Wilton falls to Staples in Class L state final
Tradition and history are important to the Staples High School girls tennis program.
And while the Wreckers have been in five straight FCIAC finals and five consecutive Class L finals, there is one standard that had eluded them.
A perfect season.
Staples scratched that goal off of its list Friday. The top-seeded Wreckers placed a beautiful blue and white ribbon around their 24-0 season as they ground out a 5-2 triumph over sixth-seed Wilton in the Class L state championship final at New Canaan High School.
The state title was the third in five years for Staples, which also won in 2016 and 2018.
“I told the girls all year long that to go undefeated, win the FCIAC championship and the Class L title, that is the ultimate trifecta,” Staples coach Paco Fabian said. “Wilton gave us a fantastic fight today. There was great tennis played on every court.”
Indeed. The rivals (Staples had also beaten Wilton, 4-0, in this year’s FCIAC championship final) split the four singles matches on the nearly windless New Canaan courts.
Izzy Koziol and Emma Caldwell won for Wilton at first and second singles, respectively; Staples answered with victories from Jordana Latzman at third singles and Alisyn Kercher at fourth singles.
That left it up to the three doubles matches.
At first doubles, Lily Smith and Olivia Gordy won 7-5 in the third set for Staples.
At second doubles, Dylan Dasbach and Natalie Carozza earned a 7-5, 7-5 victory to give the Wreckers a 4-2 lead and clinch the state title.
Luiza Cocito and Allison Katz rallied for a three-set win at third doubles to account for Staples' final point.
“It’s been a miraculous season. No Staples girls tennis team has ever had a perfect season,” said Smith. a senior captain. “It’s so heartwarming. Wilton has been a tough adversary all year. But we were ready to win today.”
As for Wilton, it concluded a 20-4 season that included three losses to Staples.
Wilton’s first-year coach Rod-D’Jaly Thoby has much to look forward to: The Warriors graduate six seniors but return all four singles players.
“We went to our first FCIAC final in 26 years. We will continue the momentum from this season,” Thoby said. “I’m so proud of how hard the girls fought today. But Staples is a great team. We leave this court with a smile and we know we have more talent coming from our junior varsity squad.”