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The Panthers took their next step toward another trip to the state tournament by taking all five singles matches in a Class 4A regional against East Lake on Tuesday, four of them in straight sets.
East Lake gave Plant a challenge. Panthers No. 4 Natalie Franklin needed three sets to win, 6-2, 5-7, 6-1, and No. 5 Julia Rodriguez took a first-set tiebreak to win, 7-6 (7-2), 6-4. Even No. 2 Claire Mitchell Andrews (7-5, 6-1) and No. 3 Carol Marie Fraley (7-5, 6-0) were tested early.
“They definitely were a strong team and deep all around,” Plant coach Jacquelyn Rosen said. “We haven’t come across that yet. It was definitely good for my girls to have to pull it out in crunch time. I’m sure we’ll be able to step up from here.”
Countryside sweeps Wharton
Five days after winning its first district title in more than a decade, Countryside advanced in the first day of regionals by routing Wharton 5-0 in the Class 4A matchup.
The Cougars, who swept the singles matches, were once again led by their top three, Angel Deng (No. 1), Alex Kitchen (No. 2) and Natalie Boruk (No. 3).
Deng, a freshman, remains undefeated in singles this season.
Bob Putnam, Times staff writer