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Franklin Regional tennis player Perry finishes third in WPIAL again

| Tuesday, Sept. 24, 2013, 9:00 p.m.
Christopher Horner | Tribune-Review
Franklin Regional's Natalia Perry returns a volley during the WPIAL Class AAA consolation match Thursday, Sept. 19, 2013, at North Allegheny.

Franklin Regional tennis player Natalia Perry followed her repeat performance at the Section 1-AAA singles tournament with another at the WPIAL singles tournament.

For the second straight season, Perry finished in third place in the WPIAL Class AAA tournament, which took place last Wednesday and Thursday at Norwin and North Allegheny high schools.

Perry won her first two matches Wednesday at Norwin, defeating Hannah Famili of Allderdice, 10-2, in the first round and Laurel Shymansky of Fox Chapel, 10-7, in the quarterfinals.

A straight-set loss to Marlys Bridgham of Pine-Richland in the semifinals sent Perry to the consolation match Thursday at North Allegheny, where she defeated Pine-Richland's Yvon Martinez, 6-0, 6-4.

Callie Frey of Mt. Lebanon won her second straight WPIAL Class AAA title, defeating Bridgham in the final.

By finishing third, Perry is designated as the WPIAL's first alternate for the PIAA Class AAA singles tournament, which takes place in November. Only the top two finishers in the WPIAL are granted spots at the state tournament.

Perry was the top local finisher at the WPIAL tournament as Penn-Trafford's Charlotte Vertes and Hempfield's Madison DeBone lost their first-round matches last week.

The Franklin Regional team continued the second half of its section schedule this week.

The Panthers (10-1) defeated Greensburg Salem, 5-0, on Monday and will travel to play Hempfield at 4 p.m. Friday. In between, the Section 1-AAA doubles tournament was scheduled to take place Wednesday and Thursday at Franklin Regional.

Entering the week, Franklin Regional stood in a three-way tie atop the section with Hempfield and Penn-Trafford. Each team had just one section loss. The Panthers' loss came against Hempfield earlier this month.

“We're definitely going to have to try to beat Hempfield the next time we play them,” Perry said after the section singles tournament. “Otherwise, it won't work. We have to try to get that match, definitely, and then also try to beat P-T. They're really tough, too.”

Doug Gulasy is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. Reach him at 412-388-5830, via email at dgulasy@tribweb.com or via Twitter @dgulasy_Trib.

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