Last season, the Staples boys volleyball team dropped its opener and proceeded to reel off 21 straight wins to claim FCIAC and Class L titles.
The Wreckers are on track to enter the postseason with another long streak intact after rolling to their 11 straight win, a 3-0 (25-14, 25-19, 25-10) sweep over Fairfield co-op on Wednesday afternoon.
Staples (11-1) fell to Ridgefield April 11 and has swept 10 of its 11 opponents since. The Wreckers and Tigers (12-0), who each have four regular season games remaining, appear destined to collide in the FCIAC championship in two weeks.
"It's funny how it's working out like that," Staples coach Jon Shepro said. "But they are different seasons. We lost to Ridgefield and we hopefully will see them in the finals, but there are other tough teams we will have to get through."
The Wreckers led from wire-to-wire in each game of their match win Wednesday. Game 1 was an immediate runaway for the Wreckers, who jumped to leads of 9-2 and 13-4, overwhelming the Falcons with kills from Lucas Grevers and Ben Cion.
"We're starting to pull together towards the end of the season; really starting to play more team volleyball," Shepro said. "Everyone is motivated and everyone's working hard and feeling the urgencies of each point. It showed in today's performance."
Fairfield, which fell to Staples 3-0 April 28, showed a marked improvement in Game 2. Fairfield traded point-for-point as the Wreckers had a 14-13 lead. Staples then went on a 7-2 run to pull away in the second half of the game.
"It definitely started off with our blocking," Fairfield coach Garrett Covino said. "It gave us a little bit of confidence and caught Staples off guard a little bit. We just played consistently in that game, we made fewer errors than we're used to."
Fairfield appeared to have built off that momentum into Game 3, staying within two points of the Wreckers at 10-8. However Staples scored 15 of the next 17 points to put an emphatic end to the match.
"I think we played very well," Covino said. "I was pleasantly surprised especially considering the last time we played Staples; we have a young team and we played scared and they even admitted it. Today we went to-toe-to a lot of the time we had some huge blocks in the middle. We just played scrappy and made them adjust."
When asked which player has progressed the most during the Wreckers surge, Shepro didn't hesistate in mentioning setter Andrew Mariott, who had 38 assists Wednesday.
"He's just been working real hard in practice," Shepro said. "He's really focusing on his improvement. He's so much more comfortable running the offense. He expects to do well."