FRANKLIN, Ind. – The Franklin women's tennis team will take part in their 15th consecutive Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference (HCAC) Tournament this weekend, when they play in a quarterfinal match on Friday (Oct. 18) night at the Top Seed Tennis Club in Nicholasville, Ky.
HOW WE GOT HERE
The Grizzlies enter the six-team tournament as the No. 5 seed after going 5-7 through the fall with a 4-4 record in conference play. That earned Franklin a matchup with fourth-seeded Rose-Hulman with the winner moving on to play regular season champion Anderson on Saturday afternoon.
Franklin is the only team in the league to qualify for the HCAC Tournament since the event began in 2004. The Grizzlies are in search of their first title since 2012, when they knocked off the Engineers in the final, 5-3.
The Grizzlies top-six was fairly consistent throughout the fall and all members are set to go for Friday night. Sophomore Maddie Bright will play at the top of the FC lineup after going 5-6 with a 4-4 mark from the No. 1 position. Set to play one spot behind Bright in the lineup is junior Sydney Utterback, who saw the majority of the time at the two-spot this fall and went 3-5 from that position.
Sophomore Emma Foley was a mainstay in the FC lineup in her first year with the program, emerging as the team's No. 3 player this fall where she saw action in eight contests. Another first-year member of the team, sophomore Alayna Munson went 4-4 from the No. 4 position and 5-6 in her debut season. She is likely to assume her spot in the lineup behind Foley.
Sophomore Addie Rund recorded a 5-5 record in her first fall with the club, playing the bulk of the matches as the No. 5 player where she had a 3-4 record. Rounding out the FC lineup is another sophomore and rookie to the team in Sydney Logsdon, who also carries a 5-5 singles record while going 4-3 from her usual No. 6 position in the lineup.
Just like singles play, the Grizzlies' doubles teams did not see much change throughout the fall and all three pairings will be ready to go on Friday night. Bright and Utterback paired up to form the No. 1 tandem, going 4-5 from that position with a 3-3 record in league play.
Sophomore Madison Pifer and freshman Kinley Harmon make up the team's No. 2 group, a spot in the lineup they have held down in 11 of the team's 12 matches this fall. Rounding out the doubles pairings is the duo of Foley and Rund, who went 5-4 this fall and 3-2 in league play from the third pairing.
Rose-Hulman comes into the tournament in search of their second conference championship and the first since 2010. Since entering the league in 2006, the Engineers have taken part in every HCAC women's tennis tournament they have been eligible for.
The two teams met very recently with Rose claiming a 6-3 win over the Grizzlies on Oct. 13 in Franklin.
First serve for Friday night's match is set for 6:00 p.m. eastern time.
PROBABLE SINGLES LINEUP
|No. 1 Singles||No. 2 Singles||No. 3 Singles||No. 4 Singles||No. 5 Singles||No. 6 Singles|
|Maddie Bright||Sydney Utterback||Emma Foley||Alayna Munson||Addie Rund||Sydney Logsdon|
PROBABLE DOUBLES LINEUP
|No. 1 Doubles||No. 2 Doubles||No. 3 Doubles|
|Bright/Utterback||Madison Pifer/Kinley Harmon||Foley/Rund|