Franklin has lived to play another day at the Center Grove girls tennis sectional.
The Grizzly Cubs eliminated Greenwood 4-1 in a first-round match Wednesday, earning the right to face Whiteland (7-8) in semifinal action today.
The other semifinal will have third-ranked Center Grove (15-2), winner of 27 sectionals, up against Indian Creek (6-6).
Franklin was led by some heady play from its No. 2 doubles team.
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Coming off a recent championship run at the Mid-State Conference tournament, freshmen Allison Bennett and Rachel Pinnick won in straight sets over Greenwood junior Lydia Delaney and freshman Ally Hussung 6-2, 6-0.
As the season has worn on, Bennett said their optimism keeps growing.
“First, I think we have a really good friendship,” she said. “We met in the seventh grade and we automatically became best friends.”
Pinnick nodded her head in agreement and echoed her partner’s comments.
“I believe we work really well together,” she added. “We kind of know what each other can do based upon our positioning, and we trust one another.”
Franklin clinched the match when freshman Lexi Wilkison defeated Greenwood junior Maddie Bright 6-3, 6-4 at No. 1 singles and junior Abi Smith edged sophomore Brittney Mandabach in the No. 3 singles match 6-0, 7-5.
In the longest match of the evening, one that lasted nearly two hours, Franklin sophomore Kate Heuchan willed her way past Greenwood freshman Emily Chatham 7-5, 5-7 and 10-7 in a super tiebreaker.
Greenwood’s lone point came in the No. 1 doubles competition. The Mid-State Conference champs, senior Molly Jacobs and junior Alyssa Roscoe (12-1), eased by senior Katie Purk and sophomore Daryn Hyneman 6-3, 6-3.
With the win, Jacobs and Roscoe kept themselves alive in the individual state doubles tournament.
“We’ve been friends for a long time, and that’s helped us to communicate and pull out the tough matches,” Jacobs said.
Roscoe couldn’t have agreed more.
“We’re of the same mindset,” she said. “I would say we kind of balance each other out. Molly helps me keep a positive attitude so we kind of just bounce off each other, which makes us play well together.”