Lauren Masser and Rebekah Long advanced to the championship match of the 2017 girls Lancaster-Lebanon League Flight 3 Doubles Tournament before they were upended 8-3 by the No. 1 seed duo from Cedar Crest.
Masser and Long were tasked with facing Cedar Crest’s Makayla Miller and Mary Moyer. Long had the opening serve of the game, but Miller and Moyer were able to break her serve to take an early 1-0.
The Bears were able to handle the Cedar Crest as they pushed the game to 40-40 before they lost back-to-back points and were down 2-0.
“I saw a little bit of nerves to start, which is totally normal. It’s hard not to be nervous. I was telling them that the first three or four games, they hit four winner volleys, but they were missing in the ground strokes,” coach Brenda McBride said.
With Masser set to serve for the first time in the match, Elizabethtown rallied in short order to cut the Falcons’ lead in half.
Miller and Moyer were victorious in each of the next three games to 5-1 before the most competitive game of the match.
With Masser serving, the duo won the first point before finding themselves in a 15-40 hole. Masser and Long came back to tie it at 40-40 before Elizabethtown and Cedar Crest battled at deuce for eight consecutive points before Masser eventually won the game for Elizabethtown.
Perhaps riding the momentum of that victory, Elizabethtown broke the serve of Cedar Crest for the first time in the eighth game to bring the score to 5-3 in favor of Miller and Moyer.
The ninth game quickly went to Cedar Crest while the 10th and 11th games were pushed to deuce, but eventually won by Cedar Crest.
“A lot of games went to deuce so they really hung in there close with them and I felt like they gave them a good match,” McBride said.
The finals run that Long made with Masser is something that she did not expect, but what certainly happy with what the two of them accomplished.
“Just coming out for senior year, I didn’t expect to get this far, but playing with Lauren has been fun and I’m glad we got the opportunity to come out and play and represent E-Town,” Long said.
Masser and Long did not play with each throughout the duration of the season, but Masser shared the same sentiment as Long saying that playing her was “a lot of fun.
Long also shared that she believes her and Masser have complementary skill-sets that allow them to be a successful doubles team.
“I do better at the net and she does better at the baseline so it kind of evens each other out,” Long said.
The second place finish ended the season for Masser, who spoke positively about her growth throughout the season.
“I love tennis. I’ve been playing for a long, long time and it was really rewarding,” Masser said.
Their play throughout the offseason is something that caught the eye of McBride.
“I’m proud of them. They’ve both made huge improvements through the whole season, and both of them played a lot in the offseason and that is why they’re here. They put the time in the offseason and I appreciate that effort,” McBride said.
Masser and Long reached the finals after defeating Grace Wheeler and Mary Murphy of Donegal 8-1 in their first match. In the second round, they defeated Alana Nash and Brikel Remper of Elco 8-5. In the semifinals, they defeated Katie Wenger and Mary Grace Long of Ephrata 8-4.
Only Bears to compete in the tournament include Claire Hackenberg in the Flight 2 singles. She lost to Cara DiCiano of Cocalico in the first round 2-6. 6-3, 10-2.
Maddie Musser represented Elizabethtown in the Flight 3 singles bracket. She defeated Kassie Nichols of Cocalico 6-3, 4-6, 10-6 in the first round. She was bounced by No. 1 seed Rachel Eby of Conestoga Valley in the second round 6-1, 6-0.
Emily Oyler battled in the Flight 4 singles and she, like Musser, won her first match before falling in the second. She defeated Nash of Elco 6-1, 6-2 and lost to Olivia Hitz of Cedar Crest 3-6, 6-2, 10-5.
Kaitlyn Smith and Musser played in the Flight 1 AAA doubles tournament and lost in the first round to Taylor Moore and Kate Moore of Manheim Township 6-0, 6-0.
Hackenberg and Oyler played together in the Flight 2 doubles and won their first round matchup 8-0 over Gabby Griffonetti and Else Zaborsky of Solanco. Their run came to an end in the second round with an 8-3 loss to Kandice Liebl and Karissa Lapp of Ephrata.