It’s been a season of progress for the Elizabethtown Area High School girls tennis team. Despite a 5-9 regular-season record, the Lady Bears were competitive in the majority of their matches, with four of those losses finishing with a score of 3-2 or 4-3.
The team’s last chance to show their stuff was at the Lancaster-Lebanon League Flight Tournament, which took place across multiple locations on Friday, Oct. 4, after a postponement from the original date of Thursday, Oct. 3, due to inclement weather. Unfortunately for the Lady Bears, the majority of their entries drew seeded opponents. Thus, just one moved on to the second round.
That was the No. 3 doubles team of senior Anna Bert and sophomore Allison Evans, who topped Michaela Brenneman and Sophia Stoltzfus of Solanco 8-3 in the first round at Conestoga Valley. The victory set up a match with the top-seeded team of Rory Cantwell and Sarah Shaub of Hempfield for Saturday, Oct. 5. The Black Knights dominated, sweeping 8-0 to move onto the semifinals and eventually winning in the championship.
Seniors Kate Weissend and Lauren Masser also faced a Hempfield team in the first round of Class 3A No. 1 doubles at Conestoga Valley in the form of fifth-seeded Grace Lehman and Tierney Cantwell. The Knights rolled through the first set, winning 6-1 before Weissend and Masser fought back in the second to make things interesting. The two sides went back and forth before Hempfield was able to pull out a 6-4 victory, losing to the Manheim Township team of Julia Briner and Cami Henneman the next day.
Elizabethtown had three entries in the singles brackets as well. Before their doubles match, Weissend faced off against Lehman, the fourth seed in the Class 3A No. 1 singles flight, taking matching 6-1 set losses. Masser battled Ryan Gerhardt of Lampeter-Strasburg in No. 2 singles, losing 6-1, 6-3 in a match that was much closer than the score indicated. Gerhardt went onto lose in the semifinals.
Evans came the closest to notching a win. She was able to beat Nora Holmes of L-S, the third seed in No. 4 singles, 7-6 (7-4) in a tightly contested first set. Holmes responded by dominating the second set en route to a 6-1, doing the same in the tiebreaker with a 10-1 win. She’d advance to the finals from there.
Regardless of the low amount of flight tournament wins, Elizabethtown made definite strides from last season, evidenced by each player’s overall record. In 2018, then-senior Tori Pollock was the lone Lady Bear to finish with a winning singles record (9-6), with Emily Louie, a current member of York College’s women’s tennis team, finishing at 6-8. No one on the team came close to .500 in doubles.
In contrast, there were far more positives in 2019. Senior Araya Fahnestock led the way with a 7-5 singles record, with Weissend (7-7) and Masser (6-8) not far behind in terms of wins. The latter two additionally combined for a doubles record of 6-4, topped only by Evans (7-4) and Bert (7-5).