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FHS girls, Farlett, are state runner-up

MURFREESBORO — Farragut tennis head coach Betsy Sparks said that beating Franklin 4-1 in the Class AAA state tournament semifinals and ending as state runner-up “was just an added bonus for us” after qualifying for the program’s first-ever state tourney.

“Our girls had a determination to win, and it paid off for us,” Sparks said. “For the girls to make it to runner-up position in state, that was really quite an accomplishment. ...”

Houston blanked the Lady Ads 4-0 in the championship match May 23, ending the FHS season with a 14-4 record.

Sparks praised many of her players, which were led by Class AAA state singles tournament runner-up Lauren Farlett, Sparks’ daughter.

“Outstanding players during the Franklin match were Chelsea Delay, Sarah Godfrey and Lauren Farlett,” Sparks said. “These girls have worked hard to achieve this, considering that Farragut High School does not have tennis courts. We have been running staggered practice in Sugarwood Subdivision ... in order to prepare for this event.

“I’m particularly proud of these girls because we don’t have a team of tournament players other than Lauren.,” Sparks added. “The Houston team that beat us has four girls out of their five that play National, Southern, and state tournaments. Three of those girls have national rankings in their age groups. Our girls with the exception of Lauren, play a few local tournaments.”

Delay has improved, Sparks said, “hitting the ball much better than what she did at the beginning of the season. ... She’s been playing really outstanding for us.”

Godfrey, a transfer from Utah, “has been an added bonus for our team this year,” the coach added. “She helps round-out our top six lineup.”

“Rebecca Anderson is a real strong [No.] six. Next year I expect to see her moving up higher in the lineup. She’s been working hard.”

In singles tourney play, Farlett beat Laura Stack of Brentwood 6-1, 6-1, and Caroline Denton of Ooltewah 6-1, 6-1, before losing to Conner Vogel of Germantown in the title match 6-1, 6-2.


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