Mean in ’17: Martin tops a title-defender brimming with ability
Updated 12:46pm March 25 — The defending FCIAC champs lose only two to graduation. Kateri Martin is not one of them.
We have a lot of returning talent so we’re definitely going to be a really deep team again.
— Kateri Martin
“We’re all really excited to be led by (coach) Anne-Lise (Brown) again, considering our past successes,” said Wave multi-year No. 1 singles ace, senior captain Martin, who has been state champ her first two years, player of the year in the state, and finalist last season. “Last year’s starting lineup is all returning, along with a few others, but the newest addition is freshman Elaina Cummiskey. We have a lot of returning talent so we’re definitely going to be a really deep team again.”
The Wave doesn’t lose its No. 1 — in singles at least — or last season’s freshman No. 2 Lilly Ma, but it does drop excellence in Class of 2016’s Anna Barsanti and Abbie Mueller.
Barsanti, with Mia Dursht, won the state doubles title last spring.
"We’re really lucky to have many starters from last year back again, and a lot of us train together during the off-season so we remain a team all year long," said Dursht. "Coach Anne-Lise is great and we’re so thankful to have her return this year. We have one new freshman, Elaina, on the team and I think she’s going to be a great addition."
Strong returning players include senior captains Dursht, Susie Alptekin, juniors Emily Neuner, Emilia Callery, Daphne Gray and the roster is bolstered by additional talent to that.
“With some key seniors graduating, we're going to have to try to work out a slightly different lineup than last year, but we have time before matches start to work out all those details,” said Martin. “After our season last year, we're all motivated to get back on the DHS courts and hunt for some titles.”
Darien went 19-0 as FCIAC Champions in 2016, but suffered the disappointing disqualification at the team state tournament.
Alptekin and Gray made it to the state quarters last year and seem ready to take it further this time out.
“We have a strong returning lineup and players who understand high-level competition,” said Brown. “We are looking to repeat the success of last year and add on to it with plenty of returning state qualifiers and champions."
Players include: senior Hailey Zimmerman; juniors Hannah Riegel, Megan Smith, Julia Tong; sophomores Quin Wolters, Juliet Homes.
"Kateri, Susie and I have grown up on this team, and we think that this year could be our best one yet," said Dursht. "After last year’s disappointment, I think everyone is ready to put in all the effort required to redeem ourselves and prove that we can be the best. Every member of the team is contributing to that effort and we will do anything we can to reach our goals."
“Good things are happening at DHS,” said Brown.
4/3 Greenwich Home 4:00 p.m.
4/4 Trumbull Away 4:00 p.m.
4/6 Bridgeport Central Away 4:00 p.m.
4/10 Trinity Catholic Home 4:00 p.m.
4/17 Brien McMahon Away 4:00 p.m.
4/18 Danbury Away 4:00 p.m.
4/20 Stamford Home 4:00 p.m.
4/25 Ridgefield Away 4:00 p.m.
4/26 Wilton Home 4:00 p.m.
4/27 Fairfield Warde Away 4:00 p.m.
5/1 Fairfield Ludlowe Home 4:00 p.m.
5/2 Staples Away 4:00 p.m.
5/4 New Canaan 4:00 p.m.
5/8 St. Joseph Home 4:00 p.m.
5/9 Westhill Away 4:00 p.m.
5/15 Norwalk Home 4:00 p.m.