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FC bows out of regionals, No.1 doubles still swinging

RICHMOND – Due to weather, it took a few extra days to decide, but the Franklin County boys' tennis No. 1 doubles team of Braydon Ertel and Dylan Little advanced in the individual state tournament on Monday evening, October 9.

The duo was part of a Wildcat team that competed at the Richmond Regional on Tuesday, October 3. After winning its fifth straight sectional tournament at Connersville the week before, Franklin County faced Batesville in the first round of the regional tourney.

Several of the matches went down to the wire, but in the end the Bulldogs pulled off a win in four of the five matches to advance as a team. With the loss, the season ended for the Wildcats, after an impressive run.

Batesville went on to lose to Richmond, 4-1, in the regional championship match. The Red Devils defeated New Castle in the opening round of the tournament. Richmond went on to lose to Terre Haute North Vigo, 4-1, in the Center Grove Semi-State tourney on Saturday, October 7.

The only match win for FC came in the No. 1 doubles bout. Ertel and Little managed to get past their Batesville counterparts in straight sets for the victory. Due to IHSAA rules, any No. 1 singles or No. 1 doubles team that remains undefeated in the state tournament will advance in the individual tourney.

With their win, Little and Ertel advanced to the Individual Sectional championship, facing Tri for a chance at advancement. The match was originally set for early Thursday, October 5, but inclement weather forced its postponement. The competitors finally got a chance to face off on Monday evening.

In the first set, Ertel and Little dominated, winning by a 6-2 margin. The second set was smooth sailing as well for the Wildcat duo, as they polished off the match with a 6-1 win. Ertel and Little improved to 26-0 on the season with the win, as the pair continues to be the most successful doubles team in FC history.

The Wildcat duo will compete in the individual regional tourney at the Fishers Team Semi-State Tournament on Saturday, October 14. Little and Ertel will face Aiden Carlisle and Jakob Baron of Franklin Central in the second match of the day. A win would propel the Wildcats to a championship match later in the day, facing either Dylan Smith and Nicolas Kinder of Frankfort or Mark Slaninka and Andrew Meyers of Hamilton Southeastern.

The day's overall winning doubles team will compete in the Individual State Finals Tournament at Park Tudor, beginning on Friday, October 20.