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Frankfort girls finish third at own invitational

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GETTING EXPERIENCE: Frankfort sophomore Karely Santos saw her first varsity action at No. 3 singles during Saturday’s Hot Dog Invitational filling in after two others were unable to play.
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PIERCE-ING FOREHAND: Frankfort’s Abby Pierce hits a forehand during her and No 1. doubles partner Rylee Seibert’s match against Yorktown at Saturday’s Hot Dog Invitational. Pierce and Seibert won both their matches during the tournament.

BY ANDREW KRULL - akrull@ftimes.com

A short-handed Frankfort girls tennis squad finished third at their own Hot Dog Invitational on Saturday, losing a close 3-2 match to eventual champion Yorktown in the first round.

“Yorktown is a big school,” Frankfort head coach Scott Rohrabaugh said. “They have a very good team. Their No. 1 and No 2 (singles players) are sisters and they play year around, every day, and it shows.

“We were counting on our No. 3 singles and two doubles teams and because of the circumstances with health and family (conflicts had to make some lineup changes),” he added.

No 2. doubles player Rebeca Perez and Ashlyn Harshbarger, who has played some No. 3 varsity singles, were both unavailable for Saturday’s tournament.

“We had to move Maddie Toney who usually plays No. 3 (singles) to No. 2 doubles position,” Rohrabaugh said. Sophomore Karely Santos made her varsity debut at No. 3 singles, losing in matches to Yorktown and Carroll.

“It was a tough position for her to be in, but she played well and she’s got two more years and so it’s a learning experience,” Rohrabaugh said, with Santos likely being counted on next year as the Hot Dogs will lose eight seniors to graduation.

“While we would love to win our own tournament -- we’ve done so the last two seasons – it is what it is,” he added. “I’m competitive as heck and would love to win it, but you deal with the hand that you’re dealt.”

Against Yorktown, Emily Michael lost at No. 1 singles to Samantha Academia (6-1, 6-2) and Riley Isgrigg fell to Sasha Academia (6-0, 6-0) at No. 2, while Santos fell to Kate Lloyd at No. 3 (6-4, 6-2).

Frankfort’s Abby Pierce and Rylee Seibert beat Avery Sallee and Lucy Wilhoite at No. 1 doubles (6-2, 6-4), while Jalynn Kidwell and Toney won at No. 2 doubles over Gracie Cooper and Natalie Moulton (6-0, 6-1).

“Jalynn has been part of that undefeated combination (with Perez), so she’s 20-0 for the season so far,” Rohrabaugh noted, with Kidwell moving her record to 21-0 after she and Toney teamed up for a second victory in the consolation match against Carroll’s Alyssa Taylor and Caitlin Wright (6-1, 6-0).

Michael beat Ali Scott (6-2, 6-1) at No. singles and Isgrigg defeated Emily Johnson (6-0, 6-0) at No. 2 singles in the Carroll match, while Pierce and Seibert beat Josie Unger and Macy McIlrath (6-0, 6-0). Santos fell to Ashtyn Redmon (6-1, 6-1) for a 4-1 team score.

On Friday, Frankfort lost 4-1 at home to a strong Northwestern team. Michael lost 6-2, 6-0 at No. 1 singles, Isgrigg fell 6-2, 6-2 at No. 2 singles and Toney lost 6-0, 6-0 at No. 3, while Pierce and Seibert dropped a three setter, 6-1, 4-6, 6-2, at No. 1 doubles and Kidwell and Perez came back to win in a tight third-set tiebreaker, 4-6, 6-1, 7-6 (10-8), to keep their unbeaten season going.

The Hot Dogs are now 16-5 on the season and were to play at McCutcheon on Monday to end the regular season. They will host the sectional starting on Wednesday, with the draw held on Monday night.