amato are the top-seeded doubles team in the tournament, which starts Monday morning with the girls playing at Western Hills and the boys at Franklin County.

The Lady Flyers’ No. 1 singles player, sophomore Kelley Barker, is the No. 2 seed.

On the boys side, Western Hills sophomore Henry Collett is seeded third in singles.

Williams and Amato have gone undefeated in regional play, going 13-0 against region opponents.

Barker is 12-1 in regional play with her only loss coming to Oldham County’s Aspen Jarrett, the No. 1 seed in the regional tournament.

“I’ve been extremely happy,” FCHS girls tennis coach Melinda Lewis said. “I’ve had some health issues, and just coming out to the courts with the girls, laughing with them, there’s no better cure for being down in the dumps.”

Lewis scheduled 29 matches this spring, allotting for bad weather because teams are only allowed to play 22 matches.

The Lady Flyers had 10 matches rained out. They played in the Woodford Invitational, finishing as runner-up, and Williams and Amato were invited to play in the Derby City Doubles.

FCHS, which brings an 11-8 overall record into the postseason, has gone 9-3 in regional action.

“All three of those matches were 2-3 losses,” Lewis said about the regional record. “We’re 11-8 overall this year because we played teams like Sayre, Lexington Catholic, West Jessamine and Scott County.

“We played a lot of out-of-region matches so we could be more prepared for the region.”

Barker has defeated the No. 1 players from Sayre, South Oldham and North Oldham.

Williams and Amato will continue their tennis careers next year at Transylvania.

“They played USTA all summer long,” Lewis said. “They read each other well and know each other’s moves. Transy recruited them so heavily so they can play doubles there.

“Lili is our captain. She’s taken on a leadership role, and I’m really proud of her. She’s great at recruiting other girls. She’s gotten a lot of girls involved in tennis.”

The Lady Flyers have 22 players on this year’s team.

Also playing in the regional tournament for Franklin County’s girls will be Sai Marella, FCHS’ No. 2 singles player, and the No. 2 doubles team of Rachel Hampton and Peyton Miller.

The tournament will begin at 9:30 a.m. Monday. The girls will play at Western Hills Monday and Tuesday and move to Franklin County for the semifinals Wednesday and championship matches Thursday.

The boys’ portion of the tournament will be played in its entirety at FCHS and will follow the same schedule as the girls.

The competitors for the other five local teams are listed below.

Frankfort High boys

Singles: Seth Midkiff and Noah Bates. Doubles: Jackson O’Daniel-Nick Hoffmann.

Franklin Co. boys

Singles: Cameron Smith and Stephan Ignat. Doubles: Charlie Starzman-Abhi Dharinipragada and Caleb Hughes-Logan Goodwin.

Western Hills boys

Singles: Henry Collett and Will Grasch. Doubles: Jake Caudle-Cameron Kenner and Felix Lopez-Andrew Bates.

Frankfort High girls

Singles: Emily Ballantyne and Theresa Jaminet. Doubles: Caroline Bramble-Sierra Demers and Jayne Yocum-Grace Yocum.

Western Hills girls

Singles: Jenny Carr and Grace Neal. Doubles: Courtnie Carr-Courtney Woodyard and Kelsi Sheets-Rachael Hudson.

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