The Elizabethtown Area High School boys tennis team has been on a roll thus far, winning five of six matches to start the season. The Bears faced a lot of pressure to continue that success, and thankfully for them, they were able to keep up the good work.
Elizabethtown hosted McCaskey on Wednesday, April 3, getting the 7-0 sweep. The doubles portion of the match went fairly smoothly for the Bears; senior Ethan Lown and Trent McBride got an 8-3 win over William Fenimore and Christian Rodriguez, as did senior twins Chris and Jon Gartley against Jackson Broich and Nicholas Speitel. Junior Nacho Bartolome and senior Evan Schneider also won 8-2 over Chad Haiges and Ermias Wogari.
Singles were a bit more tricky. While McBride (6-1, 6-1 over Haiges) and Schneider (6-2, 6-1 over Wogari) picked up easy victories, Lown and Bartolome had to work for theirs. The former lost his first set to Fenimore 6-4, then recovered to win the final two 6-3 and 10-2. The latter outlasted Rodriguez 7-5, 6-4.
The team next faced Warwick at home on Thursday, April 4, in a match previously postponed from Friday, March 29. Playing in a modified five-game setup, Elizabethtown shut out the Warriors and won 5-0.
Lown and McBride both got 6-0, 6-0 sweeps in their singles matches against Garrett Nissley and Mark Class, respectively. Bartolome’s singles game was the closest of the day; he beat Clay Myers 6-1 in the first set before falling 6-3 in the second, finally winning 10-7 in the tiebreaker. In doubles, Schneider and junior Jimmy Overmoyer got a 6-0, 6-0 shutout against Jack and Connor Evans, while the Gartleys beat Alec Ashcroft and Nate Castellitto 6-2, 6-1.
Finally, the Bears had an away tilt at Penn Manor on Monday, April 8. The doubles matches were hotly contested; the margins of victories all fell below two. Lown and McBride lost a close bout to Curtis Rabatin and Derek Davis 8-6, while the Gartleys had to go to a tiebreaker against Bryce Hanna and Nicholas Bernard after being knotted up at 8-8; they ended up falling 7-4. Bartolome and Schneider managed to win 9-7 over Maxwell Davis and Paul Karpouzis.
Elizabethtown needed three wins in the singles portion to get the overall match victory. While Lown was defeated by Rabatin in three sets (3-6, 7-5, 12-10), the rest of the team succeeded to give the Bears a narrow 4-3 win.
Bartolome (6-1, 6-4 vs. Maxwell Davis) and Schneider (6-3, 6-2 against Derek Davis) handled their opponents fairly easily. Schneider, on the other hand, had to make a frantic comeback after losing 6-1 in his first set to Hanna. He got a slim 7-5 win in the second, then came away with a 10-8 victory in the tiebreaker.
The Bears (8-1) are in a great position to make both the Lancaster-Lebanon League and District 3 team playoffs at the moment. They’re scheduled to go to Lampeter-Strasburg on Wednesday, April 10, and Donegal on Tuesday, April 16, split by a home match against Lebanon on Friday, April 12. They had another at home against Lancaster Country Day on Friday, April 5, postponed indefinitely due to inclement weather.