The Staples girls tennis team had its season end on Wednesday in the Class L semifinals as Darien won all three doubles matches to prevail 5-2 at home to advance to Thursday's final.
The Wreckers, who also reached the FCIAC semifinals, ended their season with an 18-4 record. Each of their four losses came to Darien (19-2) and Fairfield Ludlowe, the two teams meeting for Class L title on Thursday.
"We felt match short of our goal, we wanted to get to a state final," Staples coach Paco Fabian said. "We couldn't have asked for anything more in terms of effort from the girls today; very happy with how they played."
The match was deadlocked at two for over an hour before Darien No. 2 singles Mia Dursht defeated Alex Collins 6-3, 4-6, 6-4. Moments later, the Blue Wave No. 3 doubles team of Allegra Molkenthin and Susie Alptekin clinched the match with a 7-6, 6-4 win over Rachel Lieberman and Sara Rountree.
"It was a really intense match," Wreckers coach Paco Fabian said. "It was one of the most fun matches of the year, even though we lost."
Staples No. 1 singles and Duke-bound Melissa Berretta fell to Darien's freshman sensation Kateri Martin 6-1 6-0 in her final match for the Wreckers.
"It was very hard to look in her eyes, because I knew it was the last time I would see her walking off the court," Fabian said.
Staples No. 3 Julia Bartimer swept Pia Teschner 6-0, 6-0, and No. 4 Gabi Titlebaum defeated Katie Lashendock 6-3, 6-4.
All three doubles matches were close. Darien's No. 1 team of Erika Gill and Libby Feingold edged Kelsey Shockey and Vanessa Mauricio 7-5, 7-6 and the No. 2 tandem of Catherine Hatfield and Anna Barsanti got past Avery Wallace and Tess Rubin 6-1, 5-7, 6-4.
The Wreckers defeated FCIAC foes Warde and Ridgefield to advance to the semifinals. Beretta, Shockey, Lieberman and Rountree played their final matches in Wreckers colors Wednesday.
"I think the younger girls got a good taste of competing at the highest level with the likes of Darien," Fabian said. "I'm hoping they work hard in the offseason."