WILTON >> The Darien girls’ tennis team proved Friday afternoon the third time was the charm. Also that experience and depth can go a long way.
Facing Staples for the third time this spring, the Blue Wave defeated the Wreckers 4-0 to win the program’s first Class L state title, and first state crown since 2005. Darien was runner-up in 2014.
“Staples has been a struggle for us this year and to play them the third time and when it means the most to take it, it’s really nice, it feels good,” senior and co-captain Allegra Molkenthin said.
Darien arrived at the title match after beating FCIAC and 2014 L champion Fairfield Ludlowe to set up a rematch against Staples.
” It’s still hasn’t really sunk in yet,” Darien head coach David Gebauer said of the win. “Ludlowe has had our number basically the last couple years , Staples, too. (But) I think they got it, they figured it out.”
What the Blue Wave figured out as how to play their best tennis when it mattered most. After losing in doubles to the Wreckers the last two meetings, Darien turned that into a strength on Friday as they swept Staples in doubles.
“We kept it strong and we were more confident today,” Darien’s Pia Teschner said.
Darien jumped out to a quick 1-0 lead after No. 1 singles player Kateri Martin defeated Vanessa Mauricio, 6-0, 6-1.
No. 1 doubles of Teschner and Erika Gill followed, beating Avery Wallace and Tess Rubin (6-3, 6-3) and Catherine Hatfield and Anna Barsanti topped Kristin Butler and Megan Brown in the No. 2 spot (6-2, 6-3) to make it 3-0.
With a large crowd as a backdrop, Darien’s Molkenthin and Susie Alptekin pulled out the victory in the No. 3 doubles over Olivia Daytz and Hannah Bjorkman to secure the title.
“It feels so nice; it’s my first state title in any sport,” Molkenthin said. “This is a really special group of girls. It’s nice to see us pull through all the way.”
For Staples, the loss ended a special run and great season by the Wreckers that reached both the FCIAC and state final with a relatively young roster.
“Darien played great today,” Staples head coach Paco Fabian said. “It was one of those days. I think we haven’t been here before. We haven’t been here since 2003 and I think they remember that. It was one of those days we didn’t have it.
It was really good experience, just to be here. We were just so happy to be here.”
Staples finished the year 21-3.