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Darien’s rivalry tussles with Ridgefield bounce from one season to the next.

Competitiveness was very high and the thrill during every point made it very exciting.

— Tim Herget

“We are excited to play them in late May and hopefully it will be another great game,” said Wave senior captain Tim Herget about the 3-2 win that kept Darien in first place in the FCIAC.

Darien improves to 9-0 in the conference and 12-0 overall and slaps Ridgefield (8-1, 9-1) with its first loss of the season.

Ridgefield edged the previous match between the two top teams in the state, for the 2015 state class title. Darien beat Ridgefield for last year’s FCIAC crown.

“The game was very exciting for both teams I think,” said Herget of the match that went the Wave’ way at home on Friday. “Competitiveness was very high and the thrill during every point made it very exciting.”

The Tigers is the only FCIAC team to lay a paw on the Wave, which has swept the rest of its county matches.

“They are a fantastic team and I'm proud of how the team stepped up being down 2-1 to come back and win 3-2,” Herget said. “I think this game just goes to show how competitive and how strong the FCIAC really is.”

Darien won game one 25-23, lost games two and three by matching 25-20 scores.

The Wave came back and won it two straight 25-19, then 15-13 in the fifth set decider.

Alex Preston led with 20 kills and a 48.8 kill percentage and Herget 19 kills, and a 48.7 percentage.

Sean McKay hit 11 kills, Zak Swetye five, Tyler Herget four, Spencer Jarecke one.

Setter sophomore Tyler Herget had 56 assists.

Tim Herget led with 20 digs.

“This is a very special group of guys,” Tim Herget said. “We know we can do great things this year, but we have to do it as a team. That is the mindset.”

It’s a timeless constant. Coach Laurie LaRusso’s been drilling this into the fiber of every group she’s brought up for decades.

“Everyone has a job, whether it's serving, passing, or even being encouraging and supportive on the sideline,” Herget said. “Everyone has stepped up big time.”

And they’re loving it.

“I love being out on the court everyday with my teammates as they make the game so much fun,” said Herget. “Coach is showing us what we need to do and everyone is willing to do it. 

“I think we are all just focused on being better the next day and are not thinking about a perfect season.

“Although it would be nice and we hope to accomplish that by the end of the year, our daily thoughts are focused on improving as a team and having fun together and enjoying our time together out on the court.”