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Frankfort girls win share of conference title

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UNBEATEN: Frankfort's Jalynn Kidwell reaches for a backhand return during her No. 2 doubles match with Crawfordsville on Tuesday. She and partner Rebeca Perez won, 6-0, 6-1, to remain a perfect 17-0 on the season.
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CONCENTRATION: Frankfort's Maddie Toney won her No. 3 singles match on Tuesday over Crawfordsville's Hannah McLean, 7-5, 6-3.
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FEELING THE FOREHAND: Frankfort's Riley Isgrigg returns a forehand during her No. 2 singles match against Crawfordsville's Lauren Hale on Tuesday. Isgrigg won 6-0, 6-2 and Frankfort won the team match 4-1 to secure a co-Sagamore Conference championship with Western Boone and North Montgomery.
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CONFERENCE CHAMPS: Frankfort's Emily Michael and Abby Pierce give each other high fives during the pre-match player introductions before Monday's tennis match with Crawfordsville. Frankfort ended up beating Crawfordsville, 4-1, to secure a portion of the Sagamore Conference championship for the first time in 15 years.

BY ANDREW KRULL - akrull@ftimes.com

Frankfort's girls tennis team held senior night on Tuesday with their eight seniors giving themselves a special gift to celebrate the occasion – a share of the Sagamore Conference championship with a 4-1 win over visiting Crawfordsville.

“It's the first time in 15 years that we've earned or achieved that and it's all on the girls,” Hot Dogs head coach Scott Rohrabaugh said. “We've got eight seniors, seven of them that play varsity and an eighth player who will probably play a few more varsity matches as well."

“I'm glad they are enjoying the success they are in their senior year. They've been with the program since their freshman year. A lot of these girls after not playing varsity in the first year or two they would have left, but all my seniors have been with the program since day one and that's good.”

Frankfort's Riley Isgrigg won at No. 2 singles, 6-0, 6-2, over Crawfordsville's Lauren Hale, while Maddie Toney took No. 3 singles over Hannah McLean, 7-5, 6-3.

The Hot Dogs doubles teams remained a strength as the No. 1 team of Abby Pierce and Rylee Seibert beat Ayssa Myers and Faith Galbers, 6-0, 6-0, and Jalynn Kidwell and Rebeca Perez topped Catherine McGrady and Haley Burke, 6-0, 6-1. Pierce and Seibert have lost only twice this season, while Kidwell and Perez are unbeaten at 17-0.

Frankfort's No. 1 singles player Emily Michael lost 6-0, 7-5 to Sarah Chalmers on Tuesday for the final score.

“I know it was a tough one for Emily losing the first set 6-0 and a lot of players would buckle especially knowing that we had already sealed the deal,” Rohrabaugh said. "But she's a competitor. That's why she played No. 1 singles and was first-team all-conference last year and I'm sure she'll be first-team all-conference this year as well.

“Her player had a lot of weapons and Emily fought back and I truly do think that if she had captured that second set she would have won in three. The momentum was shifting, but that's the way it goes.”

Senior Ashlynn Harshbarger has also seen varsity action at No. 3 singles for Frankfort this season, but played a junior varsity match on Tuesday.  

The Hot Dogs share the Sagamore title with North Montgomery and Western Boone, each having 5-1 conference records. Frankfort won 4-1 at Western Boone earlier in the season and lost a tight 3-2 home match to North Montgomery two weeks ago that came down to a few points. Overall, Frankfort is 14-3 on the year. 

Frankfort beat conference foes Southmont on Friday and Danville on Monday to get an opportunity at the championship. At Southmont, Michael won 6-7 (5-7), 6-0, 6-1, while Isgrigg prevailed (6-0, 6-0) and Kidwell and Perez won 6-1, 6-0 for the 3-2 team win.   

The Hot Dogs also found out earlier this week that they will host this year's sectional with the draw scheduled for Monday. Lebanon, Rossville, Western Boone and Zionsville are the other schools in the sectional.

“(The change was) because they are doing some repairs on Lebanon's courts,” Rohrabaugh said. "We play on our home courts and hopefully we get a good draw. We made it last year to the sectional final and of course we ran into Zionsville and they're always going to be tough. Hopefully, some of that home court advantage will work for us.”

Sectionals were scheduled to run between May 15-17, with specific times to be determined after Monday's draw.

“We've got momentum going and we play again Thursday weather permitting (at Lafayette Central Catholic) and Friday we play (Northwestern) and then we host our Hot Dog Invitational on Saturday (8:30 a.m.). We've won that the last two seasons, not that we take that for granted, and then we'll head into sectionals next week.”

However, sectionals are next week's concerns as Tuesday evening the girls team celebrated an accomplishment no Frankfort tennis team had accomplished in over a decade.

“This is the first time in 15 years – 2004 was the last time that Frankfort, really male or female, was champions or co-champions of the conference,” Rohrabaugh said. “So, that's something to be proud of. That was a goal going into the season that we wanted to win conference this season."