WESTPORT >> In what could have been a preview of the FCIAC or state final, the Fairfield Ludlowe and Staples girls’ tennis teams did not disappoint.
Thursday afternoon at the Staples High tennis courts, the two battled it out in a three-hour grudge match in less than ideal playing conditions, as the Falcons grinded out a 4-3 win to stay unbeaten on the season.
“This obviously was not the ideal tennis day, right now as cold as I am, I couldn’t be happier,” Ludlowe head coach John Reisert said. “But both teams got past the adverse conditions and went on to stage one of the great tennis matches of probably the season, two of the top teams without a doubt.”
In a back and forth match, Ludlowe didn’t gain the final edge till the very end, as experience kicked in.
With the score tied at three apiece, Ludlowe senior Kyra Adajian sealed the victory with an epic 6-3, 5-7, 8-3 three-set win over Staples freshman Olivia Foster, who threw everything she had at the Adajian.
“Probably the difference in that match might have been a senior vs a freshman,” Reisert said. “She’s been in those spots before.”
Added Adajian: “She’s (Foster) probably the most aggressive player I’ve played this season, so that was difficult. I had to figure out my rhythm, once I got that down it was good.”
For Staples, which fields a younger roster, Thursday was a good indicator of where they stack up.
“It could have gone either way, we were just happy to battle with them,” head coach Paco Fabian said. “They are the best team in the state, so we’re trying to be just as good.”
Both teams persevered the entire afternoon, battling through rain, hail and a short delay.
Down 3-2, the No. 3 Staples doubles team of Xenia Bradley and Olivia Daytz beat out Ana Wyckoff and Maddie Leverty 1-6, 6-2, 6-2 to force a 3-3 tie.
“(It’s) very difficult to keep your composure and focus,” Fabian said of playing in the cold. “We’re a very young team…our goal is to better at the end of the year than we are in the regular season.”
Ludlowe, the defending FCIAC and Class L state champs, picked up wins in No. 1 (Lindsey Evans), No. 2 (Cami Adajian) and No. 3 singles (Gabby Gabel), while the Wreckers won in No. 1 (Avery Wallace/Tess Rubin) and 2 doubles (Megan Brown/Kristen Bretler).
Ludlowe, coming off a 4-2 win over Darien on Wednesday, will next face Danbury at home today and St. Joseph on Monday.
“I think we’re in a really good spot,” Adajian said. “I’m excited to see what we do.”