With league postseason action over with, the Elizabethtown Area High School boys tennis team turned its attention toward the District 3 playoffs, with the Bears competing in both the team and singles brackets. While they did manage to pick up one win, they were ultimately ousted after two losses.
As the No. 7 seed in the Class 3A team playoffs, the team faced off against No. 10 Manheim Central for the third time this season at Racquet Club West in Lancaster on Thursday, May 2. Like the previous two outings, the Bears came away with a sweep, topping the Barons 5-0 to move onto the quarterfinals.
In an evenly matched No. 1 singles bout, junior Ethan Lown was able to pick up matching 6-4 set wins against Silas Eldeen. Freshman Trent McBride held off Hunter Winters in the first No. 3 singles set 7-5 before cruising to a 6-1 win in the second.
Junior Nacho Bartolome had to make a comeback against Andrew Rajaratnam in No. 2 singles after losing 6-3 in the first set. He staved off match point in the second set to equal the score at 6-6, later winning the tiebreaker 7-4. Down 4-3 in the third, Bartolome reeled off three straight wins to get the 6-4 victory there too.
Seniors Evan Schneider and Chris Gartley looked to have had a win in the first No. 1 doubles set against Jacob Bidelman and Tony Stoltzfus, leading 5-4 late. The Barons duo responded by tying the score at 5-5, repeating themselves again after a Bears win to put the set at 6-6. They would dominate with a 7-0 win in the tiebreaker.
Trailing 5-4 in the second set, Schneider and Gartley stayed alive with three straight wins for a 7-5 victory. After a back-and-forth third set that wound up in another 6-6 tiebreaker, the two escaped with a 7-5 win there as well.
Despite having to wait longer than the rest to start and later having to wait for a court to open due to scheduling conflicts, senior Brecken Musser and junior Jimmy Overmoyer handled things well in No. 2 doubles, winning 6-4, 6-3 over Scott Westfield and Darrin Bertin.
However, things were much different in the quarterfinals at Hershey Racquet Club on Monday, May 6, where Elizabethtown battled No. 2 seed Hershey, the host team and last year’s champion. The Trojans played like champs too, gathering three quick wins to advance to the semifinals.
Lown played valiantly in No. 1 singles against Andreas Wright but was ultimately shut out 6-0, 6-0. Schneider and Gartley won the first game in No. 1 doubles against JT Mullins and Nate Shaw but ended up losing the next 12 to take a 6-1, 6-0 loss. Musser and Overmoyer also fell to William Field and Andrew Schreck 6-2, 6-1 in No. 2 doubles.
Bartolome actually didn’t finish his first No. 2 singles set when the clinching Hershey win occurred. He was knotted up at 5-5 with Andy Chen. McBride lost his first No. 3 singles set 6-1 to Anthony Eichman and was behind 4-2 in the second.
In between the team matches, Lown participated in the Class 3A singles bracket at Hershey Racquet Club on Friday, May 3. He would take a 6-0, 6-0 loss to No. 4 seed Parker Lando of York Suburban, who went on to lose 6-4, 7-6 (7-5) to Chen in the semifinals. Chen lost to his teammate Wright, the No. 3 seed, 6-2, 6-2 in the third-place match that served as the qualifier for the last spot in states.
There’s one match remaining for the Bears. Lown and McBride are set to square up against Hershey’s No. 3 team of Mullins and Shaw in the Class 3A doubles bracket on Friday, May 10, also at Hershey Racquet Club.