Staples girls tennis advances to Class L title match
Updated 6:56 pm, Wednesday, June 3, 2015
The Staples girls tennis team has improved each year under head coach Paco Fabian’s watch. In 2013 the Wreckers reached the Class L quarterfinals, and last season they went to the final four. In 2015, a state championship has a chance to return to Westport.
No. 4 Staples (19-1) advanced to its first state final for the first time since 2003, defeating No. 1 Glastonbury 5-2 on the road in the Class L semifinals. The Wreckers will face Darien or Fairfield Ludlowe in the final on Friday at a site to be determined.
“In my freshman year I never would have believed that we would be going to a state final,” said Wreckers senior Gabi Titlebaum a four-year player. “But it really has a lot to do with our coaches, and the team chemistry is great this year.”
Glastonbury took the top two singles spots as sisters Lexi and Maddy DeNucci defeated Vanessa Mauricio and Alex Collins 6-2, 6-1 and 6-4, 6-0 respectively. At No. 3 singles, Titlebaum defeated Reilly Malz 6-1, 6-0.
“(Malz) was a really good player,” Titlebaum said. “I just played consistent, tried to be a little more aggressive and get my first serve in.”
Wreckers freshman Olivia Foster won at No. 4 singles, defeating Nicole Geradin 6-4, 6-1. Foster has been at the heart of many of her team’s win this year.
“She’s really stepped up this year,” Fabian said. “The first match of the year I don’t think she’s started, and now she’s become one of our most important positions on our whole team.”
As has been the case for most of the season, Staples swept all three doubles matches. Avery Wallace and Tess Rubin defeated Kim Lao and Gretta Hartman, Megan Brown and Kristin Butler defeated Pallavi Reddy and Bry Paskowitz, and Hannah Bjorkman and Olivia Daytz clinched the match at No. 3 doubles with a 6-3, 6-3 win over Emily Jacy and Eden Baker.
“The depth in the town of Westport is great,” Fabian said. “The amount of tennis players we have; we’re so good as a team because we’re so deep and we have so many players.”
The Wreckers played their first round and quarterfinal matches at Trumbull Racquet Club as the weather wreaked havoc on the schedule. Ludlowe and Darien will have to play their semifinal match on Thursday.
“They’re both great teams and it’s going to take a lot of focus and energy to win,” Titlebaum said.
Staples last won a state championship as a Class M school in 2003, its only state title in seven trips to the final in program history.