Make us your home page
Instagram

Get the quickest, smartest news, analysis and photos from the Bucs game emailed to you shortly after the final whistle.

(View our Privacy Policy)

State tennis: Plant girls take share of 4A championship

Claire-Mitchell Andrews hits a return during the Class 4A state finals. She and fellow senior Natalie Franklin won the title at No. 2 doubles and helped Plant to capture a piece of the state championship.

WILLIE J. ALLEN JR. | Times

Claire-Mitchell Andrews hits a return during the Class 4A state finals. She and fellow senior Natalie Franklin won the title at No. 2 doubles and helped Plant to capture a piece of the state championship.

ALTAMONTE SPRINGS — With a tie for the Class 4A state team title on the line, the stage was set for Plant seniors Natalie Franklin and Claire-Mitchell Andrews in their No. 2 doubles match against Palmetto. And amid a hostile crowd featuring players from a few opposing teams cheering against Plant, sometimes absent FHSAA officiating during key points and a tougher-than-expected opponent, Franklin and Andrews fought back to take the match and a share of the team title, 4-6, 7-6 (7-4), 7-6 (7-4).

Ives Estates Dr. Krop, leading the cheers against Plant, had to settle for a tie after Plant won three points in doubles to clinch a share.

Franklin and Andrews defended their No. 2 doubles title from last year, which also sealed the state championship for Plant. Interestingly, though, the seniors weren't slated to play together until freshman Erica Oosterhout tore her ACL over the weekend. With Oosterhout, Plant's regular No. 4, out, Franklin slid up from her No. 5 spot and back into position as Andrews' partner.

"I wasn't expecting ever to be playing No. 4 in doubles," Franklin said, with a smile and a face full of tears. "It was really upsetting when I was No. 5, but I accepted it. And when I found out that I got the chance to play doubles. …"

"We just wanted to play together our senior year," Andrews finished for her.

The last-minute change also let Franklin defend her No. 4 singles title with a 5-7, 6-3, 6-0 win over Dr. Krop's Dominique Henry. Like last year, she was the only Plant player to win a singles title. But thanks to her nearly three-hour clinching match with Andrews and an earlier 6-0, 6-2 victory from No. 1 doubles pair Blair Martin and Gabby Rodriguez, Plant brought the state title trophy back to South Tampa for the second year in a row.

First-year coach Margaret Drumsta, Andrews and Franklin all agreed though: this year was more intense.

"I was nervous after that first set, but knowing how my girls play, I had hopes," Drumsta said. "Claire-Mitchell and Natalie, probably the goofiest, most fun pair of doubles out there, they know what it takes. As seniors, they knew what it takes to get it done. I just wish I didn't have so many gray hairs after it."

As winners of No. 1 team doubles, Martin and Rodriguez will play today against the winner of the individual No. 1 doubles bracket for the overall championship.

The Plant boys, some of whom stayed to cheer the girls, finished Tuesday when Tristan Kaye and Alec Josepher, the lone Panthers to play on the second day, lost their No. 1 doubles semifinal match to Westin Cypress Bay, 5-7, 4-6.

CLASS 2A: Jesuit's No. 1 doubles pair, juniors Jamie Sullivan and Jordan Nasser, battled back from 5-2 holes in both sets during their semifinal match at Red Bug Lake Park. But the Tigers couldn't complete the comeback, losing to Ponte Vedra's Casey Austgen and Jacob Davis 6-7 (3-7), 4-6.

About 30 minutes before Jesuit's season ended, Academy of the Holy Names finished up as well. Senior Sarah Port and eighth-grader Korina Hernandez-Zimring, the No. 2 doubles team, lost to Plantation American Heritage's Sofia Borcuti and Chiara Goodman 6-1 6-1.

State tennis: Plant girls take share of 4A championship 04/17/12 [Last modified: Wednesday, April 18, 2012 12:02am]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Cannon Fodder podcast: Previewing Bucs-Jaguars

    Blogs

    Greg Auman previews the Bucs' preseason game against the Jacksonville Jaguars and talks about the $26,000 Bucs rookie dinner tab that wasn't in our latest Bucs Cannon Fodder podcast. Listen below:

    Charles Sims runs with the ball during the Bucs' game against the Jaguars last season.
  2. Plenty of unfinished business for Mitchell volleyball

    Volleyball Preps

    TRINITY — Their previous trip to New Smyrna Beach turned out to be a joyride, resulting in the Mitchell Mustangs' first spot in the state volleyball semifinals.

    Mitchell High school’s Jessie Mooney serves the ball during the 6A State High School Championship volleyball finals game against  Jensen Beach High School at the Venue on the UCF campus in Orlando.
(11/14/2015  WILLIE J. ALLEN JR.]
  3. Charles Bottoms, right, with his wife, Annie, wore the Tim Tebow Broncos jersey to Steinbrenner Field "only because I didn't want to wear my good (signed Gators) Tebow one." [RYAN ROMANO | Times]
  4. Rays morning after: 5 mistakes that led to loss to Blue Jays

    Blogs

    We've already documented elsewhere what the Rays didn't do, how they failed to take advantage of a prime opportunity to win Wednesday's game, getting just one run after loading the bases in the seventh with one out and three of …

    Jake Faria make too many mistakes, the failure to execute costing him repeatedly.
  5. Rays have their chances, but end up with another loss (w/video)

    The Heater

    TORONTO — The litany of games the Rays have given away this season is long enough, arguably too lengthy. So the only way to get to the postseason is make up for some of those losses by grabbing some wins when the opportunity is presented, especially at this time of year when the margin is diminished and the stakes …

    Associated Press