The record doesn’t show it, but the Elizabethtown Area High School girls tennis team is competing in the majority of its matches. Aside from a couple of blowouts, the Lady Bears are keeping up with their Lancaster-Lebanon League opponents despite some losses, and with another win, they’re hoping to make a push in Section Two down the stretch.
The team went on the road to take on Lampeter-Strasburg on Thursday, Sept. 5, losing 6-1. The lone Elizabethtown win came from senior Araya Fahnestock, who bested junior Olivia Harris in No. 3 singles 7-5, 10-4 in the final two sets after losing 6-2 in the first.
The Lady Bears came up short otherwise. Senior Lauren Masser lost the first No. 1 singles set to senior Isabelle Brown 6-1, battling hard in the second set before eventually falling 7-5. Fellow senior Kate Weissend fell 6-0, 6-1 to L-S sophomore Ryan Gerhardt in No. 2 singles, while sophomore Allison Evans posted matching 6-2 losses to senior Nora Holmes in No. 4 singles.
Brown and Holmes earned an 8-2 win over Masser and Weissend in No. 1 doubles as well, while Gerhardt and junior Kendall Winters swept Fahnestock and junior Mia Giordano 8-0 in No. 2 doubles. Evans and senior Katy Hackenburg lost 8-3 to Harris and junior Josephine Lau in No. 3 doubles.
Elizabethtown had another away match on Friday, Sept. 6, at Penn Manor, which was previously postponed from Wednesday, Aug. 28. All three doubles matches were competitive early on before the Comets pulled away in two of them; freshman Catherine Rabatin and senior Hannah Smith won 8-2 over Masser and Weissend in the No. 1 spot, while seniors Julie Ward and Alayna Adams picked up an 8-3 No. 2 victory against Giordano and senior Anna Bert. However, Evans and Hackenburg pulled off a late comeback in the No. 3 position vs. senior Liv Chipriano and junior Audrey Jachimowicz to win 8-6.
Needing three wins to come from behind and win, Elizabethtown quickly saw Weissend get swept 6-0, 6-0 by Rabatin, a dark-horse candidate to win at the Lancaster-Lebanon League Flight Tournament at the end of the season, in No. 1 singles. However, the Lady Bears would end up fighting to the bitter end.
Evans endured a slugfest against Smith in No. 3 singles, with both sets going to a tiebreaker. She prevailed 7-6 (7-2), 7-6 (7-5), however, earning her first varsity singles victory in the process. Hackenburg came up firing in No. 4 singles against Chipriano, sweeping the first 6-0 before battling to a 7-6 (7-5) win in the second.
However, the win was not to be. Masser and Ward dueled evenly in both sets of No. 2 singles, with the latter winning 6-2 in the first; the action was much tighter than the score indicated. Down 5-2 in the second, Masser managed to tie it at 5-5 before Ward won the final two games for a 7-5 victory, giving Penn Manor the 4-3 win.
Lastly, the Lady Bears made the long trek to New Holland on Monday, Sept. 9, to take on Garden Spot. Unlike the previous two matches, it was all Elizabethtown in this one; the Lady Bears dominated the Spartans from the get-go and returned home with an impressive 7-0 sweep.
The closest Garden Spot came to competing was in the No. 1 doubles match, though Masser and Weissend were able to handle seniors Jenna Muttik and Kendall Halsey 8-4. Fahnestock and Bert swept juniors Patti Unruh and Doni Holder 8-0 in No. 2 doubles, while Evans and Hackenburg topped senior Cassidy Yaranella and junior Arwyn Robbins 8-3.
Masser and Weissend mirrored each in No. 1 and No. 2 singles with matching 6-2 wins against Muttik and Halsey. Fahnestock won 6-0, 6-3 over Unruh in No. 3 singles, and Giordano beat Holder 6-2, 6-0 in No. 4 singles.
With a record of 2-6 on the season, Elizabethtown was scheduled to host Cocalico on Wednesday, Sept. 11, before visits to Lancaster Catholic on Friday, Sept. 13, and Warwick on Monday, Sept. 16.