It's tough to get the matchups in your favor against an unmatchable team.

Staples shuffled its lineup to match up better against Greenwich in Tuesday's FCIAC boys tennis final, but the undefeated Cardinals are the top-ranked team in the state for a reason, and they showed it.

Receiving outstanding play from its singles players and a big win from its No. 2 doubles team, top-seeded Greenwich defeated second-seeded Staples, 4-1, in the championship match of the FCIAC Tournament at Wilton High School.

Remaining as hot as the weather, the 19-0 Cardinals claimed their second straight league championship trophy and 10th in 11 years.

Tuesday marked the third consecutive year Staples (17-2) lost in the league final and the seventh time in 11 seasons the Wreckers and Cardinals met in the title match, with Greenwich winning each time.

"We knew it was going to be a tough test for us today and I'm real proud of our guys for stepping up," Staples coach Kris Hrisovulos said. "To get here a third straight year and not come out on top is tough, but hopefully next year we'll take it."

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The Cardinals received the match-clinching win from their No. 2 doubles team of sophomores Shaw Speer and Louis McKenzie and got singles victories from Tyler Kratky, and juniors Zach Niklaus and Blake Niehaus.

Speer/McKenzie recorded a 6-4, 6-2 win over the Wreckers' previously unbeaten duo of Evan Davis and Jack Reardon.

Staples, which dropped a 5-2 decision to Greenwich on May 1, got its win at No. 1 doubles. Making a rare appearance as a doubles team, Jake Hirschberg and Steve Thomson beat Greenwich's Chris Salisbury/Mike Grund, 6-2, 6-2.

Opting to juggle their lineup, the Wreckers moved Hirschberg from first singles to first doubles and shifted Zack Levin from first doubles to fourth singles. Graham Hyman made the move from second singles to the No. 1 spot, while Josh Moskovitz (No. 2) jumped up from No. 3 and Baxter Stein (No. 4) moved to No. 3. Zack Levin moved from first doubles to fourth singles and Connor Mitnick remained at fifth singles.

"Today we changed our lineup around because we thought we could attack them at the bottom," Hrisovulos said. "We thought it would be our best chance against a great team like Greenwich."

The Cards' singles players continued their impressive pattern of winning in straight sets. Displaying his strong serve and powerful groundstrokes, Kratky topped Graham Hyman at first singles, 6-0, 6-0. Kratky has not lost a set all season and the Cardinals have dropped just one set this spring in singles competition.

"My senior year on the team has been awesome, I'm a little sad that I'm leaving this year," said Kratky, who will play tennis at Washington University in St. Louis next year. "This has been a great team to be a part of."

Niklaus gave the Cardinals a 6-3, 6-1 win at second singles, while Niehaus was victorious at No. 3, 6-0, 6-0.

"Staples is a tough team and they gave us our toughest match during the regular season," Niehaus said. "To pull through like this in the finals is exciting."

Two matches weren't completed Tuesday, after the Cards' No. 2 doubles team clinched the match. Levin won the first set of his match against Greenwich's Tatsuya Tasaki at fourth singles, 6-3, and trailed 2-1 in the second set. Ari Cepelewicz of Greenwich took the first set of his match against Mitnick, 6-4, and was up 3-0 in the second at fifth singles.

Both teams will now focus on the Class LL Tournament, which commences Thursday. Staples won the LL title a year ago, while Greenwich was the runner-up, finishing one point behind the Wreckers.

"Losing in the FCIAC finals the past three years was tough, but we feel confident going into states," Hyman said. "Hopefully, we'll make some moves and come out on top."

"We're hoping to take the title back," Niehaus said.

"We had a good regular season and a great run in the FCIAC Tournament. Now we want to continue that run in the state tournament."; 203-625-4423