It’s been a long time since the Elizabethtown Area High School boys tennis team has been relevant in terms of the postseason. The Bears have had an outstanding 2019 campaign, however, and are on the cusp of not only making the Lancaster-Lebanon League and District 3 playoffs but also potentially winning a section title.
The team went on the road to go up against Lampeter-Strasburg on Wednesday, April 10, winning 6-1. The lone Elizabethtown loss came in doubles; senior twins Chris and Jon Gartley fell to Luke Kelly and Alex Braun 8-3. Otherwise, the Bears played brilliantly.
Junior Ethan Lown and freshman Trent McBride cruised to an 8-2 win over Alex Baker and Alexandros Vaziri in doubles. Junior Nacho Bartolome and senior Evan Schneider toughed out an 8-6 victory over Braeden Weaver and Logan Emmert.
In singles, Lown swept Baker 6-0, 6-0, while McBride put up matching 6-2, 6-2 wins over Braun. Bartolome’s 6-2, 6-0 victory over Weaver was a mixture of the two. Schneider was the only Bear that had to fight for his win, though only partially; he outlasted Kelly 7-6 in the first set before sweeping him 6-0 in the second.
Elizabethtown hosted Lebanon on Friday, April 12; a win would clinch a spot in the L-L playoffs for the Bears, and they didn’t disappoint, picking up a 7-0 sweep. The majority of the matches took place at the same time, meaning that multiple players got victories.
Lown, McBride and Bartolome all notched 6-0, 6-0 sweeps over Kameron Uffner, Nathan Folmer and Zeyad Maatook, respectively. The Gartleys also swept Cody Zhang and Cameron Maya 8-0, while Schneider beat Zhang 8-1 in a modified singles match. Seniors Brecken Musser and Tyler Bixler teamed up to get an 8-5 win over Max Guzman and Maury Bedoula, and senior Scott Bucher and junior Jimmy Overmoyer narrowly won 8-6 vs. Elias Laureano and Luke Collins.
Lastly, the Bears had another away match at Donegal on Tuesday, April 16. Playing in a modified five-match setup, they were able to get the 5-0 sweep over the Indians, though it was not without resistance from their opponents.
Lown and McBride earned manageable singles wins, with the former topping Austin Hollinger 6-4, 6-2, and the latter beating Nathan McNece 6-2, 6-2. Bartolome had to battle to get one of his own, fighting off Evan Stehman 7-5, 7-6.
The Gartleys got a 6-2 victory in their first doubles set against Luke Yunginger and Noah Hoffmaster before coming away with a narrow 7-6 win in the second. Schneier and Overmoyer fell 6-3 to Aaron Rugh and Kyle Bitting in their first set, running it back to win 7-6 in the second and 10-5 in the tiebreaker.
The Bears are now 11-1 on the season and have won their last eight matches. They have one last regular season match scheduled at home vs. Conestoga Valley on Wednesday, April 17. With Manheim Central’s 5-2 win over first-place Cocalico on Tuesday, Elizabethtown also has a chance to earn a share of the Section Two title; if the Barons beat Ephrata on Wednesday, there will be a three-way tie for first. The L-L League team playoffs begin at Warwick on Thursday, April 18.