The Staples girls tennis team successfully stared adversity in the face last Thursday.

Staples was missing its top singles player, junior righty Katie Reiner, who has tendonitis in her left wrist, its head coach, Amanda Giudice, who was sick, while hosting a quality opponent -- Darien. Everyone moved up a spot and Lady Wreckers Assistant Coach Garen Mullin did a good job in filling in for Giudice in a 5-2 victory over Darien.

Staples raised its record to 10-1. The Lady Blue Wave dropped to 8-3.

"The wind was tough but the girls stepped up and got the job done," Mullin said. "It was one of the best matches this year as far as the team goes and they stayed with it."

Lady Wrecker freshman Melissa Beretta normally plays at second singles but with Reiner out, she played at first singles and did it well in a 6-3, 6-3 victory over Lonneke Eenkema Vandijk.

"I didn't think about where I was playing and I just focused on the opponent and the moment," Beretta said. "I kept my head in the game. The conditions were rough and I tried not to get down on myself at key moments of the match."

Mullin said, "Everyone had to move up a spot and our singles players came through. Melissa is a freshman and for her to take the No. 1 spot says a lot about her as a player and she'll be an asset for us for four years."

Senior tri-captain Molly Rudinger moved up from third singles to second singles and defeated Jenna Murray 6-3, 6-3 to give Staples the point.

"I just stayed with the shots," Rudinger said. "I used a lot of strong shots and some drop shots. I tried to cut down on the unforced errors."

Darien got the win at third singles with Sophie Doering topping junior Leigh Rubin, 6-4, 6-4. The Lady Wreckers won at fourth singles with junior Kate Collins vanquishing Sara Alptekin, 6-4, 6-3.

The teams split the first two doubles matches with Amanda Brodsky and Kyle McCoy winning for the Lady Blue Wave at first doubles with 7-6 (7-4), 6-3 decision over senior tri-captain Hannah Bjornson and classmate Alex Walsh. Brodsky and McCoy won the tiebreaker in the first set in a very close match.

Staples senior tri-captain Farrel Levenson and junior Nicole Marcante defeated Abby Becher and Kate Morant at second doubles, 7-5, 6-2. Levenson has played at fourth singles and third doubles this year.

"I go where they need me and I try my best," Levenson said. "As long as we kept pace on the ball and used good shot placement, we were able to do well in the end."

At third doubles, Lady Wrecker senior Kate McNee and junior lefty Margaux Stamm lost the first set but came back to win the second set against Libby Feingold & Caroline McGuire. With the overall match decided, they played a tiebreaker third set to determine an overall winner. Staples scored six straight points to take a 6-1 lead in the tiebreaker with McNee's service ace making it 5-1. After Darien held serve to make it 6-2, Stamm hit an overhead slam for a winner to close out the match.

"It was obviously very stressful and difficult in the beginning, but once everyone got in their groove, we had faith in ourselves and played well," Rudinger said.

Bjornson said, "It shows we have depth on our team."

Levenson said, "They are a strong team but we definitely played well. We're definitely a unit."

The Lady Wreckers host first-place New Canaan tomorrow and Reiner's return would be welcomed.

"We're a strong team and Katie makes us stronger," Bjornson said. "We'd love to have her play against New Canaan."

Staples raised its record to 11-1 with a 7-0 home victory over Westhill (5-7) Monday while using the same lineup as Thursday.

Rudinger bageled her opponent, 6-0, 6-0. Beretta and Collins won their respective matches, 6-0, 6-1. Rubin and the Levenson-Marcante duo vanquished their opponents, 6-1, 6-1, Bjornson and Walsh prevailed, 6-1, 6-0 and McNee and Stamm triumphed, 6-2, 6-1.