Darien girls tennis falls to Staples, 4-3, in Class L championship match

The Darien Blue Wave and Staples Wreckers girls tennis teams have been familiar opponents during the past few seasons, meeting in the FCIAC final for three consecutive years and playing in some of the most competitive matches in recent memory.

Their latest battle was yet another thriller and, unfortunately for the Wave, it went the Wreckers’ way.

Darien and Staples split four singles contests, but the Wreckers took two of three in doubles to win the CIAC Class L championship, 4-3, Friday at the Yale University courts.

Olivia Foster clinched the victory for Staples when she won a hard-fought, three-set contest against Darien’s Emilia Callery 7-5, 0-6, 6-4 at No. 2 singles.

Darien was denied its first state championship since 2015, while the Wreckers, who have reached the final in four consecutive seasons, won their second title in three years. The two teams also met in the 2015 final, with the Wave winning that time, 4-0.

Three matches went the full three sets, with Darien winning two of those contests.

At No. 2 doubles, the Wave’s Elaina Cummiskey and Quin Wolters rallied from a first-set loss to defeat Gabriela Vega and Olivia Gordy 2-6, 6-2, 6-4.

At No. 4 singles, Darien’s Katie Wiley also lost her first set but won the next two for a dramatic 5-7, 6-3, 6-3 win over Staples’ Alisyn Kercher. That point tied the team match at 3-3, before Foster clinched the win for Staples.

Staples’ scored a huge win at No. 1 singles, where Alyssa DiMaio defeated Darien’s Lilly Ma 6-1, 6-0. It was the first loss for Ma in two seasons, after the Wave ace had beaten DeMaio twice this spring — 6-3, 6-2 during the regular season, and 6-4, 6-2 in the FCIAC final.

In the No. 3 singles match, Darien’s Emily Wiley defeated Carine Geijerstam 6-2, 6-3.

Staples took two doubles points, as the No. 1 team of Kristin Butler and Hannah Bjorkman defeated Emily Neuner and Juliet Homes 7-5, 6-3; and the No. 3 team of Lily Smith and Natalie Carozza defeated Caroline Homes and Daniela Castellanos 6-0, 7-5

Both teams finish the season with impressive records. Darien, which was unbeaten during the regular season, went 21-2 with both losses to Staples. Staples went 23-1 with the only loss coming to Darien.

Class L Girls Tennis Final – Staples 4, Darien 3

Friday, June 1, at Yale University

Singles

Alyssa DiMaio (S) def. Lilly Ma 6-1, 6-0

Olivia Foster (S) def. Emilia Callery 7-5, 0-6, 6-4

Emily Wiley (D) def. Carine Geijerstam 6-2, 6-3

Katie Wiley (D) def. Alisyn Kercher 5-7, 6-3, 6-3

Doubles

Kristin Butler and Hannah Bjorkman (S) def. Emily Neuner and Juliet Homes 7-5, 6-3

Elaina Cummiskey and Quin Wolters (D) def. Gabriela Vega and Olivia Gordy 2-6, 6-2, 6-4

Lily Smith and Natalie Carozza (S) def. Caroline Homes and Daniela Castellanos 6-0, 7-5

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Darien’s Katie Wiley, shown lining up a shot at the DHS courts, won her match at No. 4 singles in the Class L final on Friday. — Darien Athletic Foundation photo

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