Girls tennis team gets new life as Darien forfeits win

A day after being eliminated from the Class L state tournament, the Wilton High girls tennis team was given new life.

The Warriors had suffered a 6-1 loss to top-seeded Darien on Monday at Chelsea Piers in Stamford. However, on Tuesday the CIAC announced that the undefeated Blue Wave (19-0), the defending Class L champs and reigning FCIAC champs, had forfeited Monday’s match after self-reporting the use of an ineligible player.

That meant Wilton (13-7) was awarded the win, 7-0, and advanced to play Greenwich in the quarterfinals today in Greenwich.

It marked the second year in a row that the Warriors have been eliminated and then awarded a forfeit victory the next day. Last year, Amity had to forfeit its 4-3 win over Wilton due to an illegal lineup change.

In Monday’s initial loss to Darien, the Warriors’ only win came at first doubles, where Taylor Ingerman and Leigh Culnane defeated Anna Barsanti and Mia Dursht, 6-4, 6-4.

The 16th-seeded Warriors had advanced to the first round with a 5-2 win over 17th-seeded Southington last Saturday in the play-in round at home.

The Warriors won at first and second singles (Culnane and Jelena Sypher) and swept the three doubles matches.

Wilton has two doubles teams qualified for the State Open, which begins on Saturday at Hall and Conard High Schools in West Hartford.

Both teams — Taylor Ingerman and Leigh Culnane, and Ally Shay and Rachel Low — had only two losses each during the regular season.

“I think both can make deep runs if they play well and play smart,” said coach Mike Racanelli.

Results for Saturday’s Class L opener were:

Wilton 5, Southington 2

Singles : Leigh Culnane (W) def. Angela Balaoing, 6-3, 7-5; Jelena Sypher (W) def. Natalia Gimenez, 6-3, 6-2; Kristin Matthew (S) def. topped Kinsey Watson, 6-3, 6-2; Abby Roy (S) def. Hannah Jung, 6-3, 4-6, 10-6; Doubles : Taylor Ingerman and Katie Robertson (W) def. Sam Lohneiss and Kayla Kavanaugh, 6-1, 6-4; Ally Shay and Rachel Low (W) def. Molly Murphy and Carolyn Callahan, 6-0, 6-0; Cara Kilmartin and Meghan Golden (W) def. Coral Tommervik and Sam Bermere, 6-2, 6-0.