The 2018 fall sports season will most definitely be a learning experience for the Elizabethtown Area High School girls tennis team. With just two seniors and one returning player with extensive varsity experience, the Lady Bears will need more court time for their younger players to improve. The inexperience means taking lumps early on, and that was no more evident in the team’s first three matches of the year.
Elizabethtown began its season with a home match against McCaskey on Wednesday, Aug. 22. The three doubles matches between the two teams were extremely tight. Junior Lauren Masser and senior Tori Pollock were up 7-4 on Rebecca Scott and Marli Schreiner, but the McCaskey duo was able to rally and tie things up at 8-8 all. Eventually, Masser and Pollock escaped in the extra game, winning 7-5.
The other two doubles matches didn’t turn out as well for the Lady Bears. Senior Emily Louie and junior Katy Hackenberg lost a back-and-forth match to Sara Barnes and Mia Graupera 8-6, while junior Araya Fahnestock and sophomore Mia Giordano fell late to Rachel Graham and Aidia Rodriguez 8-5.
The Lady Bears needed three wins in the singles matches to come away with an overall victory. Alas, they were only able to get two. Louie easily beat Schreiner 6-2, 6-4, while Pollock pulled off a come-frombehind win against Barnes 3-6, 6-1, 10-8. However, Masser fell to Scott 6-3, 6-2, while Hackenberg was unable to overcome Graupera, losing 6-4, 6-1, giving McCaskey a narrow 4-3 win.
The team next went on the road to face Conestoga Valley on Friday, Aug. 24. The match was a far cry from the previous one, as Conestoga Valley thoroughly dominated Elizabethtown in the majority of the matches for a clean 7-0 victory. Masser and Pollock lost to Catherine Scala and Rachel Eby 8-2 in doubles, while the teams of Louie/ Hackenberg and Fahnestock/ Giordano were both swept 8-0, the former by Jacquelyn and Christina McBride and the latter by Sophia Steed and Hannah Kapchinske.
The singles matches weren’t much better. Masser was defeated by Scala 6-1, 6-4, Louie was swept by Jacquelyn McBride 6-0, 6-0, Pollock fell to Steed 6-0, 6-4 and Hackenberg lost to Christina Mc-Bride 6-1, 6-1.
Elizabethtown had another away match at Ephrata on Monday, Aug. 27. Like McCaskey, the doubles portion was very competitive, though the Lady Bears once again went 1-2. Louie and Hackenberghandled Alyssa Meier and Melissa Castaneda 8-3.
However, Masser and Pollock lost 8-6 to Kandice Liebl and Katie Wenger, while Fahnestock and Giordano lost a lead late to Jamie Chon and Amanda Nolt, losing 9-7.
The Lady Bears couldn’t make much of a dent in the singles matches. Pollock got an easy 6-1, 6-2 win over Meier, but the rest of the team wasn’t as fortunate. Masser fell to Liebl 6-1, 6-1, Louie lost 6-2, 6-1 to Wenger and Hackenberg was defeated by Ashlynn Mazzocchi 6-1, 6-2, giving Ephrata a 5-2 win.
With an 0-3 record to start the year, Elizabethtown is currently scheduled to host two matches against Penn Manor on Wednesday, Aug. 29, and Solanco on Tuesday, Sept. 4, split by an away tilt at Lancaster Country Day on Thursday, Aug. 30.