Smashing start for FCIAC defending champs

darien-040417kateri
From freshman sensation to senior stalwart, Kateri Martin takes the court for a fourth season at No. 1. Courtesy Darien Athletic Foundation

GIRLS TENNIS

An idea, of just how powerful a senior-Kateri Martin-led team would be, struck like a brain wave, in Darien’s season-opening sweep of Greenwich at home on Monday.

Mia (Dursht) showed the shot making that led her to the state doubles title in 2016.

— Anne-Lise Brown

“The sweep was a great way to open the season,” said Martin, who defeated Maddie Arnold 6-0, 6-3 at No. 1 singles. “We never take our matches against Greenwich lightly, and even though we finished 7-0, each individual match was definitely competitive.”

“A good start for the Blue Wave following last year’s undefeated season,” said Darien coach Anne-Lise Brown. “Kateri Martin blew through her first set but had to fight a much tougher test in the second set.”

darien-0404l17daphne
Daphne Gray leans into it in the opening match of 2017 for the defending champs. Courtesy Darien Athletic Foundation

I think this match has just set the tone for the type of season we want to have.

— Kateri Martin

Mia Dursht and Daphne Gray beat Sakura Yurugi/Melanie Murphy 6-2, 6-0 at one doubles.

“We had Juliet Homes and Quin Wolters step up and play three doubles and they pulled out a nice win,” said Martin. “Also, Susie (Alptekin) and the newest addition to our team, Elaina (Cummiskey), paired up and also put a great win on the board.”

Lilly Ma beat back a challenge at No. 2 singles.

darien-040417ma
Lilly Ma returns as sophomore No. 2. Courtesy Darien Athletic Foundation

“Lilly Ma survived the crushing forehand return of Martine Fierro to take (her match) in straight sets,” Brown said. “Emilia Callery also toughed out a long match with a tie-breaker deciding the first set against Melanie Leguizamon at three singles.”

“I think this match has just set the tone for the type of season we want to have,” said Martin, who has won two state titles and is 2016 state singles finalist. “We have a good combination of new starters and returning starters who all are capable of holding their ground. Couldn’t ask for a better way to start the season.”

Dursht and Gray made quick work of their opponents.

“Mia showed the shot making that led her to the state doubles title in 2016,” said Brown. “Susie Alptekin and partner Elaina Cummiskey got through some first match nerves to close out D2 with a straight set win. Quin Wolters and Juliet Homes sealed the sweep with a dominating performance.”

darien-040417cummiskey
Freshman Elaina Cummiskey adds much to the Wave lineup. Courtesy Darien Athletic Foundation

Results

Singles

Kateri Martin def Maddie Arnold 6-0, 6-3

Lilly Ma def Martine Fierro  6-3, 6-4

Emilia Callery def  Melanie Leguizamon 7-6 (3), 6-3

Emily Neuner def Tess Lamhaouar 6-0, 6-1

Doubles

Mia Dursht/Daphne Gray def Sakura Yurugi/Melanie Murphy 6-2, 6-0

Susie Alptekin/Elaina Cummiskey def Hannah Crasto/Kendall Schrohe 6-4, 6-2

Quin Wolters/Juliet Homes def Haley Stober/Ayaka Kurabayashi  6-1, 6-2